A somewhat shell-shocked Barnaby Joyce has faced the press after learning the High Court has disqualified him from Parliament for being a dual citizen.
The former deputy prime minister now must fight a by-election for his seat of New England on December 2.
Here’s what he said to the media in his home town of Tamworth, directly after the High Court decision.
‘In my gut, I thought this is the way it was going to go’
Mr Joyce admitted the ruling did not come as a complete shock.
“Some people say I am a natural pessimist. I am naturally cautious. I was always prepared for this outcome. I don’t actually stand here totally surprised.”
‘Nick, do you want to swap?’
Mr Joyce offered his congratulations to Senators Matt Canavan and Nick Xenophon, whose citizenship doubts have now been cleared, and the latter of whom is voluntarily stepping down to seek election in South Australia’s State Parliament.
“Nick, do you want to swap?” he joked.
“I get the chance of a by-election, Fiona doesn’t. I’d like to offer my support to senator Fiona Nash.”
‘It is a tough game, politics’
“Really tough. Of course it is tough … You dedicate so much of your time to it. You take the hits and the sacrifices. We all buy the ticket, we know the risks.”
Tamworth born and bred
“I had no reason to believe I was a citizen of any other country but Australia.”
Mr Joyce gestured at the New England countryside around him.
“I was born just there. Just there. I grew up over there.”
‘I’m not going to second-guess the High Court’
“I respect their decision. They have made it. They will get on to other jobs and I will get onto mine, putting myself to the people of New England as a candidate to continue my work as I have been doing for them for the past four years.”