Transcript - The Kenny Report, Sky News Australia

CHRIS KENNY: Let’s go to the Deputy Prime Minister. Barnaby Joyce now joins us live from Canberra. Thanks for joining us, Barnaby, are you a bit of a Stones fan? And mourn on the passing of Charlie Watts?

BARNABY JOYCE: Was, still am. Probably first album I got and the cassette was Tattoo You and went to their Voodoo Lounge concert. I went and saw them up in the, that was in Brisbane, and I saw them in the Hunter Valley a few years ago with my eldest daughter, and to go to a Rolling Stones concert with the eldest daughter is one of the great experiences of life. And I’ll tell you a Charlie Watt’s story really briefly. So Charlie got a call from Mick Jagger. Mick Jagger him rang up and said, “Where’s my drummer?” So Charlie Watts got out of bed, had a shave, had a shower, got dressed, went over and saw Mick, smacked him in the head and said, “Mate, I’m not your drummer, you’re my singer”.

[LAUGHTER]

CHRIS KENNY: Yeah, we could go on about the drummer jokes all night. What do they say? A drummer is someone who hangs around with musicians. But I say that, I used to try and be a drummer. Now, tell us about these borders and the added restrictions that Annastacia Palaszczuk has put on the Queensland border, making it so much harder for even Queenslanders to get back home. Now, you’re a former Queensland Senator, you’re just south of the border now, even though you still barrack for the Maroons, you must be glad you ended up south of that border.

BARNABY JOYCE: Yeah, well, the north of my electorate is actually about the same level as Warwick. It goes right up, it’s on Queensland time. You know, we had the idiot position, at one stage, where on the border, and a lot of my electorate’s on the border, where a person’s front gate was in Queensland, the house is in New South Wales, and they had to get a permit to drive out or drive in. You know, this is the sort of lunacy that is happening. And I’ll tell you what, Premier Palaszczuk is not reading the tea leaves. People have moved on. What people were highly supportive of and right behind you, maybe some months ago, now they just want their lives back.

CHRIS KENNY: Well there’s a big difference, there’s a big difference to when she sort of won an election on the back of COVID measures and even Mark McGowan, because this was a time when there were no vaccines and, you know, closing down was our only defence. We now have vaccines. We now know a lot more about the disease. She is going drastically in the wrong direction, isn’t she?

BARNABY JOYCE: Yeah. I mean, we still need the proper epidemiology and the proper suppression, but these people who think I’m going to make a play for power and prominence and a play for relevance, by arbitrarily from George Street in Brisbane, making statements about other people’s lives, in excessive statements beyond what is required, that’s wrong. And you’re on the wrong side of this debate. I know very little about much, but I know a lot about politics. And I can tell you right now, if you’re banging on about keeping people locked up in the house, mothers locked up in their houses, if you’re being part of that process, no matter what side of the border it affects, you’re on the wrong side of history. And people are going to say the only job you have now is to work through a process of giving Australia back the liberties and freedoms that all the people who voted for you were born with.

CHRIS KENNY: Well, you talk a lot about the Federation and the need for some reforms of the Federation. This shows, of course, the impotence of the Federal Government in managing things like state borders on the back of that High Court ruling last year too. I mean this just shouldn’t be happening, Canberra doesn’t want it to happen, but the premiers are doing it anyway.

BARNABY JOYCE: There’s a town in the north of my electorate called Tenterfield, and the School of Arts Hall there, a bloke called Henry Parkes had some very cogent debates with some very, obviously substantial figures. And the reason they were substantial is that they said we’ve got to make this nation work better, we’ve got to all get together, get rid of the colonies and work as a nation. I think Sir Henry Parkes would be bitterly disappointed by some of the cohort he’d have to deal with today, who seem to want to revert back to colonies, you know, turn ourselves into a smaller nation, sort of unreasonable parochialism and basically egotistical plays for power that might have worked maybe half a year ago, some months ago, but by gosh, they aren’t working now.

CHRIS KENNY: Well, he talked about the goodly fabric of the nation, and that goodly fabric is being torn apart at the moment. Just very briefly, do you expect most of regional New South Wales might get out of lockdown in the next day or two?

BARNABY JOYCE: Well, I would hope so. Where I’m from, Danglemah, no one lives there, you don’t have to worry about isolating there, it was born isolated. But in Tamworth we haven’t had a case. We haven’t had a case for months and months and months. Someone with COVID drove through there, that’s why we ended up in lockdown and the reason why it would be in lock down, I don’t know. Probably one of the safest places on Earth would be Tamworth at the moment.

CHRIS KENNY: Yeah, well, hopefully it’ll be good news on that in the next couple of days from the New South Wales Government. Thanks for joining us, Barnaby.

BARNABY JOYCE: You’re welcome.