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Good luck, Tony

The decision by Tony Windsor to challenge Barnaby Joyce for his old seat of New England has certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest with the Federal director of the Nationals, Scott Mitchell, immediately tweeting:

“While a rambling, relevance deprived @TonyWindsor is grandstanding in CBR, @Barnaby_Joyce is working hard in the electorate of NE.”

Far from Mr Windsor being “relevance-deprived”, it is the National Party which has become irrelevant.

If the Minister for Agriculture and Water, who also happens to be the Deputy Prime Minister, can do nothing to prevent the approval of the Shenhua coal mine on the best agricultural land in the country, the Liverpool Plain, which also happens to be in his electorate, then what use is he?

Mr Windsor rightly described Barnaby Joyce as part of an anachronistic group of conservatives putting the handbrake on the Prime Minister’s reform agenda. I doubt anyone could deny that.

In May last year, in an interview with Andrew Bolt, Barnaby Joyce said:

“Look….I just – I’m always sceptical of the idea that the way that anybody’s going to change the climate – and I’m driving in this morning and we’re driving through a frost – is with bureaucrats and taxes. All that does is….it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I make you feel guilty so I can get your money and put it in my pocket and send reports backwards and forth to one another.”

This attitude is completely at odds with the National Farmers Federation who, last year, circulated an open letter calling on the Liberal Party to kill off an internal push to derail Australia making meaningful commitments to tackling climate change.

The letter, which describes farmers as being “on the front line of rising temperatures and more extreme weather”, urged the Liberals to resoundingly defeat a climate sceptic motion put forward by WA Liberals Dennis Jensen and Chris Back.

NSW farmer of the year Derek Blomfield, a signatory to the letter, said “As a farmer, I find it really disappointing that this is coming from farmers, especially those in WA who are in line for the worst effects of climate change. I can’t make sense of their actions. I’m not a scientist but I’m pretty sure Brian Mayfield [chairman of the Liberal Party committee pushing the motion] isn’t a scientist either. How many times do we have to go back to the science? Is it until they get the result they want?”

The open letter called for Australia to adopt post-2020 targets that will cut carbon emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2025, and at least 60 per cent by 2030 over 2000 pollution levels, in line with recommendations of the scientific community.

Not only did the commitment made by Turnbull and Hunt at the Paris talks fall far short of that, the NSW Liberal Party’s state council just passed a motion which calls on the government to “arrange and hold public debates/discussions” between scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and “independent climate scientists”.

The motion says the events should cover “the global warming/climate change debate”; “the claims by the IPCC”; and the statement “is all the science settled”.

Not only that, we saw Barnaby Joyce release his Agricultural white paper with virtually no mention of climate change.

The campaign against Mr Windsor kicked off with a vengeance, with angry Coalition voters invading his Facebook page, berating him for having supported Gillard in forming a minority government. They seem to forget that his other choice was to back Abbott who we all know thinks climate change is crap and whose own party dumped less than two years into his stint as a first term PM. As his own Chief of Staff said, he was not up to the job.

When interviewed yesterday, Barnaby Joyce said he hoped the campaign would be respectful, while slipping in several times references to the fact that Mr Windsor profited from selling part of his family farm to a coal mining company to extend an existing mine.

As I wrote about last October, Barnaby is on dangerous territory there due to his purchase of two properties in the Pilliga which are likely to contain significant CSG reserves and which also are very close to the inland rail being pushed by the Nationals. He himself has declared them as a possible conflict of interest on the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

Mr Windsor will fight an uphill battle as Mr Joyce’s campaign will no doubt be funded again by his dear friend Gina Rinehart. We can also expect the Murdoch rags to go into overdrive.

We can only hope that sanity prevails, and Australia can once again benefit from the wisdom and integrity that Mr Windsor, who is beholden to no party, brings to political debate.

Good luck, Tony.


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  1. hilderombout

    Good luck to Tony Windsor indeed. I have just donated to his fundraising campaign even though i am only a pensioner and do not live in his electorate. I am that impressed by his integrity and sincerity and his obvious concern for his community and his electorate.

  2. Keith

    Hopefully Tony Windsor will be elected, he has a characteristic not many politicians possess and that is honesty.

  3. gangey1959

    Why is it not mandatory for Federal Parliamentary Election candidates to undergo an IQ test as part of their candidacy screening?
    I’m fairly certain that Tony would pass.
    I am equally certain that old uncle barnacle doesn’t have one.
    Good luck TW.
    PS Equal good luck to whoever might be standing against prissy pyne in SA. Stuff me he is a waste of oxygen.

