Barnaby Joyce

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Person.png Barnaby Joyce  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Accountant, politician)
Barnaby Joyce Portrait 2010.jpg
BornBarnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce
Tamworth, New South Wales
CitizenshipAustralia,  New Zealand (1967–August 2017)
Alma materUniversity of New England
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SpouseNatalie Joyce
PartyNational Party of Australia
Rural conservative politician with some economic nationalist positions. Might have been toppled by dirt digging campaign.

Employment.png Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

In office
18 February 2016 - 27 October 2017

Employment.png Australia/Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

In office
18 September 2013 - 27 October 2017
Succeeded byMalcolm Turnbull

Employment.png Australia/Leader of the National Party

In office
11 February 2016 - 8 August 2013

Employment.png Australia/Deputy Leader of the National Party

In office
13 September 2013 - 11 February 2016

Employment.png Australia/Leader of the National Party

In office
18 September 2008 - 8 August 2013

Employment.png Senator for Queensland

In office
1 July 2005 - 8 August 2013

Employment.png Member of the Australian Parliament for New England

In office
7 September 2013 - 27 October 2017

Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce (born 17 April 1967) is an Australian politician. He served as the leader of the National Party from February 2016 to February 2018, and was Deputy Prime Minister of Australia from February 2016 to October 2017 and from December 2017 to February 2018. He was forced to resign due to revelations of an extramarital affair, in what was an orchestrated campaign of dirt-digging from the Labor party, but possibly with deeper operators pulling the strings.

Early Career

Joyce was born in Tamworth, New South Wales, and is a graduate of the University of New England. In 1999, he set up an accountancy practice in St George, Queensland.[1] Joyce was elected to the Senate at the 2004 federal election, taking office in 2005, though it subsequently emerged in 2017 that he was not eligible for election. He became the National Party's Senate leader in 2008. At the 2013 election, he transferred to the House of Representatives, winning the rural seat of New England in New South Wales.

During 2013, Joyce replaced Nigel Scullion as deputy leader of the National Party. He succeeded Warren Truss as party leader and deputy prime minister in 2016. In the Abbott and Turnbull Governments, Joyce served as Minister for Agriculture (2013-2015), Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources (2015-2017), Minister for Resources and Northern Australia (2017) and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (2017-2018).

Political Positions

Joyce has often angered neoliberal parliamentary colleagues in the LNP Coalition by taking up a number of causes economic nationalist positions often labelled as populist; such as his support for the retention of a single-desk wheat export marketing system for Australian grain growers, drought assistance for primary producers, amendments to the Trade Practices Act 1974, and media reform regulations that aimed to strengthen the ability of small business to compete with multi-national corporations. When questioned on his views, Joyce stated "Maybe I'm an agrarian socialist."[2]

On 17 March 2009, Joyce launched a privately funded advertising campaign to keep Rio Tinto local, attacking a bid by the Chinese government-owned resources company Chinalco, a bid which had also been heavily criticised by Legal & General in the United Kingdom.[3]

Joyce has also opposed the sale of large Australian agricultural assets to foreign investors. In 2012, as the Opposition spokesman for Water, Joyce was vocal in his unsuccessful opposition to the sale of Cubbie Station to a consortium led by a Chinese State Owned Enterprise.[4]

In 2013, as Agriculture Minister, Joyce and his National Party colleagues strongly opposed the proposed sale of Australia's largest bulk grain handler GrainCorp to the American company Archer Daniels Midland. The then Liberal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, rejected the sale based on the hugely discretionary "National Interest" grounds which a Treasurer can use to block such transactions. Despite the reasons Hockey used to justify his decision, it was widely reported that the National Party demanded this outcome, with the Labor Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen accusing the junior Coalition partner of "bullying" the Treasurer into arriving at this decision.[5]

Joyce positions that renewable energy causes problems with energy supply. In January 2021 he called upon Zali Steggall, a prominent renewable energy advocate, to explain why renewable energy had led to power cuts in Sydney suburbs, and followed up with "I don’t have to win this argument the facts are doing it for me".[6] Inquiries by renewable energy advocate to Ausgrid showed that the outages were not due to renewable energy but to "unforeseen cable faults", and that there was no pressure on the grid when the outages occurred.[6]

Formal Citizenship problems

During the 2017 parliamentary eligibility crisis, Joyce was confirmed to be a dual citizen of New Zealand.[7][8] On 27 October 2017, the High Court of Australia ruled that he had been ineligible to be a candidate for the House of Representatives at the time of the 2016 election.[8] Joyce re-entered parliament in December 2017 after winning the 2017 New England by-election with a large swing against low-profile opposition.[9] In February 2018, he resigned his ministerial and leadership roles after acknowledging that he was in a relationship and expecting a child with a former staffer. He was succeeded by Michael McCormack.[10]

Affair revelation and resignation

On 7 December 2017, Joyce announced that he had separated from his wife. On 6 February 2018 The Daily Telegraph reported that he was expecting a child with his former communications staffer Vikki Campion.[11][12] Richard Di Natale of the Greens called on Joyce to resign for "clearly breaching the standards required of ministers".[13] Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull publicly called for Joyce to "consider his own position." This was as much as Turnbull could do under the Coalition agreement, which stipulates that the leader of the Nationals automatically becomes Deputy Prime Minister during periods of Coalition government. Turnbull could not have sacked Joyce unless he was deposed in a National leadership spill.[14] However, Turnbull forced Joyce to go on a week of personal leave instead of ascending as acting prime minister while Turnbull visited the United States. He also announced that the parliamentary code of conduct would be reworded to forbid sexual relationships between ministers and their staff.[15][13] On 21 February, Turnbull ordered an investigation into whether Joyce had breached the ministerial code of conduct.[16] As of May 2018, the investigation into Joyce's travel expenses was ongoing.[17] In February 2018, Turnbull's office relied on a technicality in stating that Joyce had not breached the ministerial code of conduct when his lover was employed by fellow MPs, arguing Vikki Campion could not be considered the Deputy Prime Minister's "partner" at the time.[18]

The Nationals received a formal complaint alleging that Joyce had sexually harassed a Western Australian woman. Joyce's spokesman called the complaint "spurious and defamatory." On 23 February, Joyce announced that he would formally resign on 26 February as leader of the National Party, step down from his ministerial portfolios and move to the backbench.[19][20] A leadership election within the National Party resulted in Michael McCormack becoming party leader and deputy prime minister. In September 2018, to the dismay of the complainant, it was announced that the National Party's eight-month investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment had been unable to make a determination, and that the report would remain confidential.[21]

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  18. Sydney Morning Herald,, accessed 12 November 2019
  21. Nationals unable to make a finding in Barnaby Joyce sexual harassment case launched by Catherine Marriott