Headline hunter goes for the kill


BREAKING: An undisclosed number of people have been injured – one seriously – during an ugly incident at Parliament House in Canberra early this morning that federal police say has only just now been brought under control.

The victims – all parliamentary staffers who had just begun work – have been transported by a fleet of ambulances to various hospitals around the national capital, suffering from broken bones, concussion and multiple leg bites.

The parliament’s Senate serjeant at arms Peter Protocol told The Bug it was a classic case of “innocent people being in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

“Apparently they simply got between Senator Derryn Hinch and a headline he was pursuing down the corridors on the Senate side of the building.”

It is understood the Justice Party senator was in his parliamentary office enjoying a wine and coco-pops breakfast when staff suggested he could get enormous publicity by grandstanding over the refugee medivac legislation passed late yesterday by the lower house.

“He wasn’t all that interested until we told him that some of the refugees being held on Manus Island and Nauru could be paedophiles who could be named and shamed on a public list,” one staffer said on the basis of anonymity.

“He bolted up the corridors to the media gallery and I felt sorry for all of those people caught blocking his way. I’ve seen it before: never, ever, get between Senator Hinch and a headline opportunity and any publicity, good or otherwise.

“One dear old thing – people who watch Senate Question Time would recognise Gwen as one of the ushers who brings glasses of water down to Senators who never, ever thank her – was bitten repeatedly and flung heavily against a wall. I think she was one of the ones most seriously injured.”

The staffer said on reaching the media gallery, Senator Hinch discovered TV reporters were already recording stand-ups on the front lawn of Parliament House.

“So he jumped into his car and sped there (main picture) and unfortunately ran over a couple of tourists on the way,” the staffer said.

“Luckily they were not voters from Victoria so the Senator told them to call an ambulance themselves and drove on.”

Senator Hinch was unrepentant when approached by The Bug later.

“That’s Derryn … D..E…R…R..Y..N and Hinch, no ‘S’, okay. I’d appreciate a copy of anything you write,” he said. “Say what you like about me; I don’t care. Just get my name right.”