Secrecy surrounds Joyce's pork barrel

Barnaby Joyce’s Department has declined to divulge how often he is using his Armidale ministerial office for ministerial purposes.

The extent of the Deputy Prime Minister’s pork barrelling in his own electorate not only lacks credibility, it is also now a secret.

Following the 2013 election, Barnaby Joyce decided to move his ministerial office from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices (CPO) in Sydney to Armidale. The move came at significant cost to the taxpayer. 

Of course like all Members of Parliament, Joyce still uses the resources of the CPO.

Asked in Senate Estimates how often the Armidale office is used for portfolio purposes, the Department responded;

“The Department does not have access to the Deputy Prime Minister’s diary”.

Asked in Senate Estimates how many portfolio related meetings have been held in the Armidale ministerial office, the Department responded;

“The Department does not have access to the Deputy Prime Minister’s diary”.

Sadly the Department could not even provide answers as to how many portfolio related meetings have been held in the Sydney Commonwealth Offices, responding again that;

“The Department does not have access to the Deputy Prime Minister’s diary”

We can only conclude that the relationship between the Minister and his Department has deteriorated to the point where the Department is not even aware of ministerial meetings undertaken by the Deputy Prime Minister. Even without access to the Deputy Prime Minister’s diary, departmental officials should have a record of ministerial meetings.

Well, Barnaby Joyce has access to his diary and Labor will put the same questions to him on the House of Representatives Notice Paper.

Along with the forced relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), the expensive ministerial office in Armidale makes Barnaby a gold medallist in pork barrelling.


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