Boosting regional communities with research relocation
10 February 2016
The Coalition Government has delivered on its commitment to relocate three Canberra-based rural research agencies to regional Australia, in a move that will boost local economies and strengthen communities.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said each of the relocating agencies has a strong rural focus, which would benefit from closer links with farmers and research experts in the regions.
“Decentralisation is not just an abstract idea but is a real priority for this government. Today’s announcement is tangible evidence of this election commitment being put into action.
“I have accepted proposals from three Canberra-based Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) to increase their regional presence, which will boost jobs and growth in Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Toowoomba and other areas,” Minister Joyce said.
“These three RDCs are focused on rural research—including grains, fisheries and aquaculture, and small and emerging industries—so it makes sense to locate them away from Canberra where the boots actually hit the dirt in their respective sectors.
- GRDC will establish four offices outside Canberra: Dubbo, Toowoomba, Perth (with intent to move to Northam) and Adelaide.
- RIRDC will relocate its core operations to Wagga Wagga.
- FRDC will establish a regional office in Adelaide, to be used as a model for further offices.
“As well as being home to vibrant farming communities, these regions also have some of the best agricultural universities and research facilities in the country. It is logical that strong links should exist between the RDCs, universities and farmers on the ground in each industry.
“Being geographically closer to the industries they serve will strengthen their relationships and help the RDCs better understand their individual industry’s needs.”
Minister Joyce said that the proposal to relocate the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to Armidale will go through the process of an independent cost-benefit risk analysis, which would then be looked at further by the government.
“Moving the APVMA would allow it to have a closer interaction with the people who actually use agricultural and veterinary chemicals, as well as build a centre of excellence in the research of agricultural issues,” Minister Joyce said.
“We need to continue to develop parts of our nation outside metropolitan areas and Armidale is a place that is already exceptional in its research, particularly in agriculture.
“We’re committed to revitalising rural Australia, and relocating government agencies to regional areas is part of that commitment to boost jobs growth and investment in these communities.”