19th Feb 2018

How would Centrelink assess Barnaby's relationship status?

Leon Della Bosca

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce remains in the hot seat over his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion, as both he and the Government face accusations of breaching the ministerial code of conduct. In question are the positions created for Ms Campion after the pair’s relationship become known within the Coalition.

Ms Campion left her position as media adviser shortly after the affair was exposed, and was moved to a newly created role serving fellow National Matt Canavan. When Mr Canavan stepped down over dual citizenship concerns, she was moved to the office of Nationals’ chief whip Damian Drum.

Labor has called for transparency over Ms Campion’s employment, saying the Government breached ministerial standards for not abiding by the code of conduct and not going through due process when creating the new roles.

Section 2.23 of the Statement of Ministerial Standards says that “Ministers’ close relatives and partners are not to be appointed to positions in their ministerial or electorate offices, and must not be employed in the offices of other members of the Executive Government without the Prime Minister’s express approval”. On this point, the Opposition believes the breaches seem clear cut.



However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claims that, because Mr Joyce was married, no standards were breached because Ms Campion was not Mr Joyce’s official partner at the time. The PM also claims that he had no knowledge of the affair, and that any staffing issues were the responsibility of the Nationals.

While the PM may have skirted direct breaches of the code with his rationale, as reported by Osman Faruqi in Junkee, Centrelink would have no problem designating Mr Joyce’s lover as his ‘partner’.

Regardless of whether a couple is married or in a registered relationship, Centrelink assesses a couple’s relationship by their living situation, taking into account financial aspects of the relationship, the nature of the household, social aspects, whether it is a sexual relationship, and the nature of the commitment.

Clearly, Mr Joyce qualifies for one of these criteria, warranting Labor’s assertions and begging the question: should Mr Joyce be held to the same scrutiny as taxpayer-funded Centrelink recipients?

“As we learnt from the #FakeDebt saga, Centrelink doesn’t tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. They act first and ask questions later,” writes Mr Faruqi.

“So, to see politicians come up with ways to protect each other, even though everyone involved clearly knew Joyce and Campion were having an affair, is pretty jarring.”

Opinion: Are our MPs above the law?

The question is: why are our MPs not held to the same standards as those they govern?

The Nationals are reportedly making plans to oust their leader from his seat at the head of the party table. Little wonder with what is coming out in the wash. Mr Joyce is on leave this week, in an attempt to ponder his position – as will, it seems, his party.

With allegations of abuse of taxpayer money to the tune of almost $30,000 and severe scrutiny of Mr Joyce’s decision-making as deputy head of the country – the Federal Deputy Prime Minister’s reputation is in tatters and in danger of bringing his party down with him.

Mr Joyce’s personal life is his own only to a certain extent. When personal decisions affect professional standards, and when his significant salary is paid with the public purse, he crosses a line where he should be judged the same way as others being funded by taxpayers.

Ministerial standards state that no partner should be appointed to a position within a minister’s office. These are the rules that are meant to govern the governors. If Mr Joyce’s position is upheld, it shows a government clearly operating above the law. According to Centrelink rules – and let’s remember that this is another government department – Mr Joyce was in a relationship and, therefore, in breach of the code.

Whichever way the Nationals judge Barnaby’s personal life, it should follow the same guidelines as those that rule the people and find Mr Joyce – and the Government – in breach of ministerial standards.

What do you think? Should Mr Joyce be excused for his personal actions? Or should he face the same scrutiny as welfare recipients? 

Related articles:
Barnaby Joyce dual citizenship saga
Does Barnaby Joyce have to go?
Another secret Canberra affair





COMMENTS

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tisme
19th Feb 2018
10:02am
polies have long been a law unto themselves, and nothing is really done to stop them. they know we will whinge for a while then forget all about it ( whats the point /why bother/nothings gonna change). and they continue to do what they please ( for themselves)
jackie
19th Feb 2018
10:49am
Nothing will continue to change if Australians continue to remain complacent about the double standards.

The reasons for such complacency are, the majority of Australians are very well off despite complaining they never have nor get enough.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:08pm
Too true, tisme - they have long mistaken their position of servitude to the people and nation for one of self-interested rule and control, as if they are some kind of feudal lords and ladies...

This is not restricted to any one side, either... scratch any politician and they will say their party line is the best for the nation and people, even when they know it will harm many for the benefit of the few.

I'm afraid the wrong kind of people go into politics as a business.
Travellersjoy
19th Feb 2018
10:29am
Yes, he should be judged on the standards he and his ilk impose on the rest of the community.

They squeal about 'public money' being squandered on ordinary Australians when Joyce
1. accepts free lodging from a 'friend' to who is already, apparently, a net beneficiary of Joyce's decisions while in office - and despite having a salary funded by us, to the tune of something near a half million dollars.
2. spends millions of our dollars moving bits of his department to his own backyard without any obvious justification except that he can.
3. organises a very well paid job for his girlfriend, at our expense, another one when they get sprung, and a third when his mate loses his position and she might be unemployed.

Joyce is a high level exploiter of public money for his personal advantage, not a pensioner misreporting, or an unemployed person caught by the vagaries of an arcane Centrelink system. Someone should be considering fraud in public office, not 'gardening leave'. That's what would happen to me.

LNP - ruthless guardians of the public purse against ordinary citizens, ruthless rip-off merchants of every privilege they are given, and many they just take.

Just why should we trust this man in high public office?
johnp
19th Feb 2018
11:33am
Good one, Travellers, well said and I agree entirely. These rorts and "jobs for the girlfriends" have a stink about them while aged pensioners, asset tested self funded retirees get the discarded crumbs. Time for a revolution as the alternative probably wont be much better.
TinTin
19th Feb 2018
12:21pm
Travellersjoy and Jackie...I totally agree with both your comments. The RedRooter is rooted and needs to go.
libsareliars
19th Feb 2018
4:09pm
Well said, totally agree. He needs to go, no integrity and can't be trusted.
Triss
19th Feb 2018
4:40pm
I don't know how you'd get rid of him as parliament seems to be a closed club. On the other hand, so many Australians have backed up against Barnaby Joyce that his mates might drop him if they think they'll lose their comfy seats by giving him their support. Even Malcolm Turnbull is not completely behind him, he seems to be feeling the 'winter of discontent' around his nether regions.
HS
19th Feb 2018
10:35am
All politicians are judged by their moral ethics and conduct. A Deputy Prime Minister should have been wiser. He wasn't. He has to resign.
jackie
19th Feb 2018
10:52am
I agree he has to resign and get out of politics completely for rorting the system with his double standards.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
11:13am
By your standard then Bill Shorten should also resign
jackie
19th Feb 2018
11:59am
Cautious...Is Shorten having an extra marital affair, knocked up a woman and shacking up with her in a friends mansion that is being renovated by tax payers?
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
12:22pm
Yes he did Jackie
Triss
19th Feb 2018
12:28pm
Yes, Jackie. If you go back to 2009 almost the exact thing happened with Bill Shorten. Expecting a child with his then girlfriend Chloe Bryce, the daughter of the Governor-General, but this time both were married and both had to go through a divorce before they married each other.
In six months in 2017 taxpayers were forced to fork out over $50,000 in travel expenses for himself, Chloe, child and stepchildren. There truly has to be some serious sorting out, we're not classed as people any more just cash cows, and as such, the lowest of the low.
HS
19th Feb 2018
12:35pm
Cautious...Its not just by my standard BUT by general decent community expectations that no government minister conducts his or her public and private affairs unethically and/or immorally.
jackie
19th Feb 2018
12:49pm
Triss....Their affair was never one of drunken stupidity.....It led to marriage....Unlike Joyce who never practiced what he preached....he is an utter beer swilling hypocrite ...
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:10pm
Let's stick to Barnaby first - we'll do the rest slowly over the blow torch...
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:11pm
If but once sufficient pressure is applied to form a precedent over sacking politicians for this kind of thing (if guilty), the rest will follow naturally.

