Thieves have run of Parliament House

Thieves have run of Parliament House
Thieves have run of Parliament House 

By Lisa Carty 
State Political Editor
The Sun-Herald
November 4, 2007

THIEVES scaled a two-metre security fence and roamed unchecked through 
State Parliament before making off with six security guard shirts.

The stunning security breach has horrified senior managers, who have 
launched an internal investigation. One official said: "For all we know 
they could have planted bombs."

The thieves entered the central Sydney building through an unlocked, 
unalarmed fire exit that leads onto Hospital Road at the rear of 
Parliament House.

They were able to wander freely around the southern end of the building
- away from the security control room at its northern end - before 
seizing the shirts from a laundry room.

The shirts had been cleaned and returned to Parliament for the next 
shift of security guards.

It is not known how long the thieves stayed in the building, or where 
they went, because no alarms were triggered.

It is believed whoever left the door unlocked also failed to activate 
the alarm, but there is no suggestion it was more than a massive 

Via a service lift, the thieves had easy access to all public areas of 
the building, including the historic foyers fronting Macquarie Street, 
as well as some non-public areas including the press gallery on level 

The Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council were locked and alarmed 
during the intruders' visits, leaving them unable to access the chambers 
where MPs assemble for question time.

A manager, who did not want to be named, said it was absolutely 
unbelievable that the door had been left unsecured.

"We're in shock," he said.

"The outside of the building is supposed to be checked by the guards 
when they are on patrol.

"It's incredible that a door could be left unlocked and open and no one 
noticed it except three people who broke in.

"Whether it was just a little bit open, or flapping in the breeze, will 
be looked at as part of the investigation."

The manager said no one knew what the thieves got up to while they were 
given free rein in one of the city's most important buildings.

"We have no idea what they did in the building but it seems we have had 
a very, very lucky escape - it could have been far worse. It's actually 
given us a few chills."

The break-in is thought to have occurred about 3am last Sunday, and was 
detected by the security dayshift that discovered the open door.

Kings Cross police were called and recovered the shirts in Woolloomooloo 
later that afternoon.

The breach is being investigated by Parliament's head of security, 
Morgan Andrews, who refused to comment.

He will report to the clerks, who will report to lower house Speaker 
Richard Torbay and upper house president Peter Primrose.

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