In Parliament today Barnaby Joyce demonstrated how determined he is to take a wrecking ball to agriculture for his own political benefit.
His determination to relocate the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to his own electorate knows no bounds.
Under questioning in the Parliament today, the Agriculture Minister failed to pass the test on ministerial standards by his:
• Inability to cite one benefit of the move for Australia’s agriculture sector.
• Refusal to commit to the release of the Cost-Benefit Analysis even after Cabinet has completed its deliberations on the relocation.
• Misrepresentation of the position of the crop protection industry representative body CropLife.
• Admission the APVMA is already losing its professional workforce.
Barnaby Joyce can’t hide behind Cabinet secrecy forever.
As a result of his shocking pork barrelling, the APVMA has already felt the impact with a loss of 71 staff members and in Senate Estimates hearings yesterday, we also heard at least a further 110 staff members said they would not be willing to relocate at all.
The losers will be our farmers with a loss of national agricultural productivity, to say nothing of the wasteful hit to the public purse from this completely unnecessary move.