Barnaby Joyce says there are heaps of reports and they’re all in his office.
Labor has been calling for the Coalition to release said reports after lashing out last week at the New England MP for failing to produce a report on the drought after he was made the special envoy for drought assistance and recovery by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Hunter MP and Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon reportedly sought details of a report through parliament and said the lack of a final report from Barnaby Joyce showed the position was a “joke”.
Barnaby Joyce said today that there are plenty of reports that were made on paper, in person and over the phone.
“We wrote ten reports to the Prime Minister that we have in our office, there were at least three very long form reports that I sent personally to the Prime Minister.”
“I imagine they are just between me and the Prime Minister because I am very direct and to the point, I think there are over 50 pieces of correspondence on direct representations on behalf of people during the drought so the story was just wrong,” he said.
“I know how these stories work, they think they’re on to something, they run out, back brief all of the media most likely Joel Fitzgibbon but they never bother ringing our office which would’ve been handy if they actually wanted to get the facts.”
Barnaby Joyce said the reports can’t be made public because they contain private information on farmers and their personal situation.
“Now these reports do not have to be made public, I’m only happy to take yourself and say there they all are on the table, have a look but you can’t actually tell people what’s in them because the information is very very personal,”
“It’s about particular issues and about particular people and very very direct comments by me about what we need to do, I don’t’ mix my punches when I’m asking for what needs to happen.”
“Of course not only are there written reports, there are verbal reports where I rang people up and asked respective ministers exactly what I think we needed for the drought and of course there were also the meetings with Major General Stephen Day who was also giving reports so we were absolutely blown over with reports. “
Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon said this afternoon that its just excuse after excuse.
“Barnaby Joyce has had at least five excuses for his failure to help our farmers. First, he said wasn’t required to do a report,”
“Then he said he couldn’t deliver a report he was sacked. Then he said he sent multiple reports. Then he said he sent text messages. And now, he says he has a mail room full of reports,”
“He can easily clarify all of this by releasing the alleged reports and letters. If he doesn’t, Scott Morrison should do it for him,” said Joel Fitzgibbon.
Barnaby Joyce posted on his public Facebook page this afternoon showing where the reports are and reiterating that they can't be made public:
Image credit: New England MP Barnaby Joyce office