Deputy-Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is probably the National Party’s own worst enemy.
Friday, 16 September 2016
ABC News, 11 September 2016:
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has refused to reveal the cost-benefit analysis of moving a Canberra-based agricultural agency to his electorate.
Mr Joyce has pushed ahead with plans to relocate the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from the capital to Armidale, in northern NSW, despite concerns from farming groups and staff.
He has told the ABC's Insiders program a study revealed there were positives and negatives to the move.
"The cost-benefit analysis is complete and in some areas it's indeterminate some areas. It's saying yes, it's sort of a benefit here, other areas it's saying it's marginally not of benefit," Mr Joyce said.
Insiders' host Barrie Cassidy asked if the Deputy Prime Minister would release the analysis, to which he replied: "No, I don't think I will at this stage."
"Because the decision has been made, the decision's been made by the Australian people," he added.
Mr Joyce announced the decision in June, ahead of the federal election in July.
The Guardian, 11 September 2016:
During the election campaign Joyce had announced the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority would move from Canberra to Armidale, in northern New South Wales, in the middle of his New England electorate.
He made the announcement before a cost-benefit analysis of the move had been completed……
His promise was criticised by hundreds of public servants who will be forced to relocate their families, and by groups such as the National Farmers Federation, Animal Medicines Australia, CropLife Australia, the Australian Capital Territory government, and ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja.
Now he is refusing to release the analysis, saying there’s no need to because the decision has been made.
Last week Joyce had conceded the cost-benefit analysis did not support the forced relocation of the agency, telling Sky News: “If you’re going to premise it on the cost-benefit analysis, we wouldn’t do it.”
On Sunday, when asked what the point of the cost-benefit analysis was if he was not going to release it, Joyce attacked the ABC, saying an analysis of the national broadcaster would probably say to close it down.