A re-elected Coalition Government will establish a Centre of Agricultural Excellence at the University of New England (UNE) Armidale by co-locating the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) with the University and its specialised agricultural research centres.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, today announced that within the first year of re-election the Coalition will proceed with the relocation of the APVMA to Armidale.
“Creating Centres of Excellence in Agriculture in regional areas will drive further growth in agricultural productivity, farm production and boost rural exports. This will deliver substantial economic benefits not only to regional Australia but to the national economy and all Australians,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Coalition has a strong economic plan for jobs and growth to create opportunities for families across the nation. A strong agricultural sector is part of our economic plan.
“Facilitating the strategic relocation of agricultural agencies to regional communities will help attract technical and scientific experts to live and build their careers in the country and enable stronger collaboration with farmers to drive innovation and productivity growth.”
Minister Joyce said the Coalition has already commenced agency relocations with the move of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) to Wagga Wagga and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) boosting its regional presence around Australia.
“The Armidale community and economy, as well as the New England region, will directly benefit from the relocation with the APVMA employing around 175 staff.
“The Government has commissioned an independent cost-benefit analysis which will inform the next steps in relocating the APVMA to the University of New England in Armidale.
The University of New England’s research capacity will grow further as a result of this move, with the APVMA to join existing centres including the Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), Australian Poultry CRC, the Institute for Genetics and Bioinformatics, the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit and MLA’s Red Meat Innovation Unit at UNE, the Institute for Rural Futures, and the National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR).
“In addition to the APVMA, the Coalition will commence formal consultations with other government agencies to examine relocation options to other regional towns and cities where there are strong grounds for collaboration with industry.
Mr Joyce said the Coalition would provide $24.1 million to support the relocation, to ensure APVMA chemical approvals processes are not impacted by the move.
“Since coming to office, the Coalition has allocated $28.4 million to streamline agricultural and veterinary chemicals regulations and improve farmers’ access to the chemicals they need to become more productive and profitable,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Coalition has delivered a $9.1 million reduction in agvet chemical red tape and importantly, we have abolished the former Labor government’s destructive and duplicative re-registration laws which would have seen many common farm chemicals lost to the Australian market.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, UNE Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annabelle Duncan, Inverell-based NSW Nationals' Senator John 'Wacka' Williams and the Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam MArshall.