SUBJECT/S: APVMA relocation.
MONDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2016
JOEL FITZGIBBON, SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, FORESTRY AND RURAL AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA: Barnaby Joyce’s determination to relocate the Pesticides Authority from Canberra to his own electorate is an extraordinary pork barrelling exercise which is going to be very damaging to our farm sector including here in the Hunter and will cost the Canberra economy very dearly. There are more stories this morning about this project and suggestions now that in fact this exercise in decentralisation will, by necessity, have offices in Sydney and in Melbourne. Of course there are more questions emerging about the role of celebrity gardener Don Burke in the promotional video where Don Burke backed the APVMA relocation despite the fact the cost benefit analysis undertaken by the Government, at great taxpayers’ expense, says it will be harmful to our farm sector, harmful to Canberra and harmful to the Australian economy. It’s no coincidence that just on Friday that Don Burke fired a shot across Barnaby Joyce’s bow. We suspect that is because Barnaby Joyce expressed his ongoing determination late last week not to save or resuscitate the APVMA advisory board. Barnaby Joyce needs to tell us what connection, if any, and what discussion he had with Don Burke about the resurrection of the APVMA advisory board before Don Burke agreed to do the promotional video backing the relocation of the APVMA. It’s an initiative of this Government that no one else is supporting.