Barnaby Joyce drew national headlines in 2013 when he announced his intention to resign from The Senate and return to the region of his birth to contest the Federal Seat of New England as The Nationals candidate.
Having pulled up stumps at St George and moved to Tamworth, Barnaby hosted more than 40 community forums throughout New England during the 2013 election campaign which enabled him to gather the important ‘on the ground’ opinions and needs of constituents.
On 7 September 2013, Barnaby was elected as the Member for New England with more than 54% of the first preference vote and over 64% of the vote on a two party preferred basis.
He is strongly committed to bringing his passionate advocacy for rural and regional Australians, which has earned respect across both sides of the political divide, to the New England Electorate.
Barnaby is one of a family of eight from a cattle and sheep property near Woolbrook in the southern New England and studied accountancy at the University of New England from 1986 to 1989.
Always a keen rugby player, Barnaby proudly threw on the jersey for St Albies College at UNE where he counts three premiership appearances, one lost front tooth, distended spleen, 28 stitches across his face, fractured ribs and a partially popped shoulder among his firm memories from his time on the paddock.
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.
He said operating his own business was among the challenging yet rewarding decisions of his career. Barnaby remains unashamedly pro small business and is derided by many because of his pro small business views.
In 2004, he was elected to head The Nationals Senate team in Queensland and won back the previously lost Senate seat.
Having taken his seat in Canberra, Barnaby believed in a more classic role of the Senate as an independent house of review than the executive.
His much reported decisions to cross the floor 28 times during his career made him both hero and villain, but overwhelmingly respected by his constituency as a conviction politician. Barnaby has also become one of the most quoted politicians in Australia.
Barnaby was a voting member of the Senate Economics Committee and was author of “The Birdsville Amendment” to protect small business.
In 2009, he was elected to the role of The Nationals Leader in The Senate and became Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water.
Following the election of the Coalition to Government in September 2013, Barnaby was appointed Federal Minister for Agriculture and Deputy Leader of The Nationals with Water Resources being added to his portfolio on 21 September 2015.
In February 2016, Barnaby Joyce was elected unopposed as Leader of The Nationals and was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister.
He was re-elected as the Member for New England at the 2016 Federal Election with a majority of 58% on a two-party preferred vote.
Following the High Court of Australia ruling on 27 October 2017 regarding his dual citizenship matter, Barnaby again stood as The Nationals’ candidate for the Seat of New England at the ensuing by-election held on 2 December 2017 and was re-elected with an increased primary vote of 64.92%, a swing of 12.63%, and a two candidate preferred vote of 73.63%, a swing of 7.21% compared to the 2016 Election in what is believed to be the largest swing to the government in the history of by-elections in Australia.
In the subsequent Cabinet reshuffle on 20 December 2017, Barnaby Joyce was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
On Monday, 26 February 2018, Barnaby stepped down from his ministerial positions in Cabinet to remain as Federal Member for New England.
On 11 September 2018, Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison appointed Barnaby Special Envoy for Drought Assistance and Recovery. As Special Envoy, Barnaby worked as an advocate and adviser to the Prime Minister. His role was to report on the ground, from the regions, on how drought affected farmers and graziers and their communities, and how Federal government drought relief policies were working and what improvements to help build resilience were needed.
Following the Federal Election on 18 May 2019, Barnaby was re-elected as the Member for New England with an increased primary vote of 54.80%. Compared to the previous general election in 2016, that represents a swing of 2.5%.
He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary, a former serving member of the Australian Defence Force Reserves and a long term member of St Vincent De Paul.
Barnaby represented Central North NSW in Rugby and has three times been the subject for the Archibald Prize.