Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has refused a Senate request to make public the cost-benefit analysis for moving the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to his own electorate of New England.
“Mr Joyce wants to uproot the lives of nearly 200 staff and their families without proving it is worth the expense,” said the Greens agriculture spokesperson Senator Janet Rice, who moved the motion for the order of production of documents in the Senate.
“Trying to move nearly 200 staff and their families more than 700km and refusing to show whether it is worth the expense smells a lot like pork-barrelling.”
In response to the Senate’s order, the government said the cost-benefit analysis has been provided to the department but cited “confidentiality of the Cabinet process” for not releasing it.
“What has the Minister got to hide?” asked Senator Rice.
“At the very least, the Deputy Prime Minister is showing a huge disrespect for these families.”
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