It’s been another embarrassing week for Australia’s deputy Prime Minister and resident drunken uncle Barnaby Joyce, who sent the Liberal-National coalition into damage control mode when he publicly claimed that Indonesia was sending more refugees to Australia as “punishment” for a temporary ban on live exports.
This isn’t the first time Australians have cringed at dear Uncle Barnaby’s runaway mouth – he once told the ABC that it would be a good idea to start mining in Antarctica (even though Australia has legally agreed not to do so).
That same year he proposed plundering Antarctica, he also told The Australian that a vaccine against cervical cancer was a bad idea because it could give 12 year-old girls “a license to be promiscuous”… and he’s also on record as not believing in climate change despite the overwhelming scientific evidence (although earlier this month he almost managed to admit that it might be happening!).
While Joyce is having a great time seeing how much of his own foot he can stuff into his mouth, things are desperately dire for New England workers in his electorate.
Thanks to Uncle Barnaby’s failure to act on local labour market testing, New England youth unemployment has skyrocketed up to more than twice the national average. These are local kids who can’t get a foot in the door at their local industries due to Barnaby giving the green light to multinational corporations to bring in overseas workers that can be exploited for cheap labour.
Joyce’s iron-clad support of the live export industry has left his electorate high and dry, with 2,000 meat workers who live and work in New England waiting to be told whether they’ll be stood down due to crippling cattle shortages. Meat workers across Northern NSW are already suffering under a shortage of work as more and more cattle are shipped overseas.
Australia’s cattle herd is at its lowest point on record, and New England is one of the strongest meat processing electorates in Australia. Instead of acting to protect local jobs by putting a stop to live exports and setting a preference for local employment, Barnaby has stood by and watched his local economy sail away over the waters.
We’ve been in contact with Uncle Barnaby several times about this issue, but unfortunately he’s just too busy blaming Indonesia for all of his problems to listen to us. Maybe he’ll listen to you – when election day comes around on July 2, put Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals last.