Former local National Party MPs Wendy Machin and Mark Vaile see the scandal caused by the relationship revelations involving deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce as a “problem for the National Party”, according to Ms Machin, with Mr Vaile saying “they must resolve this.”
Speaking on the ABC’s The Drum in her role as chair of the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), Ms Machin commented “it does become death by a thousands cuts, I think politically there is a problem for the National Party.”
“I would have to say I think their personal situation must be horrific too, I guess that’s not our concern but it must be pretty awful for a whole bunch of people going through this and that’s the human side of politics that people often forget about,” Ms Machin said.
Ms Machin’s political experience of 11 years as the member for Gloucester, Manning and Port Macquarie informed her comment on the alleged creation of jobs in National Party offices for Mr Joyce’s former staff member and girlfriend, who is also pregnant with his child, Vikki Campion.
“There is a code of conduct, there are guidelines that say how you should employ partners, I suppose he would argue that, well obviously he’s arguing that he’s adhered to that code, if he’s actually correct, why should he go, I guess he would argue,” Ms Machin said.
He is a good politician, I mean if you put this to one side ...Former Nationals MP Wendy Machin
“He is a good politician, I mean if you put this to one side, there’s a lot of people that think he’s a great retail politician, the Nats did well at the last election, he got a thumping result in his by-election, so in terms of cutting through and the message about politics, he is very good at that.”
Former deputy prime minister and member for Lyne for 15 years, Mark Vaile, told Fairfax Media the story was "now getting to the point where it is affecting the government".
He said Nationals MPs had a responsibility "to the national interest first, the government second and the party's interests third".
"They are the junior Coalition partner and part of the government of Australia. They need to deal with this. How they do it is up to them," Mr Vaile said. "They must resolve this."
Asked if Mr Joyce could survive, Mr Vaile said: "I don't know".
The gift of the leadership is something those members of the Nationals vote on - it's in their gift to give it and take it away.Former Nationals deputy prime minister and member for Lyne, Mark Vaile.