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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 45


Ms BRODTMANN (Canberra) (13:36): Today Canberrans are vindicated. They are vindicated by the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation's report once again, once again, once again showing the relocation of the APVMA to Armidale for what it is: a blatant, shameless pork-barrel. With the bruises still healing from the decision to relocate the APVMA, Canberra sent a very strong message in its submissions to the committee, saying: 'Hands off Canberra. We've had a gutful of what coalition governments do to us—an absolute gutful.' And for once Canberra was listened to. The Regions at the ready: investing in Australia's future report highlights that many submissions stated that whole government departments or agencies were not expected to be picked up and moved to a regional town, yet that is exactly what the member for New England did when he decided to undertake one of the biggest, most shameful and most shameless pork-barrels in history, moving the APVMA, a regulator in agricultural and veterinary medicines and chemicals, from Canberra to Armidale. None of the committee's recommendations came close to even retrospectively supporting this outrageous pork-barrel.

The key criteria is in recommendation 6:

decisions as to whether to decentralise an agency should be part of a broader strategy for regional development; and

the objectives and reasons for any decentralisation decision are clearly stated and publically available.

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