It wasn’t that long ago we spent some time talking about the build it and they will come mentality.
So here we are again, following confirmation last week, that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (AVPMA) will be relocated to Armidale.
Barnaby Joyce sticking to his guns, despite the naysayers suggesting it would be near impossible to enforce.
A report suggests enormous benefits to our region. For Armidale it’s a likely 4 per cent employment gain. In dollar terms it’s significant; around $100 million dollars.
While for Canberra the loss is negligible – estimated to be around 0.2 per cent in economic terms.
For us, it’s kind of like that famous trans Tasman relationship – the Aussie New Zealand alliance – where the AVPMA is our Crowded House (a relationship celebrated on the steps of the iconic Opera House just this week).
What’s theirs is ours – where the report also suggests there will be benefits to this move further afield from Armidale, including Tamworth.
Retail, accommodation and food services are just some of the industries that it suggests will be able to make the most of the shift in focus from the city to our region.
And it stands to reason, where 800 jobs are created there will be some flow on.
Of course, the challenge now is to make it happen and we all know that’s not going to be easy.
It’s been suggested that just a handful of those employed by the agency in Canberra actually want to move.
They don’t have to so it will be interesting to see how it’s handled by the powers that be.
But accolades must go to Mr Joyce for sticking to his guns, despite some of the negative talk in the lead up to and post election.
Let’s hope it does translate to the success this latest report is suggesting, because what’s good for one regional area by proxy is good for all of us. Especially when it takes the focus off the capitals and puts it firmly where it belongs – fair and square on us.
On another note
A story that appeared in the Northern Daily Leader on Friday Nov 25, incorrectly named Ben Davies as the owner of the Quality Hotel Powerhouse Tamworth. Ben Davies is the General Manager; Greg Maguire is the owner.