The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Dr Paul Grimes, returned to Senate Estimates last night to correct previous evidence by informing the Committee an additional document had been found relating to Barnaby Joyce’s Hansard doctoring controversy.
It has taken questioning by Labor Senators at two Estimates sittings and two FOI requests from my office to tease out Barnaby Joyce's attempts to avoid scrutiny on the issue.
The cover-up is always worse than the crime and the apparent interference of the Minister’s office in my FOI requests suggests attempts were made to cover-up exactly who was involved in the Hansard changes.
When forced back to the Chamber on 27 October to provide an explanation, Barnaby Joyce blamed his staff for the Hansard changes.
Since then, the Minister’s office has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid providing all information relevant to the incident.
Dr Grimes indicated he was not in a position to produce the document he was referring to. Today I challenge the Minister to show some integrity and to stop blaming his staff and his Department.
By producing this and all other relevant documents, Barnaby Joyce can today clear himself of any involvement in the Hansard changes.
It is over to the Minister as the buck stops with him.