Bernardi pushes for 'burqa ban' in Parliament

Cory Bernardi will debate Penny Wong on same sex marriage. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) Source: AAP

Women could be banned from wearing a burqa in Australia's Parliament House if a request from outspoken Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi is approved.

Women could be banned from wearing a burqa in Australia's Parliament House if a request from outspoken Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi is approved. 

Senator Bernardi says facial coverings are a security risk and he's written to the speakers of both houses of parliament, calling on them to ban veils in the building in light of the heightened terror threat. 

"I've said the burqa is not right for Australia," Senator Bernardi told Sky News on Wednesday. 

"Parliament House should be open to the people but we need to know the identity of the people who are coming in here," he said.

Cross bench Senator David Leyonhjelm said he'd support a ban on security grounds within parliament, but not a broader prohibition. 

"I don't think in general the government should be telling people what to wear. They might ban things that I like, like bikinis," he said.

"The government shouldn't discriminate against people but the government has genuine security concerns - so if it affects the ability to maintain security or identify people, and a lot of the security is based on closed circuit TV so if you can't identify people by closed circuit TV because of what people are wearing then they have a legitimate concern."

Coalition MP George Christensen and Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie have recently called for the burqa to be banned in all public spaces. 

The Palmer United Party Senator told SBS she felt for the “poor women who are forced to wear the full-face covering” garments.

“People can do want the want in the privacy of their own homes – but for the public safety of our children and families – remove the burqa."

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