Embattled politician Barnaby Joyce is being forced to sell his massive rural property to fund his divorce.
A year after Mr Joyce announced his split from wife Natalie, he’s placed a $878,000 price tag on his regional New South Wales property to help cover settlement costs.
The Nationals backbencher and former deputy prime minister ran himself into controversy with his divorce coming after a highly publicised affair with staffer Vikki Campion, with whom he has since had a son.
Barnaby Joyce is selling his 1015ha property to settle a divorce to Natalie Joyce (pictured together)
He and Mrs Joyce publicly split after Mr Joyce’s affair to staffer Vikki Campion was brought to light. Pictured is Mr Joyce with Ms Campion and their son Sebastian
Mr Joyce has owned the Gwabegar property, in far-north NSW, for more than a decade.
When he bought the property in 2007, he was 15 years in to a 25-year marriage to Mrs Joyce, which publicly ended in December last year.
Mrs Joyce previously said she returned her wedding ring to her estranged husband in September 2017, after knowing for months that Ms Campion was pregnant.
The couple’s son Sebastian was born in April this year, two months after Mr Joyce stepped down as deputy prime minister.
His property, which he bought in two separate blocks for a total of $572,000, will now be sold to go towards a settlement and mark the official end of the divorce process.
The 1015 hectare property (pictured) has a mining licence attached, which Mr Joyce says he was not aware of when he bought it in 2007
‘The unfortunate breakdown of the relationship means there has to be the necessary settlement to secure Natalie’s position,’ he told The Australian.
‘It has had very good rain, the dams are full, and cattle and sheep prices are very good.’
The property is covered by a currently unused coal-seam gas exploration licence, meaning the resources company Comet Ridge could mine the land for petroleum.
A former resources minister, Mr Joyce is on the record as saying he wasn’t aware of the licence when he purchased the property, but later promised to sell it on because he could see how it could be ‘viewed as a conflict of interest’.
Five years on, Mr Joyce has fulfilled his pledge to put the property on the market.