Oz Blog News Commentary

A brief history lesson from Labor on the subject of Barnaby Joyce's performance as a federal minister

February 16, 2018 - 00:16 -- Admin

Labor MP for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon on his feet in the House of Representatives, listing some of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for  & Nationals MP for New England Barnaby Joyce's many failings.Hansard, 14 February 2018:I want to quickly take us to the member for New England's performance. I'm going to read this as quickly as I can. There are so many to talk about. He forcibly relocated the APVMA to his own electorate—a disaster for Australian agriculture. He abolished the COAG committee, which was doing so much work to bring the states and the Commonwealth together. He sacked his departmental head, destroying the culture, trust and motivation of those who work in the department. He doctored his Hansard. He ditched drought assistance. He tried to move the Regional Investment Corporation to Orange without any governance, giving him full flight to do whatever he wanted with his pork-barrelling exercise. He's destroyed trust in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, a real threat on the water front and in our food bowl. Biosecurity has been a disaster. He tried to abolish the Inspector-General of Biosecurity. It was only our resistance that prevented that from happening. When the Murray-Goulburn fell over, I offered to help him—nothing! He did nothing for the farmers who suffered from the Murray-Goulburn collapse. He reregulated the sugar industry. He's giving money to leadership groups in the agriculture sector for no apparent reason. Taxpayers' money is funding these leadership groups. He failed to address leadership issues in the red meat industry, something he promised solidly before he was elected. He introduced a backpacker tax for the first time in this country, and now our growers can't get pickers. I heard the minister at question time talking about 457s. We now have people coming from other countries to work at the APVMA because the local staff won't go to Armidale. He had a multiperil crop insurance boondoggle in his white paper, which failed at the first hurdle. He abolished federal leadership at the Animal Welfare Strategy. He ignored the plight of our thoroughbred breeders when they had a disease problem in the industry. He also misled the community on the implementation on the carp eradication virus. Do you remember the carp? Have you heard anything about it since? The member for New England is hopeless. He was a failed minister. As a result of many government failures across those four years, rural and regional Australia is struggling. There is no doubt it is time for a change of government.