Barnaby Joyce Reclaims Nationals Party After Leadership Spill

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 21, 2021

"I welcome Barnaby Joyce to the role of leader of the Nationals and soon to be deputy prime minister and I look forward to working closely together to ensure Australia continues its recovery from COVID-19 and the recession it caused".

It follows growing concern from some National MPs over their party's influence in climate policy.

The party, which represents farmers and rural voters, has 21 members in the governing centre-right coalition.

Nationals members, including current resources minister Keith Pitt and former ministers Bridget McKenzie, Barnaby Joyce and Matt Canavan all spoke out against a net zero emissions target following the mere suggestion from British prime minister Boris Johnson that the Morrison government had adopted such a target following a meeting of the G7 in Cornwall.

It's also believed to relate to a lack of pushback from the Nationals on Scott Morrison's commitment to net zero by 2050, despite McCormack slamming climate change solutions only last week.

Mr Morrison released a statement following the leadership change.

Joyce reportedly won the party room ballot to oust Michael McCormack from the top spot, after days of speculation the Nationals party was beset by yet another leadership crisis.

David Littleproud continues to be the deputy Nationals leaders, and it is still unknown what changes Mr Joyce will make to his party's ministerial line-up. While the Coalition agreement is a secret document, it is understood to detail matters of policy agreement and the allocation of ministries between the two parties. Earlier that morning, Joyce had said there was "no prospect of a spill".

This is the second time Joyce has held the position, after resigning in 2018 after a scandalous relationship with staffer Vikki Campion, and an alleged sexual harassment complaint. Many National lawmakers have been public about their opposition to the government formally embracing the target.

Mr Joyce will likely take a hard line on climate policies, making any small steps the government takes towards emissions reductions very tricky.

It's yet another reminder of how politically toxic the climate change debate is here in Australia.

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