MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall will spearhead a delegation to Canberra next week to help persuade the Federal Government to relocate the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to Armidale from Canberra.
Mr Marshall said he would be joined by Armidale Dumaresq Mayor Laurie Bishop, University of New England Vice Chancellor Annabelle Duncan, and their respective senior staff, next Tuesday (16 June) to put forward Armidale’s case and bid for the 195 public service positions.
“Last month the Agriculture Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce announced the APVMA would be relocated to either Armidale or Toowoomba in Queensland, so now it is up to us to convince the authority that Armidale is the best location,” Mr Marshall said.
“On Tuesday we will be meeting with APVMA management and staff in Canberra to discuss with them the great opportunities that are available here.
“The relocation of 195 full time jobs would have a massive positive on the economic and social landscape of Armidale, the likes of which hasn’t been experienced for a long time.
“We will leave no stone unturned to make sure we trump Toowoomba.
“Apart from a usual array of presentations on the city’s location, economy, infrastructure (NBN, transport, health facilities, dental services), education, property, retailing, events (sports, arts/culture), national parks, we have also invited APVMA management and their families to come and spend a weekend in Armidale and see the benefits for themselves.”
Mr Marshall said that while in Armidale the staff and families would be given a taste of life in the New England and introduced to the city’s education facilities, recreational activities and real estate opportunities.
“While ultimately the final decision lies with Minister Barnaby Joyce, the community can be assured that we will be fighting tooth and nail to make sure we get the right result.”
Armidale Dumaresq Council Project Manager Tony Broomfield said Armidale was fast becoming a hub for rural innovation nationally with world-recognised tertiary rural education, rural-co-operatives, the CSIRO and UNE’s Smart Farm all based in Armidale.
“Relocating government agencies like the APVMA that plays a significant role in rural industry just makes good sense,” Mr Broomfield said.
“However it’s the lifestyle benefits including quality education, affordable housing and a beautiful, diverse, well resourced, modern regional city that will no doubt ease some of the concerns of the staff about the proposed relocation.
“We are taking this presentation very seriously and I must commend the staff at Council who have worked hard to prepare a visually stunning presentation and information pack highlighting all that our region has to offer.
“This is a life changing decision for the 195 staff and their families, so anything that we can do to help them make an informed decision is important.”