Mil­lion­aire lets Joyce and lover live rent-free

The Weekend Australian - - FRONT PAGE - RICK MOR­TON BEN BUT­LER

Barn­aby Joyce is liv­ing rent-free with the mother of his un­born child in an Ar­mi­dale town­house owned by a multi-mil­lion­aire busi­ness­man who is an in­flu­en­tial player in New Eng­land pol­i­tics and was once ac­cused of try­ing to bribe Tony Wind­sor.

The six-month gift of ten­ancy, worth about $14,000, was made by self-made lo­cal man Greg Maguire, who has had busi­ness in­ter­ests in ho­tels, freight, and dairy and pas­toral out­fits, as well as a yacht char­ter en­ter­prise.

The Week­end Aus­tralian also un­der­stands Mr Joyce’s new part­ner, for­mer staffer Vikki Cam­pion, was moved with the ap­proval of Malcolm Turn­bull’s of­fice to a se­nior ad­viser po­si­tion on se­na­tor Matt Cana­van’s staff which de­liv­ered her a sig­nif­i­cant pay rise. The salary band for a se­nior ad­viser is up to $191,000 a year. The move was ap­proved af­ter the re­la­tion­ship be­came the

sub­ject of ru­mour, prompt­ing Bill Shorten to warn Mr Turn­bull the pub­lic should be as­sured there was “noth­ing un­to­ward”.

Mr Joyce was handed the keys to the three-bed­room, twobath­room town­house when he was re­moved from par­lia­ment af­ter it was found he was a dual Aus­tralian-New Zealand cit­i­zen.

Ru­mours of a mar­i­tal break­down between Mr Joyce and his wife of 24 years, Natalie, were con­firmed when the New Eng­land mem­ber re­turned to par­lia­ment and took up his role as Deputy Prime Min­is­ter late last year, but it was only this week that it was re­vealed Ms Cam­pion was preg­nant with his child. The Prime Min­is­ter yes­ter­day said he was “very con­scious of the dis­tress” suf­fered by Mrs Joyce and her four daugh­ters. Mr Joyce moved out of the fam­ily home, near Tam­worth in north­east NSW, be­fore the New Eng­land by­elec­tion on De­cem­ber 2, later mov­ing into the town­house. The Week­end Aus­tralian is not sug­gest­ing any wrong­do­ing on be­half of Mr Maguire or Mr Joyce. Mr Maguire, who has been friends with Mr Joyce for many years, has a long his­tory in New Eng­land pol­i­tics. In 2004, his then friend and in­de­pen­dent MP Tony Wind­sor ac­cused Mr Maguire of at­tempt­ing to bribe him. Mr Maguire, said to be act­ing as an in­ter­me­di­ary for then Na­tion­als leader John An­der­son, told Mr Wind­sor he had be­come in­ef­fec­tive as an MP and should “back off” in place of a bet­ter can­di­date.

“Greg Maguire asked Tony Wind­sor what it would take for him to con­sider leav­ing pol­i­tics and would he be in­ter­ested in a diplo­matic or trade post­ing over­seas,” Mr Wind­sor’s cam­paign man­ager, Stephen Hall, told a Se­nate in­quiry at the time. “Greg Maguire said that ei­ther could be ar­ranged.”

The mat­ter was re­ferred to the Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice, but the case was dropped on the ad­vice of pros­e­cu­tors who said there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

At the same Se­nate hear­ing in March 2005, Mr Maguire de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

Mr Maguire or­gan­ised a fundrais­ing din­ner for Mr Joyce’s 2013 elec­tion bid that then op­po­si­tion leader Tony Ab­bott at­tended.

Nei­ther Mr Maguire nor any com­pany he con­trols is listed as a donor to the Na­tion­als’ fed­eral divi­sion or its NSW branch in any year since the late 1990s. Nei­ther Mr Maguire nor Mr Joyce could be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day.

The Ar­mi­dale town­houses where Barn­aby Joyce is liv­ing

Maguire

Joyce

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