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Barnaby Joyce joins Lateline -

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Reporter: Tony Jones

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: And now to this evening's guest, Senator Barnaby Joyce, the leader of the
Nationals in the Senate. He's in our Parliament House studio. Thanks for being there.

BARNABY JOYCE, NATIONALS SENATE LEADER: You're welcome, Tony.

TONY JONES: Now, do you agree with Malcolm Turnbull the Government's target for cutting carbon
emissions is much too low, it should be higher?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, I agree with the process that Malcolm's laid out and his sort of four pillars,
that we gotta do this in a way that doesn't put people out of their jobs, out onto the street, out
of work. And that's what the Labor Party's designed. And, quite obviously, that cannot be tolerated
because our job in the middle of a recession is to keep people in work, not toss them out of work.
And that's what the ETS is gonna do.

TONY JONES: OK, well the Government was a five per cent target, growing perhaps to 15 per cent by
2020. Malcolm Turnbull wants the Opposition to adopt a bigger target as policy. Now you accept that
in principle, do you?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, what I see is the - something that looks like the Magna Carta, the Old
Testament and 'War and Peace', wrapped up in a piece of policy called the white paper. I know that
that's gonna cost about 50,000 mining jobs in Queensland, 165,000 other associated workers. I can't
accept that Queensland and Australia shouldn't accept that. Malcolm Turnbull's put forward a
process of trying to design a way so that we don't toss these people out onto the street. And
that's what it's gonna do. If people have a moral position that they believe in an ETS, that's
fine: let their job be the first one to go.

TONY JONES: But the ETS is still very likely to be part of his scheme.

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, we'd have to see the details of that when it arrives. The thing I've gotta
worry about, Tony, is I don't have to vote on Malcolm Turnbull's program. I have to vote on Mr
Rudd's. It's the only one that's gonna go before the Parliament.

TONY JONES: Yes, you've said that before, so I'm gonna interrupt here, because you could be in
Government within two years.

BARNABY JOYCE: I hope we are.

TONY JONES: You could be in Government. You could be, and then this will be policy, which you have
to implement. And you could find yourself having to implement the policy of a higher cut in
emissions, a bigger target and you may still have an ETS.

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, obviously at that time, Tony, I'll be - if I'm still in the Senate, and God
willing I am, we'll be looking at that piece of legislation as it comes before the Senate. The
piece of legislation - in fact we haven't got any piece of legislation yet, we got a white paper.
But if the white paper is reflected in the legislation, we have something that is going to put
Australians out of work in the middle of a recession. Now, I can't work out for the life of me how
Mr Rudd can bang on about saving jobs yet put forward a major piece of legislation that is gonna
have huge ramifications in tossing them out of jobs, making the agricultural sector, especially the
grazing sector unviable, just cutting a swathe through our mining industry and lumbering on costs
to every Australian who can least afford it.

TONY JONES: OK, but let's talk a little bit about your own Coalition policy. And to support a
larger emissions target than the Government's you'd have to accept that global warming is a serious
threat, wouldn't you?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, global - there's no argument that if global warming is a threat, there is a
debate and conjecture about what we can do about it. But there's no debate at all, Tony, that what
Australia is proposing will do nothing, nothing to reduce global warming. That is a fact. Five per
cent of 1.5 per cent is 0.0075 per cent - three fifths, five eighths of nothing. Yet for that, for
that political statement, we are going to be tossing Australians out onto the street and out of
work. And with the same rhetoric that somehow we're going to be supporting jobs on one hand, Mr
Rudd says, and tossing them out in grand form on the other. And why is it that the National Party
has to go into bat for these jobs - for the AWU workers in Queensland? Why isn't the Labor Party
standing up for their own members?

TONY JONES: Now, let's just stick with what we were talking about for a moment. Your leader Malcolm
Turnbull, his Environment spokesman, the Shadow Treasurer, a range of other frontbenchers all
believe that climate change is a real and present danger. So they're trying to design a policy with
larger cuts to emissions even than the Government has. Now, as I understand it, you're a climate
change sceptic. So can you go along with their policy if you genuinely are sceptical about the
whole basis for it?

BARNABY JOYCE: No, no, Tony, I'm a person with an open mind. And I think that's extremely
important, especially in the Senate. Even tonight, I received a letter from an Emeritus Professor
who just wants this debate to stay open, so that we don't, as you've noted in your introduction,
turn it into some sort of religious fervour and fanaticism. That we stay open to a brief of
examining all the facts as they come before us, and implicitly being honest in what are we
proposing, what will it actually do, and what are the effects to the Australian working family who
will be tossed out on the street because of Mr Rudd's policy.

TONY JONES: OK, earlier this year you did use the term "eco-fanaticism". What did you mean by that
exactly?

