Standing up for Canberra

All Cost, No Benefit: Decentralisation

There was plenty of bad news in this week's budget for Canberra, yet again. There were cuts to Public Service jobs in the thousands, yet again. There were cuts to our national institutions, yet again—more jobs gone from the National Archives and the National Library. And there is next to zero infrastructure investment—a mere 0.2 per cent investment in Canberra in infrastructure, after the paltry 0.004 per cent investment last year. It's an insult.

But one bit of bad news that completely blindsided me was the government's continued push to decentralise government agencies based on no cost-benefit analysis. You'd think that this government would have learnt from the disaster and the debacle of the shameless, blatant pork barrel that is the APVMA relocation from Canberra to Armidale - a pork barrel that has seen the loss of hundreds of years of expertise and skill, agricultural approvals plummet and fall through the floor, and is opposed by industry associations. So I say to the government: release the cost-benefit analysis that shows that this latest decentralisation thought bubble is not like the APVMA pork barrel - all cost and no benefit.