Littleproud works to win WA hearts showing he is no Barnaby

As Nationals Federal leader, Barnaby Joyce had a knack of putting his foot in it.

That may be good for journalists — but generally not good for the Federal Nationals and the Federal Coalition.

I remember last year, when the former Federal Nationals leader did an interview with me ahead of the WA Nationals’ State conference in Northam.

The interview delivered the Barnaby Joyce “Hermit Kingdom” classic, where the deputy prime minister compared WA to North Korea, sparking civil war with the wild, wild, west ahead of a Federal election.

Joyce decided to attack McGowan on his then COVID hard-border policy.

Camera IconJoyce decided to attack McGowan on his then COVID hard-border policy. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

“Ultimately, unless you are going to really turn yourself into a hermit kingdom, like we’ll have North Korea and a kind of hermit kingdom on the west coast of Australia, then COVID is going to arrive. It’s everywhere else in the world. It’s how you manage it,” Joyce said.

As you can imagine, Joyce’s comments went down like a lead balloon not just with McGowan and WA voters, but with former PM Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party, which was trying hard to bury the ghosts of that dumb decision to join Clive Palmer in the Federal Court to fight WA’s hard border policy.

Yesterday, there was no Joyce at the WA Nationals 2022 State conference.

This time, it was new Nats Federal leader David Littleproud.

The arrival of Littleproud as leader changes the dynamic between the Federal and WA Nats.

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