Wild Bill shoots from lip
A WILD Bill Byrne exploded into an expletive- laden tirade aimed at the Premier’s office, prompting the sudden resignation of his chief of staff.
It is understood Mr Byrne allegedly described Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s staff as “f-- ktards” during the diatribe as public servants and ministerial staff watched on.
Mr Byrne, Queensland’s Agriculture Minister, has blamed the pressure of politics for the blow- up but insisted he could not recall the precise expletives he had chosen.
“I can’t recall the precise words I used but it may come as no surprise to those who know me that from time to time, colourful language does pass my lip,” he said.
Department sources said the rant from Mr Byrne, who has previously revealed how frustration over a rodent infestation prompted him to go on a rat shooting rampage in the ceiling space of his Rockhampton home, occurred in a Mareeba carpark on July 12.
It is understood Mr Byrne reacted after Ms Palaszczuk’s office queried if he could make the 60km trek back to Cairns so the pair could conduct a press conference about the fight against Panama disease.
“He was yelling that Premiers is full of f--- ktards,” a senior Labor source said.
Mr Byrne blamed the pressures of politics for his outburst, saying it was a “stressful and demanding business”.
Mr Byrne’s former chief of staff Tim Grau insisted he was still a Government employee.
But Mr Grau refused to say why his short stint in Mr Byrne’s office had ended.
A spokesman for Ms Palaszczuk confirmed Mr Grau had left Mr Byrne’s office and was being redeployed to a “ministerial advisory role focused on the regions”.