Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Thomas Gerald Joyce (born 17 April 1967) is an Australian politician, who is currently the Minister for Agriculture in the Abbott Ministry, having been sworn in on 18 September 2013.

Joyce was a member of the Australian Senate representing the state of Queensland from July 2005 until August 2013. He represented the National Party of Australia until the Queensland divisions of the Liberal and National parties merged into the Liberal National Party of Queensland in 2008, although he remained Leader of the National Party in the Senate.

He has crossed the floor nineteen times under the Howard coalition government. On 17 September 2008, Joyce succeeded Nigel Scullion as the Leader of the National Party in the Senate.

In April 2013 Joyce was preselected by the National Party to contest the House of Representatives seat of New England in New South Wales at the September 2013 election.

He resigned from the Senate on 8 August 2013. He easily won New England for the Nationals and is now on a margin of 21.1% and was then elected deputy leader of the Nationals.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnaby_Joyce

Social issues

Joyce took offense at a pamphlet handed out by Family First candidate Danny Nalliah, which identified bottle shops, brothels, masonic lodges, mosques, and Hindu and Buddhist temples as “strongholds of Satan”, and said that he did not want the preferences of such a party. Joyce criticised the party, calling them “the lunatic Right”, and saying that “these are not the sort of people you do preference deals with”. Nonetheless he gained office with preference flows from Family First Party, among many others including Pauline Hanson.

In August 2011 Joyce spoke at an anti same-sex marriage rally, claiming that same-sex marriage legislation would affect his daughters’ rights to marry men. In response Senator Sarah Hanson-Young stated “There is nothing in my Marriage Equality Bill that would prevent Senator Joyce’s daughters from getting married to the partner of their choice, rather than taking rights away, the bill extends the rights to all couples.”

Economic issues

On the economy, Joyce has often earned the ire of his economic rationalist parliamentary colleagues in the Liberal Party of Australia. Joyce has taken up a number of causes often labelled as populist, such as his support for the retention of a single-desk wheat export marketing system for Australian grain growers, drought assistance for primary producers, and amendments to the Trade Practices Act 1974 and media reform regulations that aim to strengthen the ability of small business to compete with multi-national corporations.

When questioned on his views, he stated “Maybe I’m an agrarian socialist, I don’t know, is there a problem with being an agrarian socialist?”.

Wikipedia Quote: “The emphasis of agrarian socialists is therefore on control, ownership and utilisation of land rather than the means of production.”

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrarian_socialism

On 17 March 2009, Joyce launched a privately funded advertisement campaign to keep Rio Tinto local, attacking a bid by the Chinese government-owned resources company Chinalco, a bid which has also been heavily criticised by Legal & General in the United Kingdom.

2010 to present

Joyce was re-elected in the 2010 election on a joint LNP ticket with Senators Brandis and Mason. He was appointed the Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water and retained his role as leader of the Nationals in the Senate.

On 13 April 2013, Joyce won the Nationals preselection for the House of Representatives seat of New England in New South Wales, for the September 2013 election. The seat was then held by independent politician Tony Windsor, who subsequently announced his retirement.[21] Joyce resigned his Senate place on 8 August 2013. On 25 May 2013, Barry O’Sullivan was selected to replace him in the Senate.

Joyce won the seat of New England with a large swing and now sits on a margin of 21%. He is the first person in the history of the Australian Parliament to have represented one state in the Senate and a different state in the House of Representatives. He was then elected deputy leader of the Nationals. Joyce was sworn in as the Minister for Agriculture on 18 September 2013.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnaby_Joyce

2016-05-27 Barnaby Joyce

Foreign-owned land register will not be made public despite transparency pledge

By regional affairs reporter Lucy Barbour Updated 30 Mar 2016, 3:21pm

Chinese bidder for Australian cattle empire defends investment in foreign farmland.

A new register of agricultural land will not be made public despite the Government’s promise to provide more transparency over foreign investment in Australian farms.

Register requires all foreign owners of Australian farmland to be registered with ATO

Organisation would be breaking tax laws if it published the entire register, ATO says

Labour’s Joel Fitzgibbon accused the Government of breaking election promise

The long-awaited register was established by the Coalition last year to allay concerns within the Australian community that the Government should have more oversight and information in relation to foreign ownership.

It requires all foreign owners of Australian farmland to be registered with the Australian Tax Office (ATO), and any new interests to be registered within 30 days of purchase.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) had expected the information in the register to be publicly available but the ABC can reveal the ATO will only release summaries occasionally, with its first report to the Government due in July.

Last September, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce told the Parliament the register would be like a map of all properties “to see who owns what.”

A spokesperson for the ATO said the organisation would be breaking tax laws if it published the entire register.

“Due to confidentiality provisions in the tax act, the ATO is unable to comment on any individual’s or entity’s tax affairs,” the spokesperson told the ABC.

“This includes providing any detailed breakdown of interest in agricultural land, where a taxpayer may be identified, or their information made public.”

New South Wales Liberal senator Bill Heffernan said he was lobbying the Federal Treasurer to make the register public.

“This is an over-my-dead-body issue. We’re entitled to know who in God’s name is through the fence,” he said.

“And if the proposition from the tax office is that we’re not entitled to know who our neighbour is, then as far as I’m concerned, the Government’s going to have to change it.

“And the good news is that I’ve spoken to the Government and I’m putting forward the case and I think it’s being sympathetically heard.”

The NFF lobbied strongly for tougher scrutiny of foreign ownership and previously warned the Government it did not want to see “aggregation” in the register’s design.

“We know that there is business sensitivity around commercial investment so we wouldn’t want to compromise any of that, but the whole point of the register was to inform the debate,” NFF chief executive Tony Mahar told the ABC.

“If there’s aggregated data and it’s in a form that shows us what is happening, in regard to this issue, and allows a much more informed debate, then we’ll be happy.

“But if it’s aggregated data that actually doesn’t inform the debate and doesn’t allow an understanding of what’s happening, then we’d have some concerns.”

This is not what the Government promised: Opposition

Labor’s shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon accused the Government of breaking an election promise.

“The whole idea of the register, first promised by Labor, was to ensure that all Australians, wherever they are, with the click of a mouse, could find out who is investing in what where,” he said.

“This is not what the Government promised.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said Labor would make the register public, if elected.

“Where there is a will there is a way,” he said.

“If the Government is determined the public should have information about who is investing in what [and] where, I’ve no doubt that’s a thing that’s capable of being done.”

The Deputy Prime Minister led the push for a register of foreign owned farmland and successfully lobbied the Abbott government to reduce the threshold for Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) scrutiny of private sector foreign purchases of agricultural land from $252 million to a cumulative total of $15 million.

A spokesperson for Mr Joyce said the design of the register was “absolutely consistent” with the Coalition’s promise prior to the 2013 election.

“[The July report] will be summarising the data trends in terms of overall level of foreign ownership of Australian agricultural land, and the main source countries,” the spokesperson said.

See: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-30/register-of-foreign-owned-farm-land-will-not-be-made-public/7284104

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