How to make policy Coalition style:
Step 1 Barnaby Joyce declares in 2014 he’ll move the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Armidale.
Step 2 Malcolm Turnbull realises how bad it will be for the agriculture sector and orders a cost-benefit analysis.
Step 3 Mr Joyce leaves the reservation by announcing today that the relocation will go ahead despite the cost-benefit analysis being incomplete.
The APVMA regulates and approves the chemicals and animal medicines our farmers rely on. Its 200-strong workforce is made up of highly qualified professionals and scientists, who live in Canberra, work in Canberra and send their children to Canberra schools.
It is well known that the APVMA will lose the majority of its professional staff if this forced relocation takes place. This will be a disaster for our farmers who will lose access to critically important crop protection chemicals and animal medicines.
It is also clear Barnaby Joyce made the announcement today to save himself in New England.
The question that must now be answered is: did Malcolm Turnbull approve the announcement, or has the Coalition split because of Barnaby Joyce’s desperation to hold his seat?
THURSDAY, 9 JUNE 2016