Jul 30, 2010

Let Barnaby be Barnaby

Let Barnaby be Barnaby

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

July 30 2010

Barnaby Joyce’s recent admission on Cairns radio that he’s been gagged by Tony Abbott and told not to release his regional development policy again exposes the deep divisions within the Federal Coalition.

When asked to detail the approach the Nationals would take to regional development, Senator Joyce responded:

I can assure you there are policies in there that are definitely going to help Regional Australia. They are not announced yet because the tactics group, which I have to abide by, has decided at this point of the campaign is not the time to announce them … I hope they do get released.

4CA AM, 21/07/10

“But with less than four weeks to go until Election Day, the only policies Senator Joyce is advocating are the scrapping of the $6 billion Regional Infrastructure Fund and the cancellation of the National Broadband Network,” said Anthony Albanese.

“Barnaby Joyce, the man aspiring to be the Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, actually wants to spend less money on regional infrastructure.

“If that’s the best he can do then the blow to the credibility and relevance of the National Party will be fatal – not to mention extremely embarrassing for Senator Joyce personally.

“It would be yet further proof the Nationals are nothing more than an extension of the Liberal Party.

“While the Liberals and Nationals argue over whether to have a policy for Regional Australia, the Gillard Labor Government is delivering for these communities including a more than doubling in spending on regional highways and country roads.”