Barnaby Joyce on politics: You gain weight and lose touch

AGRICULTURE Minister Barnaby Joyce decried the passion of issues that lead people into politics being left as a memory, "and then an excuse"; during his maiden speech in the House on Thursday.

And while most MPs have their family in the chamber for their maiden, Mr Joyce was also graced by his personal friend, mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

It was the former Senator's second maiden speech, although in the opposite chamber, and he hit out at the removal of politics from the everyday experience of Australians.

"Politics in Canberra can get entangled in philosophical zealotry that has little to no connection with the general concern on the street - or in the country," he said.

"There is a craving that politicians understand the public's concern about their lives rather than re-announce the politician's conceits about the politician's view."

Mr Joyce said he had observed two things that happened "in this building"; "you gain weight and you lose touch".

"The passion of the issues from the laminated kitchen bench, from where you started, become a memory, and then an excuse."

He also hit out at the "sneering derision and muffled insults" of some towards The Nationals, before thanking several people "those whose beliefs gave you the chance to represent them".


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