Time's up for the truth about the state of play at the APVMA

Barnaby Joyce’s handpicked CEO for  the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) must release his review into the dysfunction and under performance of the agency.

In August, the APVMA CEO Dr Parker announced an independent review to examine why there have been delays in assessment and registrations of agricultural and veterinary chemical products, permits and active constituents.

Dr Parker said performance reports showed "volatility in the APVMA's operational performance and ability to meet legislative time frames".

 It appears Dr Parker is running a protection racket about what’s really going on in the APVMA by claiming that he needed a review to tell him what’s going wrong, while his own staff are prepared to tell the truth.

Today on 5CC news the public and stakeholders were reminded about the true state of play at the APVMA, that: Australia's peak chemical regulator has conceded a loss of staff is contributing to it taking longer than ever for new pesticide products to be approved.  At a Senate Estimates hearing, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority acknowledged it had an increase in applications, but performance targets have plummeted by up to 50 per cent in six months.  Close to one in five jobs remain unfilled at the organisation ahead of its relocation to rural NSW from Canberra.  Executive Director Alan Norden told the Estimates hearing staff losses are impacting productivity:

[grab] NORDEN:  There are a number of different applications that require different assessments in relation to the science areas we undertake.  We have been recruiting staff in relation to filling vacancies that we have in the agency at this point in time.

Stakeholders of the APVMA need to know how much the relocation will cost them in possible additional levies, application costs and delays in product approvals.

The public need to know how many more taxpayer dollars will be wasted on developing a specific digital strategy to enable the blatant $25.6 million pork barrel to go ahead.  The digital strategy cost was meant to be released in June this year.

The lack of clarity about the business plan since Dr Parker’s appointment surrounding the relocation of the APVMA to Barnaby Joyce’s own electorate is unacceptable.

Malcolm Turnbull who is currently Australia’s Agriculture Minister must show leadership and expose the facts about the true state of play in the APVMA.

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