Let's just run a test case here.... a fair trial and then a fair hanging...
Triss
19th Feb 2018
1:14pm
We don't know that this one won't lead to marriage. In my opinion they're both hypocrites, they were both carrying on whilst still married to their legal partners, to me that's hypocrisy.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:57pm
I await breathlessly future events with Barnaby and his new girl........
jackie
19th Feb 2018
2:43pm
Triss.....At least Shorten never espoused the sanctity of marriage while he fooled around.
Puglet
19th Feb 2018
3:43pm
Bill and Chloe separated from their partners and in a very short time announced that they were partners. Chloe and her children lived with Shorten from then on. At no time was he her employer, he did not claim travel expenses etc for the family until they lived together as partners. Shorten did not force his fellow MPs to give Chloe a non-existent job promotion. Shorten did not continue to employ his partner on the campaign trail even though she was ostensibly employed in another department. Both cases had ‘yucky’ features but Joyce used the taxpayer to compensate him and fund his liaison and his junior MPs to hide the relationship from Natalie Joyce and the public - now that is unethical as well as yucky!
Virginia
19th Feb 2018
3:45pm
What about one of the nations favourites HAWKE
Yup I Know
19th Feb 2018
10:38am
O the intrigue of politicians. Nuance of Monica Lewinsky. Haha. Who gives. Stop reading the news. That would be an anti dementia move for sure
neil
19th Feb 2018
10:46am
All just a smoke screen, as usual, to pass a bill as margie states below, to use OUR money to "bail in the Banks" from their reckless lending polices and derivaties trading for 100"s of billions of dollars. Joyce is just the "fall guy", all will be forgiven soon or he will be given a job for the "boys".
All you people whingeing and complaining about the banks and the lack of returns etc, should be taking this information VERY seriously because it is real. 1000 letters were written to 5 Senators to stop this but it was passed straight through under devoius circumstances. WAKE UP sheeple Rome is buring
Old Geezer
19th Feb 2018
11:14am
Banks are getting a Royal Commission on their terms so nothing much will come of that.
margie
19th Feb 2018
11:22am
Thanks Neil, but for some reason my post has disappeared from this page, but we need to get the info re the banks out there, glad you are on the ball.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
11:03am
Why do we put up with the Media creating news?
We should hold the nedia accountable for muck raking.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
11:05am
Make that media accountable for muck raking
Wstaton
19th Feb 2018
11:55am
So what news are they creating from my reading they were only stating the facts. Are you say they were telling lies?
jackie
19th Feb 2018
12:04pm
Cautious....Don't blame the media for Joyce's actions...No made him do it....The Red Rooter needs to resign instead of behaving like the Cup Cake he is.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
12:35pm
Jackie, i take it you are from the media or have an agenda.
Trying to create the news.
If only people realised you are treating them like idiots.
jackie
19th Feb 2018
2:31pm
Cautious....My agenda is to get rid of beer swilling hypocrites that think they are above the law with their rorts.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
3:33pm
The half dozen or so left behind will have to work hard.
Puglet
6th Mar 2018
10:56am
Don’t forget Joyce and Campion invited the media to their home for that dreadful interview. They consented to the muck raking. It took over three days of filming. He also called the media on at least 4 occasions to announce his latest non-marital ‘escapade’. It was Joyce accompanied by Campion who called the media to announce the doubts about this poor child’s paternity. The media knew about the ‘affair’ for over 6 months and chose to keep quiet. It was only when it became apparent Joyce had used public money to fund both his families - travel, jobs, etc that the media pounced. BTW Natalie called the media, until then they’d left her alone.
Old Geezer
19th Feb 2018
11:12am
What a media beat up this all is! Every man and his dog has known about this before the by election so it's now old news anyway.

Didn't our opposition leader go one better where they were both married and she got pregnant?
tango18
19th Feb 2018
12:00pm
Did the Opposition Leader rort the system to keep his mistress in high paying tax-funded jobs? That's what is wrong here. Their private lives are just that, until they expect us to pay to support their mistresses.
jackie
19th Feb 2018
12:05pm
tango18....Next they expect taxpayers for their brothel visits too.
Rae
19th Feb 2018
12:06pm
I'm surprised Tony Windsor didn't throw a defamation civil action at Campion and the National Party back in 2016.. He should have.
Eddy
19th Feb 2018
12:45pm
Well OG, I can truly say I was not aware of any private issues regarding the Deputy Prime Minister (apart from his citizenship issues) and definitely not anything about him leaving his wife, and daughters, for a much younger woman. While there is nothing unique about that situation when it is a high ranking member of the government it reflects badly on his decision making and his ethical conduct. The media, if they knew about it, seem to have kept it quiet, hardly a media beat-up.
inextratime
19th Feb 2018
2:30pm
OG...Amazing ! Every man and his dog that I've spoken to knew nothing of BJ's affair before the by-election and I suspect the majority of the New England electorate knew nothing either. According to the latest polls 64% want BJ to resign so how he managed to hold onto his seat in one of the most conservative electorates in the country is a major mystery. And pigs will fly one day.
Old Geezer
20th Feb 2018
7:06pm
It was all over social media during the bi-election so it is certainly very old news now. As usual media left it to a more opportune moment like they do with many other things.
Hoohoo
21st Feb 2018
5:07pm
I don't think your average New England voter is into social media for their news, Old Geezer. We all know that social media is the home of hearsay and gossip, dare i say "fake news", so it took someone in the media with enough courage and solid facts to "out" Joyce.

The media beat up is actually being pushed by the LNP to emphasise Joyce's lack of morals and judgement, knowing the public is always hungry for news about a sex scandal, TO TAKE ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE REAL ISSUE, that of ministerial misconduct, rorting of tax-payer's funds and maybe fraud and corruption.
floss
19th Feb 2018
11:12am
Margie I was not aware of this new banking legislation but would not be surprised with any thing this corrupt government does . The Australian people put them in power so they must share the blame, as they say you only get the government you deserve. B.J has to go before the country goes into care taker mode.
Old Geezer
19th Feb 2018
11:15am
If bJ goes then so should Bill Shorten as he is guilty of same thing.
margie
19th Feb 2018
11:18am
For some reason floss, my post seems to have disappeared, glad that at least one person more has been made aware of the new banking rort.
jackie
19th Feb 2018
12:24pm
Old Geezer....If you know something we don't then please share or else stop crying over spilt milk....Tax payers should not have to fund penile erectile problems and viagra. Joyce will be suing his doctor next.
Rae
19th Feb 2018
12:50pm
I don't think so OG. The ALP were certainly around in 2010 at the G20 meeting that discussed the bail in rules.
However the LNP have been in power for 5 years now and it was the Liberals who pushed the legislation through while One Nation dithered.
Seven Senators.

