Politician’s Affair Puts Spotlight on Australia’s Crony Culture

“the item is actually not a healthy place,” Professor Rimmer said. “the item runs on alcohol along with gossip along with fumes along with power.”

Mr. Joyce, a gregarious bull of a man often seen in a trademark Akubra bush hat, at This specific point faces a series of uncomfortable questions:

• Were public funds used to cultivate an extramarital affair?

• How did he along with his brand new partner, Vikki Campion, a former journalist, end up in a supporter’s free apartment?

• How did Ms. Campion secure a high-paying job using a Parliament colleague?

• along with, did Mr. Joyce grope a woman after an awards ceremony in 2011?


Mr. Joyce, center, celebrated regaining his Parliament seat in December with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Tracey Nearmy/European Pressphoto Agency

Mr. Joyce, 50, has denied groping along with some other ministerial misconduct. He has spent much of the week offering defiance along with remorse, along with trying to hold on to his job.

He acknowledged his relationship with Ms. Campion on Tuesday, apologizing to his family, his constituents along with the National Party of Australia, which he still leads.

yet he also told his party colleagues he could not step down. “Every political career incorporates a time of trial,” he said.

His stand fits with his longstanding “just a bloke” appeal. He grew up on a farm in Tamworth, in Australia’s southeast, which is actually home of the nation’s largest country music festival. Mr. Joyce is actually known as an off-the-cuff maverick who is actually loyal less to ideology than to his constituents.

yet since 2004, he has been a Canberra man. He was a senator for Queensland along with then joined the House of Representatives in 2013. He became leader of the National Party along with deputy prime minister in 2016.

Mr. Joyce is actually no stranger to scandal. A few years ago he made headlines worldwide when he threatened to euthanize two dogs belonging to Johnny Depp along with Amber Heard after the celebrity couple brought them to Australia without the proper documentation along with quarantine.

Last year, Mr. Joyce was one of several politicians revealed as holding dual citizenship.

After the High Court ruled that will he had been ineligible to run for Parliament because of the item, Mr. Joyce renounced his brand new Zealand citizenship along with returned to his district to campaign again for his seat. He won comfortably.

yet experts say the backlash has only been intensified by his supposed authenticity, his eagerness to parade his wife along with four children in political campaigns, along with his brash conservative positions, like his opposition to same-sex marriage, which he argued the item could destroy families.

Questionable Conduct

“The public expected a Barnaby that will was a solid country family man, along with we’re seeing that will he’s not that will at all,” said Jill Sheppard, a lecturer in politics at the Australian National University in Canberra.

“If there was a political trait Australians hate, the item’s hypocrisy,” Professor Rimmer said.

yet the biggest threat to Mr. Joyce’s career may involve questions about the mingling of adultery, money along with power.

Records show he claimed a travel allowance for 50 nights in Canberra last year when Parliament was not in session, far more than some other senior leaders.

Government watchdogs along with journalists have also zeroed in on two high-paying positions that will were allegedly created for Ms. Campion from the offices of a party colleague, Senator Matt Canavan.

Mr. Joyce along with Prime Minister Turnbull — who has continued to back him — said the jobs were beyond reproach because Ms. Campion was not technically his partner at the time.

Mr. Joyce’s critics contest that will assertion.

Officially, for at This specific point, Mr. Joyce still has the support of his party. “Barnaby Joyce is actually the best deliverer for rural along with regional Australians in generations,” Bridget McKenzie, the Nationals deputy, told reporters on Wednesday.

yet time is actually not on his side. Mr. Turnbull is actually scheduled for an overseas trip that will includes meeting with President Trump on Feb. 23, which could make Mr. Joyce the acting prime minister.

A broader reckoning on the capital’s workplace culture may also be coming.

“If the Australian public feels the political class is actually isolated along with don’t appreciate their concerns, then that will’s a problem the political class has to respond to,” said Andrew Giles, a Labour Party politician.

“We’re not meeting people’s expectations,” he added. “along with they’re legitimate expectations.”

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