APVMA staff don’t want to change their address, not looking for a New England

By Stephen Easton

Thursday March 29, 2018

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.

Previously in The Mandarin:

January: Relocation leads to reform for APVMA as KPIs improve, appeasing industry

October: Agricultural agency is no poster child for public service decentralisation

September: Verona Burgess: decentralisation spin lands in the long grass

April: CEO Kareena Arthy quits APVMA to become Canberra’s chief cheerleader;
Public service decentralisation: the APVMA is no Sydney Opera House

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