Despite Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce extolling the virtues of the New South Wales town of Armidale, where the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority bureaucrats are being moved (or quitting instead of being moved), we hear not all his parliamentary colleagues are quite so enamoured with the area. As part of an announcement on a community soccer program for homeless people this morning, Health Minister Greg Hunt, the “best minister in the world“, led a team of parliamentarians in a round robin match against a team of public servants from the Department of Health, and the bureaucrats came out on top. Hunt reportedly joked that he would send the department out to the wilds of Armidale as a response to the loss. We have no information about the scoreline, so we can’t speculate on how many departmental employees were foolhardy enough to put a goal past the man who decides their funding.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey