Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne.
Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne. Chloe Lyons

CQ Labor MP steps in to defend Bill Byrne's outburst

A LABOR MP has backed Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne after he called Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's staff "f---tards" during an expletive-laden rant.

Mr Byrne's comments, revealed by The Courier-Mail, earned him a dressing down by Ms Palaszczuk and were condemned as "hate speech" and a "slur" by disability advocates.

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga talks about government movement on Shoalwater Bay expansion plans after the rally attended by the Premier.
Brittany Lauga’s comments were at odds with Ms Palaszczuk, who chastised Mr Byrne. Chris Ison ROK020217cshoalwater1

However, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said the minister's public meltdown in Mareeba earlier this month, which prompted the resignation of his chief-of-staff, was understandable given that another outbreak of Panama disease occurred on the same day.

"I don't blame him for needing a moment to deal with what must have been distressing news for the farmers and for the minister, who is doing everything he can to help rid the state of this disease impacting farmers," she said.

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