Drought envoy Barnaby Joyce’s ‘three weeks on the ground’

August 2018 – May 2019

Barnaby Joyce spent less than three weeks on the ground in drought-affected communities outside of his electorate while engaged as the government’s special drought envoy, MP travel records show, according to Guardian Australia.

He claimed $675,000 in expenses for the nine months in the role and was allocated two staff members to conduct his work at a cost of an estimated $200,000. The $675,000 figure includes Joyce’s normal work as a backbencher, but the government refused to release details of how much the envoy position cost taxpayers.

It was also revealed in Parliament that he never produced a final report on his role. Joyce said he sent “an awful lot” of correspondence to the prime minister, Scott Morrison, including by text message, about his findings. Joyce told the ABC he was unclear if he was required to produce a report. “I would have to look at my letter of engagement, but regardless of what it says, I provided reports so whether it did or it didn’t, I provided reports.”

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