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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7831

Senator RICE (Victoria) (11:24): The Greens will be supporting this amendment from Labor. The fact that the board is being directed to establish its headquarters in Orange underlines the whole rationale behind so much of this legislation. It is giving power without any assessment process, without any objective process. It gives the minister the power to direct the board, quite inappropriately.

Orange may well be the best place for the headquarters of such a corporation, but we don't know. There is no process that's been undertaken to determine that, just like with the APVMA, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. Suddenly Minister Joyce plucked Armidale out of the air and said, 'It's going to be there,' with no justification. We saw in the cost-benefit analysis that was done that in fact there was a negative benefit in establishing the headquarters of the APVMA in Armidale.

Here we've got a similar situation. It is blatant pork-barrelling. That's all it is. Without parliamentary oversight and without any process, we have a situation of putting far too much power in the hands of the executive. This might be the way the government wants to do business, but it is not good governance. It is not good, transparent, accountable, evidence-based legislation and governing. Supporting this amendment, at least, is one tiny thing that would improve this legislation. The fact that the government is opposing this amendment bells the cat. It shows so much of what the purpose of this legislation is based on.