Crikey Canberra intern Sally-Anne Curtain writes:

It started off with Senator Barnaby Joyce describing the sale of Cubbie Station as a “bloody disgrace”, and that Wayne Swan had “snuck this decision out with the garbage on Friday”, but his colourful crusade against the decision seems to have come to a grindingly dull halt.

After calling a media conference today on other matters, Joyce was predictably bombarded with questions about the sale of Cubbie Station to Chinese-led interests, which had whipped the Nationals, and Senator Joyce in particular, into a frenzy.

In response, Joyce declared that the Nationals had “passed a motion through the Senate… that calls on Mr Wayne Swan, the Treasurer of Australia, to come out and clearly explain his position.”

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Ironically, this comes after both the Coalition and the Government voted down a motion put to the Senate by the Greens calling on the Government to halt the sale of Cubbie Station.

Despite the rather inconclusive nature of the Nationals motion, Joyce maintained that “the National Party was absolutely instrumental in making sure that we got that motion through. We have to be realistic, we have to bargain for what we can get, and the motion was what we got.”

Joyce also took the opportunity to hit back at criticism he’d received for his outspoken disapproval of the sale, as well as criticising the government for their handling of the Abel Tasman “supertrawler.”

“We had the ridiculous position where only a matter of days ago I was getting absolutely pilloried by the Labor Party, and others, because apparently my position on Cubbie station was a sovereign risk, that it was populist.”

“Then literally days later, they make a decision which is populist and a sovereign risk. Now the difference between the two positions seems to be seals and dolphins. So if we can get seals and dolphins into the dam at Cubbie Station maybe we’ll get a different outcome.”

As comical as that juxtaposition was, Joyce sounded gloomy and defeated when he admitted that despite all of his efforts, there was nothing more he could do to alter the outcome of Cubbie Station.

“The point is, I can’t stop it. That’s the reality.”

What did Shakespeare write? A tale “full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing”?

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

Liz
North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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