Will we have a bank run now. People wanting their money out. First hint of mortgage strife finally blowing up and my deposits are all coming home. I've better things to do than lose Capital due to bank insolvency.

This Parliament is obviously working for the IMF and the Banks not the people at all.
professori_au
19th Feb 2018
1:18pm
HI Floss.
I would argue that the Australian people did not put them in power really. Through Misinformation, denial of Information the Australian people elected factional candidate of political parties because they believe they had no choice.
The parliament tries to hood wink the people into believing they are the government. Totally incorrect. The people are the highest authority under our Commonwealth Constitution hence the lawful government. The parliament is its servant and politicians are elected to carry out the will of the people. However, it is not how political parties see it. They believe they belong among the gods and what they say is correct. Ask any political candidate who they will serve and if they say the people, ask them to give a written guarantee to that effect and if they do not serve the people they stand down. At present, during elections you will be promised anything and everything but immediately they are elected the allegiance to the people stops and in comes allegiance to the political party or more effectively the factions within the party. Why do you was the Commonwealth constitution 1900-1901 removed from the school curriculum in the 1970's. We have young people with no knowledge that we have a Constitution. They are being taught we do not have a Bill of rights. Wrong! We do have a Bill of Rights. We inherited the UK one along with all of the laws we inherited with our Commonwealth Constitution. Under our constitution we have only two tiers of government. Local government for example is recognised and the people confirmed this as a department of the State and does not have the power of a third tier of government. What did Victoria do after the 1988 referendum, basically decided the lawful government (the people) could be ignored and decided in 1989 to create local government as a third tier of government. this is completely outside of its authority and is also inconsistent with the Commonwealth laws where s109 states where a law of the state is inconsistent with the commonwealth then the Commonwealth takes precedent to the extent of the inconsistency/s. Under Kenett his government amalgamated the municipalities, shire borough, etc. into larger register trading corporations and gave them authority to govern, make laws, steal public assets and lands. The people believed this was correct. Now many people are starting to learn about our laws and our rights and how unlawful governments (call them foreign powers) have usurped lawful government. This was done without referendum so the people could decide if they wanted the changes. The present government is proposing to repeal the 1989 local government and replace it with a new one which proposes to give the trading corporations the power to resume or take over any land that it believes it needs without any need to go through any due process or referendum. The present trading corporations have taken on the roles of investors, developers, real estate agents, etc, using tax/ratepayer funds. They have also become promoters running "events" for the benefit of a few vested interests and reducing the services to the community. It appears that people do not or it is promoted that by privatisation will cut costs. Has it? Not really. Business is not in business for charity but to make a profit for the company and its shareholders, so every utiltity that was owned by the people has now been privatised and the public pays more for any benefit.
Mikes
19th Feb 2018
11:19am
What a gutless Prime Minister we have, he won’t sack Barnaby as that will bring them down and he will loose money !!!
Two things Malcolm Turnbull will go down as having the most selfies taken and being a spineless PM, Not a patch on John Howard who had some balls!!
Old Geezer
19th Feb 2018
11:28am
PM is the leader of the Liberal Party so has no say over BJ so can't sack him.
jackie
19th Feb 2018
12:34pm
Unfortunately, he can't. I am sure he would if he could.
rover
19th Feb 2018
11:20am
Clearly a breach of Centrelink rules which he helped put in place. How can he claim to be outside those rules? He can only but try and thereby, every time he comments, make himself less credible. He has this week to think about it. He may be a fighter driven by the need to prove himself with his siblings but he has now crossed that line of credibility and should quit whilst it's not to bad. Downhill from here Barnaby whatever you do.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
11:30am
Why was BJ claiming Centrelink payments?
Has he lost his job and is unemployed because of the media beat up?
Maybe BJ can then sue the Media, then he wont need Centrelink payments?
Who should be the first journo he sues?
I know LDB.
Wstaton
19th Feb 2018
12:00pm
Who the heck was saying he was claiming centrelink payments.
Read what it was saying. It was saying that people on centrelink payments would probably have been penalised in the same situation was applied to them.
neil
19th Feb 2018
11:30am
So maybe "YourLifeChoices" is not what it purports to be if they they are censoring our posts and removing them if that is the case with margies excellent informative post. Once again who can you trust.
Wstaton
19th Feb 2018
12:03pm
Yes I am against censoring except when unseemly language is present , racism etc.
margie
19th Feb 2018
12:32pm
I can assure everyone that there was no filthy or unseemly language or racism in my post and it does seem as though ''Your LifeChoices' has for their own reasons removed my post. Would be very interested in what their reason could possibly be.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:29pm
LC is a plant by the internal security services to entrap and list all the dissenters for orderly disposal at an unspecified future date....

**ROFL emoticon implied**

I'm a firm believer in allowing all views to be out there - people can judge for themselves what they think is right or wrong. All about the White Censor's Burden, innit? Can't let the rabble get too radical or too much information.
Rae
20th Feb 2018
4:36pm
Very strange no media reports of the APRA Bail In Legislation.

There is another Legislation controlling the ability to speak out against government policy around election time now too.
If it passes democracy is pretty much over in Australia.
Jim
19th Feb 2018
11:35am
Has Barnaby claimed some Centrelink benefit that he is to be assessed on, or is this just another excuse to muddy the waters by the left wingers, because they certainly haven't a clue how they are going to run the country when they get in at the next election, the Libs are getting what they deserve, but the public will be the ones to suffer when Billy no clue takes the top job.
Wstaton
19th Feb 2018
12:10pm
Heck! Can't you so call right wingers read. Or is it you who are trying to muddy the waters. here is a repeat of my previous comment

Who the heck was saying he was claiming centrelink payments.
Read what it was saying. It was saying that people on centrelink payments would probably have been penalised if the same situation was applied to them.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
12:31pm
Wstaton you have to apply the rules that fit.
The parliamentary rule is not the same as the Centrelink rule.
Drive on the side of the road for the country you are in, dont try to muddy things by saying they drive on the other side somewhere else.
Media throw up these red herrings because so many people are gullible.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
2:00pm
Same nation - same side of the road - that's what Law says...... now you see why much of this stuff is governed by regulation and practice...... another issue I've long pursued is that of bringing all such rules and regulations properly under the umbrella of Law with the same standards, such as equal treatment etc.

For far too long governments elect and agencies have been making their own rules up to suit themselves first and foremost and not those they serve.
JAID
20th Feb 2018
6:03pm
Trebor, a very long bow there.

Same nation yes.

Different needs. Different expectations. Different environment.

Agreeing that we will drive on a particular side of the road is as different to agreeing we will have social security payments as it is that we will elect people to manage our agreements.

There is no appropriate connection than can or should be made between social security arrangements and the arrangements we make for elected managers. In each case we need to be 'reasonable' but that is a value judgement and one we go to the polls over.

Being reasonable parallels and indistinct from contingent morality. There if we are going to go about prescribing morals then I may agree with your. 'One rule for all' would be the nicer way to do that.

Enough with the rules. Enough with minding other people's business.
Hoohoo
21st Feb 2018
5:19pm
But this IS the people's business, JAID. Not the sex scandal, the rorting and possible fraud and corruption.

