3 January 2022

Alleged arsonist charged after Old Parliament House fire

| Lottie Twyford
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old parliament house fire

A fire started at the Old Parliament House on Thursday. Photo:John Williams.

A 30-year-old Victorian man has been charged with arson and damaging property after a fire that police will allege was deliberately lit at Old Parliament House last Thursday (30 December 2021).

ACT Policing detectives made the arrest yesterday at about 8:20 pm and the man is expected to face the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (4 January 2022).

This arrest is in addition to three other arrests made on Saturday (1 January 2022) by ACT Policing. That trio faced court on Sunday (2 January 2022).

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One of the three was charged with three counts of assaulting a frontline service provider, the second was charged with one count of assaulting a frontline service provider and the third was charged with hindering a Territory official.

An ACT Policing spokesperson said last Thursday there had been ongoing protest activity at the front of Old Parliament House for the past fortnight.

The building has now been damaged by fire twice in the last two weeks.

The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House will now be closed for the foreseeable future due to fire and water damage.

The taskforce under Operation Pike will continue investigations to identify other people involved in the fire and further arrests may occur.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the?Crime Stoppers ACT website.

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The Museum of Australian Democracy burning down is the perfect symbol for the last two years.

If it was an aboriginal smoking ceremony, involving a fire being lit on the door of OPH, during a week long/ongoing aboriginal protest, with aboriginal protesters wearing aboriginal themed clothing, waving aboriginal flags and chanting aboriginal slogans as the fire burned, why was the reaction from some people to blame ant-vaxers? A diversionary tactic? Dishonesty/naivity? Wishful thinking? Come on. These were nutters, but all evidence indicates they were aboriginal nutters, not anti-vax nutters. It would be disrespectful to deny them the motivation and capability to light a fire.
Bearing in mind what has just happened with the major fire at the South African parliament, the organisers of the aboriginal tent embassy should use this incident to finally shut down the tent site, as a gesture of good will and reconciliation, as well as to prevent their cause being hijacked by extremists whose actions they have already condemned.

It puzzles me as to why there were not arrests made at the time given police were present!

Stephen Saunders6:40 pm 03 Jan 22

A certain official should resign over this. You know who I mean.

Capital Retro8:32 am 04 Jan 22

It’s a big call to blame Scott Morrison for this one.

The leaders of the tent embassy?

Big call, but you’re right, this is what happens when people are allowed to consistently break the law for decades with impunity.

It had absolutely nothing to do with the Tent Embassy.
Careful your racism is showing.

If you think this has nothing to do with the tent embassy then you’re blind and ignorant.

Also interesting that you think applying the law equally is somehow racist.

“Herp derp, I don’t agree with you so you must be a racist.”

Well done.

Frank Spencer9:41 pm 04 Jan 22

Hahahaha. Nothing to do with the tent embassy……mmmmm…….ok.

Frank Spencer5:24 pm 03 Jan 22

Will be interesting to see how harsh the punishments are.

Based upon the sentebce handed out when the Dept of Foreighn affairs bldg was damaged me thinking a slap on the wrust frm the woke act court system will be the result,

Capital Retro10:27 am 04 Jan 22

Plus nomination of main offender as “Australian of the Year”.

Charges should also include damage to Commonwealth heritage. The Provisional Parliament House is massively significant to the seat of government and the creation of the Federation Capital Territory.

Capital Retro3:52 pm 03 Jan 22

Given that the definition of terrorism is “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims” I believe the charges should be upgraded accordingly.

If the alleged offenders tried this stunt in some other countries they would have been dealt with on the spot.

If they had tried this stunt against the real Parliament House they would have been dealt with on the spot by all the gun toting guards. Probably why they didn’t.

Finagen_Freeman3:03 pm 03 Jan 22

Neoliberal extremist firebugs wreak havoc on invaders traditional symbol of power, which sits on indigenous land stollen and not yet rescinded.

Let’s extinguish that.

Stollen is German bread.

Frank Spencer9:38 pm 04 Jan 22

Which is very tasty and suitable at this time of the year.

Good stuff ACT Policing, catch and charge them all!

But what took so long?

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