APVMA continues to struggle to find applicants for senior positions to be based in Armidale

Minister Littleproud must reassess the capability and capacity of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to do its job in Armidale due the costly forced and ill thought-through pork barrel by Barnaby Joyce.

Prior to the former APVMA CEO’s resignation in 2017, Ms Arthy warned the then Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce that it would be difficult to recruit senior and highly qualified staff to Armidale.
 
The warning is now a reality with the APVMA advertising the position of Director for Chemical Review to be based in Armidale as Ongoing, Non-ongoing (Temporary), Full-time, Part-time.  
 
The position of Director for Chemical Review is advertised as responsible for “the management of the chemical reconsideration process from a One Health perspective that understands human, animal, and environmental health are interconnected. Working within the Office of the Chief Regulatory Scientist and a robust risk management framework, well-developed program management skills support the process of managing multiple complex projects that affect human, animal, and environmental health. Working within established legislative and policy frameworks, the Director is required to provide detailed specialist advice on significant issues related to the assessment of chemicals under review, and address stakeholder concerns in relation to complex and sensitive matters associated with evaluations.

Working with a high level of autonomy the Director is required to make evidence-based decisions on issues that may significantly impact the APVMA, and to evaluate risks in a complex regulatory environment. The Director will also manage relationships with international regulators and internal and external stakeholders, including commonwealth, state or territory entities and non-government organisations.”

 
Further, the position will require a security clearance with the recruitment ad claiming that “the successful applicants will be required to undergo a security assessment to obtain a baseline clearance, and to maintain that level of clearance while in the role.

Non-ongoing opportunity will be offered for a specified term.

This role may be available on an ongoing basis or as a non-ongoing opportunity up to 18 months with the potential for extension up to a total maximum period of 3 years.”

 
Finally the successful applicant will require the following eligibility “tertiary qualifications in a relevant scientific discipline, including the natural sciences (agriculture, entomology, environmental science, plant physiology, chemistry, biology), medical or veterinary fields (including applied epidemiology, pharmacology or toxicology, public health, or occupational health), or a similar field are required. 

Qualifications in other scientific disciplines with relevant postgraduate experience, gained in the public or private sector, in toxicology, biotechnology, plant pathology, environmental science, entomology, weed science, veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics, pharmaceutical science, microbiology, public health, occupational health, pharmacovigilance, science communication or policy, product development or chemical regulation (or other relevant disciplines) will also be highly considered.”

 
If the critical position of Director for Chemical Review is filled as a non-going part-time position this will result in more turmoil and disruption to the important work undertaken by the APVMA. 
 
It’s time for the Minister for Agriculture to get real about the serious risks the forced relocation will have on the capability and capacity of the APVMA to do its job and to prioritise the work of the APVMA and not the electoral fortunes of Barnaby Joyce.

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