FORMER deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and his partner Vikki Campionâ€™s six-week-old baby, Sebastian, is playing with a lot more pocket money today.
The $150,000 Mr Joyce and Ms Campion will receive for an exclusive interview with Channel 7 will be placed in a trust fund for baby Sebastian, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
An insider told the paper the money will be set aside for the child and will â€śindependently administered at a future dateâ€ť and that the parents will have no control over it.
According to The Weekend Australian, the highly sought-after interview with the pair was won by Sevenâ€™s Sunday Night program following a fierce bidding war against Nineâ€™s 60 Minutes.
Sebastian is said to also be featured on the program.
The coupleâ€™s child was born on 16 April and is Joyceâ€™s fifth child, but first son.
Mr Joyce is still married but separated from his first wife, Natalie. They had four girls together: Julia, Caroline, Odette and Bridgette.
On Sunday, government ministers sought to distance themselves from the saga.
Deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie noted people write memoirs all the time and politicians tell their stories in a variety of ways throughout their careers.
â€śI donâ€™t think itâ€™s up to me to actually be making commentary on the morality of that or otherwise,â€ť she told ABC TV on Sunday.
â€śWhat Barnaby Joyce and Vikki decide to do in their private life is their business.â€ť Human Services Minister Michael Keenan also did not want to run a commentary on Mr Joyceâ€™s decision.
â€śIt was a distraction in the earlier part of the year and obviously we donâ€™t want to revisit that,â€ť he told Sky News.
â€śBut this isnâ€™t my focus, this isnâ€™t the focus of the government.â€ť
His colleague Greg Hunt insisted he was being interviewed on Sunday morning free-of-charge.
â€śYou and I are here for the love of it and I will let the individual concerned comment on his own circumstances,â€ť he told ABC TV.
Joyce stepped down from his position as deputy prime minister following controversy surrounding his relationship with Ms Campion, who was previously one of his staff members.
It is reported he took a $200,000 pay cut after resigning from his position and returning to the backbench. His salary went from $416,000 to $203,030 and he also lost a number of perks, including access to charter flights and travel allowance.
The Weekend Australian reveals that senior reporter Alex Cullen will be the journalist covering the interview on Sunday Night â€” a deal he has been working on for months.
Sources say the couple negotiated the deal with the TV network themselves, rather than using an agent.