  4. Salstarat

    I really wish Tony Windsor started his OWN Federal Party … He would have my vote. So many people disappointed with the betrayal and total dysfunction of the two major parties ESPECIALLY the terminally corrupt, medieval regressive morons in the LNP! Tony’s passion, credibility, honesty and genuine care for this country and it’s environment is impressive and rare in this age of self serving, crass politicians who care for nothing but their own self entitlement.

  5. RosemaryJ36

    I am with Salstarat – and very best wishes for success to Tony Windsor!

  6. mars08

    Wishing the best of luck to Tony…. Abbott. Hope your screechy, sleazy supporters never back down.

  7. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    “We can also expect the Murdoch rags to go into overdrive.”

    the Murdoch cronies are already weighing in, with petty shit

    That Chris Kenny the Associate Editor/columnist @Australian;
    showing how media is unbiased {not]


    Chris Kenny ‏@chriskkenny 17h17 hours ago

    Love it – too cowardly to run last time, too egotistical to resist a symbolic tilt now. Coal baron against coal.

    @chriskkenny Old mate @TonyHWindsor Announced running for New England in Canberra Not Tamworth.. Nuff said

  8. Kaye Lee


    This is what Chris Kenny’s own son wrote about him….

    Kenny is a staunchly neo-conservative, anti-progress, anti-worker defender of the status quo. He is an unrelenting apologist for the Liberal Party. He was one of Alexander Downer’s senior advisers at the time of the Iraq War. He’s been known to argue for stubborn, sightless inaction on climate change. He spits at anyone concerned with such trivialities as gender equality, environmental issues or labour rights from his Twitter account on a daily basis. Recently, he characterised criticism of the lack of women in Tony Abbott’s Cabinet as a continuation of the Left’s “gender wars”. He is a regular and fervent participant in The Australian’s numerous ongoing bully campaigns against those who question its editorial practices and ideological biases. The profoundly irresponsible, dishonest, hate-filled anti-multiculturalist Andrew Bolt has recently referred to Kenny on his blog as “a friend”.

    In Defence Of The Chaser’s False Depiction Of My Dad Having Sex With Dog

  9. jim

    Hey another great post, Tony Windsor has my vote. This shambles of a LNP has made further cuts to our CSIRO as they still stand by their ” Global Warming is CRAP” their wisdom is surely is in need of a suppository or two,; After last year’s proposed budget redacted $111 million in funding from Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, scientific research in Australia is set to take another funding blow to the tune of $150 million. Vote LNP LAST if we are to save our country from more of this wrecking.

  10. Kaye Lee

    That would be the same Chris Kenny who was the only journalist allowed to go to Nauru…

    “The Somali refugee and alleged rape victim known as Abyan reported feeling “harassed” and “scared” after Chris Kenny, an associate editor at the Australian, and a photographer approached her accommodation on Nauru, immigration officials said in correspondence obtained by Guardian Australia.”

  11. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee
    “This is what Chris Kenny’s own son wrote about him….”

    Pretty accurate but I can understand how a son went a bit easy on his dad 😀

  12. Michael Taylor

    I wonder if Joyce will move again. He likes hopping to safe seats.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I would imagine the Nationals would be secretly praying for Windsor’s success. The “anybody but Barnaby” push was significant and included Warren Truss. It would give them a chance to elect a leader that had some credibility. I can’t wait to see Barnaby vs Windsor on Q&A. I hope they are able to organise that. It would be a cracker.

  14. Friday

    Keith: Tony Windsor is not only honest he’s very savvy and he has integrity; that’s why The Conservatives hate him. The 2GB boys hate him as well .

  15. Kate M

    Couldn’t agree more. I think my respect for Tony Windsor grew in 2010 – when faced with a decision as to which party to back, he acted as a true independent and a true representative of his electorate by assessing which option would be actually be best for his electorate. He chose Gillard over Abbott despite his National party roots and even though he had to have known that this would not be popular in his largely conservative electorate. But instead of being partisan – he picked the option which was best for his people. We’d all be a lot better off if we had representatives who actually representes US instead of the political parties that put them into power.

  16. cuppa

    Courage, honour, ethics – he has all the qualities his right wing opponents could never comprehend.

