REAL AUSTRALIA

Who wants to punch Barnaby Joyce in the nose?

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by ACM executive editor James Joyce.

Keeping his head down? Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce during Question Time on July 22, 2019. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Keeping his head down? Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce during Question Time on July 22, 2019. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Last week Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged unity from Coalition MPs and told them to raise policy ideas internally and not "run off" in public with commentary on issues the government isn't focusing on.

So, what does Barnaby Joyce do?

Writing today in The Canberra Timesthe former National Party leader says better unemployment benefits are one of three issues he wants to push this term: "You can't just say to St Vincent De Paul, which, among many, have brought this to my attention, and say, sorry, in politics advocacy must get permission. They want to hear your advocacy, they want to see it. If required they want to see you punched in the nose because of it".

Let's see if the Prime Minister or the man who replaced Joyce as Nats leader and Deputy PM Michael McCormack take a swing at the Member for New England given their stated reluctance to offer more support for the jobless.

Cartoonist David Pope takes aim at Michael McCormack's stance on Newstart.

Cartoonist David Pope takes aim at Michael McCormack's stance on Newstart.

And yet when it comes to setting their own pay, federal politicians almost choke in the rush to assure taxpayers that they're not responsible, writes journalist Joanne McCarthy.

By the way, how much does Joyce [no relation] love The Canberra Times!

Describing it in his opinion piece as "the biggest bush paper in our nation", he acknowledges that most of the material for his book Weatherboard and Iron was based on the stream-of-consciousness columns he used to regularly write for the paper.

"The Canberra Times reminds me of my bush friends," Joyce gushes, "surprisingly independent in private to what you may expect is their ingrained political views. At their core, though, is a fair go, otherwise known as justice."

Bless.

Then again, Barnaby Joyce is nothing if not shameless - a topic essayist Ian Warden has been researching since former federal ministers Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne popped up post-parliament with cosy private sector jobs.

Michael McCormack and Barnaby Joyce watch on as Pat Conaghan makes his maiden speech. Photo: Auspic (Department of Parliamentary Services)

Michael McCormack and Barnaby Joyce watch on as Pat Conaghan makes his maiden speech. Photo: Auspic (Department of Parliamentary Services)

While some of the Coalition's winners from the May 18 election have been giving their maiden speeches, including former NSW North Coast police officer Pat Conaghan, Tasmanian cattleman Gavin Pearce and proud advocate for Young Liberals on campus Claire Chandler, ScoMo & Co have been trying their best to look busy during the current two-week sitting (before parliament's winter break).

We've had the appointment of Mr Morrison's former chief of staff Phil Gaetjens to replace Martin Parkinson as secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

There's the PM's fabulous new slogan to guide and inspire the public service: "respect and expect".

Plus strong words about Australia getting tough with online giants Google and Facebook.

And Reece Kershaw is to be the new Australian Federal Police Commissioner. (Veteran commentator and noted AFP critic Jack Waterford has assessed how the nation's new top cop handled some rather tricky ethics and politics in his previous job in Northern Territory.)

Finally, a shout-out to one of our editors here at Australian Community Media, The Border Mail's Xavier Mardling, who registered as an organ donor last week.

Xavier told readers that he was inspired to join the Australian Organ Donor Register - something he "should have done a long time ago" - by the courage of Vicki Denniss who lost her daughter, 23-year-old nurse Jessica McLennan, after a car accident.

Vicki was comforted knowing that "a little bit of Jess lives on".

GRATEFUL: Tasmanian heart transplant recipient Coralie Lacey has shared her story ahead of DonateLife Week. Picture: Brodie Weeding

GRATEFUL: Tasmanian heart transplant recipient Coralie Lacey has shared her story ahead of DonateLife Week. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Around the ACM network this week - DonateLife Week - you can read more remarkable stories about real Australians making a real difference - lives saved by strangers, grieving families who consented to life-saving donations and the community groups striving to raise awareness

There are 1551 Australians currently waiting for an organ donation. Last year 1782 lives were transformed by 554 deceased and 238 living organ donors and their families.

Thank you to Xavier and everyone else who has selflessly done their part and registered to one day give their parts.

To register to become an organ donor, visit www.donatelife.gov.au

James Joyce, ACM executive editor.

Sign up below to receive the Voice of Real Australia newsletter direct to your inbox each weekday.

More stuff happening around Australia