Heffernan’s retirement no loss

Maverick Liberal senator Bill Heffernan will bow out of politics at the next federal election.
Senator Heffernan told AAP on Saturday that he did not nominate for the NSW Liberal Party Senate ticket but declined to comment further.

Wikipedia has listed his achievements:

On 12 March 2002, speaking in the Senate under parliamentary privilege, Heffernan made accusations against a serving judge, Justice Michael Kirby. Heffernan was censured by the Senate ‘on the voices’.

John Hewson (a former Liberal Party leader) as saying that John Howardhad used Heffernan to distribute dirt and to run his agenda against individuals “for almost as long as I have known him”.

During the New South Wales 2007 State Election, Heffernan was accused of stealing Greens how-to-vote cards and misrepresenting Greens policies to voters.

Heffernan caused widespread outrage by suggesting the unmarried and childless Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julia Gillard was unfit for leadership because she was “deliberately barren” He continued: “I mean anyone who chooses to remain deliberately barren … they’ve got no idea what life’s about.” Heffernan was later forced to apologise for the remarks.

According to The Age newspaper, Bill Heffernan posed as an ASIO agent in a telephone call to John Grabbe, a farm manager in New South Wales.

Heffernan is also reported to have impersonated Senator Barnaby Joyce during a telephone conversation with one of his constituents

On 20 May, 2012, allegations were reported in the media that Heffernan struck a fellow Liberal party member and suspended electoral officer, Ray Carter, so hard that he was toppled onto a chair, before allegedly whispering to him “I didn’t know you were a poofter.” during a branch meeting on 3 May

On 26 May, 2014, Heffernan smuggled an imitation pipe bomb into Parliament House.


Heffernan’s major, and possibly only, contribution to Australian politics: smuggling a fake pipe bomb into Parliament.

At a Senate Estimates Hearing in Canberra, Heffernan called the Irish-born head of Qantas, Alan Joyce, “an old Irish bomb maker”,

In 2015, Heffernan used parliamentary privilege to allege that he had a document, allegedly produced to the Wood Royal Commission, that listed the names of 28 people suspected of visiting a “boy brothel” in King’s Cross. He stated in parliament that a former Prime Minister was among the names.

The Federal Parliament is considering reform of the voting system for the Senate. It is aimed primarily at limiting the extent to which micro-parties can be elected with fractions of a percentage of the vote. It is time that this reform was enacted.

But we also need reform that will make it difficult for the major parties to continue nominating people like Bill Heffernan for the Senate. I’m not a great fan of Jacqui Lambie, but in her short time in Parliament she’s done more than Heffernan did in 20 years.

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