In response to questioning at Senate Estimate hearings today, Department of Agriculture officials were unable to say when the Agriculture White Paper will be released.

Furthermore, it was revealed that the White Paper has been back to Cabinet a number of times and has not yet been finalised.

Any new expenditure has to be offset by other savings and the Departmental officials could not say where they were looking for these savings.

What we do know is that so far the Government has spent $2.6 million dollars on the White Paper Taskforce and this cost will grow with every week the White Paper is delayed.

Barnaby Joyce has made a number of statements about when the White Paper will be released and his latest statement is contrary to the evidence provided at Estimates today:

“We could announce it tomorrow, we could have announced it last week. I want to the dust to settle (on the Budget)”

Sky News, Sunday 17 May 2015

The truth is the release of the White Paper remains anybody’s guess and it is past time for Barnaby to be honest and say when the White Paper will be delivered once and for all.

MONDAY, 25 MAY 2015

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