Standing up for Canberra

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

Most of the time in this House we present arguments both in favour of a proposal and in opposition to it. We review our proposal shaped by extensive consultation and collaboration between government and industry. This is not one of those times. 

Today I am speaking of the Turnbull coalition government's decision to uproot nearly 200 public servants at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, to take them and their families out of their homes, schools and communities here in Canberra, and to transplant them into the Deputy Prime Minister's own electorate. This is not a time to consider for and against, because there is nobody outside of the coalition party room that is for the idea. It is opposed by the National Farmers' Federation, Animal Medicines Australia, and CropLife Australia. It is opposed by nearly every member of the APVMA's staff. It is even opposed by the Liberal senator here in the ACT. Not even the Prime Minister supports this plan. The Deputy Prime Minister admits the cost-benefit analysis he commissioned does not support this plan. He refuses to release the report. It is a shame that the government is more committed to a universally despised policy than it is to transparency, accountability or the people of Canberra. The Deputy Prime Minister should release the cost-benefit analysis—because it will show that this plan is a blatant exercise in pork barrelling.

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