Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

He is the man who has put the Nationals Party on the radar.

Everyone in the New England knows his name, and most people across Australia know of his country mannerisms with the media.

So, what do his voters think of his latest media splash?

Earlier this week footage of Barnaby Joyce has captured national attention for all the wrong reasons, laying intoxicated on the concrete ground in Canberra.

On the Sunrise interview with Natalie Barr, Barnaby said “I made a big mistake, there’s no excuse for it.”

“I’m on a prescription drug, and they say certain things may happen to you if you drink, and they were absolutely 100 per cent right, they did.”

We put the question to local residents and there was a strong mix of both concern and criticism.

Heidi says “I think it’s sad. Does he need treatment? I’ve seen videos of him drinking while parliament is sitting and I am concerned that this would make it hard for him to do his job properly. I mean, we all work while sober – why are politicians allowed to be drunk while making decisions that affect us all?”

Cliffton says ”Mr Joyce was making some weird statements last week on renewable energy and was extreme in his statements about Turnbull on Nemesis. The fall incident suggested 1 he has a health problem but 2 it was part of a pattern of irresponsible behaviour. I think for his own good he should consider his future in public life.”

Alisa says “I expect better, more dignified behaviour from someone who holds high public office than the behaviour Mr Joyce has recently shown us. I don’t feel that a person can be a dependable and dedicated Federal representative for the New England electorate if they conduct themselves the way Mr Joyce conducts himself.”

Helen says “I think he needs a few weeks leave. That would enable him to see his Dr and see if he needs rehabilitation for his drinking. He has let down his electorate and his family. We need to stop making excuses for his behaviour.”

Stephen says “I do think he has some health problems based on his behaviour. He clearly has a supporter base in this electorate (and across the country). He does and says some really odd things but then on the other hand he does some really good things also. Examples – support of lighting the way charity for miscarriage (event in Armidale last weekend)

“His support of the Ezidi community to Armidale and what he did to support that when he was a minister. The APVMA decentralisation to Armidale.”

“I would really like to see him focusing more on issues in this electorate on a consistent basis moving forward.”

Adrian says “I think he’s a good politician but needs to focus on himself and his family. Retirement will leave a gap but health and family are more important.”

Barnaby’s Political History

Barnaby was elected to parliament in 2004, winning the seat of New England with a 14 per cent margin after independent Tony Windsor retired in 2013.

With a few hurdles along the way, both in his private life and claiming his loyalty as an Australian citizen, Mr Joyce held the electorate with an even stronger buffer at his last election.

The big questions: what will the next election hold?

The New England Times has contacted Mr Joyce for comment.

The local Nationals Party has declined to comment.

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