Showing posts with label political probity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label political probity. Show all posts

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Liberals continue to behave badly in 2018 – Part Six, Cash subpoena for 1 August

The Guardian: Michaelia Cash giving evidence before Senate educaion & employment committee, Parlview video, Feb 2018

The Age, 30 May 2018:

The Federal Court has ordered embattled Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash to give evidence in the court case over last year's raids on the headquarters of the Australian Workers Union.

Court documents seen by Fairfax Media show a subpoena has been issued for Senator Cash to attend court on August 1.

The minister has been under pressure over her role in a federal police raid conducted on AWU offices in Melbourne in October, details of which were leaked to the media in advance.

Senator Cash's former staffer David de Garis - who has also been ordered to give evidence - took the blame for tipping off journalists and subsequently resigned.

Senator Cash has said she was unaware of the tip-offs. She was due to appear at a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday but sent the assistant minister Zed Seselja instead….

She previously failed in an attempt to stop subpoenas for communications between her office and the ROC about the raids….

Mr Turnbull has so far stood by his minister.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Trump called out for untrue personal attack

Fox News pointed out in polite terms that US President Donald J. Trump is telling wall-to-wall lies in his personal attack on the founder of Amazon (an American electronic commerce and cloud computing corporation) and owner of The Washingtom Post, multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos.

It also linked this attack to newspaper's reporting of the the DOJ-FBI investigation into alleged links between the the Trump presidential campaign and Russia's interferrence in the 2016 US national elections.

Perhaps Trump should cast his mind back to the last American president that tried to silence The Washington Post - in that case for it's reporting of the Watergate political scandal.

He might also care to recall that Bezos (the world's 'richest' man in 2018) only holds est. 16 per cent of Amazon shares - there are another 2,447 shareholders of record and est. 60.53 per cent of the share pool is owned by institutional investors, who as representatives of a host of beneficial shareholders won't be happy with Trump's crude attempt to force Amazon share value down. 

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Liberals continue to behave badly in 2018 - Part Three

This time it was not Liberal politicians in federal government but Victorian Liberals on the state opposition benches who were behaving badly.......

The Age, 30 March 2018:

The Victorian opposition has broken a promise and reneged on long-standing parliamentary custom by breaking its ‘‘pairing’’ to vote down the Andrews government's controversial fire service reorganisation bill.

Government and crossbenchers in Parliament’s Upper House were in uproar after two Liberal members who had told Labor they could not vote or be present because of their religious beliefs suddenly arrived to vote on Good Friday morning.

‘This is ball tampering of the highest order,’’ said crossbencher Fiona Patten from the Reason Party.

She said the Coalition’s conduct would make it very difficult for her and others in minority parties to have a working relationship with the Opposition.

The controversy erupted after a marathon sitting over the government’s bid to restructure the fire services.

This is the first time the upper house has ever sat on Good Friday.

Around midnight, Ms Patten said that Liberal MP Bernie Finn had told the house he could not work on Good Friday. At the same time, Craig Ondarchie also indicated he was not going to be in Parliament House for similar reasons. One Labor MP said Mr Ondarchie had been acting like he was ‘‘holding a prayer vigil’’.

Mr Finn on Thursday night had told Parliament, in a debate about Labor pressing on with its legislation despite it being Easter: ‘‘I have long believed in: you do not work on Good Friday — any other day of the year. That is the rule. Even when my birthday falls on Good Friday, I do not celebrate it on Good Friday.’’

In a similar vein, and at about the same time, Mr Ondarchie said: "Today is the day that Jesus died. It is a very important day. Today I want to be with my church family. I want to take up your offer, as do some of my colleagues, about accepting the pair that you have offered."

A ‘‘pairing’’ is an unofficial agreement from both sides of politics that, when an MP is unable to attend a vote, allows an MP from the opposing side to also miss the vote, so numbers remain matched.

The government granted the pairs requested by the opposition and Labor ministers Philip Dalidakis and Jaala Pulford, the deputy leader in the upper house, excused themselves from the vote and went home.

Mr Dalidakis, assuming he had a pair, travelled to Sydney on Friday morning.
But when the vote occurred just after 11am, Mr Ondarchie and Mr Finn returned to the chamber.

After Mr Finn and Mr Ondarchie’s return to Parliament, Labor’s bill was defeated 19-18.

Labor Upper House MP Cesar Melham said the pair were dishonourable and ‘‘should hang their head in shame’’.

