Government must admit APVMA location is utter failure

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud must explain why the Australian Pesticides and Veterinarian Medicines Authority (APVMA) is recruiting staff in Canberra which is in direct defiance of the Government Policy Order.

The Authority is currently publicly advertising to fill an Executive Director position based in Canberra.

The Turnbull Government created the current policy order in 2016 to enable the blatant pork barrel which involved uprooting the APVMA and its highly trained and qualified staff from Canberra to Armidale in Barnaby Joyce’s electorate. The policy order criteria specifically prohibits its operation in Canberra.

In Senate Estimates in October 2017, APVMA CEO Dr Parker confirmed, when questioned by Senator Gallagher, that maintaining an office presence in Canberra of any sort “would be against the government order” and that there was no intention of doing so.

The forced relocation of the APVMA defied a cost benefit analysis, has been a shocking waste of taxpayers’ money and has undermined the capacity and capability of the Authority to assess the safety and effectiveness of crop protection and animal health products in a timely manner - vital work our farmers and other key stakeholders need.

While Malcolm Turnbull ignorantly gave his full support for the damaging APVMA relocation, his replacement Scott Morrison must now put a stop to the madness and admit the move has been an utter failure.

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