  17. jel31886

    “Tony Windsor”, a name synonymous with integrity, honesty and commonsense…….
    “Barnaby Joyce” a name that reminds me of red faced rants, Kissing Gina and threatening dogs.

  18. Lee

    “If the Minister for Agriculture and Water, who also happens to be the Deputy Prime Minister, can do nothing to prevent the approval of the Shenhua coal mine on the best agricultural land in the country, the Liverpool Plain, which also happens to be in his electorate, then what use is he?”

    None at all. Nor does he do anything about animal abuse, both in domestic abattoirs and farms, or those poor creatures subjected to live export and torture en route and at their final destination. (No I’m not a vegan. I just think these animals should be treated humanely and with respect. There’s no excuse for kicking, stabbing, beating and forcing them to live in tiny cages so they can’t move). Joyce is about as much use as a haemorrhoid. I hope Tony Windsor kicks his useless, stupid arse.

  19. Wally

    Would love to see the back of Barnacle Joyce he has been hanging around the corridors of parliament bludging off the tax payers for too long.

  20. John O'Neill

    Sensational stuff Kay Lee, keep up the pressure on the LNP Luddites, and they are legion.

  21. margcal

    Shared on FB, with the support link added as a comment …. thanks hilderombout, I’ll donate from my pension too.
    The result here will be a litmus test for the future of Australia.

  22. diannaart

    Watching Joyce lose his seat – wonderful, losing it to Tony Windsor – perfection!

  23. Kaye Lee

    Off topic but I just heard Malcolm Turnbull say that housing is cheaper in Brisbane because DAs don’t take as long to approve. Sigh….I so hate being treated like an idiot.

  24. Matters Not

    Watching Joyce lose his seat – wonderful, losing it to Tony Windsor – perfection!

    I think that Joyce must be favoured to win. If Windsor nominated for the Senate he would be a certainty but while he has great respect across the broad electorate that doesn’t translate easily to the local area. Having supported Gillard is a significant mark against him.

    Barnaby is the Deputy Prime Minister who is decentralising the public servants in his portfolio to rural areas. He has an electoral office in each of the main towns. He knows how to ‘pork barrel’ in the best of the National’s tradition.

    He will do whatever it takes. And besides he can ‘line-dance’.

    I hope Windsor gets up but I think that Joyce will fall across the line.

  25. Kaye Lee

    I respect your opinion MN but I cannot agree. Windsor has a real presence in his electorate unlike Joyce who was parachuted in and has done nothing since he got there. Great big fake cheques for $14,000 don’t make up for a life time of real involvement.

  26. Kaye Lee

    For those who need reminding of the achievements of Mr Windsor for his electorate, and for Australia, read the impressive list in the following link. I tried to find what Barnaby has achieved and came up with nothing.

  27. Matters Not

    KL, I hope you’re right. Windsor needs something in the order of 38% of the primary vote and then get the preferences from Labor and the Greens to get him over the line. A big ask.

    Maybe Windsor can get a few ‘stunts’ underway to ‘wedge’ Joyce re mining on the Liverpool Plains, university fees, NBN, climate change, fracking and the like. But Joyce can access the Rinehart wealth

    Certainly it’s a contest that will be watched.

  28. Kaye Lee

    Yesterday Barnaby Joyce published the following media release:

    “The Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said more than 5,700 children will benefit from the Turnbull Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.

    Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said that the National Partnership funding was just one aspect of the Turnbull Government’s commitment to early childhood education.”

    Gee that’s strange. The signature on the Universal Access to Early Childhood Education agreement is….Julia Gillard

  29. Kaye Lee

    Oh lawdy, it just gets worse and worse. Barnaby’s latest facebook post is claiming credit for the Trade Skills Centre at Barraba Central School – another Labor initiative.

    Edit: For some reason the link to the Trades Training Centres in Schools doesn’t work. google it.

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Go, Tony Windsor. A man of principle.

    If Bananaby is lying prodigiously on Facebook, he should be reported to Facebook and then the AFP.

    The AFP might scratch their bums for a while but if Bananaby knows we’re on to him, he might shut up with his rattatattat but veiled diatribe.

  31. Möbius Ecko

    Turnbull is now spruiking 30 minutes-city 2 years after Albanese announced it as Labor policy.

  32. Kaye Lee

    Not to mention the infrastructure they are trying to claim credit for. This is getting truly ridiculous. They are searching for some form of positive achievement record and are all claiming things that were instigated by the previous government.

