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‘Dopey’ minister’s latest act of madness will ‘put a knife through the heart’ of country Australia

The Nationals have been accused of abandoning rural Australians by pushing for an inquiry that will destroy country shows.

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall wrote to Upper House MP Mark Banasiak last week, requesting an inquiry into exotic animals at circuses and marine mammals in aquariums.

Mr Banasiak tells Ray Hadley he was shocked at the request.

“Lower members don’t have any authority or any power to actually ask us to do inquiries. He’s breached protocol and due process just by sending that letter.”

He believes the Nationals MP is doing the bidding of the Animal Justice Party, which will have dire consequences for rural communities.

“I’m not going to have a bar of it.

“He’s now pushing for an inquiry that will actually put a knife through the heart of rural country shows.”

Ray Hadley says it’s an unbelievable request from the Agriculture Minister.

“There have been some dopes in Cabinet and Ministry. I think he is on the podium as a gold medal winner when it comes to dopes.

“This will be the thin end of the wedge and that’s what the Nationals need to understand, once they get in bed with the Animal Justice Party they’ll catch some fleas.”

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But NSW leader of the National Party John Barilaro has disputed the claims.

“You have me on record as Deputy Premier, giving you an assurance that while I’m in office there will be no ban on rodeos or animal exhibits at country shows.”

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Mr Barilaro followed up in an interview with Ben Fordham, telling him there will be an inquiry into circus and marine animals.

“Sometimes these issues need to be debated… that doesn’t give any guarantee that we’re going to do something.”

He also defends his minister, saying he did the right thing by working with another party.

“This is a guy who knows his electorate. He’s very popular.”

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But it’s not the only issue that casts doubt on Mr Marshall’s position as a minister in the Berejiklian government.

In recent years it’s been revealed he has been caught speeding 17 times since 2002, having his licence suspended three times.

And, while on a Good Behaviour Bond, he was caught drink driving at more than twice the limit.


Image: Getty/Jason McCawley