Today, we have the extraordinary situation where the current Agriculture Minister’s legitimacy is in doubt but the Prime Minister has allowed him to remain in the role.
This situation is unacceptable and a strong Prime Minister would have asked his Deputy to step aside until the High Court makes its ruling.
Sadly, we know Barnaby Joyce is not strong on doing the right thing and will always put his own political interests ahead of agriculture stakeholders; boondoggles and pork barrels always take precedence over good policy.
But how can our farmers and other agribusiness stakeholders have confidence that a Minister whose legitimacy is under question can adequately represent their interests?
For example, Barnaby Joyce is currently responsible for Australia’s biosecurity. If there is a serious biosecurity breach such as the recent White Spot outbreak, how can we be confident the Minister is capable of adequately responding in the eyes of the law?
How can producers and growers have confidence Barnaby Joyce is capable of representing their interests when trading partners suspend our exports? How can they be confident our international partners will take Barnaby Joyce seriously?
Barnaby Joyce should put the national interest ahead of his own interest and stand aside.