Did the minister have the munchies? Was he thinking of chucking a pork chop on the Saturdays afternoon barbie?
We may never know for sure, but NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has apologised to Jodi McKay, the Leader of the Opposition, for a remarkable tirade on Thursday in which he called her “quite stupid”, “a goose”, “juvenile” and “a complete pork chop”.
Health Minister says he is sorry for outburst
During a joint interview with Sydney radio station 2GB the following morning, Hazzard said he was sorry.
“I think it’s fair to say I was a little bit frustrated with Jodi … I know Jodi quite well but I was a bit frustrated with her yesterday,” he said.
“I was tired and I was frustrated and I shouldn’t have responded the way I did and I’m sorry for doing that to you, Jodi.”
Opposition leader says comments ‘inappropriate’
For her part, McKay said Hazzard’s comments were “inappropriate” and “unbecoming”. But responding to a press conference question, she said she did not believe they related to her gender.
“I never find minister Hazzard to target women; that’s not him. I don’t think [it was] in anyway related to gender,” she said. “I think I’ll let people judge for themselves the behaviour exhibited yesterday in parliament.”
McKay added: “I think that when you ask a serious question you want an answer when we’re in the middle of a pandemic … it’s a legitimate question and I will keep asking that question. I think it was conduct unbecoming of a minister of the crown.”
Tirade during debate over mandatory face masks
The whole storm in a pork chop erupted during a debate over face masks and whether their wearing should be mandatory in New South Wales at present.
The minister put forward his opinion that: “If you were to impose it as a mandatory requirement, then obviously there’s a massive demand for those masks at times when people may not need them, and that diminishes the number of masks that are available”.
McKay, however, said she was “shocked to hear him say that he is not making face masks mandatory because the government does not have enough masks to meet demand”.
Opposition leader ‘trying to stir things up’
Hazzard then responded that he believed the opposition leader was trying “to stir things up” and had completely represented what he had said. Then followed the tirade.
The pair now seems to have reconciled their differences.
However, whether they’ll be throwing a pork chop on the barbie together anytime soon remains to be seen.