Barnaby Joyce opens up to IA about his intimate relationship with water.
IA: Barnaby Joyce, you don’t mind if I throw you straight into the deep end?
JOYCE: Of course not. I’d expect nothing less. Fire away.
IA: Your relationship with the Prime Minister is not all it could be.
JOYCE: You could say that. And you just did. ScoMo and I are very different people; I don’t mind that. But his approach to water quite frankly, gets my blood boiling.
IA: Why is that?
JOYCE: Remember his famous “I don’t discuss on water matters"?!
IA: Of course I do.
JOYCE: Disgusting rubbish. Complete bullshit from a man who is now our head honcho. Look at me. I’m happy to be upfront about all things aqua. I insisted on being Minister for Water Resources because of the love of, and fascination for, all things water, I feel.
IA: Really? When did you become aware of this affection for water?
JOYCE: As a young boy I used to have a nightly bath. On one of these occasions, I accidentally copped a mouthful of water and, quite frankly, I rather liked the flavour of it. Since then, I have drunk a glass of my own bathwater every day.
JOYCE: Yes. And the good thing about it is that I rarely have to take a bottle of it with me. Just as long as I can have a bath wherever I go I’ll have a ready supply. But things haven’t been so good of late.
JOYCE: Why in God’s name have you just addressed me as Murray, darling? Is there something you want to tell me?
IA: No. There’s been a misunderstanding. I am referring to the recent lack of water despite a substantial buyback in the Murray-Darling Basin.
JOYCE: Oh, I see. Remember Dorothy MacKellar's ‘Of droughts and flooding rains'? This current drought is a shocker.
IA: I suppose the drought in a way, but Murray-Darling ...
JOYCE: Whoa! Hang on a minute. What’s with this Murray darling bullshit? I’m Barnaby Joyce, not Murray Joyce — and I’m not your darling!
IA: No. I mean the Basin.
JOYCE: What’s wrong with the basin? Sure, it’s a little grubby at the moment, but Vikki will be home soon. She’s taking the little brat for a walk. Once she gets back I’ll get her on to cleaning the basin. No big deal!
IA: Speaking about big deals. $80,000,000. That’s a lot of money.
JOYCE: Yes, it is.
IA: We don’t appear to have a lot to show for it. Anything to say on that?
JOYCE: Yes. $80 million ain’t what it used to be. The days of 20 cents of mixed lollies providing you with a feast for a week are well and truly over.
IA: Well may that be the case, but all we have to show for that money is a river full of dead fish. Dead fish, Barnaby!
JOYCE: I am a man of faith. Look at what Jesus did with a picnic basketful of fish and a few bread rolls, on the Mount of Olives. We don’t need that many fish. And our rivers are better off without all those fish pooping in them every day. And some of those fish were 100 years old.100 fucking years old! We’ve got an ageing population as it is without having to provide nursing homes for fish.
IA: Yes, point taken, but $80 million and no public tender?
JOYCE: There’s nothing tender about money. People kill for it. Gamble their lives away for it. What did you expect? I’d link hands with Angus Taylor and sing 'Kumbaya' once the deal was signed?
IA: No, that thought did not cross my mind.
JOYCE: To be honest. That’s all the time I have. Have to end this interview. I’m preparing for a career after politics in case it doesn’t pan out for me on the 18th. I need to rehearse.
IA: Rehearse? What line of work are you thinking of getting into?
JOYCE: Show biz. Singing. I’m auditioning for ‘The Voice’ this coming Tuesday.
IA: Well, fancy that. Which song are you singing at your audition?
JOYCE: ‘Take Me To The River.’
You can purchase Rocky's books, 'The (Real) Meaning of Life' here and 'Stoney Broke and the High Spenders' from the IA store here. The CD '42/68', by Rocky and the Two Bob Millionaires is also available from the IA store here.
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