Joyce's $40,000 award: Many questions remain unanswered

Many questions remain unanswered about the Government’s involvement in the events which led to Barnaby Joyce being awarded $40,000.

Barnaby Joyce launched Hancock Prospecting Ag Day on 4 September 2017.  Labor understands the Federal Department of Agriculture & Water Resources contributed $60,000 to the campaign.

We further understand the $60,000 was directed to the National Farmers’ Federation. If this is not correct, the Prime Minister should clarify the situation.

Either way, he should account for how the money was spent and whether any of it was used to sponsor the black-tie dinner where Joyce received and accepted his $40,000 award.

If the Department sponsored the dinner or indeed was formally represented at the gala event, a full account of the revenue, costs and any disbursements should be made public.

The public is also entitled to know who was involved in selecting the award winner, who was invited to the dinner, who paid and who didn't pay.

While so many questions remain unanswered about the circumstances in which Barnaby Joyce both launched the campaign and became its greatest beneficiary.

The community is entitled to be suspicious, angry and disappointed that a day that should have been celebrating agriculture in a bi-partisan manner has been marred by politicisation.

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