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Who is lying? Where we’re at in the Joyce affair.

Today, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce issued a statement in which he declared that he was not in an intimate relationship with staffer Vikki Campion while she worked in his office, and that their intimacy began after she was moved to a job invented for her in Senator Matt Canavan’s office, with a salary of some $190,000 a year.

Joyce stated:

I did not discuss these matters with the Prime Minister or his office as Vikki was not my partner, so they were dealt with in the usual course of staff deployments within the party.

The Ministerial Code of Conduct Section 2.23 states:

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. A close relative or partner of a Minister is not to be appointed to any position in an agency in the Minister’s own portfolio if the appointment is subject to the agreement of the Minister or Cabinet.

Joyce’s denial of his relationship with Campion is his attempt to circumvent the ministerial regulations, and to protect Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Canavan from serious allegations of breaching the guidelines.


In this piece titled “How Vikki Campion came to work for Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce,” Malcolm Farr gives background to the affair:

Inside the Joyce office there were other clues and they were quickly picked up by the minister’s highly respected chief of staff Di Hallam.

Ms Hallam took two important steps: She sent Mr Joyce to the office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reveal the romance and Ms Campion was moved to the office of then Resources Minister Matt Canavan in late 2016.

“Clearly they thought her presence would be a problem, so she (Ms Hallam) made a decision,” said a source familiar with the situation.

In 2016, the affair was far more than a “rumour.” It was considered so serious that the Prime Minister was advised, and Ms Campion was moved to Canavan’s office to get her out of the way.

As Farr acknowledges: … the romance, by its very existence, became part of the delivery of public policy and taxpayer-funded staffing.

Joyce’s claim that the affair did not start until after Campion was moved to Canavan’s office contradicts Farr’s account, and the account of the source who identified Di Hallam as a key player in the removal of Campion from Joyce’s office. Ms Hallam is also alleged to have instructed Joyce to inform Turnbull of the situation.

Clearly, this is not a matter of someone getting the story wrong. Someone is lying. The liar is either Barnaby Joyce, Malcolm Farr, Malcolm Turnbull, or Farr’s source.

It is absolutely unacceptable that we should be left in a situation in which we have no idea whether or not the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister Canavan breached ministerial guidelines, and furthermore, are lying to parliament and to the country.

It is absolutely unacceptable that the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister imply that senior journalist Farr, and highly respected public servant Di Hallam, are lying, without providing evidence that this is so.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.


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  1. Wun Farlung

    If their lips are moving , you can be sure they are lying

  2. Christopher

    yes Jennifer, being able to lie is a core requirement for the job. Faking sincerity and you’ve got it made, someone once said. Why would Campion be moved if the relationship had not already progressed to the bedroom?

    The core issue is what part of don’t have relationships with your staff don’t these people understand. It was a line I couldn’t cross when I worked in Canberra, or anywhere else for that matter. It is, ultimately, an abuse of power

  3. Hugh Dickson

    Congratulations, Peter! You’re winning. [The who do you think was the worst politician last year poll]

  4. James

    Your a filthy, lying, grubby, scumbag Barnaby and you work in the service of filthy, lying, grubby, scumbags, I can’t wait to see the back of every one of the LNP, I’m not saying Labor will be any better, they are politicians after all so their just the next contender for filthy, lying, grubby, scumbag award.

  5. pierre wilkinson

    pedantics semantics there are no word tricks to get you out of this one Baaarnaby
    and Malcolm is close to the edge here too… interesting times
    but what if Baaarnaby was in the Labor Party? just imagine the confected outrage then

  6. Andy P

    For mine, it depresses me to see that society has become so accustomed to the constant lies of our parliamentarians that they no longer enrage the general population to raise up, march, protest and demand accountability by these lying self-serving bastards. I would love to see someone with the capability and will to encourage people to protest en mass and engage in civil disobedience to show them that their time is up; and this behaviour will no longer be tolerated. Time for a people’s revolution. Although guillotining may be a going a bit too far, the French people had the right idea.

