Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) CEO Kareena Arthy's decision to leave the organisation is a huge blow to existing staff, Agvet companies, farmers and for all those who rely on its regulatory work.
Ms Arthy is highly regarded and respected. Industry leaders will be fuming about this latest sad chapter in Barnaby Joyce's relocation pork barrel.
Ms Arthy’s departure will further undermine confidence in the APVMA and will most likely see more managers, scientists and lawyers follow her lead.
The demise of the APVMA’s expertise threatens its capacity to provide farmers with the newest and innovative crop sprays and animal medicines they need to remain productive and competitive. It's also a threat to human health, our environment and food exports.
The APVMA is crumbling before our eyes with financial costs of the relocation rising. It's past time the Prime Minister acted by stepping in. Barbecue talking points are no replacement for leadership and Malcolm Turnbull must show some.
The APVMA is funded by industry on a cost recovery basis. It was established by an Intergovernmental Agreement with the States. Barnaby Joyce has no right to spend taxpayers' money to move it to his own electorate.
The madness must end now.