Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said Scott Morrison never told him that he had taken over a resource portfolio held by the Nationals.
Joyce apparently lost his cool during an interview with Insiders host David Speers on ABC’s weekly political show.
Speers delved into the former National Party leader and asked him to reveal what he knew about the former prime minister’s controversial oath for one of five cabinet positions.
“What do I need to do?” Joyce said after being asked for clarification on the matter.
The series of questions relate to the former prime minister’s decision to use special ministerial powers to block a controversial Pep-11 gas exploration license off the coast of New South Wales.
Guardian Australia reports that Asset Energy, which accused the former prime minister of denying procedural fairness, is challenging the decision in federal court.
Asked when exactly he was informed that Morrison had pledged to join the resource portfolio, Joyce could not specify a specific date.
“Over time, obliquely, he informed me that he could reverse PEP11’s decision,” he said.
The former Nationals leader couldn’t say Mr Morrison told him he had taken over the role of Minister of Resources.
“No, he never said that,” said Mr Joyce.
“He never said to me, ‘I was the Minister of Resources.'”
Mr Speers investigated further, asking why the then deputy prime minister had not been informed of such an important decision.
“I was probably thinking otherwise,” Joyce said. “We were negotiating one of the biggest deals in Australian history to support the Australian region.
“I negotiated additional ministers. The Kuomintang liked it.”
Spears attempted to clarify that the reason Mr Joyce knew nothing more was that he had negotiated additional ministers and staff for the National Party.
“No, no, don’t say it to me,” interrupted Mr. Joyce.
“The PEP11 decision was made by the Prime Minister. It’s on file. You can see it for yourself. There’s a press conference. What else do you want?”
Insider: Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce outraged by Morrison story
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