Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has been banned from all Qantas services for six months after allegedly abusing staff at Melbourne Airport in March. Lambie is alleged to have used a homophobic slur against Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who is openly gay.

Nine News this morning reported that on a recent flight out of Melbourne, Jacqui Lambie shouted at Qantas staff that their “CEO is a poof”,  referring to the national carrier’s boss Joyce who is openly gay, among other expletives and referring to “pussy power” when refused entry to the exclusive Chairman’s Lounge.

It has been confirmed that the Tasmanian senator is now banned from using Qantas services for six months from April. This reportedly follows a number of other altercations between the politician and the national carrier.

Update: Lambie has denied that she used a homophobic slur and shared a Qantas press note on social media that confirmed the same. “I never used that homophobic slur. Anyone who knows me knows it’s something I’d never do,” said Lambie.

The two-line note issued by Qantas said: “While Qantas typically doesn’t comment on individual customer matters, the allegation of hate speech being used in our lounges requires a response. We have confirmed with our lounge staff that Senator Lambie did not make a homophobic remark as part of the incident for which she has apologised”.

Senator Blames ‘Bad Day’

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The Tasmanian Senator has since apologised, saying her behaviour was “totally uncalled for and totally unacceptable.”

“It was the end of a long week in Canberra. I’d backed into a car that morning, got a speeding ticket on the way to work, and my flight home was delayed,” Lambie told Nine News.

“It was a bad day for me. But it was worse for the poor Qantas staff who had to stand and take my rant. I have apologised to the staff for my actions, and I’d like to do so again.”

“I’ll take whatever punishment Qantas throws at me. I’ve done the crime and I’ll do the time, because that’s what I deserve.”

With the altercation caught on CCTV, Qantas are as yet to make an official statement on Lambie’s conduct or the six-month ban, however this is not the first time Lambie has come out swinging against the LGBTQI communities.

‘Celebrity’ Transphobic Rant

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In 2019, as a contestant on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Lambie mocked Tasmania’s Lower House passing trans-inclusive legal reforms that would make gender markers on birth certificates optional. “Now we’re into moving Australia Day, we’re into transgender and making sure we can change their fucking birth certificates. Stupid Tasmania, they did that just before Christmas time,” Lambie had said.

Lambie followed up by declaring, “When you are born, you’re either a male or a female.”

Senator Lambie will now have to slum it like the rest of us, and rely on Virgin Australia to get to and from Canberra for parliamentary work- a carrier, which does not offer its customers an exclusive Chairman’s Lounge.

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

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