— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) May 9, 2017
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says Tuesday’s incident where he was hit in the face with a pie has “reinvigorated” him to keep speaking out about social and community issues.
While addressing a business breakfast in Perth on Tuesday, a man walked onto the stage and threw a lemon meringue pie in Joyce’s face.
The man said after the incident he was protesting about Joyce’s support of marriage equality.
Joyce says the actions of the man have not deterred his and Qantas’s willingness to speak out on topics such as marriage equality, LGBTI rights and indigenous matters.
“We will continue to do so. No attempt at bullying us and suppressing our voice will work,” Joyce told reporters at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
“Certainly what happened yesterday has reinvigorated me in actual fact.
“It has really really encouraged me to be out there and to continue to be out there and express my views even more strongly that I have done in the past.
— Dan Conifer (@DanConifer) May 10, 2017
Joyce was among the 20 chief executives at some of Australia’s largest corporations who signalled their support of marriage equality in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in March, including the heads of the Commonwealth Bank, Holden, Telstra and Wesfarmers.
His stance has drawn criticism from figures such as Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton, who accused the Qantas chief executive and others who signed the letter of using shareholders money to “throw their weight around in these debates”.
However, Joyce said it was part of his role as Qantas chief executive and “part of every corporate leader’s role to have a view on social and community issues”.
The Qantas boss confirmed he was pressing charges against the man.
“The police are continuing their investigation and intention is to send a message that this type of behaviour isn’t acceptable,” Joyce said.
“I will have every intention of pressing charges.
Joyce said he believed the man sent him an email to apologise.
“I believe there has been an apology coming in but I’m not sure there’s any regret at the issue that has occurred,” Joyce said.