“Stumbling, bumbling lightweight”: Federal treasurer’s stunning attack on Qld Health Minister

The tension between the Queensland and federal governments has reached a new level today, with the Federal Treasurer laying it all out on national TV.

“He’s a stumbling, bumbling, lightweight that no-one’s ever heard of who’s just made it up as he goes,” Josh Frydenberg told the Today Show, about the recent actions of Queensland’s Health Minister Steven Miles.

It comes after the ADF announced it would be pulling its support out of Queensland’s border operation, a move that the state government accused as a political ‘bargaining chip’.


Health Minister Steven Miles made a point during yesterday’s press conference, of handing out correspondence between the state and federal governments, confirming that Queensland had requested an extension of the ADF’s support.

He called for an apology from Josh Frydenberg, after he apparently said that Queensland had not requested further assistance.

“This is yet another example of a federal government minister being sent out by the Prime Minister to attack our government in the local media here in Queensland being caught out in a lie,” Miles told reporters.

“Josh Frydenberg should apologise for the statements he made.

“It’s time for the Federal Government to stop using the ADF – which is for all Australians – as a bargaining chip in their war against our restrictions,” he said.

It was later revealed that Josh Frydenberg had said nothing of the sort, confirming on radio yesterday that Miles’ claims were totally ‘rubbish’.

Frydenberg, backed up by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, have now launched a fresh attack on the Health Minister on The Today Show this morning, opening with the words “stumbling, bumbling lightweight…”

“He’s a stumbling, bumbling, lightweight that no-one’s ever heard of who’s just made it up as he goes,” Frydenberg said.

“I mean, I was asked a question on radio yesterday whether the government’s movement of ADF Troops was designed to deliberately damage Queensland’s border policy, and I said that was absolutely rubbish.

“And then he goes and holds a press conference asking me to apologise… For what?! I mean, this guy just as Peter Dutton said earlier, just seeking to pick a fight, to play politics, to play politics with the pandemic, to play politics with the deployment of ADF troops.

“I mean, that guy should just grow up,” Minister Frydenberg said.