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Barnaby’s bill

In the first six months of 2015, federal politicians claimed almost $48 million in expenses with Barnaby Joyce topping the list claiming $1,073,991.45.

Mr Joyce did not travel overseas during this period. His biggest expense was $670,897.24 for Office Fit Outs. He had already been a minister for 15 months by this stage but it appears he must have decided on a Rolls Royce upgrade in keeping with his future ambition. One could hardly entertain Gina any old where.

Over the 18 months from 1/1/14 to 30/6/15 Barnaby charged for varying numbers of flags on 32 separate occasions costing almost $25,000.

He also charges us for an amazing array of newspapers – The Australian, The Weekend Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Land, The Armidale Express, Glen Innes Examiner, The Guyra Argus, The Inverell Times, Manilla Express, Namoi Valley Independent, The Northern Daily Leader, Quirindi Advocate, Tenterfield Star and the Walcha News.

But Barnaby doesn’t just get his information from newspaper journalists. He also spent $25 on A Brief History of the Middle East, and $36 on Learning to be a Minister.

And this is the man who could be sitting in the PM’s chair, albeit as a stand in.

Gina Rinehart made a significant financial contribution to Barnaby’s campaign to win New England. He also admitted that he had funding for Armidale Hospital up his sleeve if necessary but when Tony Windsor pulled out of the race, they didn’t bother going ahead with that pork barrelling.

If Barnaby becomes leader of the National Party, it will be full steam ahead for Gina’s “special economic zone” in the North because we all know it is paying tax that is holding the billionaires back. She got rid of the carbon and the mining tax, and according to Kate Carnell, there is no question that we must reduce company tax. And now Gina wants special allowances on income tax as well.

Expect some grand plans about dams too now that Barnaby is in charge of water. (Who in their right mind would give a climate change denying goose who gets his information from the Murdoch press the responsibility for our water?)

Barnaby has rich and powerful friends. Have you ever noticed how rich and powerful people cultivate people they can easily fool?


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  1. Roswell

    My oh my. This man costs us too much.

  2. king1394

    I’m just wondering who is actually reading those newspapers?

  3. Kaye Lee


    My guess is someone is employed to cut out the pictures for Barnaby’s scrapbook

  4. Matters Not

    someone is employed to cut out the pictures for Barnaby’s scrapbook

    That happens. But they only want to keep the ‘good’ ones. Never the critical ones.
    And I speak from personal knowledge.

    Speaking of little recalled expenditure, can I draw your attention to ‘farmer’ Joyce and driving (almost) through flooded creeks.

    cars are a lot smarter these days than they used to be. Unfortunately, that can also mean there are new and exciting ways to write off your car, as Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce discovered when he drowned his taxpayer-funded Toyota Land Cruiser.

    Just before Christmas, the Senator was driving his car through a swollen Burren Creek in Northern NSW, and while the road was not closed and a road sign indicated to “Drive slowly”, Joyce almost made it through before the car died. After being towed out by a local farmer, the car wouldn’t start again, as the car’s electronic components had been flooded through. So much so that the insurance company thought it better to write off the vehicle rather than fix it.

    An $80,000 car brought to its knees by drowning. Ouch.

    Oh what a feeling!

    Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce Drowns His Car’s Computer

  5. June M Bullivant OAM

    Hello, we are supposed to be broke, that is why they are cutting services for the sick and the poor, how come they can afford these high amounts of money for unnecessary entitlements to pollies, no wonder they have no idea how to manage the economy.

  6. Terry2

    He’s only been in politics for ten years so quite a turn around for a not very successful regional accountant. I really don’t understand how you can spend $670,000 on office fit outs.

    It’s not just his spending that we need to watch with this man, he’s another far-right religious nutcase who said on the subject of abortion :

    “[Joyce] told a Right to Life conference in July [2005] 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”.

    He is also passionately opposed to marriage equality which makes the proposed referendum an interesting prospect as he will not, on past performance, be impartial or balanced. Remember his comments on Asia :

    “Asia would view Australia as “decadent” if the country were to embrace same-sex marriage, government minister Barnaby Joyce says.”

    If this man becomes Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister it will lead to chaos as Turnbull will never be able to work with this bigoted looney.

    Tony Windsor, please come back your country needs you.

  7. Peter F

    I do like the idea of Barnaby sitting in the PM’s chair while standing – could he try putting his nose to the grindstone at the same time? – after all, we do know he’s an ‘entertaining’ clown.

  8. John Lord

    Coincidently I will be adding to your comment in Day to Day tomorrow Kaye. I think though that in all fairness Capital works / improvements decisions are not made by politicians but a government department.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Former deputy prime ministers Mark Vaile, John Anderson and Tim Fischer have all backed the Agriculture Minister’s credentials to be Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s second-in-command.

    Mr Anderson, leader from 1999 to 2005 and Mr Joyce’s campaign director when he switched from the Senate to the House of Representatives, said the member for New England has “got a lot to contribute”.

