Malcolm Turnbull approved two jobs for Joyce’s lover
A SECOND new job was created specifically for Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's girlfriend in the Chief National Whip's office, after she lost the first role created for her when her boss, Resources Minister Matt Canavan, resigned from Cabinet over his Italian citizenship.
The Prime Minister authorised the creation of a job for Mr Joyce's now-pregnant girlfriend Vikki Campion in Senator Canavan's office and also condoned her move to the office of Nationals Chief Whip Damian Drum.
Ms Campion, 33, joined Mr Drum's office as a media adviser, despite the fact he already had one.
A senior government source familiar with the arrangement confirmed to The Saturday Telegraph that Mr Drum's staff allocation was increased from six to seven to find room for Ms Campion.
The position was not advertised to other candidates.
The senior government source said that the increase in staffing allocation and the appointment of Ms Campion had been authorised by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
In response to questions, Mr Turnbull's spokesman said that "All staffing appointments were made in the usual way".
Under the parliamentary rules, any increase in staffing allocation needs to be authorised by Mr Turnbull or his office.
"A whip may only employ a person as a member of staff according to arrangements approved by the Prime Minister and subject to such conditions as are determined by the Prime Minister," the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services protocol states.
Mr Turnbull has declined to answer questions about his involvement in Ms Campion's job promotion, saying only: "I am not aware of any inappropriate expenditure of public funds."
He also avoided answering questions about whether he provided counsel to Mr Joyce when he discovered the affair, and whether he advised the Deputy Prime Minister to move Ms Campion out of his office.
Mr Drum already had a "personal" media adviser working for him, Callum Whitehead, on a junior level classification of less than $80,000, when Ms Campion moved to the Whip's office. She is understood to have retained her six-figure salary and senior adviser classification in the move.
As Mr Drum already had a media adviser, Ms Campion was put in charge of co-ordinating or overseeing the media advisers for all Nationals MPs.
It was the second new job created for Ms Campion, who left 50-year-old Mr Joyce's office after their affair led to serious dysfunction in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Senator Canavan had also created a new high-salary job for Ms Campion as a social and digital adviser.
It was a promotion from her role as media adviser in Mr Joyce's office.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the PM should explain to the public why a new job was specifically created for Ms Campion: "I think it would be wise of Mr Turnbull to reassure the Australian public that nothing untoward has occurred here."