Barnaby Joyce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Honourable
Barnaby Joyce
Senator Barnaby Joyce.jpg
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
Assumed office
18 September 2013
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Joel Fitzgibbon
Deputy Leader of the National Party
Assumed office
13 September 2013
Leader Warren Truss
Preceded by Nigel Scullion
Senator for Queensland
In office
1 July 2005 – 8 August 2013
Preceded by Len Harris
Succeeded by Barry O'Sullivan
Member of the Australian Parliament
for New England
Assumed office
7 September 2013
Preceded by Tony Windsor
Personal details
Born (1967-04-17) 17 April 1967 (age 48)
Tamworth, New South Wales
Political party National Party (Federal)
Liberal National Party (State)
Spouse(s) Natalie Joyce
Alma mater University of New England (BFinAdmin)
Profession Accountant, politician
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Military service
Service/branch Australian Army Reserve
Years of service 1994–99
Unit Royal Queensland Regiment

Barnaby Thomas Gerald Joyce (born 17 April 1967) is an Australian politician who is currently the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. He was sworn in on 18 September 2013 as Minister for Agriculture in the Abbott Government, before adding Water Resources to his portfolio in 2015 in the Turnbull Government.[2]

A former accountant, Joyce was a member of the Australian Senate representing the state of Queensland from July 2005 until August 2013. He represented The Nationals, succeeding Nigel Scullion as the Leader of the National Party in the Senate on 17 September 2008.[3] Although the Queensland divisions of the Liberal and National parties merged into the Liberal National Party of Queensland in 2008, he remained Leader of the National Party in the Senate. He crossed the floor nineteen times under the Howard coalition government.[4]

In April 2013 Joyce was preselected by the National Party to contest the House of Representatives seat of New England in New South Wales at the September 2013 election. He resigned from the Senate on 8 August 2013.[5] He easily won New England for the Nationals in the biggest swing in Australian political history and is now on a margin of 21.1% and was then elected deputy leader of the Nationals. His ranking is number seven in the Australian Cabinet.

Early life[edit]

His father, James Joyce, was born in New Zealand, and moved to Australia to study veterinary science at the University of Sydney, where he met Joyce's mother, Marie, and they made their living as farmers.[6]

Barnaby Joyce was born in Tamworth, New South Wales and raised in Woolbrook.[7][self-published source] One of six children from a sheep-and-cattle farming family,[6] he attended St Ignatius' College, Riverview in Sydney, and the University of New England in Armidale, where he resided at St Albert's College, graduating with a Bachelor of Financial Administration degree in 1989.[6] He served in the Australian Army Reserve from 1994 to 1999. At university Joyce met his wife, Natalie, and they married in 1993. After graduating, Joyce moved around northern New South Wales and Queensland, and at one point worked as a bouncer and later as a farm worker.[6] Joyce worked in the accounting profession from 1991 to 2005 before entering Parliament and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. Joyce and his wife have four daughters and live in St George in western Queensland, where Joyce had an accounting business.[6]

Political views[edit]

Social issues[edit]

Joyce took offence at a pamphlet handed out by Family First candidate Danny Nalliah, which identified bottle shops, brothels, masonic lodges, mosques, and Hindu and Buddhist temples as "strongholds of Satan", and said that he did not want the preferences of such a party. Joyce criticised the party, calling them "the lunatic Right", and saying that "these are not the sort of people you do preference deals with".[8] Nonetheless he gained office with preference flows from Family First Party, among many others including Pauline Hanson.[citation needed]

Joyce has spoken out in opposition to same-sex marriage, attending several rallies on the matter in Canberra.[9][10] In 2011, he lobbied against a bill proposed by senator Sarah Hanson-Young that would allow for same-sex couples to marry. He implied that the legislation would prevent his daughters from marrying men: "We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband, and I want that to happen for them. I don't want any legislator to take that right away from me."[9][11] Hanson-Young countered that the bill would not affect his daughters at all: "There is nothing in my Marriage Equality Bill that would prevent Senator Joyce's daughters from getting married to the partner of their choice."[9]

