A senior NSW minister has been accused of using a racial slur after referring to people “running around the bush with spears and boomerangs”.
The comment was made during a heated exchange between Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham and Roads Minister Duncan Gay in question time in the upper house on Thursday.
Mr Buckingham asked the minister to name one potential user of the controversial proposed Needles Gap Dam in western NSW.
Mr Gay, a Nationals MP, quoted from a comment left on an online article in the Central Western Daily about the dam attributed to a user called “Leafman”.
“Leafman said … `we just cannot go back to running around the bush with spears and boomerangs – we have to have water security’,” Mr Gay told parliament.
Mr Buckingham interjected, saying the minister hadn’t answered the question but instead referred to a “troll and racial slurs”.
The Greens MP was eventually ejected from the house due to comments he made to the President Don Harwin.
Mr Buckingham later urged Mr Gay to withdraw and apologise for what he said was “clearly a racial slur”.
“It made my blood boil to hear representatives of the government use that kind of offensive language to make a political point,” he said in a statement.
“By all means criticise the Greens, but to use this racial slur is utterly wrong.”
A spokeswoman for Mr Gay dismissed Mr Buckingham’s comments as “ridiculous”.
“The minister was reading from an email – they were not his personal comments,” she said in a statement.
“This is purely just the Greens trying to score cheap political points.”