Showing posts with label National Party of Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Party of Australia. Show all posts

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Having failed to walk the walk Nationals MP & Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources is belatedly trying to talk the talk

Well the Nationals are out there trying to ‘spin’ their party as reasonable and balanced in the hope of repairing political damage caused by the recent Ministerial Code of Conduct-Use of Parliamentary Entitlements scandal.

This was former National Australia Bank rural financial adviser, Nationals MP for Maranoa since July 2016 & Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources since December 2017, David Kelly Littleproud.

The heir to Barnaby Joyce's portfolio has declared he has nothing against renewables, believes climate change is fundamentally reshaping agriculture, and called on city dwellers to wake up to the economic heavy lifting being done by Australia's farmers.

David Littleproud, the banker who came within a couple of votes of snatching the Nationals leadership last week, has no intention of emulating the former deputy prime minister.

"I am in favour of renewables, make no mistake," he said. "It will mean we will have cleaner air to breathe, there is nothing to fear in that."

The Agriculture Minister, who party leaders hope will appeal to a new generation of voters, said renewables needed to be brought in a way that "doesn't impact someone being able to put a light on or a farmer being able to put a pump on".

"The stark reality," he said, is farmers had been trying to deal with the effects of climate change since they were "putting till in the ground".

The 41-year-old rejected calls from environmentalists for an agricultural climate change adaptation plan, but says that's only because farmers will need to do it themselves or risk losing their crop.

His comments mark a relatively climate-friendly shift from Mr Joyce, who promoted Mr Littleproud into cabinet before Christmas....

What David Littleproud does not say is that he has never voted against the Liberal-Nationals party line in the House of Representatives to date.

Which means he is on record as voting against:

And voting for:

Somehow I don’t see Littleproud making much headway with what he calls “a new generation of voters”.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Senate Estimates Appearances of the Week

In which we find Liberal-National Party MP for Dawson George Christensen does indeed have questions to answer over his gun-toting Facebook post threatening violence against "greenie punks"....

And the Australian Federal Police investigation into Liberal Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash and her staff widens....

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Shorter Michael McCormack Nationals MP for Riverina: turns up for work, never rebels

So who is the 53 year-old Nationals MP for Riverina Michael Francis McCormack, the new Leader of the National Party in federal parliament and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia?

Like Barnaby Joyce before him he was raised Catholic in a country New South Wales town.

Also like Joyce his professional career before entering politics was not associated with the land or farming.

After leaving school McCormack became a journalist at The Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga, went on to become a run of th mill editor before starting a small publishing firm, MSS Media Pty Ltd which appears to have produced very forgetable books.

Like many federal politicians he's a homeowner with an investment property, a working wife and children who are now adults. 

Again, like many Liberal-Nationals politicians before him he failed to properly declare income derivied from this investment property - until it became certain that he would be putting his name forward for the deputy prime minister ballot.

Also like many other federal ministers he regularly attends major sporting events as the guest of big business.

According to They Vote For You McCormack, first as an ordinary backbencher and later as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Assistant Minister for Defence, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, has never voted against the Coalition Government party line since he entered the House of Representatives in 2010.

He voted very strongly for:

In other words the new Deputy Prime Minister is a typical National Party member.

In favour of: selling off government assets, raising the cost of health care, lowering the take-home pay of ordinary workers, making the lives of welfare recipients miserable; breaking international law in relation to the treatment of asylum seekers; upending state CSG mining moratoriums and hounding the unions.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The mess that Barnaby left

EDO NSW, on behalf of its client the Inland Rivers Network, has commenced civil enforcement proceedings in the NSW Land and Environment Court in relation to allegations of unlawful water pumping by a large-scale irrigator on the Barwon-Darling River.

The two water access licences at the centre of these allegations allow the licence holder to pump water from the Barwon-Darling River in accordance with specified licence conditions, as well as rules set out in the relevant ‘water sharing plan’. The conditions and rules specify – amongst other things – how much water can be legally pumped in a water accounting year (which is the same as the financial year) and at what times pumping is permissible (which depends on the volume of water flowing in the river at any given time). 

Our client alleges that the holder of these licences pumped water in contravention of some of these conditions and rules, thereby breaching relevant provisions of the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW) (WM Act). The allegations are based on licence data obtained by EDO NSW earlier in 2017 from Water NSW, a state-owned corporation charged with the responsibility of regulating compliance with the WM Act. 

Analysis of this data, along with the relevant rules and publicly available information on river heights, indicates that the licence holder may have pumped significantly more water than was permissible on one licence during the 2014-15 water year, and taken a significant amount of water under another licence during a period of low flow when pumping was not permitted in the 2015-16 water year. Despite being made aware of these allegations by EDO NSW on two occasions, in April and August 2017, and having had access to the data since at least July 2016, Water NSW has not provided any indication that it intends to take compliance action against the licence holder.

