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'Frequent' guard shortages at Parliament

AAP logoAAP 17/10/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Parliament House security is short-staffed on a "frequent basis", a Senate committee has heard.

Department of Parliamentary Services officials say security staff have been "chronically short" since last year, after recruitment was suspended, although numbers were now improving.

"We have since that time struggled to get up to the full complement," department secretary Robert Stefanic told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Monday.

The committee also heard one of the public galleries at Parliament House on occasion had no security guard present during last week's sittings.

However, a senior Senate official noticed the oversight and it was corrected.

Labor senator Penny Wong questioned why millions of dollars were spent setting up a new security point outside the parliament's ministerial entrance, but not enough staff were available to work in such areas.

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