    “I know from personal experience that three years is a slightly limited apprenticeship but he’s intelligent and he’s determined,” Mr Anderson told Fairfax Media.

    “And his voice is going to be needed for rural and regional Australia in a city-centric cabinet.”

    Mr Fischer, who led the party from 1990 to 1999, said two factors were in Mr Joyce’s favour.

    “Firstly, if you have successfully won tough elections to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, that is excellent experience for being a good leader and has helped him be a good deputy leader,” he said.

    “Secondly, he won many points on the matter of Johnny Depp’s dogs … that was the correct call.”

    Mr Vaile said Mr Joyce was a conviction and retail politician who would bring a constructive economic perspective to the executive team.

    “My view is that Barnaby’s best attribute is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. There is never any ambiguity about what he thinks.”


    Righto then. His campaign manager gives the unbiased view that Barnaby would be a good leader despite his “limited apprenticeship” because he is “determined”. Another backer thinks threatening to kill Depp’s dogs shows he is ready to lead. And the third suggests Barnaby would be good because he won’t be swayed on issues and he can’t filter his language. If that’s what it takes then we may as well have Ray Hadley and Andrew Bolt running the country.

  10. Kaye Lee

    John Lord,

    If you are referring to the hospital, Tony Windsor was the one who exposed the story in his book. Barnaby straight out told him that Tony Abbott had said he could announce funding for Armidale hospital during the election campaign. Joyce told Windsor that him pulling out of the race meant he didn’t have to announce that promise.

  11. passum2013

    bought and prayed for by G Hancock

  12. Kaye Lee

    Mr Windsor begins his literary journey by expressing his deep disgust at a discussion he held with his New England replacement and National Party deputy-leader Barnaby Joyce in his Tamworth electoral office, shortly after the 2013 election.

    In that exchange, Mr Joyce reveals how millions of dollars in funding, earmarked for vital projects in the New England electorate, including the Armidale Hospital, was cancelled by Mr Abbott’s office after Mr Windsor decided to not contest his seat again at the 2013 election.

    “I was outraged,” Mr Windsor writes.

    “I sat there thinking this bloke is an idiot to tell me this.

    “This is a classic example of why the Nats are a waste of space.

    “When will country people wake up to these political frauds?”


  13. Adrianne Haddow

    Surely there is some legal avenue to prevent the spending and double dipping into the public purse by these already cashed up politicians. It smacks of exploitation and abuse of office.

    I am appalled at the profligate waste of public money by these cretins in their office refits, their library purchases, their subsidising the little missus’ property investments and their holidays disguised as meetings. Not to mention trips to ‘iron man ‘ ( what a laugh) events and book launches.

    On the subject of Joyce’s newspaper purchases, as he works for their owners, shouldn’t he get his source material for free?

    I am more appalled that the general public isn’t appalled and vocal about these robber barons.

    Did we pay for the Pyne family trip to this year’s fireworks in Sydney again?

  14. kyehos

    None of the ministers have much say over the expense of refurbishing their office – it’s all done by the administrative section of government so it’s a furphy to keep rolling this out with every person whose office refurbishments are expensive. Let’s stick to the facts shall we – they are enough in themselves.

  15. Kaye Lee


    I am not sure that that is true. There is documentation from December 2013, for example, from Michael Ronaldson, Special Minister of State, approving office fit outs with certain limits. It doesn’t refer to Minister’s offices in this particular document but it appears that it is in fact controlled by and approved by a minister.


  16. Kaye Lee


    On further reading I think you are right kyehos. The Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Managers arrange it but someone must sign off on it. Apparently “Ministerial and Parliamentary Services offers advice and guidance on standards of furniture and fittings, office layout and location for electorate offices with the intention of providing the highest practicable degree of work health and safety based on current knowledge.”


    It seems a lot of money. I have had to do fitouts several times for my business which is far more complicated than his would be and it has never cost me anything like that even when I have been starting from scratch.

  17. RosemaryJ36

    kyehos – I believe that Barnaby had TWO offices – hence the excessive cost.

  18. Matters Not

    Barnaby had TWO offices – hence the excessive cost

    Not quite. He has an electorate office located at Shop 5, 259 Peel Street Tamworth. This office was ‘inherited’ from Tony Windsor. No money spent there.

    He also set up an electorate office at 255 Rouse Street Tenterfield which cost (approximately) half the monies spent.

    He then set up a Ministerial Office in Armidale on which the other half (approximately) was spent.

    He also has a Canberra parliamentary office.

    While some people collect ‘stamps’, and the like, Barnaby collects ‘offices’.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Joyce was given a ministerial office in Sydney. He chose to set up another one in Armidale. He also did up an electoral office in Tenterfield, and apparently has one or two more offices in his electorate. He would also have an office at parliament house. Is this really necessary?

  20. Neil of Sydney

    I think you people are just playing politics. You do not care about right or wrong. You only care about throwing mud.

