BILL Byrne hit back yesterday after copping government taunts that he is Robert Schwarten's puppet.
The Member for Rockhampton (Labor) said he was not fazed by the comments and was used to the consistent LNP theme that he was "Schwarto's puppet".
Premier Campbell Newman snipped at Mr Byrne during a Parliament sitting on Tuesday that he "keeps delivering questions hand-crafted from Schwarto ...".
"I know the Member for Rockhampton idolises Robert Schwarten, the former minister," said Mr Newman.
"He idolises him so much that he comes into this place week after week with hand-crafted questions from Schwarto delivered with love. But I digress."
Mr Byrne chuckled when The Morning Bulletin put to him the implications of Premier Newman's statement.
"I am familiar with the slang 'he has got his hand up my back' and this is far from the truth," said Mr Byrne.
"Robert and I come from the same ideological position, being members of the Labor Party.
"Anyone who knows me knows that I am my own man and as locals of this area we are pushing for the same causes."
He said the principles he believed in were in line with the former MP's.
When the Bully rang Mr Schwarten for his response, he described the Premier's comment as "bulls***".
"My Byrne hasn't come to me for an opinion on these important government issues," he said.
"This just goes to show how desperate the current government is. They have resorted to attacking people who are no longer in government."
Mr Schwarten was also targeted in Parliament on Tuesday when the LNP's Jack Dempsey attacked Labor over the Capricornia Correctional Centre's dairy farm.
"If you want to help prisoners, we should give them worthwhile jobs so that they can go out and contribute to the community - not milking dairy cows to make Robert Schwarto's chocolate bars," Mr Dempsey said.