It says everything you need to know about the Coalition’s shocking decision to relocate Canberra’s Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority that the only voice they can find to endorse it is a former television presenter.
Barnaby Joyce’s decision to uproot 175 public servants and their families from Canberra into his own electorate was never about good policy and today we have confirmation of that.
The APVMA relocation is opposed by every industry group in the sector, nearly 90 per cent of APVMA staff, the ACT Government, the Coalition’s own cost-benefit analysis, the Liberal Senator for the ACT and even the Prime Minister.
The relocation flies in the face of good governance. It is not in the public interest, it's not in the interests of affected stakeholders and it is definitely not in the interests of the taxpayer.
Whilst the decision to move APVMA has been rejected by everyone except for the Deputy Prime Minister himself, we now know that it will cost more than $25 million of taxpayers money just to satisfy this blatant political exercise in pork barrelling.
The fact this ridiculous proposal is proceeding is a yet another example of the chaos and dysfunction of the Coalition Government and a weak Prime Minister who is being held to ransom by an increasingly militant National Party.
This is also a full scale attack on Canberra and the Canberra workers and their families who have been placed in the impossible position of having to decide whether to move their families or lose their jobs simply to satisfy the arrogant political desires of Barnaby Joyce.
Malcolm Turnbull needs to take responsibility for the actions of his out of control Deputy Prime Minister. He needs to step up, take control and intervene to stop this senseless waste of taxpayers’ money.
This is a joint release with Labor's Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and Defence, and Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann MP.