Labor quizzes Joyce over $5000 payment

Labor says Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has questions to answer about $5000 of taxpayers' money being paid to a friend's business.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus asked Mr Joyce in parliament whether he was aware of a $5000 payment to a hotel owned by Greg Maguire, the same businessman friend who provided Mr Joyce with a rent-free townhouse in Armidale.

"I have to admit I was unaware of that $5000 payment," Mr Joyce told parliament on Thursday, pledging to take the question on notice.

Mr Dreyfus said the deputy prime minister attended the $5000 event hosted by the hotel, but again Mr Joyce rejected any knowledge.

"It would not seem surprising in a multiple-billion-dollar department that I'm not aware of a $5000 payment," Mr Joyce said.

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