Barnaby’s daughter set for a career in politics

Despite the challenges of having the spotlight shone on her family after her father quit the federal Nationals leadership, the eldest daughter of Barnaby Joyce shows signs she might be planning a career in politics.

Bridgette, pictured with her mum Natalie, has found a job with NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro.
Bridgette, pictured with her mum Natalie, has found a job with NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro.

After a stint in the office of Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor, Bridgette Joyce, 22, has moved on to take up a more senior parliamentary adviser role with NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro.

The university graduate was spied sitting next to Joe Hockey, the former Ambassador of Australia to the United States, as she watched her boss during Question Time in state parliament on Thursday.

The Joyce family — (l to r) Odette, Natalie, Barnaby, Caroline, Julia and Bridgette — before the MP ended his marriage to Natalie.
The Joyce family — (l to r) Odette, Natalie, Barnaby, Caroline, Julia and Bridgette — before the MP ended his marriage to Natalie.

 

LABOR HAS A REAL DEATH WISH

Labor supporters will be "encouraged" to leave a donation to the party when they die, or commit to a monthly contribution, as NSW officials move to boost the party's stagnant campaign coffers.

While party sources say there is enough cash to fight the next election, very little "to nothing" has been done under NSW ALP general secretary Bob Nanva to keep the kitty growing.

NSW ALP general secretary Bob Nanva. Picture: Supplied
NSW ALP general secretary Bob Nanva. Picture: Supplied

Internal documents leaked to The Sauce reveal the party has hired an external consultant to conduct a review of its fundraising practices with a view to adopting some of the "sophisticated" practices of the non-profit sector.

They include developing a "bequests program" that "encourages supporters to leave a legacy gift in their will", and establishing an "individual donor program" that "encourages supporters to give a monthly donation".

The review will also look at improving the Labor Business Dialogue "offering", where guests pay a premium to rub shoulders with frontbenchers over a lunch or dinner.

ELECTION WOO-ING

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has yet to call an election but his right-hand man has already started the groundwork to ensure critical Liberal seats will have strong candidates when the party opens up preselections.

The Sauce can reveal centre-right powerbroker Alex Hawke approached NSW Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward to nominate for Gilmore, a seat the Liberals are desperate to reclaim after losing it to Labor in 2019.

NSW Families, Communities and Disability Services Minister Gareth Ward is being wooed for a federal seat. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP
NSW Families, Communities and Disability Services Minister Gareth Ward is being wooed for a federal seat. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

Encompassing much of Ward's state seat of Kiama, voters in the federal seat would need no introduction to the NSW moderate powerbroker.

Ward had strong name recognition among respondents at a recent focus group session, prompting the approach from Hawke.

The Liberals are desperate to reclaim the marginal south coast seat after the "cluster" that was the lead-up to the last preselection, when incumbent Ann Sudmalis withdrew her nomination for preselection in an alleged branch stack fiasco and local candidate Grant Schultz was pushed aside in favour of Warren Mundine, the PM's pick.

Warren Mundine was unsuccessful in his bid for the marginal south coast seat of Gilmore at the last election. Picture: John Feder
Warren Mundine was unsuccessful in his bid for the marginal south coast seat of Gilmore at the last election. Picture: John Feder

There has also been a push for NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance to run, but the Bega MP is understood to be staying put.

As for Ward, it's understood the Berejiklian loyalist has no plans to jump ship while fellow leftie Gladys remains in the chair.

ON THE UP

His name has been floated as a potential candidate in the Liberal Party preselection battle to replace Craig Kelly as the MP for Hughes, but Sutherland Shire councillor Kent Johns is also "actively considering" throwing his hat in the ring for a NSW Upper House seat.

Since Liberal MP John Ajaka declared he would be quitting politics, manoeuvrings have been well under way on a suitable replacement, with the contest looking to be between two rival left-wingers.

 

Sources close to Johns confirmed the industrial chemist is thinking about a tilt, claiming the spot had been promised to him years ago.

However, he will be up against political strategist Peter Poulos, who works for powerbroker Matt Kean.

Kean and Johns had a spectacular falling out almost two years ago when the former mayor was backed by the centre-right to challenge the "chief leftie", party president Philip Ruddock.

The challenge fizzled out, but left many in the left reeling at Kent, including Kean. As a result, Kent will be relying heavily on hard-right and centre-right votes.

NSW Environment and Energy Minister Matt Kean.
NSW Environment and Energy Minister Matt Kean.

With party official and fellow-left-winger Chris Rath, who had been backed by Family and Community Services Minister Gareth Ward, understood to be not running, the pathway to Macquarie Street for Poulos appears to be clearer.

EXTENDED FLEX

We all know how much public servants love their "flex days" but the pandemic appears to have taken the flexible working arrangements to a new level.

The Sauce is aware of two state government departments where managers are battling to lure staff back into the office.

One senior public servant has apparently insisted on continuing to work from home after "moving out to Orange".

A senior department official The Sauce spoke with last week said flexible working arrangements were encouraged - to a point.

"There are some that can't even be reached," the official said. "They literally have gone bush."

 

NO COUNTRY

There are more signs the debt-stricken NSW Country Labor Party is about to be killed off, with the departure of its chief organiser Jay Suvaal and the cessation of its monthly newsletter.

As The Sauce recently revealed, Sussex Street has been considering dismantling its regional arm for some time to rid a debt, which once hovered around $1.2 million.

Party members had expected the matter to have been raised at the latest NSW Labor Administrative Committee, with some claiming it was pulled off the agenda before the meeting began. It is understood the party has sought legal advice on the matter, given the arm receives its own State Electoral funding. Maybe this is the reason for the delay.

Either way, it will be interesting to see how the party sells itself to the bush in the future.

Got some Sauce? Contact linda.silmalis@news.com.au

Originally published as Barnaby's daughter set for a career in politics

Barnaby Joyce's eldest daughter Bridgette Joyce has been attracted to a career in politics. Picture: Facebook
Barnaby Joyce's eldest daughter Bridgette Joyce has been attracted to a career in politics. Picture: Facebook

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