Relocating the nation’s pesticide regulator will create 800 new jobs in a “game changing” move for the city.
The almost $200 million boost will be the most significant progress since David Drummond and Earl Page planned the teacher college and university in the 1930s, Foundation for Regional Development chief executive Peter Bailey says.
We can expect 53 direct and indirect jobs next year, 404 in the second year, and 350 in the third an independent Ernst and Young report reveals.
Armidale will make a 4 per cent total employment gain in the second year alone, while the ACT will only lose 0.2 per cent.
That equates to a 0.2 per cent economic loss in Canberra and a 4.7 per cent, or almost $100 million gain.
University of New England senior economics lecturer Shawn Leu said it was a significant win for the city.
“These are brand new jobs and it is foreseeable from the analysis that more new jobs will be created down the track,” he said.
Dr Leu also expects the entire region to benefit from the relocation.
“If we need new constructions, perhaps the raw materials will have to come from Tamworth or additional food supply will have to come in from neighbouring regions,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce confirmed on Friday, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority would relocate to Armidale.
He also issued the controversial cost-benefit analysis report, which reveals that while the “economic benefits to the Australian economy … are modest”, the benefit to Armidale will be huge.
Co-location to the University of New England, proximity to other agricultural researchers, reduced property costs and the NBN were identified as key benefits to the move.
Job creation and diversifying the economy were also likely benefits to the Armidale community, the report said.
The housing market is predicted to make some of the biggest gains outside employment and construction industries directly related to the APVMA.
An $8 million boost to real estate services is forecast in 2018 and almost $7 million in 2019.
The retail sector can expect about 30 new jobs in 2018 and again in 2019.
Accommodation and food services will also make significant gains, of about 20 jobs per year, in the second and third years.
While the scope of analysis was only three years, Dr Leu said Armidale would reap the benefits long into the future.
Mr Joyce predicted the move would take six years.