Politicians are public servants. At least, they're meant to be.
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
11:36am
Centrelink so called rules have no relevance to this matter.
My mother in law says i should eat more tomatoes but my doctor says i'm alergic to them.
Right, i should do what my MIL says.
Old Geezer
19th Feb 2018
11:44am
I can't see how this has anything even remotely to do with Centrelink at all. So Centrelink rules do not apply.
Wstaton
19th Feb 2018
12:17pm
Someone else who doesn't read
jackie
19th Feb 2018
12:52pm
It's about Polygamy and Centrelink....There are many people in polygamy relationships on Centrelink. I suppose Joyce can make a claim if his money is hidden at Cayman Island like our lovely Prime Minister does.
Jim
19th Feb 2018
3:30pm
Wstaton, there is only one person here who is having trouble reading, the mention of Centrelink is totally irrelevent to the action of Barnaby Joyce, and as for me being a right winger, nothing could be further from the truth, I have never voted for the national party or the previous country party, I have voted for both the Labor party and the Liberal party, the left wingers I refer to are Shorten and his ilk which I would include the crazy greens.
floss
19th Feb 2018
11:50am
Good to see the same old Liberal trolls out in force the truth must be hurting.
Rosret
19th Feb 2018
12:06pm
He is the leader of the National Party. Our parliamentary system must be free from moral bias or we will end up like the countries run my religious zealots. Do you want that?
Its always comes out worst for the females.
KSS
19th Feb 2018
12:19pm
Which 'truth' would that be floss?
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
12:40pm
Liberal trolls, Labor trolls ..
Why does one group think they are better than the other?
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:32pm
What about us neutral trolls? Where do we fit in?
floss
19th Feb 2018
11:54am
Margie is there a chance to see a replay , I think all Australians should take note.
Hoohoo
21st Feb 2018
5:27pm
Yes please, Margie.
Careworn
19th Feb 2018
12:00pm
Yes, they will get away with it once again. It's Them and Us and they make the rules so we don't stand a chance of fair play.
Alufool
19th Feb 2018
12:01pm
What I want to know is why legal partmers cannot be employed but mistresses can be - Malcom over to you.
Rosret
19th Feb 2018
12:02pm
Leave Barnaby alone. The media has used him as a punching bag for long enough. You just come off as bullies.
jackie
19th Feb 2018
12:08pm
Rosret....The hypocrite Joyce punched a lot of bags and Karma has finally bit him.
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:21pm
The media is covering up for these guys big time.

Why no coverage of the APRA bail in legislation. Was Barnaby's indiscretion used as a cover up?

Besides which the propaganda against Windsor in 2016 is unforgivable now the truth is out.

All that hurt to his family and all made up. Tony Windsor was a man worth representing the people of New England.
Romeital
19th Feb 2018
12:05pm
Yes get over it
He’s a farmer and just doing what his bulls do when they are finished with their ladies
Eddy
19th Feb 2018
4:36pm
Correction, BJ is an accountant, just because he wears a silly hat doe not make him a farmer or a bushie.
Old Man
19th Feb 2018
12:07pm
Politicians rort the system and pay back overpayments when caught out, that is a given. The watchdog on all of the politicians' expenditure should change. The current oversight committee should be replaced by a section in the ATO who are very experienced in what should be allowed and what should not be allowed.

Politicians are famous for having a thick skin and the events of last week, when Labor tried to remove Joyce, came close but Joyce survived. But then out trotted Turnbull with his personal attack on Joyce and hinting that the Nationals should remove him. His political nous was on show for all to see and Joyce had no option other than to defend the national Party's agreement with the Liberals. Turnbull should have discussed his prposed disastrous news conference with a political adviser, not his wife.

The end result of all of this is that the Coalition has slipped once more in the polls and given Labor more ammunition to throw at the Coalition. I believe that both Turnbull and Joyce should go and sit on the backbench until the next election but I have no opinion as to their successors.
Wstaton
19th Feb 2018
12:14pm
Unfortunately any successor who probably just rant and shout except just answering a direct question in question time. This is what our parliament is now. They may as well start a speakers corner in the domain so they can shout their heads off and no-one will listen.
Triss
19th Feb 2018
12:41pm
I reckon Joyce knows he has to survive, Old Man. If he's pushed out of parliament he loses the power that goes with his present job and the salary and perks it pays. He then becomes an uninteresting, faceless, paunchy, middle aged bloke struggling to pay alimony and the young mistress will be off to pastures new. Just my opinion of course.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:36pm
Don't forget that the salary is the tip of the iceberg - the full cost of running a politician here is 10-11 times their salary in other perks and costs.

3-4 years ago it was around $2.4m each... undoubtedly that is now around ... hmmm.. closer to $3m on average, all costs of doing business covered....... non-taxable...

Who wouldn't want to give up that high life?
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:37pm
One way to approach the actual cost per politician would be to analyse 'standing costs' (what it costs to simply have the position ready to operate), operating costs (the costs associated with its actual running), and then salary = total...
Julian
19th Feb 2018
12:21pm
Breach?! What breach of you're above the law. The usual crap and the usual denials.

Is it any wonder Australians are disallusioned with the current lot on either side of the houses?
Julian
19th Feb 2018
12:40pm
What we need is a "swamp drainer".
Foxy
19th Feb 2018
2:19pm
lol lol - fly in "Donald" immediately !!! (mind you he still has a fair bit to do yet at his "end" ..........)
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:22pm
Good luck finding a swamp with the mess they've made of the Murray-Darling.
Bellbird
19th Feb 2018
12:41pm
Senator Canavan says with a straight face that he did not know of the affair when the girlfriend was moved to his staff. It sounds as though the Canberra dogs were barking about it. BJ has an appalling record of decision making. One shudders to think of what could have happened if a national crisis arose while he was acting PM. I'm hardly a fan of Cormann, but at least he might do something sensible.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:44pm
He vould terminate zem....
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
2:02pm
Like The Prez in UncleSamLand - no foreign born should hold the position of national leader....
Eddy
19th Feb 2018
4:42pm
Disagree Trebor, as long as Sen Cormann meets the provisions of S44 of the Constitution then his appointment as acting PM is OK with me. Please do not suggest we Americanize our political system.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
8:01pm
I simply don't want to Anyothernationize our political system, Eddy....

I'm on record as saying I'm thoroughly sick and tired of foreign born and foreign ideas people coming here and getting a gig in running this nation when they have little to no idea.

This Is Australia! **boots foreign emissary down the well**
JAID
20th Feb 2018
7:40pm
Foreign born too Trebor? That would cut out 30% of Australian residents; nearly as many naturalised Australians outside the honeypot.

If being born elsewhere has an affect on attitude it would also mute that percentage in not giving them a voice.

Not with you on that but it seems sensible that we vote for whatever we believe are Australian values.
Topcat
19th Feb 2018
12:44pm
I’m sick and tired of all politicians - not one of them would be able to lay straight in bed. The new breed of these leeches is to grab all they can, argue amongst themselves and use OUR money to do it. Bloody get on with the job and run the country and stop trying to gain points off one another. Grrrrr as for Joyce well if he goes I suspect a few others should also
turtle
19th Feb 2018
3:21pm
well said
ronloby
19th Feb 2018
12:55pm
All this mob of so-called leaders of this country are only filling their own pockets. They do not deserve the wages they are given. While us pensioners live on the scraps of what is left.
Why doesn't the GG step in and do something like was done a few moons ago.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:45pm
The G-G can't just march the troops in to roust a poor parliament - that hasn't been done since James I .....
Cautious
19th Feb 2018
1:04pm
Love is love.
There are so many hateful people here.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
2:03pm
Many confuse love with other things.........
jackie
19th Feb 2018
2:39pm
Cautious....Love? You mean sex. Fancy not using protection in this day and age.

