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Government agency’s mass exodus of at least 110 staff due to Barnaby Joyce’s blatant pork barrel, say Greens

Media Release
Janet Rice 29 Mar 2018

New figures showing that an expected mass exodus of 110 staff from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Agency (APVMA) is entirely due to Barnaby Joyce’s blatant pork barrelling, say the Greens.

“This is an unmitigated balls up. So many people’s lives turned upside down, at massive cost to the taxpayer and putting the services of this vital government agency at risk. This is all to indulge the pork barrelling whim of the thoroughly discredited Barnaby Joyce,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens spokesperson for agriculture and rural affairs.

“The decision to move the agency from Canberra to Armidale has lacked any transparency, accountability or due process.”

“The APVMA are doing the best they can in very difficult circumstances, having to implement a dog’s breakfast of a policy, put in place by ex-Minister Barnaby Joyce to shore up his own support in his electorate.”

“This bungled policy appears headed to one of two outcomes. Either we will end up with the breakup and partial privatisation of a highly respected government agency by stealth, as many services won’t be able to be provided in Armidale, so they will end up being contracted out. .”

“Or we will end up with a ridiculous situation where employees will still be working for APVMA but be working from home in Canberra, inefficiently and at much cost to the taxpayer of providing the required secure digital connections to their homes, because of the farcical government regulation that says an office of APVMA isn’t permitted to be located in Canberra.”

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