• Queensland Senator, Amanda Stoker, responds to Senator Malarndirri McCarthy's call out during question time. (NITV)Source: NITV
Senator Amanda Stoker apologises for "any offence caused" after describing Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as “the knee on the throat of Queensland businesses, stopping them from breathing”.
Shahni Wellington

16 Jun 2020 - 12:15 PM  UPDATED 16 Jun 2020 - 12:15 PM

Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker rose in parliament at around 10pm overnight to address earlier comments she had made on state border closures - likening them to the tragic death of black man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. 

It followed backlash online for her "abhorrent" remarks made last Thursday on Sky News.

"I likened the Queensland Premier's refusal to open the borders to choking the Queensland economy," Ms Stoker explained to the Senate.

"I used an unfortunate turn of phrase. It wasn't premeditated, rehearsed or intended to offend."

The exchange in question is when Senator Stoker described Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who is currently under pressure to re-open state border closures, as “the knee on the throat of Queensland businesses, stopping them from breathing”. 

When previously questioned on the insensitivity of her remarks, that mirrored what lead to global demonstrations for the Black Lives Matter movement,  Senator Stoker maintained that wasn't her intention.

The apology stated to the Senate on Monday night was for "any genuine offence or hurt caused," rather than the actions itself. 

 Garrwa Yanyuwa woman and Northern Territory Senator, Malarndirri McCarthy, called out the description as “abhorrent and insensitive” during question time yesterday, and asked whether it was appropriate for Senator Stoker to use the words of a dying man on late night TV.

Government Senate leader Mathias Cormann spoke on behalf of the Prime Minister, saying he was unaware of the comments and would take it on notice.

On Tuesday, he told reporters that "it was the end of the matter," after he had spoken with Senator Stoker and she had apologised.

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