I hope that poor child won't be born with FASD.
Seadove
19th Feb 2018
4:42pm
It's called 'Lust' and how about the the love he should have shown for his daughters. Of course marriages break down but to embarrass your daughters like he has is totally reprehensible. He is a middle aged fool and he should be shoved to the back bench so we don't have to fork out for another by election.
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:25pm
If he really loved her he would have waited for after his duty to the Australian People was over. If she truly loved him she would have waited too.

That is the tragedy of now. There is no real sense of duty of service these politicians should exhibit.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
8:05pm
Born with BADS - Barnaby Attention Deficit Syndrome, following a bout of ABCD - Auld Barnaby Contraception Deficit .....

The younger woman (let's just call her Jennifer) will be fully aware of the pecuniary benefits of her position......

I'm expecting to see BJ go like Mel Gibson - first the wife chews out a chunk, then the mistress..... leaving him with much less than he expected.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:06pm
"In question are the positions created for Ms Campion after the pair’s relationship become known within the Coalition."

That is the issue, and it is not an uncommon thing - I'd venture to say that most such positions go to party mates and favourites etc, as well as a host of other created positions, which often go to 'retired' politicians... on 'boards' and such of QANGOs etc.

As for evaluating the relationship, it is only fair that the same rules apply to all.

In a sense I feel a little sorry for him - hard to refuse what is right there every day, and it is a two way street - but even as an older man he should know better. Not only that, but even if his 'marriage was in trouble' (aren't they all until it gets past time to be bothered by such things and you need one another) - there are better ways than engaging in an in-house relationship while remaining married.

I know it is the natural instinct of men to 'move around' (dons Kevlar and awaits barrage), but men also need to exercise constraint or remain single. Same applies to women, BTW.... and, in theory at least, we are a race which should be governed by reason and not animal instinct.. hard, I know, but there it is...
BillF2
19th Feb 2018
1:07pm
Barnaby would never come under Centrelink's scrutiny. Politicians have made their positions secure outside the system they impose on others. Lurks, perks, parliamentary pensions, etc., all ensure they never have to front up to Centrelink.
Unfortunately, Australia has been blinded by the party system and seduced into treating elections like a football game. The players, except for the captains, rarely matter, and elections depend on who can spend the most money or put on the best show. All this detracts from the job they are supposed to be doing, i.e. managing the country for all Australians. Because they are a law unto themselves, they are neither responsible for, nor accountable for anything they do. Hence the shenanigans in Parliament, the backroom bonking, and the inflated sense of self-importance as shown in the increased security around Parliament.
What good they do for the country is debatable, and affairs like BJ's, as a so-called leader of the nation, are shameful for all Australians. Indeed, apart from this, what has BJ done in Parliament?
One of the more obvious revelations of the BJ affair is that, as electors, we know little or nothing of those we elect. We only get what the party wants us to know.
Consequently, we need the following (although I won't hold my breath waiting for it):
1. A full resume of all electoral candidates, including character references.
2. A report at the end of each parliamentary term showing what each MP has achieved, and how he/she has benefitted the country.
3. In the same report, a list of all remunerations to the MP
4. For each piece of legislation proposed, a cost/benefit analysis accompanied by a report of who benefits/loses from such legislation. Any legislation which does not benefit the country as a whole should be scrapped, or re-thought.
5.All the above information should be made publicly available, at no cost, at the end of each parliamentary term.
It may not change the system, but it might make it a bit more transparent, and we might even be able, as Don Chipp famously said, to keep the bastards honest.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:50pm
They even, under Howard, ensured that their retirement funding would never collapse when the nation does and everyone else is eating rabbits to survive.... that little rat off-shored the Futures Fund and placed it in the hands of Peter Costello in the Caymans... if the national economy collapses tomorrow and everyone else is reduced to living on $20 a week, they'll still cop their hundreds of thousands.

No care taken and no responsibility, and they are exempt from any disasters of their own making.

Truly a move worthy of a Banana Republic Dictatorship under Don Juan Huarte and Don Pedro Castella.... $130Bn and counting moved offshore into safe hands and where they can access it in time of need....

Amazing but true, and we, as a nation, must be blind not to see what is happening.

No wonder more and more are becoming 'radicalised' and 'marginalised' and are muttering darkly of revolution......
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
1:53pm
Then there is my pondering over where all the foreign aid money is really going........... I smell a slush fund there somewhere......

Not kidding, either..... there would be no more convenient way of transporting money offshore for keeps than to hide it in the foreign aid budget, and given that some Centrelink employees have funneled off funds in the past, there is plenty of scope here for some shifty work by FATS employees, especially with a senior executive in the pockets and hands of the incumbent government...

Maybe I'm just getting paranoid as I grow older....
Seadove
19th Feb 2018
4:46pm
Hey BillF2, how about running for government, I like your ideas!!!!
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:28pm
Might have stopped that APRA bank bill legislation getting through while everyone was distracted last week.
The Sheriff
19th Feb 2018
1:17pm
Baa-na-by must be feeling rather sheepish now! I wonder if Malcolm asked Jacinda nicely if she would bring this apparently priapic pollie back home!
PlanB
19th Feb 2018
1:18pm
Darn right they should get the same rules as we do -- and they should also get their PENSION at the same age as we do and under the same rules too
Foxy
19th Feb 2018
2:22pm
.... and at the same rate! - imagine pollies living on the basic OAP - and not their 6 figure amounts .........yeah right! lol
PlanB
19th Feb 2018
2:26pm
That would be a thing worth seeing Foxy -- they spend more on a luncheon than OAP get in a YEAR.



I would be good if they had to live off it before they went into parliament -- it was tried once supposed to be for 6 months but the Pollie only lasted about a week
PlanB
19th Feb 2018
2:29pm
Foxy it was Jenny Macklin see here and it was the dole

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-02/macklin-challenged-to-live-on-the-dole/4449980
Foxy
19th Feb 2018
2:39pm
... yeah I remember that - but - she didn't factor in any kind of "rental" from memory? Just food - utilities and general basic bills etc.??
That "Sale of the Century" host did it also - "Baby" John Burgess - lives in Surfers and almost went broke??? He tried it - but also didn't factor in any type of "rental" - crazy!!