Both allegations concern the potentially unlawful pumping of significant volumes of water, which may have had serious impacts on environmental flows in the river and downstream water users. However, our client is particularly concerned by the alleged over-extraction in the 2014/15 water year, as this period was so dry that the Menindee Lakes – which are filled by flows from the Barwon-Darling River – fell to 4 percent of their total storage capacity. This in turn threatened Broken Hill’s water security and led the NSW Government to impose an embargo on water extractions during part of that year in order to improve flows down the Barwon-Darling into the Lakes and Lower Darling River. 

In these proceedings, the Inland Rivers Network is seeking, amongst other things, an injunction preventing the licence holder from continuing to breach the relevant licence conditions. In addition, and in order to make good any depletion of environmental flows caused by the alleged unlawful pumping, our client is also asking the Court to require the licence holder to return to the river system an equivalent volume of water to that alleged to have been unlawfully taken, or to restrain the licence holder from pumping such a volume from the river system, during the next period of low flows in the river system. Failure to comply with a court order constitutes contempt of court, which is a criminal offence. 

EDO NSW is grateful to barristers Tom Howard SC and Natasha Hammond for their assistance in this matter.

Brendan Dobbie, Senior Solicitor at EDO NSW, has carriage of this matter for IRN.

In 2008, then Senator Joyce criticised the Labor government’s purchase of water in the Warrego valley: that is going to have no effect whatsoever in solving the problems of the lower Murray-Darling, and especially the southern states.

Despite the now Deputy Prime Minister and Water Minister’s own fierce criticism of that purchase, he approved the $16,977,600 purchase of another 10.611 gigalitres of water in the Warrego valley in March 2017 at more than twice the price paid by the Labor government. Questions should be raised about what changed the Deputy Prime Minister’s mind and whether that purchase was value for money.

This purchase also has serious implications for the recent amendments to the Basin Plan that was disallowed by the Senate on 14 February 2018.

This purchase was not required to meet the water recovery target in the Warrego under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Instead, it was intended to count towards the water recovery target in the Border Rivers. This swap required an amendment to s6.05 of the Basin Plan, which was tabled in parliament and disallowed by the Senate. Yet, the Warrego purchase was not reflected in the Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) put to Parliament as part of the amendments.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is required to base its recommendations to change SDLs based on best available science, but the proposed amendments allowed MDBA and States to subsequently change the SDLs in a valley without any consideration of the science.

While MDBA was seeking public submissions on changes to valley SDLs, based on science; the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) was in negotiations to change those valley targets, not based on science.

Parliament was asked to pass an amendment to the Basin Plan with SDLs that would have been changed based on a deal agreed over a year earlier, if the amendment had passed.

Given that the new SDLs were known and agreed by governments, it is not apparent why the MDBA did not include the new SDLs in the amendment put to parliament.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Just in case you think that Barnaby Joyce will only have his backbench salary to live on

Given soon to be former deputy-prime minister Barnaby Joyce has wrapped himself in a self-pitying cloak of undeserved victimhood, it may not be long before he is crying poor to whichever journalist will listen.

So just to remind everyone that the son raised by well-to-do "multi-millionaire" parents,who had him privately educated in his highschool years as a border at St. Ignatuis' College Riverview, is not without resources.

As of 1 January 2018 a federal MP's base salary stands at $203,030 per annum and, in addition to this salary Joyce as the Member for New England will receive an electoral allowance of est, $40,000 per month, along with a subsidised car, travel & accommodation allowance, free home phone as well as a daily allowance when in Canberra of $90 per day.

He also reportedly owns five rural investment land parcels in the Warrumbungle district totalling around 2,400ha and then there is the family.....

Aerchie Archive, undated 2016:

But the Joyce family's main property is Rutherglen, in Woolbrook, which sprawls across more than 1780ha north of Tamworth. No price was disclosed for that asset, which has been owned by the family for more than five decades.....

He attended St Ignatius’ College, Riverview in Sydney where he played Rugby, and the University of New England in Armidale, where he resided at St Albert’s College and graduated with a Bachelor of Financial Administration degree in 1989He attended St Ignatius’ College, Riverview in Sydney where he played Rugby, and the University of New England in Armidale, where he resided at St Albert’s College and graduated with a Bachelor of Financial Administration degree in 1989…..

The Australian, 12 March 2016:

Mr Joyce also enjoys considerable wealth, largely stemming from the Joyce family trust, which is controlled by his parents, Beryl and James Joyce.

The family owns more than 33,700ha of land in Enngonia, north of Burke, which was bought between 2000-04 for $1.7m, along with a two-bedroom holiday house valued at $400,000 in Mission Beach, between Townsville and Cairns….. [my yellow highlighting]

It is noted that in his declaration of member's interests in January 2018 Barnaby Joyce specifically stated he had no dependent children.

Friday, 23 February 2018

NATS Spill? Monday 26 February 2018

According to Junkee on 22 February 2018:

Nationals MP Andrew Broad has publicly called on Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to resign from the leadership of the National Party, firing the starting gun on a leadership challenge.

