Joyce lobbied Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to support Gina Rinehart’s National Agriculture Day and then wrote to her boasting about his role, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Joyce later received a $40,000 personal cheque from the billionaire.
Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws reportedly show Mr Joyce wrote a personal letter to Mrs Rinehart in April 2017. He wrote that he “had made a direct representation to the Prime Minister expressing my strong support for this [National Agricultural and Related Industries Day] proposal.”
Two months later in June 2017, Mr Joyce’s Department of Agriculture gave $60,000 to the National Farmers’ Federation. The Day was staged in November that year.
The National Farmers’ Federation scripted Mr Joyce’s promotional video for the day, which he then read verbatim.
Joyce later returned the cheque following a public backlash.
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