BARNABY Joyce’s office clarified that his sick leave only applies to his parliamentary duties, and that his medical certificate allows him to engage in “light electorate work”.
A statement was released following the outrage caused when the New England MP attended the launch of a new Telstra tower in Dungowan, despite being on two weeks of sick leave.
“As per the issued medical certificate, Mr Joyce remains on leave from his parliamentary duties,” the statement said.
“This does not preclude him from engaging in light electorate work within the office or discussion on completed government projects such as the mobile black spot programs.
“As previously stated his leave is only from the parliament not from his electorate.”
Despite being on sick leave, Mr Joyce has still created numerous headlines. He kicked off the week by announcing his plan to re-contest the seat at the next election, hosing down rumours he would step down beforehand.
The Leader then revealed Mr Joyce had contacted NSW Nationals politicians, urging them to vote against a proposal that would protect women from being harassed as they entered abortion clinics – it passed regardless thanks to the support of local MPs.
The government body conducting an independent audit into the use of public funds by Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion also announced the investigation is not yet over. Both Mr Joyce and Ms Campion have flatly denied misusing any public funds.