In an interview on ABC radio this afternoon Broad said his local Nationals branch had called on Joyce to resign and that he would represent that view to the Nationals party room meeting in Canberra next Monday. He called on Joyce to resign as party leader and go to the back bench.

Are we about to see......

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

So will the Turnbull Government come clean about ministers' VIP travel over the last eighteen months?

It would appear that Australian federal politicians have a long history of using RAAF VIP jets in an extravagant manner.

Take current Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals MP for New England  Barnaby Joyce as an example. 

News Mail, 28  December 2012:

One Coalition heavyweight, Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce, racked up one of the highest percentages of ghost flights among non-government parliamentarians.
Senator Joyce’s travel bill totalled some $47,955 for 10 taxpayer-funded flights, primarily between Melbourne or Canberra and St George.
But he was only on board for three of those flights, with the remaining seven costing nearly twice as much as the flights he was on board for - racking up $31,395 worth of ghost flights.

BuzzFeed, 28 July 2017:

BuzzFeed News has confirmed the deputy prime minister billed taxpayers almost $9,000 for "special purpose" defence force charter flights on the same day he attended a rugby league game with his family……
On Mother's Day last year, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was charged with collecting Barnaby Joyce and Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash from two regional NSW towns, and flying them to Canberra ahead of the first day of the federal election campaign…..

The RAAF's logs revealed that the first flight on May 8 [2016], from Canberra to Tamworth with no passengers, cost $3,348. The second shows Joyce was picked up in Tamworth and flown to Parkes for $2,930.

The Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2017:

In March that year [2016], the empty VIP plane flew from Canberra to Melbourne, at a cost of $4604, to collect Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and fly him to Tamworth at a cost of $5441. The plane then returned to Canberra without any passengers, at a cost of $4185.

Herald Sun, 2 January 2018:
RAAF planes took nine trips [in last half 2016] without passengers between Tamworth and Canberra to provide chartered flights to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, with each flight costing more than $4000. 

The New Daily, 18 February 2018:

Barnaby Joyce charged the taxpayer to stay overnight in Melbourne after attending an AFL game last year [2017], before chartering a $6000 “special purpose” defence force flight back to Tamworth the following day…..
Parliamentary documents show Mr Joyce claimed $442 in travelling allowance on May 13 last year for an overnight stay in Melbourne, citing “official business” as Deputy Prime Minister.
The Nationals leader declared in his register of member’s interests that he was a guest for the City vs Country at the May 13 AFL night match between Geelong and Essendon at the MCG, with the gift including “hospitality in the form of food and drinks”.
The New Daily can also reveal Mr Joyce was then the sole passenger on a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flight from Melbourne to Tamworth the following day, which was Mother’s Day.

Defence Department documents show the cost to the taxpayer for the charter flight was $6440.

So it is no wonder that questions are being asked at this particular time.

Australian Parliament Senate Hansard, 14 February 2018:

Senator Kitching to move on the next day of sitting:
That there be laid on the table, by 5 pm on 15 February 2018, by: (a) the Minister for Defence, details of any Special Purpose Flights taken by members of the executive in 2017, noting that no reports on the use of Special Purpose Flights since 3 July 2016 have been tabled.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

"Joyce’s behaviour has wreaked havoc on his family.....has wreaked havoc on the government"

Journalist Nikki Savva writing in The Australian, 15 February 2018:

Barnaby Joyce & Vikki Campion taken at Farm2Fork event on Thursday 3rd November 2016 on Cockatoo Island Sydney. Picture: Supplied
The stories will not disappear. There is a pattern. They abate, then return with a vengeance as soon as something new is uncovered. The hunt for that something new will continue until his head is delivered upon a platter. Unpleasant as it is, that is the reality. No politician, no matter how talented, can survive that, no government can survive that.
Joyce has trashed whatever moral authority he had as leader. He has gone from being funny to a national joke (the beetrooter). He can't live that down, or credibly sell any other government message — be it on religious protections, family values, misuse of taxpayer money or even housing affordability. Taking a break next week to escape attention as acting prime minister would only concede he cannot do the job. There is nowhere he can hide or be hidden.
Joyce's behaviour has wreaked havoc on his family. The perception that public money was used to help fund his dysfunctional private life, combined with the unrelenting media coverage, has wreak­ed havoc on the government. Everyone within splatter range has been tarnished, and the longer he stays the greater the damage to the body corporate and to the Prime Minister. Former Nationals leaders can see that even if the present one can't. Or won't.
Today there seems to be less tolerance for tomfoolery, not more. Blame the new puritanism or even the Me Too movement. More likely it is the corrosive and deepening decline in trust. Once, we (media, voters) used to say it doesn't matter, so long as politicians are good at their job. Now, thanks to the toll that soap operas have taken on our perceptions of politicians, we say: can you please just concentrate on your day job — and if you are going to muck around, don't do it with our money by shifting a paramour/girlfriend/partner from office to office — no matter how good she is at her job. Everything about this saga ensures that trust deficit will widen.
No one can name a single politician who has survived the same combination of events. Even if they did, they also contributed to the deficit. Two notorious philanderers, Bob Hawke and Bill Clinton, survived because their wives stuck with them 1000 per cent. If wives spoke, it was to forgive or stand by their husbands.
That helped voters forgive or stand by them too. But there were no photos of pregnant girlfriends, nor was there a justifiably angry estranged wife condemning the betrayal and sharing her distress with the public.
Nor were they leaders of a conservative party campaigning on traditional family values.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Well it’s definitely on the record now, Barnaby

