Last night’s show could’ve been titled “Q&A: The ‘Barnaby Joyce says controversial things’ edition.”
Tonight’s Q&A panel featured Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, journalist David Marr, Museum of Contemporary Art director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor and Institute of Public Affairs boss John Roskam.
It was a recipe for fiery debates about a wide range of issues including abortion access and domestic violence — and Mr Joyce, in particular, made a few eyebrow-raising comments throughout the episode.
Here are the key moments you’ll need to know about from last night’s show.
1. Barnaby Joyce said abortion access shouldn’t be discussed on Q&A.
When an audience member asked the panel why abortion is still criminalised in several Australian states and territories — and when we can expect to see some changes — Nationals senator Mr Joyce fumbled his way through a vague, tangental answer.
“My view is that a life is to be respected wither its within the womb or outside the womb. It’s based on me going back through my life and saying, when did I attain the rights that I had now? At what point did that happen?” he said.
Host Tony Jones pressed Mr Joyce to answer the actual question and the Agriculture Minister responded: “Well I’ve really said what view is. My view is, At what point in my life did someone had the right to point… therefore I don’t agree with abortion.”
Jones pressed further: “Nor that women should have any right to choose what happens with their own body?”
To that, Mr Joyce responded: “Well this is a discussion I think, Tony, that is not really for Q&A.
“It could occupy a whole discussion piece itself. It’s one of the most profound discussions that people have, and you’re approaching it from your view. Other people will approach it from theirs. Um, and I think that it’s, it’s one thing that’s certain, it will draw up the emotions of the night.”
Fortunately, Shadow Health Minister Catherine King weighed in with a powerful, straight-to-the-point, pro-choice response.
“I think it should be removed from the criminal code of every single jurisdiction. This is the 21st century and frankly, it should not be in the criminal code at all,” she said.