Blaming "the drought" just doesn't stack up, economically, socially or environmentally.
During the so called 'watergate' issues Barnaby Joyce has been more restrained, except for announcing government funding for projects in a manner for which one could be forgiven for thinking that he was personally responsible.
In my opinion, he has had no policy strategies of his own to announce and no solutions for the underlying most serious problems that the New England electorate will have to deal with to survive this current and future droughts. No amount of project funding is going to make it rain or substitute for the need for improved management of the increasing demand for scarce water resources, neither will building more dams. If we can't get the water sharing and management issues right, then down the track the rest is not going to matter a tinker's curse.
I feel like Joyce does not lead. He follows. He may well profess genuine concern for the people in weatherboard and iron but they are secondary to a belief that you are the Nation's elected Deputy Prime Minister and the path you must tread to reclaim that perceived entitlement.
Joyce, while minister for agriculture, succeeded in taking over control of the nation's water resources portfolio, with well documented disastrous consequences for rural farming communities, indigenous communities and the environment. All at the expense of significant benefits and profits for export irrigators and under the guise of 'growth' and 'the economy'. Numerous commissions and inquiries have pointed to gross mismanagement and disregard of the law under Joyce administration, yet Joyce still refuses to shoulder any responsibility and seeks to lay blame elsewhere.
Watergate discussions have died down somewhat, drought is continuing to tighten its grip in parts of New England and as expected just days before the election Barnaby Joyce once again is postulating his magic pudding philosophy of building a network of dams to divert coastal water inland to the Murray Darling system; a philosophy that will also have great appeal for scientifically illiterate voters and disastrous effects for the environment and the not so well-connected.
Joyce continually refuses to rule out his claim to leadership. Rather than concentrating on his own electorate he is actively trying to sure up votes for like-minded candidates in other electorates, in a bid to broaden his support base post-election date. In other words, I believe, if re-elected, Joyce will challenge for leadership, and cause yet more National Party instability. His apparent limited scientific knowledge will continue to leave him open to potential policy manipulation in a race to exploit the environment for control of essential resources that will deliver considerable financial gains.
I believe we are currently experiencing the disastrous consequences of past inept decisions, irresponsible management and lack of accountability from Barnaby Joyce who will continue to deliver more of the same if we are silly enough to trust him once more with our votes.
Jan Kleeman, Donald Creek