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Let’s re-open the investigation into Barnaby Joyce

By Tracey Clark

In July, we wanted to know how a secret National’s investigation cleared Barnaby Joyce of sexual harassment. Now he’s PM. What happened?

In July, the secret Nationals investigation that cleared Barnaby Joyce was under the spotlight, after the member who oversaw the initial investigation, Ross Cadell, was the subject of an apprehended domestic violence order application.

Cadell (who has since been preselected by the Nationals to take their top spot on their Senate ticket) told Guardian Australian that the application was withdrawn, that it was merely part of his separation and that we shouldn’t worry about it. He said: “I was subject to an application that was withdrawn. I am not going to relive any part of that. Separation is painful for everyone, it is over, nothing came from that, and that is all I can say.”

Pardon the editorialising, but no woman goes through the awful process of engaging the police as part of the normal process of separation. The subtext here is you don’t do something to risk violence from your partner, whether there’s a pattern or not.

Despite the anger and the headlines generated, the possibility of reinvestigating Barnaby Joyce slipped through our fingers once more. In case you missed it, Barnaby Joyce resigned as the Deputy Prime Minister due to a sexual harassment claim raised against him in 2018. Joyce was cleared and took the job back in 2021. But, here’s the kicker. For all intents and purposes, the matter should remain open, as only an internal (and secret) investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

In early September 2018, Barnaby Joyce told Fairfax that he was “not going to enter into any further discussions on this matter…I’ve been informed of the party’s findings and that’s it … I’m going to move on from this ASAP.”

As it stands, no external investigation has been actioned on the matter.

Catherine Marriott, 2012 WA Rural Woman of the Year and a Broome councillor, raised the complaint against Joyce in 2018, alleging that the incident took place after a function in Canberra two years earlier. In July, The Guardian spoke to a close friend of Marriott, who called the latest allegations a “travesty”, and “given the background that has come to light, I do not believe the Joyce investigation result is now credible.”

Marriott spoke with ABC’s 7:30 in 2018 after details of her complaint was leaked to the media. As Katharine Murphy of The Guardian noted at the time, “After Marriott lodged her complaint on 20 February, initially with the National party’s federal executive, it was leaked to the media a few days later.”

At the time, Joyce was in the midst of a separate scandal, involving Vikki Campion, leading some to believe that the Nationals leaked the complaint to the media.

In the interview, Marriott said: ” I walked up to my hotel room and I burst into tears. I then couldn’t sleep that whole night. I didn’t actually sleep for a week. I rang two of my closest friends and I told them what had happened, and they said they couldn’t believe (it)…they were just absolutely shocked, and they said, ‘You can’t tell anyone. You cannot tell anyone…you will be destroyed if this comes out,’ Marriott said.

“Initially, Ms Marriott chose not to report her experience to the police or the National Party, fearing the consequences of a public scandal.

“‘When it happened, he was the Ag Minister. He was a very popular Ag Minister at that time, and I didn’t…I was…I’m just a little human against a big system, and I was terrified,’ she said.”

Ultimately, the allegations were investigated internally by The National Party. After eight months, the matter was closed, with the party failing to return a verdict, citing a “lack of evidence”. The Nationals announced that the final report will not be released to the public.

In September 2018, Marriott released a statement, stating that she was “extremely disappointed that the National party reached a no-conclusion verdict… the result of this investigation has underpinned what is wrong with the process and the absolute dire need for change. This outcome simply isn’t good enough.

Her complaint was handled internally by NSW National Party executive with no professional external expert brought in at any stage to handle the matter

“While dismayed at the finding, I am not surprised as the party never had the external processes in place to deal with a complaint of sexual harassment by a member of Parliament. My complaint was handled internally by NSW National Party executive with no professional external expert brought in at any stage to handle the matter.” (The ABC, September 7, 2018)

In early September 2018, Barnaby Joyce told Fairfax that he was “not going to enter into any further discussions on this matter… I’ve been informed of the party’s findings and that’s it … I’m going to move on from this ASAP.”

As it stands, no external investigation has been actioned on the matter.


