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Barnaby Joyce being sworn in at Government House. Source: Barnaby Joyce Facebook Page.
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  • Newly returned Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says job security in the regions should be Australia’s priority when it comes to climate change policy
  • Mr Joyce reclaimed the Nationals leadership position on Monday after a spill ousted former leader Michael McCormack
  • Mr McCormack took on the Deputy PM role after Mr Joyce stood down amid a sexual harassment claim and news of a sexual relationship with a former staffer
  • Monday’s leadership spill within the Nationals came as the Prime Minister toured overseas, committing Australia to fighting climate change
  • But Mr Joyce is against a net zero emissions policy, meaning Scott Morrison is likely to face an uphill battle to get his own government to support then idea.

Newly returned Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce argues job security in the regions should be Australia’s priority when it comes to climate change policy.

Mr Joyce reclaimed the Nationals leadership position on Monday after a spill ousted former leader Michael McCormack.

Mr McCormack first took on the Deputy PM and Nationals Leader role after Mr Joyce stood down in early 2018.

His move to the backbench came amid a sexual harassment claim and news of a sexual relationship with a former staffer.

But after winning yesterday’s leadership spill, Mr Joyce was re-sworn into his leader positions on Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wasn’t present for the swearing in ceremony or the spill, having only recently returned from an overseas tour.

Mr Morrison used the political tour overseas, including his attendance at the G7 summit, to commit Australia to fighting climate change.

The PM again spoke of a “net zero economy” while overseas and signalled Australia wants to achieve that goal “preferably” by 2050.

However, the return of Mr Joyce as leader means Scott Morrison will likely face an uphill battle trying to get his own government to support then idea.

The Nationals Leader is against emissions policies, and in February this year he warned against adopting a net zero emissions by 2050 policy.

In a press conference yesterday after reclaiming the leader position, Mr Joyce said job security in the regions would always trump any climate change policy.

“If the Nationals party room believes that the best deal for regional Australia is to make sure that we secure their jobs, is to make sure that we secure their industries, is to clearly understand the dynamics of an Australian economy, as opposed to a Danish one or a German one, if that’s the view of the Nationals party room, that’s the view that I’ll support,” Mr Joyce said.

Mr Joyce also vowed to canvas his own party members before supporting any climate change policy put forward by the Liberals or the PM.

“It is not Barnaby policy, it’s Nationals policy,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

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