You get some weird gifts when you’re the Deputy Prime Minister.
Like a porcelain sculpture of the iconic German polar bear, Knut, from the Agricultural Minister of Germany.
Or what about some Havana Club rum and five Cohiba cigars from the Ambassador of Cuba?
These were just some of the bizarre gifts Barnaby Joyce declared in his recent statement of registrable interests.
Mr Joyce was bestowed with more porcelain from Germany – Vice President of the Bundestag (the country's equivalent of the House of Representatives) Edelgard Bulmahn sent him a dish from Germany’s Royal Porcelain Factory.
A spokeswoman for Mr Joyce said it was customary to exchange gifts when ministers travel abroad or meet with dignitaries visiting from overseas.
So what does the leader of the Nationals give in return? Why, the very best regional Australia has to offer, of course!
“In every exchange, the Deputy Prime Minister seeks to showcase the talents of regional Australia and give examples of fine Australian craftsmanship, such as Akubras from the family-owned century old Akubra Hat Company, a regional manufacturing business in Kempsey, on the mid-north coast of NSW,” the spokeswoman said.
Mr Joyce also got practical gifts as well – an Akubra from the Central Queensland University, a wooden letter opener from the Armidale Splinter Group and two Parker Pens from Uniplan.
Satirical news organisation, The Betoota Advocate, sent Mr Joyce a copy of its book – possibly for being a good sport about articles such as “Barnaby Joyce Involved In Rum-Fuelled Altercation At Lyceum Hotel In Longreach” or “Tamworth Edition Of Q&A Postponed After Barnaby Joyce And Tony Windsor Punch On In Car Park”.
“As a classic example of good Australian satire, the Betoota Advocate Round-Up is a personal favourite,” Mr Joyce’s spokeswoman said.
And while The Betoota Advocate would have you believe Mr Joyce is a man who only drinks Bundaberg Rum, the Deputy Prime Minister will have a variety fine wines to try.
Accolade Wines gifted Mr Joyce bottles of St Hallett shiraz and Hardys chardonnay, while the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers sent him a bottle of Cullen Diana Madeline wine.
The City of Swan, a council area in Perth, gave him some Talijancich port and a port sipper to drink it from, and Murrumbidgee Irrigation sent him a bottle of Berton Vineyard bonsai shiraz.
German’s Agricultural Minister, Christian Schmidt, also gave Mr Joyce two bottles of Juliusspital wine.
Where there is wine, there must be food. The Agricultural Minister was sent hampers from Qantas and Australian Food and Grocery Council, aChristmas pudding from Croplife and a Christmas ham from Australian Pork Limited, which he might have seasoned with Plum vinegar from Lirah Australia Vinegar.
He’ll also have some light reading to do when he gets tired of budget review reports and Northern Daily Leader articles, with copies of The Conversation Yearbook 2016 from political journalist Michelle Grattan, Milan Louis Vuitton City Guide from European Australia Business Council and Armenia, Australia and the Great war from the Armenia National Committee of Australia.
Barnaby Joyce's statement of registrable interests – February 2017
- Christmas pudding from Croplife
- Hamper from Australian Food and Grocery Council
- Hamper from Qantas
- Christmas ham from Australian Pork Limited
- Royal Porcelian Manufacture polar bear statue and two bottles of Juliusspital wine from Mr Christian Schmidt, Agriculture Minister in Germany
- Royal Porcelain Manufacture dish from Ms Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice President of the Bundestag
- Akubra hat from Central Queensland Univesity
- Clock from Thomas Lembong, Chairman of BKPM
- Havana Club rum and five Cohiba cigars from Jose Manuel Galego Montano, Ambassador of Cuba
- Book Armenia, Australia and the Great war from the Armenia National Committee of Australia
- Talijancich port and port sipper from the City of Sawn
- Book Milan Louis Vuitton City Guide from European Australia Business Council
- St Hallett shiraz and Hardys chardonnay from Accolade Wines
- Cullen Diana Madeline wine from Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers
- Plum vinegar from Lirah Australia Vinegar
- Wooden letter opener from Armidale Showground
- Book The Conversation Yearbook 2016 from Michelle Grattan
- Notebook from Bespoke Approach
- Berton Vineyard bonsai shiraz from Murrumbidgee Irrigation
- Two Parker Pens from Uniplan
- Book The Betoota Advocate Round-up from the Betoota Advocate
The story The weird perks of being the Deputy Prime Minister first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.