The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines (APVMA) will open an additional interim office in Armidale to accommodate staff relocating from Canberra.
APVMA chief executive Chris Parker said the additional accommodation was required because the existing office on Beardy Street would reach capacity in August 2018.
“We’ve signed a lease for a second interim office at 109 Jessie Street, which will provide for the further recruitment of priority roles into Armidale ahead of mid-2019 when our permanent leased premises is scheduled to open,” Dr Parker said.
“The additional accommodation on Jessie Street will house up to 32 staff, supporting the expansion of our Armidale operations ahead of the full relocation.
“Securing the additional office space is one of many activities we have implemented to retain and build capability in the authority while we manage the staged relocation to Armidale.
“We have also adjusted the future operating model to accommodate a unit of specialist scientists and decision makers who will work from the office in Canberra to support APVMA fulfill its statutory obligations under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code.”
Construction of the authority’s permanent leased office in Armidale is underway with the site cleared and concrete slab poured for the two story building that will accommodate up to 150 APVMA staff by mid-2019.
The Armidale operations will be supported by 30 to 40 specialist scientists and decision makers working from a site in Canberra.
“Our existing plans for teleworking and an enhanced reliance on external scientific assessors have not reduced our relocation risks to an acceptable level and more must be done,” Dr Parker said.
“We are committed to establishing a regulatory centre in Armidale. Twenty one staff already work for the APVMA in Armidale and the additional interim office on Jessie Street will expand our presence to accommodate more staff relocating and those who are successful through the current and future recruitment rounds.
“Maintaining the APVMA’s quality regulatory services for the benefit of Australia’s agricultural industries, our trade and the environment is vital, and we will not lose sight of this while we implement the Government Policy Order.”