THE Australian Government has been put on notice to deliver on reform of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, following last week’s formal announcement of the agency’s relocation from Canberra to Armidale.
NFF chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the federation must see improvements in the APVMA as a result of the move, including decreased timelines for product approvals, renewed investment in Australia for new products and improved efficiencies in the organisation.
“Additional delays in bringing new chemical products to market would be incredibly damaging to Australian farm businesses.
We must see continued improvement in the functionality of the APVMA from this move. Funding allocated to regulatory reform must not be diverted to subsidise the relocation,” Mr Mahar said.
“The NFF has always been concerned that moving the APVMA would result in a loss of highly specific and skilled regulatory scientists, and damage organisational continuity – which would delay the already difficult registration process for new pesticides and medicines.
“This can’t be allowed to happen,” he said.
“The NFF supports the building of stronger regions, but regional development should be undertaken strategically, as part of an evidence-driven plan to build the entire economy,” Mr Mahar said.
“It is notable that the cost-benefit analysis only found modest gains to the Australian economy as a result of the relocation.
“The government has been insistent on the relocation and must now deliver on the positive benefits they envisage – or they will be held accountable for any negative impact on farm businesses.”