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APVMA performance nosedives amid move to Armidale

Statistics released yesterday by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) reveal the worst performance in the regulator's history - validating concerns that the move to Armidale will cost the industry dearly.

The latest release of performance statistics show the regulator completing only 30 per cent of work within statutory time-frames for crop protection registrations – down from 82 per cent from the September quarter last year.

Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, Matthew Cossey, said excessive loss of key specialist staff, due to the Government’s relocation decision, means that farmers are missing out on a significant number of important agricultural products.

“This relocation is crippling the plant science industry in Australia but the real victims will be Australia’s hard-working farmers.

“Conservative estimates calculated by EY in the ‘Cost benefit and risk analysis of the potential relocation of the APVMA’ report indicate the impact of a one year delay in the approval of just one new agricultural chemical product will cost broad-acre crop farmers between $64m and $193m per annum.

"Considering many of the delayed applications are associated with crop protection products that have short annual application windows, these delays effectively equate to an entire farming season,” Mr Cossey said.

It is now clear that more needs to be done to ensure performance does not continue to deteriorate
Fiona Simson, NFF President

National Farmers' Federation President Fiona Simson said fears the controversial relocation would prove harmful seemed to be coming true.

“The NFF has longed expressed reservations about the relocation of the APVMA to Armidale and the potential for negative impacts on its ongoing services, performance and business,” Ms Simson said.

“Australian farmers rely on being internationally competitive through efficient operating systems and the production of pest- and disease-free produce.

“Without cost-effective chemical controls, farmers’ ability to compete on the world stage is comprised – a serious concern for an industry that exports three-quarters of what it produces.”

The NFF is one of many industry bodies which have consistently expressed concerns about the impact of relocation.

“The Government has repeatedly provided assurances that the relocation process represented an opportunity for the APVMA to start fresh and become a ‘next generation’ regulator serving the agricultural sector.

“Yesterday’s results unfortunately confirm our concerns that the APVMA’s operations, as a result of its relocation, have suffered.

“It is now clear that more needs to be done to ensure performance does not continue to deteriorate, including further support for the APVMA during the transition process," Ms Simson concluded.

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2 Responses

    So the staff throw a hissy fit about being moved closer to the people they are supposed to be working for and that is supposed to be the fault of a relocation that hasn't even happened yet? Rubbish. The staff are dragging their feet and should be offered the option of getting back to work in preparation for their move or get fired for not doing their job. The idea that the only people qualified to do the job exist in Canberra is just ridiculous. I for one think the move is a really good one. It is about time they became reconnected with the country and farmers instead of their inner city latte sipping greenie mates with their anti-farmer rhetoric. And as far as it taking longer for approvals - well ask all the former sheep farmers like us who can no longer farm sheep due to wild dog infestations who have been waiting more than 50 years for ejectors to be approved. That's right 50 years worth of wild dog breeding up all because the inner city dwelling staff at the APVMA thought it was mean to the 'poor puppies' to kill them and their idiotic belief that if we let them form packs with hierarchies (which wild dogs don't do) then the thrill killings would stop and those 'poor puppies' (aka vicious feral dogs) would just hunt for food. The packs of more than 20 we have seen on our property bringing down more than 50 sheep at a time are proof that they need to get out of the city and reconnect with the people who are suffering as a result of their inaction.

    The move hasn't taken place yet and the drop has been down since last September. More than likely due to industrial pranks at work. "Cost of between $64m and $193m" pa ? Does this mean that previously approved chemicals are that inefficient? Perhaps a good clean out won't go astray.

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