This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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  1. Yes Minister

    Personally I’d be ecstatic if the whole library was thrown at baaaaanaby. IMO, there are precious few other grubs more deserving of humiliation / discrediting / expulsion from parliament..

  2. Jack Cade

    Yes Minister You are too kind. Joyce is merely first among equals. King Rat.
    Speaking of rats, Morrison’s ‘chat’ with Macron apparently consisted of the happy clapper interrupting the French President when he was chatting – or consulting – with another person, with a cheery ‘G’day mate!’ and a presumably unwelcome arm around the shoulder.
    WE all know what the balding prick’s arm around the shoulder presages: and it seems Macron knows, too.

  3. Phil Pryor

    Joyce needs investigating thoroughly, and removed, eliminated, finished, for our sake and that of the nation. The P M, a Primitive Misfit, a Pustular Maggot, needs elimination from public life too, and a serious psycho assessment for terminal mastubatory self seducing mad maggoting maladies of the whole corrupt inner self, due to cancerous superstition and terminal termiting of the top cranial vacant block. Then, might a tribunal of decent legal sleuths get stuck into the apparent criminality and basic crookedness of this federal ministry. No?? The planet, the nation, the family, sense, decency, balance, all depend on it…

  4. GL

    “As it stands, no external investigation has been actioned on the matter.”

    Nothing will happen because Scummo would squash it as fast as he can because of his desperation to stay as leader and pm depends almost entirely on keeping The Beetroot Mafia happy and content.

  5. John OCallaghan

    Joyce should be horse whipped … preferably by a horse…

  6. New England Cocky

    @Yes Minister et al: You are far too charitable with this now Deputy Prim Monster. The sad thing is there are too many males in new England who covet replicating his misdeeds at public expense and too many women who have been socially beaten into thinking that his behaviour as an alcoholic adulterer is acceptable in a country society where ”jumping the blanket” is the favourite sport of the ruling grazier classes.

  7. David Stakes

    Morrison laying on of hands to Macron, pity the FSB did not take him out and teach him a lesson.

  8. Mark Shields

    All Files are ready to be over-written. No one lives outside a Life Supporting Capsule!

  9. Mark Shields

    When it comes to a Deputy Prime Minister, we really should expect to have someone with basic intellectual skills? Why is it that our deputy PM fails so badly in making coherent statements to the public? How did we allow the elements of such ignorance/hatred to become our democratic voice-piece?!

  10. Mark Shields

    On a final note, I think that any political protests are all going to be useless, thanks to Corporate monopoly. Until the people/Proletariat manage to wake up to their enemy; they will always be subjugated to corporate hegemony!

  11. Mark Shields

    Wake up and vote Independent: Because you all know that the Duopoly wiill never understand your personal complaint!

  12. Mark Shields

    FFS don’t trust anyone in the Duopoly! VOTE INDEPENDENT, for all your life is worth!

  13. Mark Shields

    Personaly, I have no right to believe that either party has anything to offer our civilisation? I firmly believe that neither of our political parties will ever manage the amount of suicides our community has experienced!

  14. Mark Shields

    Hunter Suicides deserve more attention than just State Government Interest.

  15. Michael Taylor

    No choice but to vote for the independent in my electorate, Mark.

    She (Helen Haines) just got over the line against the Liberal candidate, and she polled about 20,000 more first preference votes than the Labor candidate.

    The Labor vote went up by 2% and the Liberal vote by 7%.

    As much as I want to see Labor in power, a vote for Labor ends up being a vote for the Liberals.

  16. Mark Shields

    If there were ever the most uneducated Political Representatives: Barmy Joyce is surely the most ignorant of Commentators!

  17. Michael Taylor

    Apparently Barnaby Joyce is an accountant. But I can’t see him as someone who can count to 11.

  18. Mark Shields

    Barnaby Joyce is just another Rural Hate-speaker, looking for Neutral Land-Based occupancies!

  19. Mark Shields

    Barnaby Joyce with his illiterate, incoherent voice, has no voice except for the useless LNP bunch of useless Fucktards! Let’s face it, The useless Right Wing Bunch of LNP F-Tards will never make a positive vote!

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