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Barnaby hands out relationship advice to Coalition colleagues

Politics

Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has come out swinging against his party’s alliance with the Liberals.

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Joyce has described the Coalition as a marriage of convenience that diminishes the electoral prospects of both parties.

He says the Nationals are berated if they talk to constituents about issues at odds with Coalition policies, describing many as merely Liberal Party platforms.

His criticism comes after Nationals backbenchers released a manufacturing plan underpinned by more investment in coal-fired power stations.

The blueprint is likely to stir tensions within the Coalition and create a headache for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is under increasing pressure at home and abroad to take stronger action on climate change.

Joyce argues Nationals MPs should also hold crucial portfolios such as trade, treasury or defence.

“I am kicking up the dust now because the Coalition has devolved into a marriage of convenience that diminishes the electoral prospects of the whole coalition,” he wrote in The Australian on Wednesday.

“This needs to be corrected prior to an election, which I presume will be at the end of this year. A coalition has to be in fact and form to authentically live up to its name.”

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