It's been a sad week for Australia's agriculture sector.
Yesterday, the Turnbull-Joyce Government voted to impose an uncompetitive backpacker tax on our farmers and growers.
Today there are reports that Barnaby Joyce will confirm that the relocation of the APVMA is going ahead even though this is a blatant pork barrelling exercise which will undermine the Authority's capacity to ensure that our farmers are able to access farm chemical and animal medicines they need.
This week Barnaby Joyce has justified his 19 per cent backpacker tax by saying the National Farmers' Federation supports it . While that may be true, the NFF is vehemently opposed to the APVMA relocation, this clearly demonstrates that Barnaby Joyce will use the NFF when he needs them and ignore them when he doesn’t.
Barnaby Joyce has for many months refused to release the $272,000 cost-benefit analysis because it too confirms the relocation is a bad idea. It is now clear to all those in rural and regional Australia that Barnaby Joyce will always put his own political interest ahead of the interests of our farmers.
My advice to Barnaby Joyce is that he should know that his betrayal of rural and regional Australia won’t be forgotten and to heed the message given to the Nationals in the Orange by-election.