  21. Buff McMenis

    I need about $2,000 to re-do my Housing Commission unit kitchen so I can use the stove again as my disease has made me much weaker over the past 10 years or so .. but the Housing Commission has NO money to up-date the kitchen I so desperately need and NO money to take care of the old man and more like him .. Perth has some of the highest numbers per capita of homeless people in Australia! All for things like an all-sports Stadium James Packer decided he wanted next to his Casino and Elizabeth Quay which has become what I hope will be an over-priced, under-utilised memorial for a very bad and greedy Premier .. his office renovation cost us $25.5 MILLION for him and himself alone .. oh, and a few staff to make the teas, of course! I loathe greedy people!

  22. Buff McMenis

    Darn it!! This bit should have preceded the comment above .. so I ask forgiveness for typing so fast I forgot … I lose my temper too easily with people like Joyce and Company!

    You know what makes me saddest about this waste of space and oxygen? Some time ago a Pensioner, living in a bed-sitter especially for old and needy people in Perth, died! “So what?”, you say. Well, the fact that the poor old fellow wasn’t found for two weeks or more .. nobody noticed, nobody cared, nobody even knew his name .. and the facilities were just down the street for the $multi-million Offices of the Minister for Housing at the time!!! This creep wastes so much of taxpayers money whilst still being financed by ultra-rich self-interested billionaires and this old man died unknown!

  23. diannaart

    Things I learned from article, that I did not know before – yet feel strangely unenlightened – no fault of Kaye Lee.

    (Deputy) Leader of the National Party and Minister for Agriculture and Ultimate Responsibility for Water, Barnaby Joyce (no relation to James) demonstrated just one of the many uses for H2o by drowning his $80,000 4WD.

    Our future deputy dawg… I mean PM.

    Maybe I should start drinking again.

    @Buff McMenis

    I had written the above mentioned earlier, but have been having arguments with my browser…. hence not managing to post until now.

    I am sorry to hear of your treatment by MofH – I used to work in Housing in Victoria, consequently I have absolutely zero clout anywhere.

    The only advice I can give is to keep pestering them – from the local office (if there is one) to the Minister’s Office – no need to get angry, but you can get what you want with constant communication written as clearly as you, no doubt, can.

    Get letters from your GP, social worker, any other person of relevance – keep the letters coming (and keep copies).


  24. Neil of Sydney

    Too funny

    The proclaimers of free speech do not allow me to speak.

  25. flohri1754

    I have heard more than a bit about how the Department of Finance State Offices have an increasingly difficult time keeping pollies within whatever spending entitlements limits exist. One of their more difficult duties …….

  26. Matters Not

    Some historical reflections. Once upon a time, there was a talkback radio program called Australia Talks Back, hosted by Sandy McCutcheon. For me, it was a ‘must’. Intellectually stimulating and all that. I participated on a regular basis.

    Out of nowhere (as it were) came comments from a self described ‘Barnaby from St George’. No mention of his political affiliation initially and his comments were of the marsh mellow variety anyway. When endorsed as a Senator (circa 2005 and his political alliance exposed) he was adamant he would only serve one term. As I (clearly) recall, Barnaby assured ‘listeners’ that he wasn’t a ‘professional’ politician and ‘one term’ would be enough to achieve all his goals.

    His apparent ‘lack of ambition’ nevertheless sees him move from a Queensland Senator to a House of Representative Member from New South Wales and now a probable Leader of the National Party and thence Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Prime Minister at various times..

    By the way, if you ever go to a National Party ‘gathering’ where children are involved and music is being played you will witness that Barnaby is a great ‘Line Dancer’. Very popular with the younger folk. As most clowns are.

    Nothing more to add.

  27. Paul Murchie

    did i miss it, or did we have referenda on the status of the Northern Territory or on the Development of The North ?

    from the IPA’s 75 WAYS “LNP POLICY DICTATE” MARCH 2013

    27) Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board
    41) Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including
    (a) Lower personal income tax for residents
    (b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers, and
    (c) encourage the construction of dams
    42) Repeal the mining tax
    43) Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
    44) Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold
    45) Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent
    57) Allow the Northern Territory to become a state


    Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, Chapter One, 44
    Any person who:
    (i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or
    entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; or
    (ii) is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence
    punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer; or
    (iii) is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent; or
    (iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of
    any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or
    (v) has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth
    otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting
    of more than twenty-five persons

    i suppose if you just invent another Front … eg., Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (the $5 Billion IPA-LNP-WTF Tax-Payer Funded Loan Office for the Mates) and get the same “government” under two administrations to push ahead with the destructions as though they were the most natural things in the world …

  28. Mallee

    That is ridiculous. Ned Kelly would hang his head in shame. Get rid of the now, they are a blot on the Australian landscape.

  29. Pazzo Redento

    Barnyard Joys is typical of the “calibre” of politician plaguing the nation. Professional spivs, scivers and nutters. Even that grandiose ratbag Pigiron Bob would disown the current crop of LIEbrals… He wouldn’t give the so-called Nationals the merit of a blister on the LIEbral arse

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