At least 110 of around 200 staff have decided to leave the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority rather than move with it to Armidale, but the Member for New England Barnaby Joyce insists it’s still a good idea.
They have mostly been replaced, but according to a survey released through a freedom-of-information request, journalist Dan Conifer reports just 37 APVMA staff said they were either “very likely” or “likely” to pack up their lives and head inland to the heart of the former Nationals leader’s electorate.
There are reportedly 33 “regulatory scientists” among the group of 110 who have chosen to find employment elsewhere. Chief executive Chris Parker described the exodus as a “challenge” but not a “disaster” while Joyce maintains the relocation will produce a “great outcome” for Australia; it just might take a while.
The report also details other issues revealed through the FOI release, including a rise in incentive payments on offer to those who move and a delay in building a new office for the agency.