BARNABY Joyce would not be drawn yesterday on commenting on Liberal plans to preference the Rise Up Australia party above Labor and the Greens in Indi.
Mr Joyce once declared party leader Daniel Nalliah wasn’t a person to do preference deals with — but yesterday he said “when the facts change, I change my mind”.
Liberal candidate Sophie Mirabella has preferenced Rise Up Australia sixth on her how-to-vote card, ahead of Labor and the Greens, despite Coalition leader Tony Abbott this week stating parties he deemed “racist” should be preferenced last.
Mrs Mirabella reiterated her position that Liberal party headquarters decided on those preferences.
Rise Up Australia is running on an anti-multiculturalism platform and its leader is anti-Islam pastor Danny Nalliah.
In 2004 he ran for the Senate for Family First, which the Coalition had preference deals with.
At the time Mr Joyce criticised this, citing Mr Nalliah’s view that people should pray to pull down what he called Satan strongholds including mosques, temples and bottle shops, stating: “These are not the sort of people you do preference deals with”.
Yesterday, Mr Joyce said: “There were statements by Danny I didn’t agree with but I also always allow people the liberty of change.
“I don’t believe you can lock a certain group of people as having the same view forever — we all change, and when the facts change, I change my mind.”