A wander through mainstream media reports - on a subject Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals MP for New England Barnaby Joyce had been determined to hide from the national electorate.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 2018:

A senior adviser to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was warned that Barnaby Joyce had allegedly misbehaved at an awards night, according to a series of text messages seen by Fairfax Media.
The text message warnings came from John Clements, a former chief adviser to Tony Windsor, the former independent MP and Mr Joyce's political enemy.
They were sent on December 30, 2015, to Sally Cray, who serves as Mr Turnbull's principal private secretary.
Fairfax Media has been told the "Qld senator" referred to in the text exchange was Mr Joyce. Fairfax Media also understands the texts related to alleged misconduct at a 2011 Rural Women's Award dinner.
"I might add he was reminded of his behaviour the following year in a speech," Mr Clements said in one message. He also described Mr Joyce as having been in "full flight".
At the time of the messages to Ms Cray, Mr Joyce was the Agriculture and Water Minister in the Turnbull government. He became Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader nearly two months later.
Mr Clements told Ms Cray in one text he was writing to her off the record.
"Agree it's all off record," Ms Cray replied immediately.


The Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2018, p.1:

As a “furious” Prime Minister was yesterday again sidetracked by the fallout from the Joyce Affair, The Daily Telegraph can reveal Mr Turnbull’s principal private secretary and closest adviser, Sally Cray, looked into allegations in 2015 but didn’t take it any further as there was no official complaint.
In text messages seen by The Daily Telegraph, Ms Cray said “while I see that the behaviour too is unacceptable”, she added: “It’s hard if there was not an official complaint at the time to act.” It’s claimed Mr Joyce — who strongly denies the allegation — pinched the woman after she confronted him over his interaction with another woman at a Canberra pub in 2011.
“He was very, very drunk and nearly falling over,” she said. “I said ‘Barnaby, I think you should go home. You’re very drunk.’ He leant over and he pinched my bottom. 


The Courier Mail, 13 February 2018, p.6:

The man who was set to marry Barnaby Joyce’s lover just months before she fell pregnant with the Deputy Prime Minister’s child, has spoken of their split for the first time.
Journalist-turned-digital consultant John Bergin said he and Vikki Campion were to have been married in Bowral, in the NSW Southern Highlands, on November 5, 2016 but broke up three months before the big day.
“We split in August 2016 and we haven’t spoken to each other since,” he said. Ms Campion, 33, was hired by the Nationals in 2016 to assist the party at a federal level. She worked on the federal election campaign and quickly became Mr Joyce’s right-hand woman. In February 2017, Ms Campion was photographed in a Glebe bar with Mr Joyce.

The Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2018, p.5:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told his colleagues in August last year that Barnaby Joyce had assured him his affair with a staff member was over.
Government sources said Mr Turnbull is furious with Mr Joyce for allowing his personal crisis regarding his relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion, 33, to develop into a full-blown political scandal, but he remains limited in the action he can take against the Deputy Prime Minister, who currently enjoys the support of the National Party.
Amid concern that Ms Campion had rejoined Mr Joyce’s office in early August 2017, Liberal MPs said Mr Turnbull had told them in the week staring Monday August 14, 2017 that he had been reassured by Mr Joyce the affair was over.
At the time Mr Joyce gave Mr Turnbull the commitment that their liaison was over, Ms Campion would have been in the early stages of her pregnancy. Her baby is due in April.

 Herald Sun, 13 February 2018, p.6:

Barnaby Joyce and his pregnant lover are not only living rent free at a home owned by a millionaire from his electorate, they have also holidayed for free at the businessman’s $4000-a-week beachfront pad.
The Deputy Prime Minister and his former media adviser, Vikki Campion, stayed at the Pacific Dawn Luxury Apartments at Wooli, on the NSW north coast, last month for about five days.
Promotional material for the two apartments say they have been “designed to maximise mesmerising ocean and river views. The chic two-­storey, two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments sit on a pristine stretch of coastline with showstopping, uninterrupted Pacific Ocean vistas”.
The apartment where Mr Joyce and Ms Campion stayed is owned by Vodata Pty Ltd, a company part-owned by wealthy Tamworth businessman Greg Maguire.
Mr Joyce and Ms Campion stayed there after returning from a trip to north Queensland, where they were seen swimming at a popular Townsville rock pool and dining at Palm Cove, north of Cairns.
In Wooli, the couple visited the local pub where they befriended locals and visiting tourists.
Mr Maguire came to prominence in 2004 when he was investigated by police after Mr Joyce’s predecessor as member for New England, independent Tony Windsor, alleged Mr Maguire tried to bribe him to quit politics.
Mr Maguire consistently denied any wrongdoing. The AFP and Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions decided against charges because “none of the versions of the conversations related by any of the witnesses can amount to an ‘offer to give or confer’ a benefit”.
Since separating from his wife last year, Mr Joyce has stayed at a three-bedroom Armidale property owned by Mr Maguire, who waived the rent for six months, saving Mr Joyce about $14,000.


