Barnaby Joyce has been slammed online over a controversial social media post urging homeowners to replace their grass lawns with gravel amid the ongoing drought and water restrictions being put in place.
While the politician remained relatively quiet throughout the election campaign, he has pushed himself back into the spotlight once again by angering Aussies in his comment on the ongoing drought.
In a post shared on Twitter on Thursday, Joyce wrote: “Now even Sydney heading to water restriction. Build more dams or replace lawns with gravel.”
His suggestion was met with little support from Aussies who launched into angry outbursts, claiming the 52-year-old was in no place to voice his opinion.
Now even Sydney heading to water restrictions. Build more dams or replace lawns with gravel.
— Barnaby Joyce (@Barnaby_Joyce) May 22, 2019
In a matter of hours the post received hundreds of comments with most claiming it was a ridiculous idea to get rid of beautiful grass lawns which are loved by Aussies everywhere.
“I know my three-year-old loves playing in a big yard of gravel! Who needs grass anyway? All it does it sit around photosynthesising all day,” one person wrote sarcastically.
“Gravel, you numpty, will make the cities even hotter, which in turn will cause more deaths. What we need to do is plant more trees. If you can’t plant trees, lawns are still better than gravel or concrete,” another said.
While another urged Joyce to focus on issues that he has better knowledge of writing: “Stay in your lane. The message received from regional Australia is that city folk have no understanding of and therefore no right to comment on country issues. You shouldn’t be commenting on urban matters.”
Others claimed building more dams was certainly not the way to go and would only make things worse for those who are already struggling to get by.
“Build more dams to dam non existent water? Real smart Barnaby,” someone commented.
“Water restrictions and water buy back? Killing fish, destroying farmers lives,” a second said.
Joyce’s controversial comments come after the politician came under fire for his Murray River buybacks two years ago. The former leader of the National Party signed off on the $200m buybacks in 2017 without an open tender, meaning no public feedback was allowed before the decision was made, The Guardian reports.
Essentially, the buyback meant the government paid farmers and agricultural communities to limit the amount of water they took from the river, according to the ABC. This was done to ensure enough water stayed in the river for it to remain healthy.
The decision in 2017 was particularly controversial as the price for the buybacks was not discussed with the public. According to The Guardian one of the purchases in particular, which came in at around $80m, angered many with taxpayers claiming that much money shouldn’t have been spent on water that doesn’t even exist in the first place.