Member for New England
Often outspoken and always engaged with the issues, Barnaby Joyce has carved out a niche as one of the few genuine characters left in Australian politics.
Barnaby was born in Tamworth, is one of a family of eight and was raised on a cattle and sheep property near Woolbrook, in the southern New England. While studying accountancy at the University of New England, Barnaby met Natalie, who is from Manilla, and the two were married in 1993. Their four daughters were all born in Tamworth.
After graduation, Barnaby spent three years with a chartered accountancy firm then a short period with an American multinational in cost accounting before completing five years with a major regional bank. With a choice between a senior role in banking or starting his own business Barnaby chose the latter and owned and operated Barnaby Joyce and Co for ten years in the western Queensland town of St George.
In 2004 he was elected as a Nationals Senator, securing the balance of power in the Senate for the Howard Government. He quickly made a name for himself as an independent thinker who was prepared to cross the floor where necessary on behalf of his constituents.
Until the 2013 election, Barnaby was the Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water. In that role he has developed a policy to provide tax concessions to major infrastructure projects, to help attract some of the $1.4 trillion Australians have invested in superannuation to invest in Australian infrastructure. Barnaby has also developed a policy to revamp Australia's zonal taxation system to provide real incentives for Australians to move to the remote, undeveloped parts of our nation.
He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, former serving member of the Australian Defence Force Reserves, a long-term member of St Vincent De Paul and in his earlier days represented Central North NSW in Rugby. Barnaby was elected as the Member for New England in 2013 and was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Agriculture, with the addition of Water Resources in 2015 - one of the most important portfolios.
In 2016, Barnaby was elected unopposed as Leader of the Nationals and retained his position Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources before becoming Minister for Infrastructure and Transport in December 2017.
In 2018, Barnaby stepped down as Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport but continued in his role as Member for New England.