The Senate’s Finance and Public Administration Committee has recommended Barnaby Joyce’s forced relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) be stopped in its tracks.
Over the course of the Committee’s hearings, experts and stakeholders alike lined up to voice their serious concerns about the adverse impacts of Barnaby Joyce’s pork barrelling exercise. The Committee heard the damage of the proposed move from Canberra to Armidale is already being done; a mass exodus of scientists and other staff has forced a collapse in the Authority’s work performance.
Further, evidence presented to the Senate Committee suggests the Finance Minister failed to properly assess and scrutinise the Policy Order (GPO).
Indeed under Senate questioning, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Finance said:
“We support the Minister in the making of the GPO. There was a decision made by government that there be a GPO. We supported the Minister and he signed it – because he is the only one who can – and that is about it.”
The Prime Minister’s silence over this shocking waste of tens of millions of taxpayers’ money has been deafening. In the light of the Committee’s recommendations he must now act.
His failure to do so up until now poses the question; was the APVMA relocation part of the last Coalition Agreement?
If so it would explain why the Prime Minister is fighting me in the Federal Court to keep it a secret from the Australian community.