Showing posts with label New England electorate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New England electorate. Show all posts

Monday, 23 October 2017

Deputy Prime Minister & Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce in real trouble in his own electorate?

This is allegedly a genuine National Party of Australia document. However, to the chagrin of many it has been revealed to be a fake.

Leaving aside the fake poll, the truth is that it is not just Barnaby Joyce's inappropriate dual citizenship which is a problem.

There is another issue which is not being denied at this stage......

According to News Corps’ Herald Sun on 21 October 2017:

Colleagues have told the Herald Sun they are worried the public figure has been punted out of the family home, which doesn’t exactly coincide with their, er, political beliefs.

The late-night office grappling is believed to have been going on for at least eight months and is an open secret in political circles. One minister was heard exclaiming they couldn’t believe it hadn’t leaked out yet.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Nationals MP for New England Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority relocation is an embarrassing mess

The Canberra Times, 1 March 2017:

It was also revealed on Tuesday at a Senate Estimates hearing that the Authority is now having to look overseas for regulatory scientists and a new office block will have to be built in the northern NSW town to accommodate the agency with none of the town's existing buildings suitable.

So much for blatantly trying to buy your re-election, by relocating  a Canberra government department into your own electorate without proper planning or consultation .

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Nationals doing what Nationals do best - claiming political credit for the work of others

The story so far…….

The Inverell Times, 6 May 2016:

SENATOR John Williams stood by his comments on social media on Thursday, which accused Independent candidate Tony Windsor of falsely claiming credit for the funding of Bindaree Beef’s bio-digester program.
“Tony Windsor claims credit for Bindaree Beef digester funding but it was Barnaby Joyce who actually got the funding!” Senator William’s post on Twitter read, and Wacka declared it as absolute fact……
Funding through the Gillard-Rudd governments for Bindaree’s bio-digester program was announced by Mr Windsor at the beginning of July 2013, after the pilot plant had operated successfully for six-months with better than expected results.
Speaking at Tony Windsor’s meeting in Flanders House at Inverell on Wednesday evening, Bindaree’s owner, John McDonald seemed in no doubt about the origins of the funding.
“I’d like to congratulate Tony for what he has done for Bindaree Beef,” he said.
“Julia Gillard, $23 million, just an incredible result that I couldn’t comprehend it.
“The problems we’ve got, we’re only a very, very small company, we’re fighting outside our boundaries. We’re competing with the biggest companies in the world and at this stage we’re struggling to get the Prime Minister to complete the project.”

Now Barnaby Joyce was a Senator for Queensland from July 2005 until August 2013 when he resigned from parliament, so it is highly unlikely that he was capable of securing that $23-million “discretionary” grant awarded to Bindaree Beef.

In fact, because Tony Windsor was the sitting Independent Member for New England at the time (and was part of the minority Rudd-Gillard Labor Government) it is more likely that he positively contributed to this particular grant coming Bindaree Beef’s way in July 2013.  

Indeed Tony Windsor is on the record in 2013 stating that he had lobbied then industry minister Greg Combet to get the grant and, that he had “worked with Bindaree for two years” to make the program happen.

In November 2013 Bindaree Beef began lobbying the Abbott Government for an additional $23 million grant.

By then the new Member for New England was Barnaby Joyce MP – having been elected to the House of Representatives at the September 2013 federal election.

The Abbott Government seems to have delayed paying the original $23 million grant dollars to Bindaree Beef for twelve months and, the request for an further $23 million was apparently reduced by the Liberal-Nationals government to $15 million in repayable co-finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.  

What appears to be the facts in this case is that the Gillard Government made an enforceable grant to Bindaree Beef in the last 66 days of Labor’s term in office which the Abbott Government eventually had to honour and, the politician who successfully lobbied on behalf of Bindaree in 2013 was Tony Windsor.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

On the Turnbull-Joyce ticket the old Age of Entitlement endures

On Thursday 24 March 2016, in a week in which the House of Representatives was not sitting and on the eve of the Easter long weekend, Nationals MP for New England and Deputy-Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce decided to go to faux election campaigning by helicopter – slugging very weary Australian taxpayers somewhere between $3,836 and $4,166 for the ride (depending on which of his staffers journalists were quoting).

However, despite his protestations otherwise, this was not the first time Joyce had hopped into a helicopter rather than a car since 2013.

Ah, yes….on the Turnbull-Joyce ticket the old Age of Entitlement endures.

It was the day before Easter in Drake, a sleepy village in northern NSW, when the peace was interrupted by a helicopter depositing Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on a sporting field behind the popular local pub, the Lunatic Hotel.

Drake is just a 40-minute drive from Mr Joyce's second electorate office in Tenterfield but his office insists a helicopter was the best option to avoid a four-hour drive from his home base in Tamworth. It was his second chopper ride to the village in less than a year.

After I'm finished I'll have a beer and jump in the chopper and head off to fly over the blueberry farm 

The latest Drake visit, which will cost the public almost $4000, happened two days after the Turnbull government released a long-awaited review into parliamentary entitlements sparked by the "choppergate" scandal that engulfed former speaker Bronwyn Bishop and sent Tony Abbott's prime ministership into a final nosedive.

The review called for clear guidelines so the "use of charter transport must constitute value for money, and in particular that, in the absence of compelling reasons, helicopters cannot be chartered to cover short distances".

Mr Joyce, who has been in unofficial election campaign mode since Tony Windsor recently declared his challenge in New England, arrived in Drake on March 24.