The Australian, 13 February 2018, p.4:

Mr Maguire said he had not been asked to pay for security upgrades for Mr Joyce’s townhouse, which was fitted out by the Department of Home Affairs. Last year Mr Joyce told homeowners complaining of being locked out of the housing market to move out of capital cities and into the regions. “What people have got to realise is that houses are much cheaper in Tamworth, houses are much cheaper in Armidale, houses are much cheaper in Toowoomba,” he told ABC radio.


The Australian, 12 February 2018, p.6:

The upgrade, examples of which cost up to $3 million, is attached to Mr Joyce’s role as Deputy Prime Minister but includes additions to the property that are permanent.


Sunshine Coast Daily, 13 February 2018, p.10:

Malcolm Turnbull has come up with a strange reason for why he didn’t have to approve the series of well-paid jobs given to the new partner of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
His office says it is because Vikki Campion, now carrying the Nationals leader’s baby, “wasn’t Mr Joyce’s partner”.
This is an attempt by Mr Turnbull to dodge a section of a five-year-old ministerial standards statement that insists the Prime Minister must approve the employment of family and partners.
The issue is drawing the PM deeper into the drama surrounding Mr Joyce’s love life by a code of ministerial conduct he has to enforce.
After leaving Mr Joyce’s office, Ms Campion was given a job in the office of Resources Minister Matt Canavan and then in the office of Nationals whip Damian Drum.
Mr Turnbull told Parliament the Nationals had a staffing allocation as a share of the Government’s overall pool. He said the distribution was a matter for the Nationals, who had not taken up their full allocation.
Mr Turnbull had said on February 10 “he had not discussed Ms Campion’s employment with me or my office”.
He confirmed that the Nationals were responsible for decisions relating to staffing.


The Australian, 13 February 2018, p.4:

Barnaby Joyce’s pregnant partner and former staffer Vikki Campion has been drawing a government pay packet over the past two months, with her employment formally expected to cease later this week.
Ms Campion’s redundancy payout was approved last December following Malcolm Turnbull’s ministerial reshuffle and after she was moved between four Nationals offices in the space of six months.
The Australian understands the 32-year-old took stress leave last October, about two months after taking a senior adviser’s role in the office of then Nationals chief whip Damian Drum, which paid over $100,000. She remained on stress leave until her employment was terminated.
The former Daily Telegraph journalist’s moves between the offices of Mr Joyce, Resources Minister Matt Canavan and Mr Drum, followed the departure of Mr Joyce’s former chief-of-staff Diana Hallam last year.
Ms Hallam, understood to be close to Mr Joyce’s wife, Natalie, and viewed internally as a competent chief of staff, quit her job last year around the time Ms Campion moved to Senator Canavan’s office in April.
The government was forced to manage rumours of a relationship between Mr Joyce and Ms Campion throughout last year, and Ms Hallam was understood to have left due to growing dysfunction in Mr Joyce’s office.
A spokeswoman for Mr Joyce, who became the Infrastructure and Transport Minister in December after removing Darren Chester from the job, said yesterday that Ms Hallam had moved to work with the Inland Rail project.
Applications for the department job closed on April 3 last year, with a panel, including three deputy secretary-level members, making recommendations to secretary Mike Mrdak.
“As a result of that process, a number of positions were filled over ensuing months (the merit list established remains open for up to 12 months from date of advertising),” Mr Joyce’s spokeswoman said. “To date, six positions have been filled, one of which was filled by Diana Hallam (who was an applicant in the round), who was appointed to an SES 1 position on 21 August 2017”.
Mr Joyce, as leader of the Nationals, had responsibility for authorising Ms Campion to claim jobs in the offices of Senator Canavan and Mr Drum, co-ordinating social media for Nationals MPs, including himself, and working with Nationals head office.
Ministerial staffing pay scales published by the Finance Department show that senior advisers can earn up to $191,000. Ms Campion, who fell pregnant to Mr Joyce last year, was understood to have received a pay increase to shift jobs.
Mr Drum told The Australian that, after his promotion to the frontbench in December, Ms Campion chose not to continue with him.
“She decided to not seek continued employment as a way of doing the right thing for the taxpayer,” he said.
Once a staff member’s employment is terminated with an MP, it is standard practice for them to continue to draw a taxpayer-­funded salary for a further eight weeks.


