Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders

'Take it outside dog': MP row over assault claim

ACCUSATIONS of assault at a Maryborough venue have been levelled at Labor MP Bruce Saunders in an astonishing parliamentary row.

Branding Liberal Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie "a dog" in parliament on Tuesday, Mr Saunders insists police enquiries have cleared himself and his staffer Paul Freyer of the alleged assault against Maryborough woman Carolyn Packer outside the Maryborough RSL two years ago.

The Chronicle last year approached Mrs Packer for comment on the issue but she declined.

Mr Bleijie read a letter from Ms Packer during Tuesday's parliamentary sitting.

In the letter, Ms Packer alleges she was assaulted by Paul Freyer, Mr Saunders' staffer, outside the Maryborough RSL in 2017 and Mr Saunders allegedly pulled her shirt at a Town Hall meeting in November that same year.

"As I passed Bruce, he pulled on my shirt and said 'You're supporting grubs, they're nothing but a pack of grubs and you're supporting grubs, you grub'," Mr Bleijie read from Ms Packer's letter.

"I replied 'The only grub is Paul Freyer, who assaulted me and you did nothing to sort out the problem.'"

Ms Packer further claimed her attempts to gain CCTV footage of the alleged assault outside the RSL were hampered due to the police allegedly refusing to release the videos.

Mr Bleijie tabled another letter from the RSL, addressed to Ms Parker on October 31, 2018, claiming there was a "noticeable contact" between herself and "a gentleman attending a function".

Throughout his speech, Mr Bleijie was repeatedly told his remarks were unparliamentary by Deputy Speaker Corrin McMillan and asked to withdraw.

Mr Saunders was warned after he challenged Mr Bleijie to "take it outside the house" and called him a dog.

Speaking to the Chronicle after the sitting, he let fly on Mr Bleijie's speech as "one of the most disgraceful and disgusting things" inside "Coward's Castle".

"If he has any intestinal fortitude he will repeat it outside of parliament," Mr Saunders said.

"Let's see how brave he is."

Mr Saunders said both himself and Mr Freyer had been cleared by police investigations and had "no case to answer to".

"I went through an extensive police inquiry and I will be releasing that report," he said.

"Paul was cleared by police, it showed there was no incident."

Mr Freyer told the Chronicle he could not comment due to the matter being under civil litigation.



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