Decentralising agencies to boost regional employment and investment
The Australian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to relocating three research and development corporations (RDCs) and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to regional Australia.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today welcomed the start of the formal consultations with staff and stakeholders on the proposed relocations, including assessment of preferred locations.
“The Australian Government is committed to boosting jobs growth and strengthening communities across Australia,” Minister Joyce said.
“Locating the agencies in agricultural communities or close to related institutes is part of this commitment.
“We’re exploring locations that will allow these agencies to sit within and have better access to the communities and industries they serve.”
The preferred locations being considered by the government include:
- The APVMA to Armidale or Toowoomba
- The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to Wagga Wagga
- The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) to Albury-Wodonga
- The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) to Hobart
“Australia’s agricultural productivity is underpinned by hardworking communities from all corners of the nation, which is why the government would like these agencies to move closer to the industries they serve.”
Minister Joyce said the cost of relocations was an investment that would bring long term benefits to Australian rural industries and their communities by forging closer connections between research, regulation and industry.
“Moving the three RDCs would contribute about $13 million a year to local economies, while moving the APVMA would contribute about $16 million a year to the local economy,” Minister Joyce said.
“Any relocation will be carefully considered, managed responsibly and undertaken in consultation with staff, clients and stakeholders.
“The Government will also be happy to consider other possible locations provided they meet the criteria of being close to the industries being served and a regional university that has a strong agricultural focus.
“The government is now consulting broadly with all those affected to ensure that all views are taken into account as part of this process, including on the proposed location for each agency,” Minister Joyce said.
“We will keep staff and stakeholders informed of the outcomes of this process at every step.”
A final decision on the relocation of identified agencies is expected by the end of the year.