It’s the question that had ABC listeners choking on their Weet-Bix this morning: did colourful Queensland Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce do an interview sitting on the toilet?

During the ABC News Radio interview with Joyce — who has repeatedly accused the Rudd Government of flushing taxpayer dollars down the toilet — a mysterious noise can be heard in the background.

Staff at the ABC’s Brisbane office have encouraged speculation it was the sound of a toilet flushing via the station’s Twitter stream:

@612brisbane Was a Queensland politician interviewed on the loo? This aired on @ABC_Newsradio this morning. Listen and you decide: http://bit.ly/9LaIdX

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But not all listeners agreed:

@webboy32 I think the sound is traffic noise, not a toilet.

A spokesperson for Joyce denied that the Opposition finance minister had been caught with his pants down, saying that the suspect sound was a garbage truck.

To help you make up your own mind, Crikey has posted audio of the suspect sound, as well as audio of a garbage truck and a toilet flushing.

Eager to get to the bottom of the affair, Crikey consulted the ACT Government’s Canberra garbage collection roster.

According to the roster, Thursday collections take place around the Belconnen district, across town from the area around Parliament House where Senator Joyce is understood to reside.

However, garbage collection does take place between 7-9am, coinciding with the 7:15am timing of Joyce’s interview.

Crikey is unaware whether Joyce participated in last night’s nation-wide Vindaloo against Violence event, in which Australians were encouraged to eat curry as a sign of support for the Australian-Indian community.