Sorry link not working .......... :(
in2sunset
19th Feb 2018
1:22pm
I read that BJ was only home for 22 nights in the last year. Does that mean we, the well trodden on tax payers, paid 343 nights of their very generous $273 per night, some of those nights conveniently away from his wife, and with his mistress? That is $93,600 just because he didn't go home (to his legitimate home address). These people make me so angry. And senior people desperate to find a job are forced to struggle on Newstart which is less than $273 for a week. Bloody shameful...
PlanB
19th Feb 2018
1:33pm
Yes, you have that right in2sunset, he has ripped us off once again --
TinTin
19th Feb 2018
5:16pm
Exactly In2sunset, I can just imagine Beetroot Juice and his mistress laughing at us taxpayers while bonking and gorging themselves on whatever they fancy. Do you mind if I borrow your details about him?
in2sunset
19th Feb 2018
6:58pm
I also want to know - did he get the LAFHA whilst living rent free at his mate's flat? So he actually gets paid to not pay rent? Tell that to pensioners struggling to pay rent!
Puglet
19th Feb 2018
2:06pm
Almost 50% marriages fail. My distaste for Bonking Barnaby isn’t because his marriage to Natalie foundered but because he rorted Commonwealth funds to pay for his liaison with Campion. Taxpayers paid for the affair when he claimed travel expenses, living away from allowances to fund his relationship and to get her a non-existent job. He and his mistress were earning about 800,000.00 a year but Bonking still asked his mate (who had significant business links with the government) for free accomodation. Bonking’s Electoral platform has always incorporated ‘good ‘ol country boy who espouses family values and those of the Catholic faith) even when he was in bed with Vicki Campion. It’s his ethics that worry me not his inability to keep his pants zipped!
PlanB
19th Feb 2018
2:22pm
Puglet thats my beef also --- however, it shows what his morals are like (as it does for anyone else that does the same)
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
8:09pm
I'd suggest it shows us clearly how our elected 'representatives' view us in the main - as cattle to feed their avarice as and when they feel it suits.

They all need to be brought under control and properly supervised.
marls
19th Feb 2018
2:22pm
as a gvt retired employee my dept had control of their staff 24hrs 7 days a week on who ad who they could not associate with, it also included in the code of conduct about bring the dept into ill dispute or media attention
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:34pm
Yes marls but then we signed agreements to do the accepted thing and tell no-one anything or else.
Foxy
19th Feb 2018
2:43pm
....... am seriously thinking Ms.Campion ............ "shoulda' gone to Specsavers"! :-)
jackie
19th Feb 2018
2:45pm
People that see gold...don't needs Specsavers.
Mad as hell
19th Feb 2018
2:49pm
When is a lie not a lie but a non core promise?
Why is your mistress a partner by Centrelink standards but not politicians?
Why is there one set of pension rules for plebs and another for politicians?
This is corruption and spin from Canberra.
Just tell the truth no spin.
Leoan
19th Feb 2018
3:03pm
Everyone was saying: the woman (Vicki Campion) comes out the worst in this BJ saga - has anyone forgotten - "IT TAKES 2 TO TANGO"? BJ worked in close quarters with a temptress who was at that time at his beck-and-call, while his marriage is crumbling, what do you expect a hot-blooded man like BJ would do - it wasn't love at first sight, or is it? Both of them were aware that their professions were tax-funded, and for this woman to engage in illicit relationship with a man holding the second highest position in the land is very unprofessional and immature! She shouldn't be allowed to hold any staffing position in Canberra in the first place.
Virginia
19th Feb 2018
3:42pm
And if they sacked her for "not taking the PILL" it would be unfair dismissal!!!!!
Men wether they are pollies or garbage collectors or unemployed will never knock back a bonk and a woman when a rich influencial man is interested the best thing she can do is forget her pill
Its no different any where and people in glass houses.... well you know...
Private lives are private lives and how much of this is beat up and its the press who won't let it go.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
8:12pm
Yes - she has him by the balls now... with a kid on the way he has no escape .......

It is public business when he behaves sneakily and corruptly - which remain to be proven....
Le Grump
19th Feb 2018
3:56pm
If he and his partner are not clients of Centerlink......what does it matter???
GrayComputing
19th Feb 2018
4:06pm
There is a simple solution: NO ASSET TEST for pensioners EVER.
The huge cost to tax payers of Centrelink doing invasive microscopic assessments to the last cent is super expensive and political dynamite which will explode one day.
We should not care if a few millionaires or super rich gets a pension. So what.
Even Churchill got his normal pensioner payment in the UK.
It will be simpler and fairer all round to just cut out all this expensive bureaucratic assessment and stops all these tedious and nasty visits to from Centrelink
If that is done for the rest our lives we can then avoid all the pain there is now a trivial income-asset change.
NO ASSET TEST for pensioners EVER.
Triss
19th Feb 2018
5:11pm
We should each take a minister or MP and create a letter saying that, along with Trebor's universal pension, that would be a lot of letters received and a lot of pollies that would realise there's a large groundswell of discontent.
Unfortunately I believe the pension money that was taken from pensioners is the slush fund that pays all the salary raises, extra perks and politicians' pension raises.
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:39pm
Universal pension would be fair and if the government did it's job and signed beneficial deals it would be affordable and sustainable too. This country is rich with resources and we should all be sharing in the wealth not just the chosen ones.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
8:15pm
All true.... ensure that income, perks and 'gifts' (Harry Fudger getting a free ride in the Fudger Chocolates Company aircraft that only he uses(!!), or copping a 'loan' of $50k a race to attend a meeting at Randwick), are taxed.

Consider this - in the past a few LNP people copped a freebie ride with Gina.... imagine if they were taxed on that as income....

In amongst all the gifting rules that are applied to pensioners, there must be the beginning of a precedent.......
libsareliars
19th Feb 2018
4:07pm
He should be judged on the same standards as he expects for the rest of the country. It can't be one rule for pollies and one for the rest. It makes me sick how they try and skirt around issues just to suit themselves - they are such hypocrites. Barnaby should go.
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
8:17pm
What really annoys me is that old and worn-out phrase :- "It was within the rules."

All that means is the rules need to be brought up to date and changed to fit modern expectations of a more informed voting public (the internet being the worst enemy of politicians)....
Troubadour
19th Feb 2018
4:14pm
For sure Travellersjoy. Free rent on the salaries he and his girl-friend have
been taking from the public purse. We pensioners have to pay fairly high rents and on our pensions - we don't get 6 figure salaries.
Triss
19th Feb 2018
5:02pm
Not only that, Troubadour. according to the Australian, the house -the house he's living in rent free which belongs to someone else -has undergone a taxpayer-funded security upgrade from the new Department of Home Affairs, with some of the work being permanent. So, we the taxpayers, not only have bankrolled his girlfriend but his mate as well.
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:41pm
Does the new Department of Home Affairs have green and gold Hugo Boss uniforms yet or are they coming?
TREBOR
19th Feb 2018
8:18pm
Don't forget the black uniforms with the HS lightning flashes and the black cap with death's head..... the Germans may have lost WW II but they had the BEST uniforms.... ask any gay group in the Mardi Gras....
JAID
20th Feb 2018
9:31am
No we don't get 6 figure salaries and we are not deputy prime ministers who by the way don't get top CEO salaries.

Triss, do you really want to have a Deputy Prime Minister without either a security detail or high level security wherever they are living? The potential for mishap would be enormous.
Raphael
19th Feb 2018
4:29pm
I have no idea what BJ's affair has to do with how Centerlink assesses relationships

Is BJ a welfare recipient . Is Vicki?

