Another week has passed and Minister Barnaby Joyce has still not released the tax-payer funded cost benefit analysis (CBA) on his crazy relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to his own electorate.
While a CBA of Minister Joyce's decision to shift 175 staff of the APVMA from Canberra to Armidale was conducted, that assessment, which did not support the move, was ignored.
The CBA is now proving harder to get than the infamous Dr Grimes letter.
The recently uncovered letter of course revealed the former head of the Agriculture Department, Dr Paul Grimes, questioned Minister Joyce’s integrity in regards to the Parliamentary Hansard being changed over an answer in Question Time about the failure of the Government’s Farm Household Allowance to adequately assist drought-affected farming families.
This week Minister Joyce has finally run the white flag up and admitted the Farm Household Allowance is not working.
Despite his previous assurance of the success and efficiency of the scheme, it has been revealed more than half the applications for the allowance in the past six months have been rejected. This highlights the confusing and bungled nature of the scheme which is placing unnecessary stress on struggling farmers.
“If we need to further review it, I’m happy to do that,” he conceded to the Weekly Times this week.
It’s clear the Minister has never really understood his own scheme.
Minister Joyce admitted he would have to find out why applications were being rejected. “Just because we apply for it, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to it,” he added.
This is in stark contrast to the misleading statement he made in the House of Representatives on October 20, 2014 that he subsequently doctored.
“But it’s not the case that you apply for the money and then you have to wait for your application to be approved. You actually get the money straightaway.”
What are farmers to believe when everything Minister Joyce says is embellished and wrong? He is all smoke and mirrors.
Minister Joyce has admitted there are serious issues with the Farm Household Allowance scheme. How long will it be until he acknowledges failings in the ill-conceived relocation of the APVMA?
It’s beyond belief the Prime Minister remains silent when his Deputy continues to disrespect farmers and mislead the Australian people.