Australia to get new federal minister responsible for aviation after Barnaby Joyce resigns

Soon-to-be former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce. (Barnaby Joyce/Instagram)
Soon-to-be former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce. (Barnaby Joyce/Instagram)

Australia will get its third federal minister responsible for aviation matters in two years after Barnaby Joyce’s decision to resign as Nationals leader and move to the back bench.

Joyce told reporters in Armidale on Friday he would officially step down as leader of the Nationals, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport when the party room meets in Canberra on Monday morning.

The decision to resign comes two weeks after it emerged Joyce had separated from his wife and started a relationship with a former staffer, who is pregnant.

The revelations, as well as scrutiny over a rent-free apartment Joyce has been living in that was provided by a friend, led to some Nationals to call for his resignation.

While the Member for New England in the House of Representatives initially resisted the push to go, he told reporters on Friday the current “cacophony of issues has to be put aside”, including fresh allegations on Friday regarding a sexual harassment complaint against him.

“I think it’s my responsibility to do my bit to make sure that happens,” Joyce said.

“It is quite evident that you can’t go to the dispatch box while issues like that are surrounding you.

“It’s incredibly important that there be a circuit-breaker, not just for the parliament, but more importantly, a circuit-breaker for Vikki, for my unborn child, my daughters and for Nat.”

ABC News published video of Joyce’s media conference on Twitter.

Joyce replaced Darren Chester as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport in December 2017 following a cabinet reshuffle.

Chester had been in the role since 2016, when he took over from the retiring Warren Truss.

Joyce said he would stay on as the Member for New England. He was returned to Parliament in a by-election in December 2017 after being forced to resign from the House of Representatives when the High Court found him to be a dual citizen.


  1. Brad says

    Let’s get one thing clear at least, he may have had the title but he actually never did anything as minister. I’m very happy he has he is gone……..good ridence Barnaby.

  2. Bill from QLD says

    Keeping right away from anything political here as it doesn’t serve any purpose , and this is just a thought of mine , I’ve always wondered how this fella and others forgot , overlooked or maybe didn’t think it necessary to disclose their citizenship status before trying to represent the Australian public in govt and the problems it caused some time back . Also my analogy of having my passport up to date before I travel overseas may not be the best comparison to that situation, but at the moment it will do 🙂

  3. says

    Typical government, when the going gets tough etc, etc etc.
    Only good news would be, if the new sitter, gets off his rear end, and does more for Civil Aviation.
    The present authority, I use the term cynically, has killed of a thriving G.A. community.
    The first thing they did when taking office, was to close the oft used crossing runway, since then, they have successfully driven G.A. operators, including the Aero Club, no wonder the world is short of new Pilots.