Ms Patten said that when the Mr Ondarchie and Mr Finn came back into the chamber they could not look anyone in the eye.

Labor's upper house leader, Gavin Jennings, said the government ‘‘had generously offered those pairs because we had members praying in the parliament last night to be with their families and be with their church communities on the most holy day on the Christian calendar’’.

‘‘And those people who prayed in front of us and begged us to let them go, returned after we had given them a pair – right at the death knell, was when they returned, to betray parliamentary convention.’’……

The hypocritical antics of Messrs. Craig Philip Ondarchie and Bernard Thomas C. Finn as set out in the Parliament of Victoria Legislative Council Daily Hansard:

09:55am Thursday 29 April 2018

Mr ONDARCHIE (Northern Metropolitan) (09:55) — As John 3:16 teaches us:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Today is Maundy Thursday, tomorrow is Good Friday and it is the most solemn day of the Christian year. It is the day our saviour died for us. It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God himself at the hands of man. On Good Friday, according to the gospels, Jesus was taken before Pilate in the morning, sent to Herod, returned to Pilate, was mocked and beaten, saw Barabbas released in his stead, was crowned with thorns, was condemned to death, carried the crushing burden of the cross, told the weeping women what would happen in his future, was crucified between two thieves and forgave those who crucified him. As Luke 23:34 tells us, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’, and he cried out and died. It is the most solemn day of the Christian calendar.

I close my contribution in prayer:
Jesus, Today we pause to remember your sacrificial love
That shone light into the darkness
That bore life from such emptiness
That revealed hope out of devastation
That spoke truth through incrimination
That released freedom in spite of imprisonment
And brought us forgiveness instead of punishment.
Thank you that we can now walk in the light of your life, Hope, truth, freedom and forgiveness, This day and everyday. Amen.

Approx. 23:12pm Thursday 29 April 2018

Mr ONDARCHIE — Members, the blackness that hangs over my head tonight is associated with the passing of my Lord and Saviour on this evening. At this very time on the first Good Friday Jesus had been arrested and taken before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas and it was during this time that Peter denied him. I think this place is not about being tactical for me, Mr Jennings; it is about respect. It is about respect for —

00:15am Friday 30 March 2018

Mr ONDARCHIE — I move: That the committee now report progress. In doing so I alert the house to the fact that we are now officially in Good Friday. I have made my point very clear. I do look to get some confirmation from the minister at the table, Minister Jennings, and the other minister who made an offer to members of the house that anybody who wants a pair can have a pair. This is a very religious day for me. You heard me talk about that –

00:20am Friday 30 March 2018

Mr FINN — I very strongly support the motion moved by Mr Ondarchie, and I have to say to you I have been sitting here since midnight and I feel quite ill, physically ill, to be sitting here on Good Friday when I know that I should not work on Good Friday, that this is a day of extreme solemnity; it is a very sacred day. I know there are some members on the government side who do not understand those of us of faith, but the fact of the matter is that it is beyond the realms of decency to force people to work, to breach their religious rights, as we have seen. I know there are members of the government who do not actually believe in freedom of religion — and they are showing that just at the minute. I heard Mr Jennings say that every one of us who asked for a pair would get one. Now, I want a pair because merely being here, as I say, is making me feel ill when I know I should be elsewhere. I want a pair; Mr Ondarchie has said he wants a pair. I would be very, very keen for Mr Jennings to get to his feet and clarify if the offer still stands for each and every member, as he said, who wants a pair to be given a pair. That is something that I think he has got to do, because he said it. I mean, we didn’t ask for it; he offered it, and it is only reasonable that he now clarify the situation, given that there is some significant confusion as to whether that offer was genuine. He is either fair dinkum or he is not fair dinkum. If he is fair dinkum, then we can get on with it. If he is not fair dinkum, we know that he can’t be trusted and we move on from that in my members statement today. You heard me talk about it when we broached this subject an hour or a bit more ago. This is the day that my Lord was crucified. I do not want to be here. I want to be with my family and I want to be with my church family. I find it highly disrespectful that on this very important day in my faith’s calendar we are still here. I think it appropriate, Minister, that with respect, selfishly, to me and to others who understand the importance of this day today we stop this now. We can come back to this. It is not time critical. I note that in your motion this morning on the rising of the house that we are going to reconvene early in May. We can come back and do this then. Today is the day that Jesus died. It is a very important day. Today I want to be with my church family. I want to take up your offer, as do some of my colleagues, about accepting the pair that you have offered. This is not acceptable.

