Silence is not a word we often associate with Barnaby Joyce.
So we should not be surprised that our federal member of parliament has managed to dominate headlines less than a week after announcing he was taking a couple of weeks off.
When he announced via Twitter on May 30 that he was taking leave until June 15 following a routine check up, we understood that Mr Joyce would be unavailable to speak about electorate matters.
However, it has not stopped him putting out a media release about two new mobile phone base stations going live at Dungowan and Tenterfield, after which his office clarified that his sick leave only applied to his parliamentary duties, and that his medical certificate allows him to engage in “light electorate work”.
Yet there was no option for the media to attend this announcement and ask questions about the funding for our electorate.
He has also been in the news for contacting state MPs from the region, including Kevin Anderson and Adam Marshall, and urging them to vote against a proposal that would protect women from being harassed as they entered abortion clinics.
So, as we can clearly see, while Mr Joyce has been unavailable to speak to the media about electorate matters, he has certainly not been silent.
Yesterday morning he made an appearance on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program to discuss the latest incident on Sunday, where he clashed with a photographer outside Saints Mary and Joseph Catholic Cathedral in Armidale.
Mr Joyce had previously insisted on his desire to keep his private life private, but after confronting the photographer on Sunday morning, Mr Joyce filmed the man and posted the video to social media.
In the video Mr Joyce complains about the breach of privacy, but we have to ask, how does posting this video to thousands of followers help maintain his privacy?
Instead, all it did was set off more media interest in the life of the Member for New England, and it certainly wasn’t helped with claims from the photographer - all recorded in Mr Joyce’s video - that the former Deputy Prime Minister had sized him up to punch him.
While Mr Joyce has spent a lot of time talking about himself recently, we look forward to hearing him talk about the electorate when he returns from leave at the end of this week.