What Shorten a welfare recipient when he was bonking another man's wife ?
Triss
19th Feb 2018
4:47pm
Time for them to join the queue outside CentreLink then they'll really find out the state of the nation. They'll also find out it's not so easy to pull the chicks when they're out on the dole and don't have quite so many taxpayer-funded perks to flash around.
kinkakuji
19th Feb 2018
4:36pm
I can't remember a time in my 78 years that i have been so disappointed in the political landscape in this beautiful country.
There is not one politician currently that i would piss on if they were on fire.Not even the "pretenders" that so many seem to think will make a difference. The silence of their responses to the main stream parties over this latest childish rubbish is deafening.The Current Australian Political Powers appear to have managed to obtain the paradigm of having, All the Power, and No Constraint of Accountability....They must feel like Immortals as they dish out our Tax Dollars as they blatantly Piss all over our Values and National Pride....but that is just my humble opinion..
Seadove
19th Feb 2018
4:53pm
Three cheers for kinkakuji, spot on with every word. My opinion as well.
Rae
19th Feb 2018
6:43pm
Yes and the world will crash around us. This sort of destruction of community and common wealth never ends well.
the_Albert
19th Feb 2018
4:47pm
There are details about Barnaby's situation which don't seem to have been pursued by the media.

(1) "Ms Campion left her position as media adviser shortly after the affair was exposed, and was moved to a newly created role serving fellow National Matt Canavan." Was this a newly created role? (What was it?) According to Gerard Henderson on Insiders yesterday she occupied a kind of floating post which could be anchored in any one office at any one time. This seems unlikely: she apparently was not a media adviser after leaving Barnaby's office (odd sort of post if the duties - and presumably qualifications needed by the incumbent - can vary from time to time), and she received a pay rise when she was lodged in Canavan's office (did she keep that pay rise when she went to Damian Drum's office? Why did she receive the pay rise?).

(2) "When Mr Canavan stepped down over dual citizenship concerns, she was moved to the office of Nationals’ chief whip Damian Drum." Presumably she was moved because Canavan was temporarily not a minister and didn't need her, whatever tasks she had been given. Was anyone else in his office relocated for that reason? Or discharged?

(3) "However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claims that, because Mr Joyce was married, no standards were breached because Ms Campion was not Mr Joyce’s official partner at the time." When does a lover become a partner? Marriage can't be the criterion, because Barnaby is still married. How does one jettison one's marital partner and acquire an alternative "official partner"? If it's simply the Minister's subjective claim that determines the matter, that would be open to abuse. Ms Campion had presumably become pregnant some time before she became Barnaby's partner. During that time she must've been still a casual lover or bonk-buddy. Is that how we ought to view the relationship?

(4) "The PM also claims that he had no knowledge of the affair, and that any staffing issues were the responsibility of the Nationals." Is it credible that the PM didn't know? Many other people allegedly did. If staffing issues was a matter for the Nationals, Nationals ministers are not expressly exempt from s 2.23 of the Statement of Ministerial Standards and there is no possible reason why they should be impliedly so. Is bonking one's staffers a staffing issue or only transferring and hiring and firing them? (Presumably only the latter, otherwise the new s 2.24 ("Ministers must not engage in sexual relations with their staff. Doing so will constitute a breach of this code") would not apply to the Nationals.)

(5) Barnaby's defence to receiving a benefit from the businessman who paid (pays) his rent seems to be (a) he was not a minister when the arrangement began - but the arrangement continued after the by-election when he resumed his position, his staff apparently continued to be employed during that period - when is a minister not a minister? and (b) he hadn't asked for free accommodation and he'd offered to pay, etc (surely irrelevant). These are claims which no private citizen could get away with. Why aren't the press holding him to account over them?
Napoleon
19th Feb 2018
5:53pm
I for one am old enough to put this 'media hyp' into perspective. Remember Bob Hawke and his affairs ! His drunkenness - Paul K. accusations of hs. Then there is the song 'Harper Valley PTA'. For me the irony is that Barnaby Joyce, as Agricultural Minister would be aware of 'neutering' - one snip (or two) and no one is any the wiser. Silly bugga' - something is rotten is the state of Denmark - surely one would be naive to think this is the first affair - just the first we know of !
Huskie
19th Feb 2018
6:32pm
Don't knock Barnaby. He is just following the Turnbull mantra "Jobs and Growth". He made sure someone got a job and the population (baby) is growing!
AlbertC
19th Feb 2018
10:13pm
so barnaby is buying a 40million $ manchion couple ofbyears he had noyhing and now he is a multi millionare wheir di hi money come from why do they not question him on this mate rafte all he was suposed to be looseing his farm so how did he now get all this money to spend 40 million hi pay is not that big his own party should quiry him on this isue???????????????????????
freed1948
19th Feb 2018
10:16pm
This nanny state bs has to stop!
Who cares who is sleeping with who [unless it your spouse]
ex PS
20th Feb 2018
12:44pm
Or you are footing the bill to pay for the girlfriends job.
Hoohoo
21st Feb 2018
5:59pm
Nanny state? It's the politicians acting like teenagers.

And we, the taxpayers, are footing their bills!
Knows-a-lot
20th Feb 2018
7:22am
Joyce should be fired and kicked out of parliament. He's a scumbag. Hell, all of the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition are scumbags.

PS: Joyce looks like a total moron in that ridiculous hat. But, then, he is... Typical hillbilly.
Anonymous
24th Feb 2018
10:30am
barnappy is not from the country. he was an accountant in tamworth. he wears that silly akubra hat to make the peasants believe he is a country lad, on their side. no way!

very corrupt - one example - buying several parcels of poor land where he plans to run an inland railway in the future, escalating the value of his properties which happen to be just where the new rail might be.

good riddance to both of them and i hope they suffer at least as much as the ex-mrs. joyce and daughters.
4b2
20th Feb 2018
9:18am
Barnaby is nothing more than a greedy low life lying politician. he appears to be out for all he can get for himself. Don't worry about the government and the rest of Australia, just look after yourself, your co respondent, and you soon to be born little bastard.

Enjoy life if you can in the future.
JAID
20th Feb 2018
9:21am
There is no valid comparison between the way Centrelink is required to dispense our time (represented by money) and where and with whom a politician may choose to spend their free time. No comparison; no possible double standard.

Mr. Joyce, like all who suggest standards in the public realm can be criticised for not practicing what he preaches if indeed he preached on the basis of the sanctity of marriage and if you think it a biggie with political import. The rest is just mush. When you have proof that Ms Campion was not someone so able in here work role that other ministers would be glad to have her in their retinue as soon as available then maybe something underhand could be considered. For now this is just tossing balls into the air to see how far they can fly. That is something for an opposition with no plan to play at not for a media attempting to be relevant to society.

So, this represents a spurious link between Centrelink and politician's employment, Wonton disrespect for the quality of an individual's service and all in service of the notion that it is OK to stick your nose into other peoples bedrooms.

Were I Mr. Joyce, likely the only thing that I would consider is whether or not the 'power' of my role had anything at all to do with creation of the relationship. For myself, when in positions of any power (no where near Deputy PM power :-) ) abuse of that 'power' is the greatest concern. This is probably only resolvable by the party or parties to the relationship as the heart has a function and capability which can cast any notion of abuse aside.
the_Albert
20th Feb 2018
8:21pm
The article is comparing the conditions for Centrelink clients with the conditions for politicians and pointing out that Barnaby would've been in breach of Centrelink rules had he been subject to them; it then asks whether it's fair that he should be subject to different and lesser requirements. So there's no link between Centrelink and politicians' employment, spurious or otherwise. And those who question Barnaby's situation are not sticking their noses into other peoples' bedrooms, they are concerned about whether government resources have been used improperly. As someone else said, it's not the rooting but the rorting.
JAID
20th Feb 2018
9:08pm
And the_A as noted there is no relationship whatsoever between one who is working and one who is receiving the benefit of the public purse.