BARNABY JOYCE: I mean that this debate to try and corral people, what has happened, Tony, as you
well know, it's become a thing that if you dare doubt you are a heretic, you are a denier, all this
sort of emotive language that has been sort of foisted on people so that they don't dare step out
of line. So that they are corralled without reason. And I find that dangerous, irregardless of what
the subject is. That there should always be the expression of an ability to debate. And this is an
issue on climate change that should be open to debate. It is not something that should be in the
same vestige as a religious debate. It's a debate about science, it's a debate about effect, it's a
debate about government policy. And let's make sure that it stays at that level, and not put some
sort of laurel on it that doesn't belong there.

TONY JONES: OK, I mean, you made the analogy earlier in the year that it's like being labelled a
Holocaust denier.

BARNABY JOYCE: No, OK, let's - the charge that is yelled across the chamber, Tony, as you well
know, is they yell out "denier". Even, I've heard Professor Garnaut use the word "denier". Now
there's a clear association with the word denier to Holocaust denier, and I find that simile
repugnant. I find the use of a simile that is used for something that is so absolutely disgusting
in human history such as the Holocaust be cunningly used as a device to implicate the motives of
people in the climate change debate. And, therefore, you know, I try to step that out. And even
that itself, Tony, was used a mechanism against ...

TONY JONES: But by the same token, you're doing the same thing yourself, aren't you? I mean, you're
accusing the Greens of eco-fanaticism and the Labor Party for that matter. And you argue that you
won't be the one goose-stepping around your room singing in tune to everybody else.

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, I want the debate to remain open.

TONY JONES: I'm just making the point; I'm just making the simple point. Aren't you doing the same
thing you're accusing them of being Nazis, basically?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, I'm not accusing them of being Nazis. I'm accusing them of a form of
eco-totalitarianism as a mechanism to try and remove from me my right to voice an opinion that is
expressed to me by the Australian people. And if I can't prosper in the debate and prosecute my
cause, well then I lose, and that's the whole point of the debate. But I'm not gonna be silenced
and neither should other people.

TONY JONES: Will you taking this debate into your own party room?

BARNABY JOYCE: I think we take it into our own party room all the time. And that's the great thing
about a party room: we can have that debate. I know full well there are people ...

TONY JONES: But do you make that point, though, because, you know, amongst the eco-totalitarians or
fanatics would presumably be members of your own frontbench.

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, the whole point about conservative politics is we're allowed to have our own
views. I know for a fact there are people in the Labor Party who would beat me hands down for
scepticism. But they are not allowed to voice their opinion. And whilst they don't voice their
opinion, their workers, their union members are getting flushed down the toilet. And it's about to
happen very soon if this goes forward. So what are they gonna do to protect their members, or
should their members start paying their membership to the National Party of Queensland?

TONY JONES: Were you at all uncomfortable in going along with the Greens to form an inquiry into
the ETS in the Senate?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well that hasn't actually been before the Senate yet. But I've got no problems with
an inquiry. I've got no problems with a debate. That's the whole issue here, Tony. I'm not scared
of the debate. I look forward to the debate. If we're gonna have a Senate inquiry, that's fine. I
find it a little bit peculiar that we've already got one as a Senate standing committee at the
moment, chaired by Mathias Cormann. I mean, I don't know why we need two of them. Maybe people
should actually start reading the Hansard of what's being said in that inquiry. They might make it
interesting reading and might put a little bit of balance into the whole conjecture that surrounds
some of these issues.

TONY JONES: OK, but it's your own frontbench that's backing this other inquiry. So, that's the
point. And they seem to have made a deal with the Greens to have this other inquiry, and they're
talking about it - canvassing other alternatives to an emissions trading scheme, including a carbon
tax. Which - the idea is which now been talked about by your leader, Malcolm Turnbull, by Andrew
Robb. They've talked about how many places in the world they're considering a carbon tax. Would you
consider ever voting for a carbon tax?

BARNABY JOYCE: I would look at everything, Tony. And Malcolm's come up with some good ideas. The
idea of soil carbon really clearly points out one issue: the fact that if two per cent of
Australian soils increased their carbon contact by one per cent, we'd cover all our carbon emission
requirements. But this thing is specifically precluded because of our signing of the Kyoto Protocol
that doesn't acknowledge soil carbon. In fact, at an agricultural side, it only acknowledges
emissions, not sequestrations. So these are some of the flaws that, you know, need to be fleshed
out. But, really, let's cut it back down to the table, to what is it going to mean for the
Australian working family? It means that ...

TONY JONES: Well, that is precisely the point, because if it means a new tax, you know what your
own former Prime Minister John Howard said about that. He said he'd never consider a carbon tax.
He'd consider a carbon trading scheme; in fact, he starting moving towards building one. But he
said he wouldn't embrace a tax on industry, a specific tax which he said would cost jobs.