Economic issues[edit]

On the economy, Joyce has often earned the ire of his economic rationalist parliamentary colleagues in the Liberal Party of Australia. Though not popular among the Coalition, Joyce has taken up a number of causes often labelled as populist, such as his support for the retention of a single-desk wheat export marketing system for Australian grain growers, drought assistance for primary producers, and amendments to the Trade Practices Act 1974 and media reform regulations that aim to strengthen the ability of small business to compete with multi-national corporations. When questioned on his views, he stated "Maybe I'm an agrarian socialist, I don't know, is there a problem with being an agrarian socialist?".[12]

On 17 March 2009, Joyce launched a privately funded advertisement campaign to keep Rio Tinto local, attacking a bid by the Chinese government-owned resources company Chinalco, a bid which has also been heavily criticised by Legal & General in the United Kingdom.[13]

Joyce also stopped the sale of Qantas to Allco Finance Group in 2006; Allco Finance Group later collapsed.

Senate service (2004–2013)[edit]

Barnaby Joyce's old office in St George

Joyce was elected to the Senate in the 2004 election representing the National Party; his term commenced on 1 July 2005 and ran until 30 June 2011. He was re-elected at the 2010 election as a member of the Liberal National Party, formed from a merger of the Queensland divisions of the two non-Labor parties.

Joyce in 2007

Joyce regained the seat that the Nationals lost to the One Nation Party in 1998, defeating the One Nation Senator Len Harris. The Liberals won three seats in Queensland. Together with Joyce's election as a National Party Senator, it was the first time since the enlargement of the Senate in 1984 that a party or coalition had won four of the six available Senate seats from a single state.

Joyce won 6.5 percent of the vote on first preferences (see Australian electoral system), well short of the 14.3 percent required for election, but made up for lost ground by the flow of second preferences from eliminated candidates of the Family First and One Nation parties, as well as from the independent candidate, Pauline Hanson. The count attracted considerable media attention because Joyce's election contributed to the ruling Coalition government having control of the Senate for the first time since 1981, a result that few political commentators had expected.[citation needed] One Nation, the Liberal Party and the Democrats had sitting Senators.

Joyce said before taking his seat in July 2005 that he would not be a cipher and that the government should not take his support for granted. Because the Liberals campaigned against Joyce, he never felt bound to the Liberal Party.[citation needed] In particular, he initially expressed misgivings about the government's proposed sale of Telstra, the partially state-owned telecommunications company, and claimed that he would vote against the sale unless he and the rest of the party were satisfied that its service in rural areas was adequate and that privatisation would not adversely affect it.[citation needed]

Joyce's maiden speech to the Senate on 16 August 2005 was widely reported in the Queensland media.[relevant? ] He expressed his desire to see the power of Australia's retailing duopoly, Coles Myer and Woolworths Limited, reduced so as to protect small business and consumer rights. He also espoused the virtues of free enterprise, particularly at the small business and family-owned business level. As well, having earlier told a Right to Life conference in July that his greatest goal in public life was to ban "the unfortunate carnage" of abortion, he used his first speech to identify abortion as the "slavery debate of our time".[citation needed]

On 17 August 2005 the government announced a package of A$30 billion to improve telecommunications services in regional and rural areas. On the basis of this, the National Party, in consultation with Joyce, agreed to support the sale of Telstra. This led the Labor Party and Stephen Conroy in particular to label Joyce "Backdown Barney" and "Barnaby Rubble" in an acrimonious parliamentary debate. However the Labor Party never reversed the sale of Telstra when they came to government. Joyce voted with the Government in the Senate on 14 September 2005, to sell the Government's remaining share of Telstra. As the Telstra Sale Legislation had been pursued by the lower house in prior parliamentary sessions with no assistance package for regional Australia it is Joyce who is credited for negotiating and holding out till the multi billion dollar assistance package was delivered so as to attain his vote in the Senate.[14][15]

