Barnaby Joyce’s determination to force the relocation from Canberra of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and a number of agriculture research and development corporations (RDCs) is meeting more and more opposition.
The Agriculture Minister’s thought bubble threatens to severely undermine our chemicals regulation system and delay the approvals process. Numerous scientists and other professionals will be lost to the organisation.
The forced relocation of our agriculture RDCs will take millions of dollars out of their already stretched research budgets to fund these redundancies and relocation costs. The Grains RDC has put the figure at around $30 million.
Industry groups and primary producers are now lining up to oppose the move. Even the Minister’s own colleagues, including Senator Zed Seselja and ACT Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson are fighting the move.
It is time the Minister folded his tent and put this silly idea behind him.