Revolving Doors

Barnaby Joyce

Revolving Doors
National Party

Barnaby Joyce

Fossil Fuels | Revolving Doors | The Nationals

Current Position

  • Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs from May 2022 to Present
  • House of Representatives Member for New England, New South Wales
    • Elected 2013. Re-elected 2016. Election ruled void 2017. Elected at by-election 2017. Re-elected 2019, and 2022.
  • Chair of the Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources.

Previous Positions

Ministerial appointments 

  • Minister for Infrastructure and Transport from 2017 to 2018.
  • Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and Agriculture and Water Resources, 2017.
  • Deputy Prime Minister from 2016 to 2018.
  • Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources from 2015 to 2017.
  • Minister for Agriculture from 2013 to 2015.
  • Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development from 2021 to 2022.

Parliamentary service

  • Elected to the Senate for Queensland 2004. Re-elected 2010. Resigned 2013. 

Parliamentary party positions

  • Deputy Prime Minister from 2021 to 2022.
  • Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Nationals from 2021 to 2022.
  • Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Nationals from 2016 to 2018.
  • Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Nationals from 2013 to 2016. 
  • Leader of the Nationals in the Senate from 2008 to 2013.

Mining Connections

Former Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Barnaby Joyce has been an enthusiastic promoter of
coal for many years. He’s also a member of the Monash Forum, along with George Christensen, Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly and Eric Abetz.

  • In 2016, the then Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce awarded $3 million in federal funding for a feasibility study for Urannah Dam in in the Bowen Basin, Northern Queensland. Initiative Capital, a mining company run by prominent LNP member John Cotter Jr, has direct interest in opening up the Bowen Basin to coal mining operations.
  • The money came from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF). The NWIDF is $1.5 billion dollars earmarked for states and territory governments to enhance water infrastructure. The Urannah Dam feasibility report was selected for funding by the then Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, although the Urannah Dam was not listed as a state priority.
  • Cotter Jr was a member of the LNP’s state executive and regional party chair at the time, and his partner in Initiative Capital, Gerard Paynter, was the Queensland managing director of LNP-aligned lobbying firm Barton Deakin.
  • According to Bowen Collinsville Enterprise (BCE), the consortium Initiative Capital is a part of, the “future coal development in the Bowen Basin is constrained by lack of water supply”. BCE’s 2018 chairman’s report states the Urannah Dam’s “elevated strategic location provides most cost-efficient option for water delivery to all areas of Northern Bowen Basin Coal fields”.
  • Joyce has also received funding from, and is known to be close to, resources billionaire Gina Rinehart. Rinehart handed Barnaby Joyce a $50,000 donation in 2013 and another $40,000 donation at an event in November 2017 however Joyce subsequently returned the second donation. The ABC reported, “other guests included federal Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie, and MP George Christiansen. Former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella and former Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles, who are now staffers for Mrs Rinehart, were also at the event.”
    • Joyce was also one of three MPs that Rinehart flew to India as guests at the wedding of her granddaughter and business partner.
    • Rinehart’s GVK Hancock joint venture in the Galilee Basin is a commercial ally for the controversial Adani thermal coal project, Carmichael. If Adani is successful in opening up the Galilee Basin with rail access, then Rinehart and other coal miners will benefit by sharing the transport infrastructure to freight coal to Adani’s Abbot Point terminal on the coast.
    • Rinehart also employs former Liberal frontbench Sophie Mirabella and former Liberal Country Party (CLP) NT chief minister Adam Giles. After CLP lost an election in January 2017, Giles was appointed general manager of external affairs for the pastoral arm of Hancock Prospecting. In May 2018, he left Hancock to host his own show on Sky which was scrapped in 2019.


This entry in the #RevolvingDoors series has been produced from the Dirty Power Report authored by Michael West and Simone Marsh in collaboration with Greenpeace.

Please read the report here.

Don't pay so you can read it.

Pay so everyone can.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This