The climate-denying John Barilaro joke is on us

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In a nonsensical rant, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro somehow blames the bushfires on Greta Thunberg and city folk due to the lack of fuel reduction "to protect life" — even though this is controlled by his Government. Investigations editor Ross Jones reports.

THE ONLY GOOD THING about the Daily Telegraph is that it takes almost exactly the same time to read – cover to back page – as it does to eat most quick cafe lunches.

I was doing this just the other day when I came across a rare nugget. Not the deep-fried Maccas version, but a free-form editorial piece, written entirely by the Leader of the NSW Nationals and hence, Deputy Premier of that once-great State, John Barilaro.

The article, 'Bush shouldn't bear brunt of city's guilt trip' (29 January 2020), reads like John might have even subbed it himself. It is no wonder the NSW Nationals are facing electoral irrelevance with blokes like this at the vanguard.

John’s considered piece – and remember this is all his own work – kicks off with an attempted theatrical flourish:

‘How dare you. This is all wrong. I shouldn’t have to write this. I should be back in my community on the other side of the mountains’.

Seems like John was in Sydney when he penned this piece for the Tele. It’s nice there, lots of cafes.

‘Yet you all come to the regions for hope. You’ve stolen our dreams, our children’s future, with your empty words.’

John is unclear as to who stole his cohort’s dreams, but he clearly thinks these people suck.

Maybe the 64 per cent of the NSW population who live in Greater Sydney? Some of these people sometimes go to the regions.

According to John,

‘People are suffering. People are dying. Entire regional communities are collapsing, and this could be the beginning of a mass extinction of regional NSW.’

After a metaphorical swig from the bottle, John reaches for a crescendo:

‘And all you can talk about is climate change and fairytales of rolling hills littered with wind turbines.’


Barilaro goes in for the kill:

How dare you. So many people across the globe, like Greta Thunberg, or those that live in the comfort of the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Even my own colleague, the Environment Minister Matt Kean, wants to make the summer fires into a platform about climate change.

Well John, yes. And your point is? That you really are a complete muppet? You no doubt are, but you are as sneaky as all get out to go along with it. Rat cunning.

The Deputy Premier goes on:

‘It’s the regions who every day have to deal with and live next to National Parks that are locked up, with fuel loads ready to explode, while tons of bitumen, concrete and towers line the suburbs of Sydney.’

Apart from demonstrating he has a primary school grasp of English, it seems the NSW Minister for Regional New South Wales considers Sydney residents to be elitist, well-off bludgers, happy to sit and watch their rural cousins burn while they eat cake. (Or, thanks to Government ineptitude, lose their homes in Opal Towers in Homebush or tower blocks in Mascot, whichever comes first.)

The Nationals have a clear agenda here — one that is ominous for NSW forests.

A major reason NSW Parks have full fuel loads ready to go is that:

… staff cuts and restructures have seen the NPWS lose more than a third of its fire-trained workers, according to Public Service Association acting general secretary Troy Wright.


“As our members are on the frontline fighting these fires to save lives and properties, the Nationals are tastelessly blaming them for the threat,” he said in an emailed statement. 


“It is the Nationals who hold the purse string. Rather than funding the NPWS properly so that they can undertake strategic reductions, they have crippled them with massive budget cuts and devastating restructures.”


In the 2016-17 Budget, $121 million was cut from NSW national parks and according to the NSW Public Service Association that resulted in about 100 ranger jobs being lost.


In the latest NSW Budget, $80 million is being cut from the department that oversees parks.

The Deputy Premier of NSW continues his anti-Sydney rant,

‘It’s the regions that get littered with solar farms and wind turbines but you refuse them on the coastline Sydney.’

Who refuses them?

Barilaro can only suggest "you", evil Sydney-dwellers, as the culprits. But as anyone in Sydney can attest, the NSW Coalition Government builds anything it damn-well likes, anywhere it damn-well likes. It particularly likes evicting established residents from their homes with a pittance in recompense for some Connex project or another, so if it wanted to build wind turbines along the coastline it just would.

This Coalition of environmental vandals is pushing to build a cruise ship mega-terminal at La Perouse on Botany Bay, one of the most beautiful areas of Sydney and the site of the First Fleet’s first landfall in Australia. Not to mention a site of profound importance to First Peoples.

Not that Barilaro would care.

He just wants to whinge, big time:

‘It’s the regions that take Sydney’s garbage every night because God forbid you won’t deal with your own rubbish including your environmentally damaging plastic.’

Picture lines of B-Doubles, working night shift after a hard day at Westconnex, carting load after load of environmentally damaging plastic into otherwise plastic-free country towns.

Those Sydney bastards.

Where is this waste dumped? How much is dumped? Why is the NSW Coalition Government not doing something more to manage plastic waste? It obviously knows there is a problem.

The cost of rebuilding one football stadium to appease Alan Jones would go a long way towards controlling the plastic waste stream. Easier for infants like Barilaro to spit dummies at Sydney people as they innocently eat lunch.

This excuse for a Minister of the Crown then gets to his real point:

You want to take industries like agriculture, forestry and mining away in your ideological pursuit to net zero emissions.


You don’t allow us to clear our lands to be more productive, or reduce fuel loads to protect life, as seen with the catastrophic fires, which we now have to rebuild from.

Barilaro's rant is, of course, simply cover for another rat-cunning move to get more cash into the pockets of Nats supporters, the biggest and most powerful group of environmental vandals this country has ever seen:

‘The forestry lobby is calling for more funding and access to national parks to support a "massive harvest and haulage operation" after this summer's bushfires, but experts warn that logging-burnt forests will cause "unacceptable" damage to wildlife.’

I apologise for inflicting on you the seemingly substance-affected slobberings of this joke of a Minister from a joke of a State Government.

Here is something that might cheer you up, at least a little.

Image by Dom Coleman

Investigations editor Ross Jones is a licensed private enquiry agent and the author of 'Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker'. You can follow Ross on Twitter @RPZJones.

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