Labor is shocked by reports that key scientific functions of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority will be operating at half-strength by the end of the year.
According to APVMA Chief Executive Kareena Arthy, the agency is:
“Understaffed at present in the pesticides, health assessment, environment and chemical review areas due to key staff being on long term leave, others departing the agency and difficulties recruiting suitably skilled and experienced people.”
Barnaby Joyce is supposed to be the Minister for Agriculture. But his reckless and selfish decision to relocate the APVMA is damaging the industry he purports to represent.
Either the Prime Minister doesn’t know the real impacts of this absurd and irresponsible relocation, which he should never have approved in the first place, or he does and just doesn’t care.
He couldn’t find any real benefits from the relocation, so he’s spent a day inventing imaginary ones.
Yesterday the Prime Minister said that:
“I think it’s very important that we have more research and more educational centres in regional Australia and of course the APVMA, naturally, here particularly with the connection to the University of New England is a very logical connection.”
The Prime Minister’s porkies are as shameless as his Deputy’s pork barrelling.
The APVMA is not a research and development body. It is a regulator.
Today’s news shows that its function as a regulator is being compromised by the flagrant pork barrelling of the Deputy Prime Minister.
I have written to the Prime Minister, demanding he reverse the relocation decision and restore some sense to what has become a senseless attack on APVMA staff, on the agricultural sector and on Canberra itself.
I have yet to receive a response, so I have requested a meeting with the Prime Minister.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to boost regional Australia.
There’s nothing right about ripping agencies out of Canberra to do it.
FRIDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2016