Credit where credit is due: the Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh and Deputy Leader Steph Ryan, our member for Euroa, are to be commended on their principled rejection of the Federal Nationals leadership change back to Barnaby Joyce. As they note, his attitude to action on climate is out-of-step with the challenges of our time, and out-of-step with 84% of Victorians who want strong action on climate.
Then theres his problems with women.
Barnaby Joyce loves to stir on most days, but his divisive attitude to urban Australians, and Melbourne residents in particular (“country people don’t care about Melbourne” and “you can almost smell the bodies burning” in reference to Covid outbreaks just 2 weeks ago) is the stir you might expect from a larrikin backbencher. It is not the language that we deserve from our leaders. And it creates unnecessary urban-country division when we need national teamwork and empathy right now. Lots of it.
Barnaby Joyce is no leader. He is yesterday’s larrikin, yet the Federal Nationals have resurrected him. Its good reason for the Victorian Nationals leadership to stand up and want distance from the Federal Nationals.
Hats off to you both, Peter Walsh and Steph Ryan on your principled leadership on this.
President BEAM Mitchell Environment Group