'It's not a sackable offence': O'Brien backs Barnaby
UNDER fire from several sides for the past week, beleaguered Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has found himself on the end of some regional support.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien has given Mr Joyce a vote of confidence, and called for parliament to get back to business instead of focussing on the Deputy PM's public marriage breakdown.
"It's not an issue that's important in people's everyday lives," Mr O'Brien said.
While questions swirl around Mr Joyce's future over his collapsed marriage and the expected child with his former media advisor Vikki Campion, Mr O'Brien said at no time had any guidelines, rules or laws been broken by the relationship.
"I don't think that's a sackable offence," he said.
Asked about the support amid the political storm, Mr O'Brien said his first priority was to those who elected him.
"I'm judging him on his ability to do his job.
"He was front and centre in stopping the Traveston Dam and he understands Queensland," he said.
"My priority is to the Wide Bay and its constituents.
"Any decision I make in Canberra is one that I make to benefit the people of Wide Bay. This is no different."
Mr O'Brien said it was his understanding that Ms Campion's role with the government pre-dated Mr Joyce's term in parliament.
He also shot down questions over the suitability of her employment.
"She's certainly well qualified for any job that she had," he said.
"She was identified as a person to assist the Nationals with their social media platforms."
And at the end of the day, he was satisfied with what investigations into the matter had revealed.
"This has been heavily scrutinised.
"Political opponents would like to make something of it but it isn't the case."
He hoped it was a situation which the Federal Government would soon be past.
"I'd like to see a situation where we're talking about the achievements of the Government and plans for the future, not dwelling on the personal issues of Barnaby Joyce."