APVMA pork barrel a growing disaster

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.

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  • Robert Dempster
    commented 2017-04-21 08:44:02 +1000
    The move by the APVMA is a crazy idea pushed by one man.
    The biggest loss will be to the registration of new solutions for our country’s farmers. It takes many years for a regulator scientist to develop the knowledge that allows them to assess data and argument. These people do not grow on trees and the course being offered by UNE will only turn out green graduates. The real cost is not in the relocation but the loss in productivity due to the delay in registrations of new solutions. It will further frustrate agricultural and veterinary companies and will reduce the investment in R&D in Australia. Most of the large companies are headquartered overseas and they will look at Australia as an expensive, difficult and risky country to register new products for Australian farmers. We need to stop talking about the relocation costs and start talking about the real cost to Australian agriculture which will stand still for 5 years.