  33. Wally

    Princess Highway in SW Vic is a classic, Tony Abbott had a close call with a truck (still shitty the truck driver missed) and afterwards Abbott still refused to back duplication of the highway.

    Now the first section of the highway Geelong to Winchelsea that was initiated by the Rudd government has been completed the local member Sarah Henderson has sent out a flyer claiming it was delivered by the LNP. In the article referred to below she doesn’t let the facts get in the way of promoting herself.

    “Motorists will be pleased that we are planning to add two lanes along the 35-kilometre stretch from Deans Marsh Road in Winchelsea through to Colac,” she said.

    The section she refers to was committed to by the Federal Labor government shortly after reconstruction began on the Geelong to Winchelsea section.

    This woman is so much about herself, last polling day (federal) she stood in the middle of a narrow path in high heels smiling at everyone who had no choice but to walk in the mud beside the path to get past her.

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    In those circumstances, if Sarah Henderson or any other elitist like her, makes you walk around her/him, just say excuse me while eyeballing them and I bet they’ll make room for you to pass. Especially if they want your vote!

  35. Lee

    “This woman is so much about herself, last polling day (federal) she stood in the middle of a narrow path in high heels smiling at everyone who had no choice but to walk in the mud beside the path to get past her.”

    “Accidentally” lose your footing, bump into her and knock her into the mud.

  36. Which Also Happens

    Just FYI, the AEC’s North-Shore alumni, recently and purely coincidentally, have redistributed the footprints of all of Shenhua’s Watermark and the best part of BHP’s Caroona out of the New England and into Australia’s, and the Nat’s, safest electorate, Parkes.

  37. Wally

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Great suggestion but I was shocked by her stupidity, it was as I was leaving the poll booth so I guess she saw me shrug off the goons handing out her how to vote sheet on the way in.


    I love your idea but being old school I couldn’t intentionally push a female that would drop me down to her level and I would regret it for a long time. She is lucky my wife wasn’t with me she would have given her a mouthful and pushed her out of the way without any hesitation.

  38. Möbius Ecko

    Kaye Lee at 10:08 pm. It’s worse than just claiming kudos for something that wasn’t of their own doing. In many cases they are claiming kudos for successful projects that they were openly against and heavily criticised when in opposition.

  39. Matters Not

    First poll is looking okay.

    Exclusive ReachTEL polling of elector sentiment obtained by Fairfax Media – the first such voter-feedback in the crucial electorate – shows primary support for Mr Joyce stands at an apparently healthy 43.1 per cent, compared to Mr Windsor, who trails on 38.

    But with the likelihood of strong preference flows from anti-Coalition Labor voters, who constitute 7.1 per cent, and equally hostile Greens voters who account for another 3.4 per cent, there is a reasonable chance Mr Windsor would finish ahead, were a contest held now.

  40. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    Although this is going to turn into a 2 horse race, it could be more so with the Greens candidat pulling out “Greens state upper-house MP Jeremy Buckingham was also considering joining the race for New England, however he announced on Thursday that he would not be contesting.”
    I’m of the feeling they will run an opportunity candidate as they never miss an opportunity .
    There are also whispers from some in Labor that they might not run a candidate at all this time, but at this stage it is only a rumour

  41. Wally


    Is Labor not running a candidate a wise move? Running for the seat and directing preferences to Windsor could be a better option, of course I am assuming Labor want to be rid of Barnaby.

  42. cornlegend

    maybe they want Windsor to have a clear run .
    It isn’t unusual for Labor not to run in unwinnable seats, so as to save their limited resources where they have a chance.
    They didn’t run in Joe Hockeys seat .
    Still, it is only a rumour from a couple inside Labor , so guess we will have to see how things play out

  43. Wally


    I understand why they don’t waste resources on seats they cannot win and candidates don’t jump at running for parliament in a seat without a hope in hell of winning. I was wondering if running a candidate and allocating preferences to Windsor would increase his chances of winning. If Labor could get 5-6% of first preferences and allocated preferences to Windsor it would make a difference but is this likely to happen in this seat?

  44. cuppa

    I made the mistake last night of watching Their ABC’s so-called “news” channel. They did a story on the Windsor-Joyce contest and it was brazenly unbalanced. They spoke to Joyce, they spoke to his supporters. As for Tony Windsor, there was about two seconds footage of him striding along, making it appear (to my eye), that he was walking away. Walking away? They wish! Good luck, Tony.

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