Sunday, 30 October 2016
The Desperation Of Barnaby Joyce: letter publicly released at a cost to Australian taxpayers of an est. $293 per word plus legal fees
The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 2016:
Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon has fought for the release of the letter, which was emailed directly to Mr Joyce and Tony Abbott's former head of department Michael Thawley, since the independent Information Commissioner ruled it should be made available.
Mr Joyce's department fought that ruling, spent $80,000 on engaging Ernst & Young to review its public information processes, and then fought the matter through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal before giving up the fight just after Parliament rose for two weeks on Friday.
"This letter shows Paul Grimes was deeply concerned about Barnaby Joyce's behaviour. He was challenging Joyce's integrity," Mr Fitzgibbon said on Monday.
"He clearly thought what Joyce did was not appropriate. This letter indicates he was being bullied.
"What Barnaby Joyce did was to sack Paul Grimes to save himself."
The Deputy Prime Minister's office stressed that Mr Joyce did not sack Mr Grimes, rather Mr Abbott asked him to stand aside on advice of Mr Thawley.