APVMA switch defended
The APVMA chief has defended the agency and his management of it.
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) chief executive Chris Parker have revealed more details of the agency's move to Armidale to a federal committee.
The regulator says it will complete its move to Armidale next year, completing a policy introduced by former agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce.
The move continues to face resistance from staff, leading many to leave the organisation. It has also been toned down from the original plan to move all staff, with 40 workers now to remain in a “satellite office” in Canberra.
“At all times I’ve been very clear, I think my actions in maintaining an office in Canberra and providing that advice to the minister make it, I think quite obvious, that I am managing the government policy to the best of my ability and including ensuring that we maintain both the independence and performance of the APVMA,” Dr Parker told the committee.
The inquiry was told that staff who did not move to Armidale would be offered redundancies at the beginning of next year.
“At this stage we’re trying to manage a workforce as we’re going forward,” Dr Parker said.
“So what the plan is at the moment is that we will find all remaining staff who aren't going to move to Armidale 'excess' at the beginning of February, that’s the start of the process. You can’t offer someone a [voluntary redundancy] unless you find them excess and start working through the retention period.”