Gina Rinehart's $40,000 cash "award" to Barnaby Joyce last night raises many questions.
National Agriculture Day was a Gina Rinehart initiative and we were told it was all about recognising our farmers and the farm sector. We now find it was the festival of Barnaby.
Gina’s Agriculture Award could have gone to many people in agriculture - our innovative farmers, entrepreneurs, scientists, environmentalists and those who add value to our products.
But no, it went to Barnaby Joyce who is facing an expensive by-election in New England. Labor notes the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) – a sponsor - has distanced itself from the award. I also note the Department of Agriculture was a sponsor of last night’s glitzy dinner.
Labor understands Joyce is now saying he will donate the money to an agricultural charity. Last night he told those assembled at the dinner he would spend it on his farm.
Malcolm Turnbull must clarify the situation.