Those with long memories will recall that Coalition MPs and senators have a history of attempting to distort parliamentary processes. The Night of the Long Prawns during a federal parliamentary sitting in 1974, the refusal of NSW Premier Tom Lewis in 1975 and Qld Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen also in 1975 to follow parliamentary convention and accept a nominee put forward by a political party to fill a casual vacancy in a seat which to that point in time had been held by that same party, are just three examples. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Federal Liberals continue to behave badly in 2018 - Part Two

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull still continues (as late as Wednesday 28 March 2018) to deny any part in the Barnaby Joyce scandal…..

The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 March 2018:

A key adviser to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull helped to formalise a job transfer for the partner of Barnaby Joyce, according to new details about the controversial decision to secure the new position in a ministerial office.

The letter from Mr Turnbull’s senior governance adviser was signed on May 9 last year and gave official clearance to the new role for Vikki Campion, who was in a relationship with Mr Joyce at the time and is due to give birth to their baby next month.

The role played by the Prime Minister’s office triggered detailed questioning in Parliament last month amid an uproar over the relationship and the way the government moved Ms Campion from one office to another to manage the matter….

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said on Wednesday, "The email simply confirms what we have always said: as is usual practice, the PMO performed a purely administrative role passing on the documents to the relevant department."

The extent of Mr Turnbull’s knowledge of the affair and the job transfer has been the subject of furious debate for weeks, given reports that Mr Joyce’s former chief of staff, Di Hallam, took steps in late 2016 to inform the Prime Minister’s office of the romance and arrange a job transfer for Ms Campion.

Sacked former Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Warringah,Tony Abbott, doing his best to ensure Malcolm Turnbull leads the Coalition to defeat at the forthcoming federal election. Rumour has it that he sees himself as Leader of the Opposition for a second time around.......

The Conversation, 27 March 2018:

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has said that if people had been more willing to heed the message of those like Pauline Hanson over the last two decades, “we would be a better country today”.

In a speech loaded with praise for the controversial One Nation leader, Abbott described her as “a remarkable and a resilient presence in our public life for more than two decades”.

He also said the only way the Coalition could win the next election was to harvest Hanson preferences. “If I can make that more likely, that is a very positive contribution that I can make to the prospects of the Turnbull government.” He said the Coalition should preference One Nation above Labor and the Greens, because the government had been able to work constructively with it in the Senate.

Launching a book of her speeches, Pauline: In Her Own Words, Abbott referenced a “lot of dirty water under the bridge” between them in the past. When he was a member of the Howard government, Abbott was involved in moves that ended in Hanson being jailed for electoral fraud. She said after she was released: “Heaven help this country if Tony Abbott is ever in control of it. I detest the man.”

At the launch Abbott praised Hanson’s “willingness to let the past be the past”.

While over in Western Australia a nasty Liberal mano a mano war has erupted.....

The West, 28 March 2018:

A factional war inside the WA Liberals has boiled over with Federal MP Ian Goodenough suggesting a rival should face criminal charges for misleading the Australian Electoral Commission.

The AEC confirmed it had removed long-time Liberal player Simon Ehrenfeld from the electoral roll after complaints from Mr Goodenough and his allies about Mr Ehrenfeld not actually living at the address he had registered.

Mr Ehrenfeld is the vice-president of the party’s Moore division and president of the Liberals’ Hillarys branch.

Mr Goodenough claimed Mr Ehrenfeld could face investigation for misleading the AEC.

He said other senior Liberal Party members could also face action for giving statements to the commission asserting Mr Ehrenfeld lived at the Kallaroo address.
“The AEC should take steps to prosecute him if they deem it necessary,” Mr Goodenough said.

“Obviously it is more serious if two or three people have conspired.”

Friday, 23 March 2018

Federal Liberals behaving badly in 2018

This was the Liberal MP for Leichardt and Chair of Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia Warren George Entsch on 7 March 2018 at

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch is calling for big ideas from the community that could help shape the future of the region.

Mr Entsch said the $272 million Regional Growth Fund would support major projects in regional, rural and remote areas that delivered long-term economic benefits.
“This is an exciting program that is set to deliver major projects over $20 million that take advantage of the region’s natural economic strengths,” Mr Entsch said.

“The Regional Growth Fund will support additional investment for sustainable economic growth, including from the private sector, other levels of government, and not-for-profit organisations.

“Initial applications close on 27 April 2018 and I encourage everyone eligible in our community to look at the program guidelines and get started on an application.”

