Question Without Notice - Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce - Lobbying ABC Board to replace Bush Telegraph
Posted November 26, 2014
CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (14:23): My question is to the Minister for Agriculture. The agriculture sector relies on programs such as the ABC's Bush Telegraph to connect, inform, educate and prosper. For the sector to take advantage of the economic opportunities that will exist under the recent free trade agreements, producers, manufacturers and city based distributors need to connect and be connected around Australia. Minister, would you please ask the ABC board to consider the needs of regional Australia when developing programs to replace Bush Telegraph?
BARNABY JOYCE (New England—Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals) (14:24): I thank the honourable member for her question and note that obviously the ABC is an integral part of regional Australia. And of course the ABC, like every other department, has had to deal with the curse of the Labor Party and the curse that was delivered to us by a budget where, the member for Lilley told us, there was going to be an $18 billion deficit—an $18,000 million deficit, which is quite extraordinary. What we actually got delivered was a $48 billion deficit—a $48,000 million deficit.
Ms Ryan interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Lalor!
Mr JOYCE: And by reason of that, of course, there have been pressures all through the budget. But it was brought about by those who sit opposite. It was brought about by them. Of course, if they were able to manage the economy then we would not have to be dealing with these issues.
Mr Conroy interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Charlton will leave under 94(a).
The member for Charlton then left the chamber.
Mr JOYCE: But we are dealing with these issues, and I apologise on their behalf to the member for Indi for the appalling management of the other side. And of course we will stay in close negotiation with Mr Scott. Mr Scott has full responsibility for what happens as regards how he deals with the cuts brought about by an appalling Labor economic management. And we will do our very best to make sure—
Mr Fitzgibbon interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Hunter is warned.
Mr JOYCE: that the best outcomes are found for regional people, despite this appalling management that was a curse of the previous government, led by the member for Lilley and ably assisted by all those opposite.