The Australian, 13 February 2018, p.4:

Faced with the prospect of being dragged into a messy political farce, the Prime Minister ensured he was prepared in question time yesterday and essentially cut Joyce adrift while defending his own office.
Turnbull, and then Treasurer Scott Morrison, declared the Nationals and “the leader of the Nationals” were the masters of their own destiny when it came to staff appointments and transfers — the key public-interest area of whether there was a misuse of public funds.
Long gone was the shirt-matching matey behaviour at the New England by-election victory in December. It had been replaced with a cool detachment and outright blame shifting.
Turnbull didn’t want to be caught in a “travel rorts” style trap that cost John Howard three ministers and his chief of staff in 1997, a year after he won office, because of cover-ups and shifting responsibility.
Turnbull limited admissions to the role of his office in signing off administrative arrangements regarding Campion but determined by the Nationals. Unfortunately for Turnbull, his parliamentary cauterisation was hampered by his office’s briefing that Campion was not Joyce’s “partner” because he was still married.
The faux justification of being unable to employ your wife but being able to hire your mistress and observe the ministerial code will play out to Turnbull’s detriment.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 February 2018:

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce charged taxpayers to spend 50 nights in Canberra when Parliament was not sitting in the first nine months of 2017 - more than any other Turnbull government cabinet minister.
Official expense records show Mr Joyce claimed $16,690 in travel allowance for out-of-session nights in the nation's capital between January 1 and September 30, 2017. That is significantly more than top government figures such as Treasurer Scott Morrison, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.....his former adviser, Vikki Campion, who lived in Canberra.......


The West Australian, 13 February 2018:

Barnaby Joyce spent more than $10,000 on family reunion travel while having an affair with his former staffer, raising more questions about taxpayer funds being used to support the double life led by the Deputy Prime Minister.
Claims made under parliamentary entitlements from January to September last year show that more than $10,000 was spent on family travel, which is allowed so that MPs can “balance their work and family responsibilities”.
The rules are also designed to help MPs “reconcile the need for them to be away from home for long periods with their family obligations”.
More than half of the family travel expenditure was reported from July to September, while Mr Joyce’s mistress Vikki Campion was already pregnant with his fifth child.
Most of the travel reported is for airfares between Mr Joyce’s home base of Tamworth and Canberra or Sydney.
From July to September, three family travellers were nominated, taking a total of nine separate trips at a total cost of $5820.
One of the trips was for Mrs Joyce to attend the Mid Winter Ball in Canberra on June 14, which was reportedly orchestrated to end the damaging rumours about the affair. The return flights from Canberra to Tamworth for the event were reported at $1274.
Figures for the period September to December, when Mr Joyce told Parliament that his marriage was over, have not yet been made public by the Parliamentary Expenses Authority.
Mr Joyce’s office yesterday refused to answer questions about the travel allowance, which was used on several occasions for his now-estranged wife Natalie Joyce.


The Daily Examiner, 14 February 2018:

Mr Joyce and his lover stayed rent-free at the $4000 a week Pacific Dawn Luxury Apartments owned by a Joyce friend, Tamworth businessman Greg Maguire…..
Mr Joyce and Ms Campion stayed at the Wooli bolthole after a north Queensland trip where they were seen swimming at a popular Townsville rock pool and dining on the seafront at Palm Cove, north of Cairns…..

When News Corp asked Mr Maguire about the Wooli accommodation he declined to comment.


The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 2018:

Grassroots Nationals members had to foot the bill to pay Barnaby Joyce a salary for six weeks after the Deputy Prime Minister was thrown out of Parliament and lost his $416,000-a-year job.
Fairfax Media can reveal the previously undisclosed arrangement involved the use of party funds to give the Nationals leader a wage while he was campaigning to win the December 2 byelection triggered by the dual citizenship crisis.
The arrangement came to light after another difficult day in Parliament in which the Deputy Prime Minister's use of an Armidale apartment for six months rent-free formed the basis of a Labor attack on Mr Joyce's authority and credibility.
Mr Joyce's office confirmed late on Wednesday the Nationals leader was paid a salary during the campaign, but said it had been advised by the party that it is "not unprecedented for candidates to receive a form of income in exceptional circumstances".
Fairfax Media has confirmed Liberal MP John Alexander, who was also forced out of Parliament and had to fight a byelection in the Sydney seat of Bennelong, was not paid a salary by his party.
As Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Joyce has received an annual salary of $416,000 since his election to the role in February 2016. Six weeks of that salary represents about $48,000……
One Nationals MP, when told of the arrangement on Wednesday, said it was "extremely unusual" and questioned why Mr Joyce "couldn't cover his own expenses for six weeks" given he had only just departed a $416,000-a-year job.
Another MP who declined to be named said it was likely party members would be disappointed they had to pay Mr Joyce's salary.

The Nationals received $152,992 in public payments for contesting the New England byelection, while Labor received $26,199. Those payments are made in proportion to the number of votes received by the candidate.


