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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7833

Senator CAROL BROWN (Tasmania) (11:33): I would just like to follow on from Senator Bernardi's contribution because the minister in her response made it no clearer to the chamber what the process was that was undertaken to determine Orange as the location for the RIC. There was no indication of whether there were any other locations—and there are many locations around Australia that have vibrant farming communities. Unless the minister can tell us now what the process was and what, if any, other locations were considered, the only thing that we in this chamber can safely assume is that this is about pork-barrelling by Mr Joyce and a political fix for the National Party. That is the only conclusion that we can come to, because the minister has failed to tell this chamber exactly what the process was.

We've seen this all before under Mr Joyce. We saw it with the siting of the APVMA in Armidale, and that has not gone well. We've seen expert people leave that organisation. We have seen the backlog of work that hasn't been able to be undertaken because of the concern and uncertainty that Mr Joyce has caused. So it is vital in this committee stage that the minister tells this chamber quite clearly what process was undertaken to select Orange as the location for the commission.