Wild Bill shoots from lip

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - STEVEN WARDILL

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”.

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