2GB Radio, 13 February 2018:

The scandal engulfing Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s political career is not going away.
A confidential source has told Ben Fordham the Deputy PM’s office drafted a Christmas card in December last year to be sent out to friends and colleagues.
On the front of the card was a photo of Barnaby, his wife Natalie and their four children.
Before the card was sent out, it was sent to Ms Joyce for approval.
In response, she allegedly told them they had to be kidding themselves.
At the time, Vikki Campion would have been five-months pregnant with the Deputy PM’s baby.
Ben says, “it shows the lengths Barnaby Joyce went to hide the truth from everyone.”
It follows allegations he created high-paying jobs for his now-partner Ms Campion.
His office has been contacted for comment but is yet to reply.


ABC News, 13 February 2018:

Authority is a very delicate commodity. Abuse it and it becomes unrespected authoritarianism. Fail to nurture it and it withers.
Authority is now Barnaby Joyce's gravest problem…..
Barnaby Joyce is very different from his recent predecessors. Nothing like the affable but reliable blandness of Warren Truss or the suave rural intellectualism of John Anderson.
And he's the antithesis of the somewhat forgettable Mark Vaile.
This difference and Barnaby's uniqueness has been routinely celebrated by his Liberal mates.
Tony Abbott praised him as the nation's best retail politician. His knockabout larrikinism made his commentary raw and genuine.
And seemingly trustworthy.
The scandal that erupted about his personal life shattered the Barnaby mystique. Now seen by his Nationals colleagues as a philanderer who cheated on his wife of 24 years, he has lost moral authority.
That moral authority was further eroded, according to several of his parliamentary colleagues, in his interview with Leigh Sales.
It totally lacked contrition. He made no mention of his wife Natalie or daughters. There was no apology. It was selfish and self-serving.
Even Vikki Campion, the former staffer now expecting his child, was reduced to a "pregnant lady walking across the road".
It was an appalling outing for the Deputy Prime Minister.
Judging by Mr Joyce's statement today, he now recognises how awful that interview was.
In a monologue to an ABC camera he strenuously rejected new allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving a pinched bottom at a rural awards event.
He said it never happened.
"On another issue, I would like to say to Natalie how deeply sorry I am for all the hurt this has caused," he said.
"To my girls, how deeply sorry I am for all the hurt that it has caused them. To Vikki Campion, how deeply sorry I am that she has been dragged into this."
They were words that sought to belatedly plug the haemorrhaging respect.
Barnaby Joyce is a diminished political figure. His future as Nationals leader is doubtful.
And the Nationals' dogs are barking. Who will step up?


SBS News, 13 February 2018:

Overnight the Daily Telegraph and Courier Mail reported on an incident in 2011, separate to the affair with Ms Campion, alleging inappropriate behaviour. 
Mr Joyce strongly denied the report and said he would consider legal action, claiming the story was "peddled" by one of his "deepest political enemies". 
"It's not a case that I didn't recollect it. It did not happen," Mr Joyce told reporters. 
The deputy prime minister said he had already engaged lawyers and was considering action. 
"I have consulted senior legal advisers and reserve the right to take action for what is serious defamation," Mr Joyce said in a written statement. 


The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 2018, p.7:

On the evening of May 24, 2011, Barnaby Joyce took his seat as a guest on a table at the Rural Women's Awards inside the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra.
The black tie awards, sponsored by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, honour the role women play in rural industries, business and communities.. ..
The Herald has spoken to several award attendees. The majority saw nothing more untoward than apparent drunkenness from Joyce.
One source, who has chosen not to go on the record, has stronger allegations, but the Herald has chosen not to publish them because they are untested and have been denied in the strongest terms by Joyce….


ABC News, 14 February 2018:

The office of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has corrected his years of military service, after the ABC pointed out discrepancies between his official biography and his Australian Defence Force record.
It comes at an uncomfortable time for Mr Joyce, who is facing a revolt from within his party over his leadership.
Mr Joyce's office initially advised the parliament he was in the Royal Queensland Regiment of the Army Reserve from 1995 to 2003.
These dates appeared on his official biography on the Parliament House website for 12 years.
But Mr Joyce only served from 1996 to 2001, according to his official military service recordobtained by the ABC.
It states his service in the Army Reserves was four years and 10 months.
Mr Joyce's office has confirmed he only served from 1996 to 2001, and requested a change be made to his official biography after being contacted by the ABC last night.
It is understood Mr Joyce provided the initial information to the parliament when he was elected in 2004.


The Daily Telegraph, 14 February 2018:

But last night support for the New England MP was waning. On Monday evening, a dinner was held at Canberra’s Thai Chiang Rai restaurant where Nationals Darren Chester, Michelle Landry, David Gillespie, Andrew Gee, Damian Drum (whose office Ms Campion was also transferred to at one stage) and Kevin Hogan discussed the situation in their federal party. 


