Here’s what happens when a politician brings a pipe bomb to a meeting

Don't worry—it wasn't loaded.


Ned Donovan


Published May 26, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 6:17 am CDT

Australian Senator Bill Heffernan brought a pipe bomb into a Senate hearing in Canberra Monday to show off Parliament’s “unsafe” security. The prop, which he claimed was inert, was taken out of a plastic bag while the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee questioned the Australian Federal Police Commissioner.

After showing off the ‘bomb,’ Heffernan then whipped out an unidentified contraption that looks to be sticks of dynamite attached to an electronic detonator. The senator then began to explain exactly how one could blow up the building the hearing was in.

“When I was a kid,” Heffernan said, “we used to blow stumps out on the farm, 50 years ago. We’d get some nitropril, a quart of distillate, a plug of jelly and a detonator. We’d light the bloody thing and [it would] go to buggery. We could blow a tree the size of this building out of the ground.”

After giving these precise bomb making instructions, the Heffernan got to the point he was trying to make.

“At the present time, there is nothing to stop anyone from bringing those ingredients in here over a period of time through security,” he said.

In response, Police Commissioner Tony Negus simply replied, “That is a risk, yes.”

Screenshot via YouTube/ABC News

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*First Published: May 26, 2014, 12:09 pm CDT