Barnaby Joyce has come under fire for linking the Gillard government’s live export ban with an increase in asylum seeker boat arrivals. Here’s what he said:
During a regional leaders’ debate, Mr Joyce said the controversial decision by the Gillard government to ban cattle exports to Indonesia created immense bad will in the region.
‘When we closed down the live animal export industry, it was around about the same time that we started seeing a lot of people arriving in boats in Australia,’ he told the forum in Goulburn on Wednesday night.
When asked whether he stood by the suggestion on Thursday morning, Mr Joyce said he didn’t claim the suspension caused Indonesia to send people to Australia.
But rather it made it difficult to negotiate with the country on the issue.
‘I’m just stating the bleeding obvious,’ he told the Seven Network.
‘You don’t want to, basically, what they would determine, insult another country by overnight ceasing the supply of a major requirement of their dietary intake which is meat.’
The key point of reference here of course in June 2011 – the time when the Gillard government implemented the ban. Now let’s have another look at the graph of monthly boat arrivals under Labor:
(NB: this graph was published in The Australian on 8 May 2013).
As always, I’ll leave you to form your own opinion…