Joyce re­turns $40,000 prize

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News -

BARN­ABY Joyce has re­turned a $40,000 award be­stowed on him by min­ing mag­nate and cat­tle queen Gina Rine­hart.

The Na­tion­als leader and for­mer agri­cul­ture min­is­ter for­mally de­clined the money – af­ter ini­tially ac­cept­ing the cheque on stage at a gala cel­e­bra­tion of the Na­tional Day of Agri­cul­ture last week.

The cheque will be re­turned to Han­cock Prospect­ing, spon­sors of the Na­tional Agri­cul­ture Day award.

It fol­lows a pub­lic back­lash to Mr Joyce’s re­ceipt of the award.

Han­cock Prospect­ing spokesman Adam Giles said the min­ing com­pany alone spon­sored the award, and de­fended the de­ci­sion to award $40,000 to Mr Joyce.

In her speech, Mrs Rine­hart sin­gled out Mr Joyce as “a cham­pion of our in­dus­try and our friend”.

“The agri­cul­ture in­dus­try was very for­tu­nate to have had such a ded­i­cated, un­der­stand­ing and en­thu­si­as­tic min­is­ter, one with years of first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence,” Ms Rine­hart said.

PHOTO: FILE

MU­TUAL RE­SPECT: Barn­aby Joyce and Gina Rine­hart em­brace dur­ing the launch of a book by the lat­ter in 2012.

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