When you think of iconic moments in Australian politics, what do you think of? Maybe it's Paul Keating telling John Hewson he wanted "to do you slowly", or it might be Gough Whitlam's immortal "because nothing will save the Governor-General" barb amid the dismissal.
Or it could be Barnaby Joyce going beetroot red as he bellowed about carp. Sorry, that should be CAAAAAAAARP.
— ABC News (@abcnews) May 2, 2016
In May last year, Joyce rose in Question Time to talk about an interesting government plan to eradicate the carp, a pest, from Australia's waterways by infecting them with herpes. Giving some more information on the plan, Joyce then pivoted to start talking about the fish as "disgusting mud-sucking creatures", staring squarely at the opposition benches. It didn't take a veteran political analyst to see the parallel Joyce was drawing between carp and his parliamentary opponents.
"We know it is incredibly important because we are afflicted in this nation with these disgusting mud-sucking creatures, bottom dwelling mud-sucking creatures for which the only form of control is a version of herpes to try and get rid of these disgusting mud-sucking creatures," he yelled.
The spirited answer has followed Joyce for the past year, with countless jokes about carp -- CAAAAAAARP -- and his performance. Joyce, for his part, has mostly embraced them with good humour, and even made some of his own. In recent times, Joyce has reignited his carp rhetoric, as he targets the pest fish with new fervour.
On Tuesday, he introduced us to "the carpinator".
"Our job is to really knock them around a bit, hopefully get rid of them," Joyce said.
The deputy PM introduced us to Matt Barwick, whose job it is to crack down on the carp. It's unclear how Barwick feels about his new nickname.
Barwick talked about how carp suck up mud on the bottom of rivers and creeks as they search for food, muddying the water and making it hard for other fish to find their own food. The churned up mud also affects aquatic plants, meaning that carp feeding habits can choke or kill almost everything else in the water.
The herpes virus which the government will be using is carp-specific, Barwick said, meaning it won't affect any other animals. Joyce said it is hoped between 500,000 and two million tonnes of carp will be wiped out by the virus.
For more info on the National Carp Control Plan, click here. Otherwise, enjoy some more carp -- CAAAAARP -- content.
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