A connection is only fabricated because it is likely to stir up emotions among those who benefit by the public purse without working for it.

Mr. Joyce may be paid by the public purse but he is paid to do a job.

Rorting is a different matter and if there is any it is a serious matter that the nation certainly has the resources to investigate and adjudicate in a professional and orderly fashion without the need for media raised hue and cry.

We here can claim that a little more would be good or even necessary for survival but government whatever the persuasion is aware that only so many are creating wealth, that there are many other elements requiring attention and that a certain amount of wealth needs to be focussed on its further aggregation so there is enough to meet future increased demand.

This is a complex calculation and balance that we ask government of whatever colour to keep an eye on. We will have a reason to whinge if there comes a time when there just is not enough to meet basic requirements. I am old enough to remember the remnants of the depression trudging the roads. If we get the balance wrong many will not even survive that way.

I do not care about Mr. Joyce's politics nor his love life. I don't care how much he makes or how much his security or valid travel costs as in the main this will be regulated by certain rules and norms. I don't even think it abnormal or an unsuitable message to the public that he has joined 50% of Australians in separation. I do care that he is vigilant in abiding by the laws he in part sets and by the rules for valid expenditure. If any can prove that he has not done this then he must be judged. There is no value however in judging by the type of hearsay hereabouts. That only undermines common decency, law and our brand of democracy.
Hoohoo
21st Feb 2018
6:05pm
What?
mogo51
20th Feb 2018
10:09am
I wonder why the media spend so much time on these sorts of issues. Look at the nonsense regarding eligibility to sit in Parliament because someone's grandmother/father was British, Irish, or whatever.
Now it is whether having an affair is more important than governing the country? Really, what sort of priorities do the media have? Save the magnets on the fridge whilst the house is burning philosophy is rather tiresome now I am afraid.
There are adequate means for such matters to be investigated outside of Parliament and the 'state of the nation' should be the primary concerns of these bunch of incompetents.
When will Australians start to get some value for money? Whilst it is very important to establish if there has been any impropriety by Barnaby Joyce, indeed all politicians, let them get on with trying to run the country and reduce the debt, build infrastructure and other silly things like fixing the health system and the electrical shamozzle.
But then again, that may require some 'common sense' and we all know it is not very common in Canberra.
Kathleen
20th Feb 2018
10:18am
The lady in question could have had an abortion thus hiding the affair. So some credit there!
Barnaby has caused a light to be shone on his rorts which are adding up which makes the affair the least of his worries.
After enjoying free food and drink at an AFL match in Melbourne Barnaby used a private jet costing $6,400 to go to go to Tamworth for Mother’s Day. Whose mother though?
This reeks of another parliamentarian who was forced to resign.
The affair is a distraction!
Strummer
20th Feb 2018
10:33am
Unfortunately, Joyce will survive because electors will continue to vote according to the colour of the candidates tie rather than the strength of his character.
Alexii
20th Feb 2018
10:40am
I couldn't care less if Barnaby Joyce has a lover or two of them or three of them.

I do, however, care that he has a lover when he goes on publicly funded trips with his lover (or perhaps in work time in the office - who knows?) and that the lover gets tax payer funded positions because she's his lover.

Thats' the real issue and that is what he should be accountable for. But it seems to be the issue that Turnbull & Co wish to ignore while they pretend that it's only about his private life.
KEVINJ
20th Feb 2018
11:59am
TURNbull & ETC **(Others) ARE CORRUPT if **Various **ENtities do NOT immedi Publicly Say, they ARE, investigating the CREATION of, "FALSE INSTRUMENTS", Under the CRIMES ACT, re- 3 Scurrilous formed, Companion "JOB S". HIGH COURT, needed AGAIN, 'BARN'. U are, TOO expensive, to have Around.- I F "FALSE INSTRUMENTS", is the ANSWER, then, AUST will have, CORRUPT "N S W" LIB S 1,9 9 4 O n "SCAPE--GOAT" - KEVINJ, - here, to THANK. NO "DAFT as DAFFY DucK", gut-less Politician, - has had the DECENCY, to Raise the Need, to investigate, - as, I SAY, above.. Y, hv they Ignored the Opp, to raise It ?? Bec THEY ARE a MOB, Too busy, Feathering - THEIR OWN NEST S.. JOE, remember Use-Less him, - but a DIFFerent JOE, - " JOE PUBLIC ", - COUNTS, - for, NOUGHT.
KEVINJ
20th Feb 2018
12:09pm
YES, POSTER 4 "Travellers Joy", - SAYS, - FRAUD, RE- "BARN" JOYCE is now Up for, - IMMEDI PAR- LIA investigation &,- WORLD WIDE PUBLIC Discussion.. ""LET IT ALL OUT ""..
twiga
21st Feb 2018
8:58am
Ministerial standards state that no partner should be appointed to a position within a minister’s office. Why is Campion still in the position - about to take maternity leave at the new and mind boggling high salary - taxpayers again footing the bill for pollies machinations
the_Albert
21st Feb 2018
11:20am
I understand that Campion is no longer employed by the Nats or government as a staffer. The theory was that her two appointments after leaving Barnaby Joyce's office were not in breach of the ministerial guidelines because (a) when she went to Matt Canavan's office she was not yet the "partner" of a minister, and (b) when she moved to Damian Drum's office he was not (and is not) a minister. I don't think we've heard what the reasoning was about how she eventually qualified as a partner. Canavan assures us he didn't know of her relationship with Joyce when she joined his staff (yeah right ...).
AlbertC
21st Feb 2018
8:09pm
corect me if i am wrong but did he or did he not brag about dumping his wooman and kids so he could claim the rite to take hi new flirter int his relm of sex it seems to me he is a user of people and he does it to get on top wellbig head you are just like the people that you are allways puting so shut your face and take you r medicne like the good boy you make out to be/?so go back to milking cows and whilst we are at this point return all the money you got for nothing you did not earn it have a nice nite
OZtraveler
22nd Feb 2018
2:03am
The polis know that while there is no cohesion amongst the clear headed voters who would love to smashed them out of the system as to change the rules as to make the new generation of elected on merits be equals amongst us. They will think and act as if these rights are due to them . By tradition or voted in amongst themselves.... They are the real sangsues of the system ( global ). The arrogance of the present set of clowns acting in catimini regarding the rights of the banks to sucks your savings if they go under is prime example of their inability to respect the common man who has ( stupidly ) voted for these manipulators without conscience .....So, no lobby large enough will NEVER get rid of these vermines ....
catsahoy
23rd Feb 2018
9:14pm
poor old Barnaby has only done what many men and women have done before him, and will continue to do, his crime, really, is what he has done getting this woman jobs she shouldn't have had, what he has done to his wife and daughters is appaling, but it hppens every day, if he wsnt a politician no one would care, personaly, I think he is a dill, and she is no better, in fact worse, for going for a married man in the first place, but next week it will be someone elses turn, to be talked about, by the week after everyone will have forgotten abput it,
Finni
24th Feb 2018
10:41pm
what can i say that has not all ready be said, why brother they just change the laws to suit advance them selves
if they stop paying themselves their super till they were 65 it might give the rest of us poor people a hope,
we could also hope withe the next government might change the super changes back so that super is not assets tested, or maybe get get rid of all perks but there is no hope of that happening,We will just have to change the way we vote at ever election, but that won,t happen ever, so we get on getting the government we deserve


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