The controversial plan to make Muslim women wearing burqas and the niqab sit in glassed enclosures at Parliament House, which has now been dumped, was put in place without any prior advice from security agencies.

But Senate president Stephen Parry has insisted the October 2 decision to introduce the interim ban was "prudent" and based on advice that up to 10 people, including some men, were planning to conduct a protest inside Parliament House while "wearing concealing garments".

"The best and most immediate response was to enable us to ensure the identity of those people in the public gallery. I think that was a prudent decision for that particular day," Senator Parry told a Senate estimates hearing on Monday.

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