Mr Entsch said the Federal Government would invest a minimum of $10 million toward each successful infrastructure project, representing a maximum of 50 per cent of project costs.

This was The Cairns Post on the subject of a particular pork barrel and Mr. Entsch…..

22 March 2018

It was a long and tough election campaign for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He finally buckled late in the 2016 race and matched Labor’s pledge to fund the final $100 million to build Townsville’s stadium.

It was a welcome boost to Coalition MPs but Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch needed a lift too.

Mr Turnbull threw him a bone in the form of a $20 million regional jobs and investment package.

It wasn’t a $100 million pledge but it struck at the heart of something the region desperately needed: jobs.

The announcement received a lot of media and Mr Entsch was delivered another term in Canberra.

But 100 days after the Coalition was sworn in there was little action and even less in the way of detail on how businesses could access the funding. Time dragged on until Advance Cairns chairman and campaign director for Mr Entsch, Trent Twomey was named chairman of the Local Planning Committee for the fund in January 2017.

Among the committee’s brief was to set the eligibility criteria. The application process was finally rolled out, closing in July 2017. Throughout the process the Cairns Post has watched, waited and asked questions to ensure the fund was not just a hollow election promise. After 20 months Mr Entsch announced in February a list of recipients; among them was a $2.4m grant for QRX Group 1 to establish a first for FNQ — a pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution centre. The project, never heard of until the announcement, has raised many eyebrows. There are questions that need answering about the true number of jobs it will generate, a key criterion of the funding, and if there is a real conflict of interest with Mr Twomey’s wife a one-third owner of QRX Group 1.

22 March 2018

Leichardt MP Warren Entsch could face a quizzing over how the wife of his campaign director Trent Twomey won a $2.4 million federal grant to expand her family pharmaceutical empire.

The Australian Federal Police is looking into a formal complaint of alleged fraud and misconduct in the handling of the multi-million dollar handout.

Far North civic and business leaders told the Cairns Post many taxpayers held concerns about LNP pork-barrelling and whether it “passes the sniff test”.

Mr Entsch, whose son works for the pharmacy company behind the deal, said it was a “brilliant project” and he was outraged by suggestions “about fraud and corruption” over the $220m Regional Jobs and Investment Package (RJIP).

“It ticked all the boxes,’’ he said.

Mr Entsch appointed his election campaign manager Trent Twomey, a local pharmacist and Advance Cairns chairman, to head an RJIP committee panel to identify key priorities for $20m in federal grants to stimulate jobs growth and investment.

The shelf company QRX Group 1 – where Mr Twomey’s wife Georgina and business partner Leo Maltam are listed in company records as directors – won $2,415,400 in funds to build a $5m pharmacy distribution facility……

The Australian Federal Police has been referred a formal complaint but are yet to launch an official “active” fraud investigation. An AFP spokesman suggested the matter might be referred to the Department of Regional Development’s internal probity and audit unit.

Business leaders and pharmacy owners said the vision to build Northern Australia’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution centre was unheard of until the grant was announced two weeks ago.…….

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Was the Australian Minister for Screech bullied in Senate Estimates? You be the judge

This is a fairly typical mainstream media snap of Liberal Senator for Western Australia & Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Clare Cash.

On 1 March 2018 Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull rose to his feet in the House of Representatives to claim that Cash had been bullied during a Senate Estimates hearing on 28 February 2018.

"Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:01): All of us should show respect to the staff in this building, and indeed we should show respect to each other—although, obviously, as we will see no doubt in the next 70 minutes, that principle can sometimes be challenged in practice. The honourable member refers to some remarks made by Senator Cash during a very heated exchange in Senate estimates, where she was being bullied and provoked by Senator Cameron......But Senator Cash was being bullied and provoked by Senator Cameron, who was making insinuations about staff." [Hansard, 1 March 2018]

This is the incident to which he is referring.
After the hearing suspension at 10:20am Minister Cash went on to repeat her threat to name individual parliamentary staff.

The full transcript of the Cash-Cameron exchange during the Senate Estimates Education and Employment Legislation Committee hearing on 28 February can be found here.

Readers may judge for themselves whether Minister Cash was bullied and insinuations made about her staff.

From where I am sitting it appears as though the only insinuations were made by the Minister herself as were the verbal threats.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The face of betrayal

Nationals New England MP Barnaby Joyce has been returned to the backbench and the Turnbull Government coverup has begun at the expense of an accountable parliamentary democracy......

Hansard, 26 February 2018

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