THE BATTLE over Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s electorate ahead of a possible by-election is well and truly on.
Labor’s Tanya Plibersek made a visit to Armidale for “no particular reason” on Thursday, telling Fairfax Media it had nothing to do with the potential by-election.
Touring the University of New England, Ms Plibersek had just enough time remind voters that if there were a by-election, they should ask themselves what Mr Joyce has done for local kids.
“He’s stood by and allowed $13 million in cuts to schools in his electorate over the next two years alone,” Ms Plibersek said.
“And now he’s standing by and allowing $33 million in cuts to the university that employs so many of his constituents.
“What kind of member of parliament stands by while those multi-million dollar cuts happen in their own backyard and says nothing and does nothing?”
High Court proceedings in mid-October will decide whether Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is ineligible to sit in parliament, after it was discovered he was also a Kiwi during last year’s election.
Section 44 of the constitution states foreign nationals cannot stand in the Australian parliament.
Ms Plibersek isn’t the only Labor politician to head to the New England.
Politician Peter Primrose made a surprise visit to Guyra in August to chat to impassioned residents about forced mergers.
While Sam Dastyari stopped for a pint with Politics in the Pub, inviting locals to join him for a “non-halal beer.”
Member for New England and 2018 New Zealander of the Year nominee Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition would continue to invest in the University of New England.
“I can tell you the precise amount that the UNE’s funding will increase by under the Nationals as part of the Coalition,” Mr Joyce said.
“I ask Labor and Ms Plibersek to outline exactly how much funding will the UNE receive in 2021 under Shorten and Labor? “The reality is Labor can’t tell you.”