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, that's my problems with the current ETS: that we will have people out of work
not because of global warming, not because of the global financial crisis, but because of a
Government-inspired policy. A Government-inspired policy that brings destitution to Australian
working families. Look, it's game, set and match, it's lay down misere. But, you know, if we are
going to walk down this path, let's at least inform ...

TONY JONES: But you're prepared to discuss a carbon tax seriously, are you?

BARNABY JOYCE: Examination of the facts that surround it, Tony. I'm in the Senate. Bring the facts
forward, let's have a look at it. And I've no problems with the debate. I've got a big problem with
putting Australian working families out onto the street as the Labor Party are gonna do.

TONY JONES: Alright. What do the Liberals have to do to put an end to the factional squabbling over
the so-called "spoils of Opposition" that so dominated the media last week?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, you know, I'm - it's like turning up, as I said, into a household where the
husband and wife are having a blue. The last thing you want to do is start offering advice or
picking sides. You're always on the wrong side no matter which way you go.

TONY JONES: Well, you're in the team. I mean, you're part of this. They're the Coalition; they're
your brothers - and sisters.

BARNABY JOYCE: Look, this thing is - you know, what is news last week, Tony, is fish and chips
paper wrapping today. I don't think - I think we've moved on already. Things will bed themselves
down. And that's the dynamics of a political party. You show me one political party, Tony, where
there's not blues from time to time. That's life; it goes on.

TONY JONES: Will it ever end until Peter Costello declares his hand?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, you know, that's - I mean, I cannot read minds. And, you know, that's a call
for Peter. He's a person of immense talent, and, you know, it's Peter's call. I'm not his friend,
guide and philosopher, nor confidante. He's a good bloke. Saw him tonight at a restaurant. He
seemed to be enjoying himself. Look, he'll make his call in due course. I s'pose the crucial thing
is whether he renominates for Higgins. And as everybody knows, that's gonna be the kicker as to
what's going on.

TONY JONES: Should he be on the frontbench?

BARNABY JOYCE: Oh, look, if he's hanging round, absolutely he should. You can't have one of your
main players just sitting on the backbench. The call for Peter is: is he going to renominate for
Higgins? If he is, then I think he's - I've said all the way along, even though Peter and have had
some major disagreements, in fact he wrote a few pages about me in his book which probably wasn't
in glowing reference to me. But I don't deny this: that the man has talent. And, I've always said
that we are heading towards a major economic crisis. I said that, I think, on your show ages before
the ramifications fully became be made aware. And whether I like him or not, I don't pick a team on
the people I like, I pick a team that wins. And he would be a great person to have on the
frontbench.

TONY JONES: What about leading the party?

BARNABY JOYCE: Oh, well, that's - luckily, that is not a call for me. I won't even get a vote for
that.

TONY JONES: OK. We're about to see a state election in Queensland. Not long before the poll, voters
will be getting large cash payouts from the Federal Government. Will that influence the election?

BARNABY JOYCE: Yes, of course it will. And this is one of these dirty, grubby little Labor deals
where they're basically trying to buy votes up in Queensland. And, look, the Queensland Government
is one of the most incompetent. $74 billion in debt. How on earth are they ever gonna pay that
back? With a government now, federally, that's over - that's heading $200 billion plus in debt. So
they won't be able to bail them out. What happens when we lose the basic infrastructure services,
the lack of capacity to pay for health, education, rail. We've got a Queensland Labor Government
that's trying to work out how to pay these debts and they have mused about such things as death
duties. The article was in the 'The Australian'. McNicol had a column on it. And now they're trying
to bury that idea about probate and at the same time they're trying to placate the Greens by saying
they'll - they will ban regrowth clearing.

TONY JONES: Just briefly on this: you called it a dirty deal - that is the cash payouts.

BARNABY JOYCE: Yep.

TONY JONES: But of course the Federal Government didn't know at the time that the State Government
was gonna go to an early election.

BARNABY JOYCE: Come on, Tony. I mean, you know - this is sort of political naivety in the extreme.
I don't for one moment think that advisors weren't running backwards and forth into Ms Bligh's
office saying this is where the money turns up, that's where we should go to the election, that
gives you a chance to buy a vote, about $900 a vote, you know. And we should call it for what it
is. This money is the money that hocks Australia up into such a position as it will force up
interest rates for every family who has a mortgage. It has delivered no, no veracity of outcome in
its first stimulus package. There'll be none in its second. The debt - I don't know how we're gonna
pay this debt back. First time, we had to sell - in the first (inaudible) we had to sell what?
Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Medibank Private. What are we gonna sell this time, Tony? What is left
to sell when we're left with this Labor debt? Or do we just sort of live in this mad world where we
start printing money, and then of course, once that happens, game, set, match - it's all over.

TONY JONES: And the interview's all over as well, I'm sorry to say. We've run out of time, Barnaby
Joyce. Thank you very much for coming in to join us on Lateline tonight.