SENATOR John Williams stood by his comments on social media on Thursday, which accused Independent candidate Tony Windsor of falsely claiming credit for the funding of Bindaree Beef’s bio-digester program.
“Tony Windsor claims credit for Bindaree Beef digester funding but it was Barnaby Joyce who actually got the funding!” Senator William’s post on Twitter read, and Wacka declared it as absolute fact.
“Tony Windsor was the Member for New England when the project for Bindaree Beef was approved, but there was no money,” he said.
“When we got into government, we downed the carbon tax, so the carbon tax bringing money into the government had stopped. It was very difficult to get the money to go out on those programs.
“And I know for a fact that Barnaby Joyce had huge arguments with Ian McFarlane, the then Minister and Cabinet to get that funding approved. Barnaby Joyce did all the heavy lifting to get it, and that’s as sure as I talk to you now.”
A spokesman for the Member for New England Barnaby Joyce confirmed Mr Joyce had saved the Bindaree funding.
Funding through the Gillard-Rudd governments for Bindaree’s bio-digester program was announced by Mr Windsor at the beginning of July 2013, after the pilot plant had operated successfully for six-months with better than expected results.
Speaking at Tony Windsor’s meeting in Flanders House at Inverell on Wednesday evening, Bindaree’s owner, John McDonald seemed in no doubt about the origins of the funding.
“I’d like to congratulate Tony for what he has done for Bindaree Beef,” he said.
“Julia Gillard, $23 million, just an incredible result that I couldn’t comprehend it.
“The problems we’ve got, we’re only a very, very small company, we’re fighting outside our boundaries. We’re competing with the biggest companies in the world and at this stage we’re struggling to get the Prime Minister to complete the project.”
Mr Windsor said the important thing was that funded projects went ahead.
“But these people must be smoking something, because it’s just incredible the claims that are being made about funding,” he said.
Mr Windsor thought Mr Joyce and Senator Williams were now trying to catch up.
“Barnaby Joyce made his name in Parliament by denying climate change, and denying renewable energy sources as part of our future,” he said.
“Now he sees his future has caught up to him. Suddenly he’s become a convert, and is claiming that he’s created anything that’s new.
“The problem Mr Joyce has, and to a certain extent Mr Williams has, is that he may have made a lot of noise in the Parliament, and a lot bluster on the television screens, but he has a very small record of achievement within the electorate.”