The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce shared the honours with his Inverell-based The Nationals’ colleague Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams as the “very best responding MPs in the Federal Parliament”.
The award, which was also bestowed on Mr Joyce’s Tamworth Electorate office in 2014, is an initiative of the FairGO organisation, founded by community lobbyist, Greg Bloomfield FairGO to assist and advise individuals, small businesses and community groups wanting to influence governments more effectively.
Mr Bloomfield congratulated Mr Joyce and Senator Williams on the concern they had shown to voters in their kind responses to Votergrams in the Parliamentary term just completed.
“In FairGO’s regular review of how MPs responded to Votergrams from anywhere in Australia on any issue, you have dead-heated with your colleague Senator John Williams as the very best responding MP in Federal Parliament ‘by a country mile’. You were light years ahead of other MPs,” Mr Bloomfield said.
“We are most grateful to you and your staff for the time and devotion given to this parliamentary responsibility particularly given your other very demanding roles.
“Not only that, but this is your second successive Parliamentary term in which you have blitzed the field to demonstrate that you are the best responding federal parliamentarian. That two National Party members have this year shared the honour shows that your party truly is a “National” party, servicing both city and country voters.”
Mr Joyce said the announcement by FairGO was a tribute not for him but for his team in the Electorate Office.
“The analysis of 150 Lower House seats, 76 Senators and 226 offices revealed that last year New England office came number one,” Mr Joyce said. “This year we’re number one again, along with Wacka’s office
“I’d love to stand back and say hooray for me, but it’s not about me. This is a great outcome for Leigh, Andra, Anna, Miranda and Simon in my office – what a great team effort.
“It goes to show if you’ve got a strong team and you play as a strong team, you get a great outcome,” Mr Joyce said.
Senator Williams said he and his staff worked on the premise that if people take the time to contact the office they would take the time to respond.
“Sometimes they may be simply making a point, other times they are seeking assistance,” Senator Williams said.
“If we can help we will and I know people do appreciate a politician acknowledging their contact.”
Mr Bloomfield said Mr Joyce and Senator Williams’ names will be added to the Politician’s Honour Roll by next Monday.