The Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) turns 25 today. There is very little to celebrate.
A quarter of a century ago, the Federal Labor Government secured an historic agreement with State Governments to cede the approval processes for pesticide chemicals and veterinary medicines to the Commonwealth. The agreement led to the establishment of a truly national regulator: the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority.
While not without its challenges, the APVMA and its professional staff served industry, farmers, veterinarians, and the broader community well for twenty two years.
But then Barnaby Joyce came along.
Joyce’s decision to force the re-location of the APVMA to his own electorate has been a disaster for all stakeholders. The subsequent loss of skilled APVMA staff has been a major blow for the regulator which is now struggling to deliver for farmers.
To mark today’s anniversary, Barnaby Joyce’s hand-picked APVMA CEO Dr Chris Parker today:
“We have fostered solid working relationships with industry peak bodies, including CropLife, Animal Medicines Australia, National Farmers Federation……”
I’ll leave it to those groups to respond for themselves. Suffice to say, each has been critical of the forced re-location.
The disastrous $40 million pork barrelling exercise has progressed with the Prime Minister’s full approval.
Dr Parker may pop a cork tonight but farmers, industry leaders and representative groups will be crying in their beer!