For the first time in 22 years the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) will charge rural women to attend its annual Rural Women's Award Dinner.
In addition to the cost of their travel to Canberra, attendees will now pay between $180 and $250 to attend.
The RIRDC Rural Women's Award is a highly regarded program credited with acknowledging and promoting the important and increasing role women are playing in agriculture and rural industries more generally. It has also become an important mentoring initiative.
Barnaby Joyce recently forced RIRDC to move from Canberra to Wagga, an expensive move that caused the loss of 84 per cent of the research body's experienced staff. Now, it appears rural women will pay the price.
Barnaby Joyce can find tens of millions of dollars to pork barrel his own electorate by forcing the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to move to Armidale, but can't find the means of ensuring the ongoing success of the Rural Women's Award program.
If Barnaby Joyce won't act in support of rural women, Malcolm Turnbull must.