Joyce crossed the floor to vote with the Labor and minor parties on 11 October 2005 on two motions concerning the Trade Practices Act 1974. Although both motions were lost 32–32, it was the first time since 1986 that a Government Senator has crossed the floor.[citation needed]

Joyce also said that he would not support the Government's "Voluntary Student Unionism" Bill banning the levying of compulsory service or amenity fees by universities without amendment because he believed it would unfairly disadvantage regional universities[citation needed]. However, Joyce was unsuccessful in his attempt to amend the bill, and subsequently crossed the floor on 9 December 2005 to oppose it. This was ultimately futile as the Government had secured the vote of Family First Senator Steve Fielding.[citation needed]

One of Joyce's major successes[citation needed] was the passage of the Birdsville Amendment, outlawing predatory pricing of big retailers against small business and the capping of share ownership on the sale of Medibank Private to 15% to keep it in Australians hands as well as being at the forefront of the fight to keep Qantas as an Australian publicly listed company.

In October 2006 he again crossed the floor, unsuccessfully moving amendments to the government's cross media ownership laws.[16]

In May 2006 Joyce promoted mining of Antarctica, banned under the Antarctic Treaty. Joyce justified his proposal by saying:[17]

There's minerals there, there's gold, there's iron ore, there's coal, there's huge fish resources and what you have to ask is: 'Do I turn my head and allow another country to exploit my resource ... or do I position myself in such a way as I'm going to exploit it myself before they get there'.

The only practising accountant in the coalition, he has a bluntness to the economic debate that raises the ire of his colleagues but has interested the media such as with his statement on the then Rudd government's first stimulus package in 2008, supported at the time by the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, that it would "be spread across the floor on Christmas Day with 'Made in China' written on the back".[18] The Coalition backed Joyce's position of rejecting later stimulus packages.

Crossing the floor[edit]

Publicly, there is a perception that Joyce is a "maverick",[19] and is someone who is not beholden to the Liberals.[20] However, the TheyVoteForYou website, which monitors the voting patterns of federal politicians, record that Joyce has only "rebelled" against the party whip in 1.1% of divisions.[21]

The following table lists legislation on which Joyce has crossed the floor (Motions not included).

Year Legislation Voting Stance Outcome of Legislation Citation
2006 Petroleum Retail Legislation Repeal Bill, 2006 No Passed [21]
2006 Trade Practices Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2005 No Passed [21]
2006 Tax Laws Amendment (2006 Measures No. 4) Bill 2006 No Passed [21]

Leader of the Nationals in the Senate[edit]

In September 2008, Joyce replaced Nigel Scullion as Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, and stated that his party in the upper house would no longer necessarily vote with their Liberal counterparts in the upper house, which opened up another possible avenue for the Labor government to pass legislation.[3][22][23] He was able to gain the majority support of the five Nationals (including one CLP) Senators through Fiona Nash and John Williams. The takeover was not expected nor revealed to the party until after it took place.[24]

In February 2010 Joyce declared that Australia was "going to hock to our eyeballs to people overseas" and was "getting to a point where we can't repay it". This led to a response from the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Glenn Stevens, that he had "yet to meet a finance minister [sic] who has ever mused any possibility about debt default of his own country" and that there were "few things less likely than Australia defaulting on its sovereign debt".[25] Joyce was re-elected in the 2010 election on a joint LNP ticket with Senators Brandis and Mason, but he got more below the line votes than above the line votes. He was appointed the Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water and retained his role as leader of the Nationals in the Senate.[26]

House of Representatives (2013–present)[edit]

On 13 April 2013, Joyce won the Nationals preselection for the House of Representatives seat of New England in New South Wales, for the September 2013 election. The seat was then held by independent politician Tony Windsor, who held the seat on a margin of 21.52%, and who subsequently announced his retirement.[27] Independent state parliamentarian Richard Torbay had been preselected as National candidate in August 2012, but was pushed out due to concerns about his ownership of several Centrelink buildings.[28] Joyce resigned his Senate place on 8 August 2013. On 25 May 2013, Barry O'Sullivan was selected to replace him in the Senate.[29]

Joyce won the seat of New England with a large swing and now sits on a margin of 21 points. He is the first person in the history of the Australian Parliament to have represented one state in the Senate and a different state in the House of Representatives. He is also the first person to win back both a Senate seat and a House of Representatives seat previously lost by the Coalition. Following the election, Joyce was elected deputy leader of the Nationals. Joyce was sworn in as the Minister for Agriculture on 18 September 2013.

