South Australia’s Treasurer, Kevin Foley, has been forced onto the back foot by attacks from the gay community over his use of derogatory language in a documentary.

In the film, made by documentary maker Bob Ellis, he asks a member of staff, “Is that one of your poofter beers? Fucking hell.”

Gay activists leapt on the comment as dangerous and inflammatory.

Ghassan Kassisieh of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said: “It’s not appropriate for someone in a position of leadership to be setting a tone for public debate that uses derogatory language.”

The Treasurer made a statement through a spokeswoman on Tuesday night.

“If anyone is upset, he apologises,” she said.

Mr Foley is not the only victim of Mr Ellis’ film.

Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith is caught on camera discussing her former job as a pathologist, saying: “I pine for bodies quite often.

“There is a joy in the simplicity and short-term satisfaction of a dead body.”

Mr Foley, a member of the Labour party, is also Deputy Premier of South Australia.

He last made headlines in 2006 for verbally abusing a fellow MP in the parliamentary private members lounge whilst drunk.