The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has met with Dr Chris Parker, following his appointment as Interim CEO of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
Dr Parker will head up the APVMA in Armidale, as recruitment continues for a permanent CEO.
“Dr Parker has valuable experience as a qualified veterinarian. He is a former farmer, and has extensive experience in a range of private and government sector roles,” Mr Joyce said.
“This appointment will give the APVMA some certainty as it takes the next steps to build a world class regulator of agricultural and veterinary chemical products in regional Australia.
“The opening of the APVMA office in Armidale is a critical move in delivering a Centre of Agricultural Excellence in the city, bringing vital government services to the doorstep of the people that use them - as promised by The Nationals.
“The opening of the interim office is also a significant step towards decentralising selected government departments, one of The Nationals’ priorities in delivering for rural areas. A whole of government process will be undertaken to identify which government functions and agencies are suitable for decentralisation.
“The APVMA’s relocation to Armidale will deliver new jobs, increase the availability of skilled employees and increase the diversity and resilience of Armidale’s economy.”
Mr Joyce said that strengthening Armidale’s agricultural science focus is already realising positive outcomes, with two new regulatory science post-graduate degrees recently established by the University of New England, delivering a ready source of highly qualified future staff for the APVMA.
So far the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation have all instigated moves to increase their regional presence.
“I look forward to working with Dr Parker and the APVMA team in Armidale to ensure the region can thrive into the future,” Mr Joyce said.