The Daily Telegraph, 15 February 2018:

BARNABY Joyce and his secret lover continued to work closely together months after she was transferred to the payrolls of other National MPs to ensure the Deputy Prime Minister avoided breaching the ministerial code of conduct.
New questions also emerged about a weekend Mr Joyce spent in Canberra when he had no official meetings, as the scandal over his affair with staffer Vikki Campion put pressure on National MPs to declare where they stood on his leadership.
As Mr Joyce yesterday pleaded with nervous colleagues for more time for the scandal to blow over, The Daily Telegraph discovered that Ms Campion continued to assist him with media events last June, August and September while in the employ of other ministers.
And in September 8-10, Ms Campion assisted Mr Joyce with media at the Nationals’ Federal Conference.
Government sources said Natalie Joyce stopped receiving spousal entitlements in August. At that time, Ms Campion was in the very early stages of her pregnancy, with her baby due in April……

There are also fresh questions about a weekend Mr Joyce spent in Canberra, where Ms Campion owns a unit, during a non-sitting period. Mr Joyce stayed in Canberra on Saturday July 15 and Sunday July 16 during a non-sitting period of Parliament, claiming $276 in travel allowance for the Saturday night.



9News, 14 February 2018:

May 2016 – Vikki Campion assists Barnaby Joyce’s election campaign as media advisor. She previously worked with NSW government ministers and, before that, was a journalist with News Corp.
August 2016 – Campion joins Joyce’s staff and a friendship between the two begins to bloom.
December 2016 – Joyce’s chief of staff, Di Hallam, reportedly seeks her boss’s approval to have Campion transferred out of the office. Hallam later quits to take up a departmental role.
February 2017 – Campion is photographed in a Sydney bar with Joyce
April 2017 – Joyce’s wife Natalie reportedly confronts Campion in Tamworth. Campion joins Nationals’ MP Matt Canavan’s office as an advisor.
May 2017 – At a NSW Nationals conference in Broken Hill, colleagues describe Joyce as ‘a mess’.
June 2017 – Joyce attends the Canberra press gallery Midwinter Ball with his wife Natalie as rumours of an affair with a former staffer circulate amongst politicians and the media.
July 2017 – Campion leaves the Canavan office after he quits the frontbench after finding out he is a dual-citizen. She temporarily goes back to Joyce’s office.
August 2017 – Campion moves to Damian Drum’s office in a social media adviser position, which is reportedly a position specifically created for her. Joyce reportedly assures PM Malcolm Turnbull the relationship is over. 
On the 14th of August, the deputy PM announced he was a New Zealand citizen through his father, who was born in the country. Joyce did not stand down from his portfolio and continued to cast his vote in the House of Representatives. 
September 2017 – Natalie reportedly seeks help from a family friend – Catholic priest Father Frank Brennan – to counsel her husband. Campion is seen managing Joyce media events at a federal Nationals conference in Canberra.
October 2017 – Campion reportedly takes stress-leave. 
On October 27, Joyce, along with four other Senators, were ruled ineligible to be in parliament in a ruling by the High Court.
A writ was issued for New England by-election.
The Daily Telegraph hinted at Joyce’s affair in an article discussing how he had been dealing with a crisis in his personal life at the same time as he was preparing to fight for his New England seat.
November 2017 – Natalie holidays in Bali with one of her and Joyce’s four daughters. 
Joyce campaigns in his New England electorate. He is angered by a man in a pub in Inverell who reportedly said to him: “Say hello to your mistress”. 
December 2017 – On December 2, the by-election in New England is held. Joyce was re-elected with almost two-thirds of the vote and an increased majority. His wife Natalie was nowhere to be seen when Joyce cast his vote alongside his mother nor when he claimed victory. She was also absent when he was sworn back into Parliament.
On December 6, he returned to parliament and reassumed his cabinet posts that same day.
On December 8, the same-sex marriage bill went before the House of Representatives.
Joyce made a speech during the debate, using it to acknowledge he had separated from his wife – a matter most news outlets had been seeking confirmation on through Joyce’s media team, with the team falling back on the public interest argument to deflect inquiries.
“I acknowledge that I’m currently separated, so that’s on the record,” Joyce told Parliament. 
“I didn’t come to this debate pretending to be a saint,” he said.
Campion has a redundancy package approved and they move into an Armidale property provided rent-free by businessman Greg Maguire.
January 2018 – Joyce and Campion kick off the new year with a holiday in north Queensland and NSW north coast. 
February 2018 – On the 6th, the Daily Telegraph reveals its front-page splash for the 7th. It’s a huge photo of Campion dressed in gym gear and heavily pregnant alongside a story revealing her relationship with Joyce. His office declined to comment on the story, only to state that she was no longer working for the Turnbull government.
On the 7th, Natalie released a statement saying she felt “deceived and hurt” by her husband.
She said she was “deeply saddened by the news that my husband has been having an affair and is now having a child with a former staff member”.
North Coast Voices, 11 February 2018 Why so many voters are annoyed by Barnaby Joyce's statement* that his private life is a private matter