  7. Harley Drew

    Someone needs to leave town for good, man up Barnaby, while your party still retains a little credibility, the others should be about to fall on their swords

  8. Glenn Barry

    Look, look, look, she wasn’t my partner right, Yes OK I was sticking my dick in her, but I wasn’t calling her honey, so I suppose you could call her my sheath.

  9. @RosemaryJ36

    Andy P – you are pinching my lines!


    PLEASE EXPLAIN. In his article Farr says this: “Vikki Campion had been sent from the office of former NSW Nationals Deputy Premier Troy Grant to work in the Deputy Prime Minister’s New England campaign as a media adviser and had become well known to locals.”

    Does this mean that state nsw funds were spent by nsw state nationals on a federal election campaign?

  11. Shogan

    To me the big questions are,”Who lost their job to make way for her in Canavan’s office when she was relocated from Barnaby’s office & then who lost their job in Drum’s office when she was relocated from Canavan’s office?”

  12. Shogan

    Of course we already know the answers, there were no positions available & no one lost their job & these were just rorts to help pay for the affair & keep people in a manner to which they are accustomed!!

  13. Terry2

    So, you have a code of conduct and then when it’s breached everybody – in particular the media advisers – tell as many lies as they think they will be able to get away with and then the media advisers step back in and say ‘we’ve moved on.’

    Yesterday we saw Nigel Scullion chastising a journalist for daring to ask questions and expose the truth.

    Why do they need so many media advisers whose job seems to be manipulating and practicing the dark arts of public deception ?

    Boy, we really need a strong fourth estate to stand up to these crooks.

  14. Ricardo29

    Re Hugh Dickson’s congratulations to “Peter” on being worst politician. I couldn’t choose and there was no option for multiple choice. I like Dutton for this gig but wanted to give Michaelia a guernsey and even before the latest revelations Bananaby had to be in contention. Then of course Dear Leader has distinguished himself in so many ways, perhaps even outflanking the Rabbott. Ah, so many excellent choices.

    But regarding the topic of the article: yes to all of the comments.

  15. diannaart

    Should be no surprise Turnbull lied about his knowledge of Joyce’s private life. Turnbull removed any residual doubt when he blamed renewables for the blackout in SA during an unprecedented storm.

    Yes, I no there is an infinity of back-flips from the time Turnbull took office, but the SA/renewables comments were so effing blatant… where was the cross-examination by media?

    Yes, all politicians lie – that does not have to result in lame acceptance.

  16. Bill

    “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

  17. Kronomex

    “The gerbil and I were just good friends.”

  18. Leanne

    what an embarrassment to the National Party and also to Australia in general to have a hypocritical, immoral, sleazy leader that doubles as deputy prime minister. Barnaby Joyce is definitely NOT someone that a person would look up to and respect. ‘Not my partner?’….but she was your sexual partner, but not a ‘declared’ partner as your loving supportive WIFE was your declared partner. Yes, i would like to know how his then mistress was given plum, senior public service roles supported by our tax payer money. Definitely wont be voting Nationals ever again, as long as Barnaby is part of them.

  19. Frank Smith

    “Someone is lying. The liar is either Barnaby Joyce, Malcolm Farr, Malcolm Turnbull, or Farr’s source.”

    Of course someone is lying. Following the massaging and obfuscation of communications from politicians by these spin-doctoring “Media Advisers” who can believe anything they say or “release”? Regrettaby for all of us it is a very small step from such spin and bullshit to the bare-faced lying our elected representatives engage in. From what I have read, it seems to me that Di Hallam played a very honorable role in the “Barnaby Affair” and appears to be the person most likely to know the true facts. I am surprised that I have not seen any reports on attempts to ask her about the issues that are clearly in dispute. But, perhaps she has been conveniently silenced in her new job with the BeetRooter’s pet Inland Rail project.

  20. Annette Schneider

    Wait till we get onto the other seven women he had affairs with while he has been in parliament, let alone all the others he had his #redoctopus tentacles all over. And where’s the mention of Vikki Campion’s husband? She had only been married to him for 6 months before she became pregnant to Barnaby.

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