Another week has passed and Minister Joyce still refuses to release the cost benefit analysis on his forced and crazy relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
The move has been opposed by industry groups who assert the relocation will severely undermine the ability of the APVMA to function efficiently.
A key stakeholder organisation, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), has strongly opposed the move and has said so in its submission to the Productivity Commission on regulation of agriculture.
“Moving the APVMA to regional centres risks loss of specialised scientists who will be very difficult to replace. Training new scientists in this specialised regulatory space may result in significant delays to the release of important new agricultural and veterinary treatments. This is likely to impact directly on animal health and welfare and thus farm gate profitability,” the AVA detailed in its submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry on the regulation of agriculture.
The Canberra Times has also reported that the Property Council has said that “Politicians are costing taxpayers money by "huffing and puffing" and moving public service agencies out of Canberra”. Further saying that “research by global real estate giants JLL Australia proves that moving government agencies out of Canberra is not a value for money proposition”.
The Property Council should have aimed their criticism directly at the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, rather than the soft broad brush approach of saying “politicians”. We all know who it is that has no regard for taxpayers’ money when it comes to pork barrelling in their own electorate.
The Government should release today the cost of the JLL contract to advise the government on its most controversial move of all: the forced relocation of the APVMA from Canberra to Armidale.
This further reinforces that Barnaby’s dogmatic stance on moving the APVMA to his own electorate is ill-conceived.
Prime Minister Turnbull must hold Barnaby Joyce to account and do what is right for the taxpayer, which is to intervene and stop the relocation today.