In 2015 Joyce claimed more international attention after warning Pirates of the Caribbean actor Johnny Depp, that if he failed to remove his illegally residing dogs from Australia, they would be euthanized.[30]


  1. ^ "Coalition celebrates a religious Easter: Eight of 19 cabinet members are Catholic". AAP. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". AAP. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Nationals won't toe Libs' line: Joyce". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Debelle, Penelope (31 May 2008). "Independently inclined". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Clifford, Catherine (8 August 2013). "8 years in Senate over as Barnaby bows out". ABC News. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Koutsoukis, John (16 April 2005). "The power of one in the bush". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Public Speeches; retrieved 17 April 2010.[self-published source]
  8. ^ Roberts, Greg (8 October 2004). "Nationals split over Family First deal – Election 2004". The Australian. p. 9. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "Anger over rally to ridicule gay marriage". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 16 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Judith Ireland and Richard Willingham (14 August 2012). "If rights are what you want, don't get married: Joyce". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  11. ^ Milanda Rout (16 August 2011). "Gay marriage would lead to breakdown of society, American conservative tells rally". The Australian. 
  12. ^ Joyce, Barnaby (11 September 2005). Barnaby Joyce: A Most Interesting Senator (transcript). Interview with Antony Funnell. Background Briefing. Radio National. Australia. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Joyce, Barnaby (17 March 2009). Barnaby Joyce launches campaign to keep Rio Tinto local (transcript). Interview with Kerry O'Brien. 7.30 Report. ABCTV. Australia. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Todd, Mark; Seccombe, Mike (1 August 2005). "Joyce digs in for keeps to set up Telstra fund". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  15. ^ O'Brien, Kerry (14 September 2005). "Joyce stands by Telstra vote" (transcript). 7.30 Report (Australia: ABC TV). Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Bell, Lynn (12 October 2006). "Media laws pass the Senate". PM (Australia: ABC Radio). Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Mine Antarctica, says Barnaby Joyce". The Age (Melbourne). AAP. 1 May 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Joyce, Barnaby (11 May 2009). Address to the National Press Club (Speech). Canberra: Barnaby Joyce. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  19. ^ Catherine McGrath; Mark Colvin (12 October 2005). "Maverick Barnaby Joyce criticised by Nationals leader for crossing the floor". ABC PM Radio. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "You can depend on the Nationals". Open Australia Foundation. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Barnaby Joyce". They Vote For You. Open Australia Foundation. Retrieved 1 February 2015.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  22. ^ Berkovic, Nicola (18 September 2008). "Leader Barnaby Joyce still a maverick". The Australian. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  23. ^ "Barnaby elected Nationals Senate leader". AM. Australia: ABC Radio. 18 September 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  24. ^ Grattan, Michelle (18 September 2008). "A quiet coup makes Joyce Senate leader of Nationals". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  25. ^ Martin, Peter (20 February 2010). "Reserve at odds with Joyce view". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  26. ^ "Senator Barnaby Joyce". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Barnaby Joyce wins preselection for lower house seat of New England". AAP. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "Northern Tablelands voters look set to elect local mayor as next state MP". Independent Media Centre Australia. 19 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  29. ^ Remeikis, Amy: LNP's Barry O'Sullivan headed for Senate, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2013.
  30. ^

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Len Harris
Senator for Queensland
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Tony Windsor
Member for New England
Political offices
Preceded by
Joel Fitzgibbon
as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Minister for Agriculture
Party political offices
Preceded by
Nigel Scullion
Leader of the National Party in the Senate
Succeeded by
Nigel Scullion
Preceded by
Nigel Scullion
Deputy Leader of the National Party