During the three-hour visit he launched a Telstra mobile tower - first announced in June 2015 - and visited the school, a local blueberry farm and inspected a bridge in need of an upgrade.

The Age, 8 April 2016:

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce chartered a helicopter to visit an area less than an hour and a half by road from his ministerial office in Armidale.

The flight to Copeton Dam places a question mark over a key plank of the National leader's defence of his helicopter usage, supported on Friday by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, that choppers were used as an alternative to unreasonably long drives.
The 120 kilometre flight from Armidale to Copeton Dam cost $2211 return.

The most controversial helicopter flight in Australian political history, Bronwyn Bishop's $5000 hop from Melbourne to a Liberal Party fundraiser in Geelong, was just 40 kilometres shorter…..

He took a fourth helicopter trip from Armidale to Legume near the Queensland border in February last year, according to parliamentary records for electorate-related travel.

That flight, to announce a $350,000 road upgrade, cost the public $4737.

Confirmation of four helicopter flights forced Mr Joyce's office on Friday to withdraw its statement to Fairfax Media on Thursday that the two flights to Drake were his only helicopter usage since becoming the MP for New England in 2013.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

While we're waiting for the Turnbull Government to stop chasing its tail.......

A look round at the political landscape in the lead up to this year's federal election.

Which Australian politician said this?

The Prime Minister cannot even summon up the courage to try to fix this mess. His threat of a double dissolution and an early election proves to all of us what this budget is really about. It is not about protecting the jobs of Australians, least of all the one million Australians it says will soon be out of work; it is about the job security of one man and one man only. A Prime Minister frightened of the consequences of his mismanagement now wants to cut and run before he is found out. [House of Representatives Hansard, 14 May 2009]

Why, it was Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull as Leader of the Opposition in May 2009.

Looking back less than seven years later, this speech to parliament makes his current situation almost seem like karma.

I’m told there was a “great turnout” for the International Women’s Day dinner at which Labor Senator Penny Wong was guest speaker on 8 March 2016 and for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's Lismore City Hall Q&A on 10 March.

The number of people seeking to book a seat at the dinner exceeded the seating capacity at the Lismore Workers’ Club and people were “spilling out of the building for Bill” according to one supporter of Labor candidate Janelle Saffin, who is seeking election in the Page electorate after losing to the Nationals Kevin Hogan in 2013. 

The Northern Star covered the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate’s visit:

WE asked on our Facebook page which questions you wanted us to ask Penny Wong during her visit.

What will you do for youth unemployment in regional areas?

I think the first thing is to make sure we give our young people the best opportunities they have, or can, to get the skills that they need.
And the problem we've got at the moment is we've got a Federal Government taking money out of TAFE, taking money out of apprenticeships, making university harder to get into and asking people to pay $100,000 for their degree.
So I think the first thing is to try and get the right investments in vocation education, in apprenticeships, in TAFE - and we've got a TAFE funding guarantee - as well as making sure our universities are made accessible.

If your government was elected, would you add dental to the Medicare rebate?

I understand how expensive dental work can be, and in government what we did do was put money towards dentistry services for children.
Certainly, you know there's only one party that supports Medicare and wants to strengthen Medicare and that's the Labor party.

Can you give us an update on the Gonski reforms?

Labor has recently re-committed to the full Gonski funding. Our education policy is a commitment to the full Gonski funding, to roll-out across the country.
Of course this is a very big difference between us and the Liberal and National parties who have walked away from their commitment to fully fund Gonski.
People in rural and regional Australia will be the ones most disadvantaged by the National party's refusal to fund the reforms and I'm very proud Labor has put money on the table to make sure every child can be the best of who they are, no matter where they live.

Tony Windsor represented the people of Tamworth in the NSW Parliament from 1991-2001 and the people of New England in the Federal Parliament from 2001-2013. This year he comes out of retirement to stand in the New England electorate again and support begins to gather.

The Guardian, 29 February 2016:

A Reachtel poll of 712 residents in the seat of New England conducted on 11 January found 32.2% would vote for Windsor as their first preference if he returned – compared with 39.5% for Joyce.
The poll, obtained by Guardian Australia, found 11.2% would vote for Labor and 4.6% would vote for the Greens with 6.2% nominating others including other independents with 5.1% undecided. The Palmer United Party attracted just 1.3%.
The polling results suggest if the majority of Labor and Greens preferences flowed towards Windsor, Joyce – who has been Nationals leader for less than three weeks – could lose New England.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 March 2016:

Exclusive ReachTEL polling of elector sentiment obtained by Fairfax Media - the first such voter-feedback in the crucial electorate - shows primary support for Mr Joyce stands at an apparently healthy 43.1 per cent, compared to Mr Windsor, who trails on 38.
But with the likelihood of strong preference flows from anti-Coalition Labor voters, who constitute 7.1 per cent, and equally hostile Greens voters who account for another 3.4 per cent, there is a reasonable chance Mr Windsor would finish ahead, were a contest held now.
The automated telephone survey of 662 residents across New England was conducted on the evening of March 10 - the very same day Mr Windsor declared his candidacy.

The campaign website was created on 9 March 2016 according to Whois.


On 15 March 2016 a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network held in Committee Room 2S3 at Parliament House revealed that the internal company nickname for the roll out of Malcolm Turnbull’s hybrid version of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is Operation Clusterf*ck.


The Northern Star, 15 March 2016:
Thanks to Clarrie Rivers for this snapshot.