10 May 2017

Qantas CEO to pursue charges over pie

8:08 pm on 10 May 2017

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has said he intends to press charges against a man who hit him in the face with a lemon meringue pie.

A screenshot from 7 News footage shows Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce with his face covered with pie.

A screenshot from 7 News footage - via the ABC - shows Mr Joyce with his face covered in pie topping. Photo: Screenshot / 7 News

Mr Joyce was giving a speech in Perth on Tuesday when the man walked on stage and shoved the pie in his face.

A man identified by local media as the attacker later criticised the airline chief's support for same-sex marriage, which is not legal in Australia.

Mr Joyce told reporters today he was taking the incident seriously.

"The police are continuing their investigation and my intention is to send a message that this type of behaviour isn't acceptable and that I will have every intention of pressing charges.

"I have every intention to continue to be vocal on those social and community issues."

Police charged the 67-year-old man with giving false details after the incident, which happened in front of 500 people. He might yet face an assault charge, they told the BBC.

"On the west coast, there is very limited opportunity to have connection with national figures," the pie-wielder, identified as Tony Overheu, told the ABC.

"From my reading, it would appear that Alan Joyce is very much part of a network trying to subvert the federal parliamentary process around the issue of marriage equality."

Mr Joyce was one of 20 company chief executives who signed a petition in March calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to legalise same-sex marriage.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, the government's most prominent conservative, described the attack as "a disgrace".

"The person should be ashamed. The threats any of us receive is unacceptable," Mr Dutton tweeted.

Mr Joyce had been discussing the airline's recent decision to operate non-stop flights from London to Perth when the incident happened.

"I don't know what that was about," he said, before continuing his speech.