Media Release, Senator Barnaby Joyce, 22 March 2013:
Regional Development and Local Government left unrepresented
Yesterday the Labor party caucus called a ballot. Chaos stood and was re-elected unanimously.
Former Labor party leader, Simon Findlay Crean, Member for Hotham, said things had to come to a head and instead he lost his.
The problem we have now is that I am Shadow to a person that does not exist. There is no Minister for Regional Development. And this toxic amalgam of Green, Labor party and Independents, far from looking after regional areas, has left them completely and utterly disenfranchised.
The person who said he was going to drive through constitutional recognition of local government is now gone. The Labor party has sat on the Spigelman review, which recommended a referendum on constitutional recognition of local government at the 2013 election, for over a year. Now less than six months from an election we have no response, no legislation and no Minister.
Is this the sort of stability that the Member for New England, Mr Windsor, and the Member for Lyne, Mr Oakeshott, was requesting when they decided to support the Green-Labor-Independent government?
Who is now representing Regional Australia? Who is now representing Local Government? For that matter, who is now running the country? Who is preparing the budget?
It has taken me exactly ten minutes after walking down the street this morning to find out what the Australian people think of all this. They are appalled, they want it all to be resolved and soon.