New England MP Barnaby Joyce has confirmed rumours of a second baby on the way for he and partner Vikki Campion, at a suitably baby-themed fundraiser in his electorate in Tenterfield on Sunday, January 20.
Mr Joyce shared the news with hundreds gathered at the Tenterfield Golf Club to raise money for the NPC Foundation. Twelve-month-old Tommy – son of popular Tenterfield vet Pip Johnston and husband Paul – was diagnosed with the genetic condition Niemann-Pick type C soon after birth.
Niemann-Pick is also known as ‘childhood alzheimer's’ and is considered a terminal illness, with afflicted children generally not surviving far into their teenage years after declining in health over a decade. The Johnston family are desperately seeking treatment options to delay the progress of the disease.
Mr Joyce said he chose the event to share his baby news as he is so impressed with attendance at the fundraiser, for such a big local crowd to turn out again right on the heels of the Deepwater Races the day before.
“It’s so important not just for the money raised for the Niemann-Pick cause but also to show we care.”
The addition to the Joyce/Campion family is also a boy, due in June. Mr Joyce said he will be named Thomas Michael Timothy.
“Thomas is after my grandfather, Michael is a name from both sides of the family and Timothy is for my brother who died of bowel cancer last June,” Mr Joyce said.
He is hoping for a less stressful pregnancy this time round, following what he termed ‘salacious’ interest in the couple’s first pregnancy which resulted in son Sebastian. Sebastian should be 14 months old when his new brother arrives.
“Hopefully people will realise we’re just a couple having a kid,” he said.
This year’s federal election, tipped to be held in April or May may put the kibosh on a low-key pregnancy. Mr Joyce has already been pre-selected as The Nationals candidate for New England.
He resigned as deputy prime minister and Nationals leader last February after revelations surfaced of his affair with Ms Campion.
With four daughters from his marriage to now-estranged wife Natalie and two sons with Ms Campion he doesn’t expect to be expanding his brood any further but said he loves kids and is a hands-on dad.
“We have our own jobs and we do our bit,” he said.
“I do a clean-up at night and Vikki does most of the baby work, but I’ll do what has to be done.
“It’s important to look out for each other, and make life a bit easier for each other.”