While Parliament is still three weeks
away, an incident this morning on Capitol Hill involving a
“person of Middle Eastern appearance,” an old 80s commodore and several quite
excited AFP officers got juices running in the Big House.

The vehicle circled Parliament House a couple of times, then
turned into the western carpark on the Melbourne Avenue ramp at the rear of the
Ministerial Wing – the only Parliamentary park without a security gate. The odd
journey must have added a bit of excitement to the otherwise deadly dull days
for the AFP officers, as they stopped the motorist and had him out of the car
quick smart.

Reinforcements appeared from everywhere, including several
police on pushbikes, at least three in their 4WD utes and some moving quickly on
foot – so the threat appeared real to the AFP. To the untrained eyes of
observers, the poor fellow’s body language and facial expression looked
decidedly like a perplexed, puzzled and very lost tourist – a look quite common
around Canberra in the holiday season.

But security at parliament is nothing if not, er, secure, as those who
remember the day the War on Terror hit the House will attest. We have emailed parliament’s chief bureaucrat Hilary Penfold
and her head of security, Peter Ward, for details, but no response yet. Maybe
they’re still interrogating the suspect.