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27 February 2006

Three secondary school students will ask Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce about party loyalty, Senate deal-making and the Telstra sale in the first Talkback Classroom forum for the year at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday.

The student panel plans to question the high-profile senator about his views on the Australian Wheat Board's future and will also quiz him about differences of opinion between the federal Coalition partners.

The students are Ryneisha Bollard, Year 12, King's Baptist Grammar, Adelaide; Oliver Burton, Year 12, Barker College, Sydney; and Adrian Spinelli, Year 12, Mill Park Secondary College, Melbourne.

WHAT: Talkback Classroom with Barnaby Joyce

WHEN: 10.30am, Wednesday, 1 March, 2006

WHERE: Studio, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Students from Tottenham and Tullamore Central Schools in New South Wales will join with those in the Studio via video link in the question-and-answer period after the interview. Talkback Classroom gives students access to key politicians and public figures as part of the national civics curriculum.

Other Talkback Classroom guests at the National Museum this year include federal Minister for the Environment Senator Ian Campbell and the Canadian High Commissioner to Australia, Michael Leir. The first international Talkback Classroom forum of 2006 will take place in Korea in June with student panellists from Korea and Australia.

Student preparation for Wednesday's interview included meetings with parliamentarians, journalists and other experts organised by the Parliamentary Education Office.

The Barnaby Joyce interview will be edited and broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters program.

For more information please contact Ellen Peterson on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or Leanda Kitchen on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or email

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