'People will starve': Barnaby Joyce explains another reason for APVMA move

Former Nationals leader and champion of the pesticides authority's move to Armidale Barnaby Joyce has argued securing food supply is a reason for the relocation, and likened it to the First Fleet's landing at Botany Bay. 

In a sign that the Coalition government intends to press on with plans to move other public service agencies from major cities, Agriculture Minister and Liberal National Party MP David Littleproud also called the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority's move a template for the decentralisation project. 

Mr Joyce has previously said the APVMA needed to relocate to improve its performance, and has promoted its benefits for Armidale, but on Monday he focused on another advantage when announcing the agency's new site. 

He said Australia needed to create centres of excellence to deal with the "incredibly noble task, which is the feeding of 10 billion people by around about 2050".

"We have got to do our part. If we don't do our part then somewhere between now and 2050 people are going to start starving to death, because we won't have that capacity to provide that food."

He also compared the controversial move, which has drawn accusations of pork barrelling, to the birth of NSW with the First Fleet, saying that had also encountered "naysayers".


"You have got to take the hard decisions and see them through the hard times and have the perseverance or the nation will stay at a point of status quo. We aren't a government that believes in the status quo.

"We believe in the advancement of our nation across all quarters. Yes, there were people who doubted it but now you can see the plans, the block, see the people moving here and the head of APVMA moving here."

Mr Littleproud said Armidale was at the "cutting-edge" of the Coalition's decentralisation push. 

"We take a big step forward today in the decentralisation of government agencies into regional and rural Australia," he said.


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