House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Statements by Members


1:44 pm

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

One of the amazing things about what we are doing right now is that probably nobody is watching it. If you are watching this, ring my office right now—I bet you I don't get a call. Because nobody is watching means it really doesn't have as much of an effect as we would wish. I remember a very salient comment that was made by the son of a mate of mine. They were sitting in the visitors gallery, and the boy looked down and asked, 'Why is that man talking to himself?' That's basically the view. Why is this important? I did a Facebook post the other day, and it reached 320,000 people. Facebook is incredibly powerful, but for a democracy to work you have to have the fourth estate. You have to have the people upstairs. We don't have Kmart upstairs. We don't have a department store upstairs. We have the media. Democracy needs the media. It needs transparency; otherwise, it doesn't work. That being the case, I fully support anything that we can do to keep journalists in this place employed. Without journalism, this just becomes a pointless exercise in the middle of the day.