On 8 February 2017, the following matter was referred to the Senate Finance
and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by 9 May 2017:
The operation, effectiveness, and consequences of the Public
Governance, Performance and Accountability (Location of Corporate Commonwealth
Entities) Order 2016, with particular reference to:
- the process leading to the making of the order;
- the policy of relocating corporate Commonwealth entities
with agricultural policy or regulatory responsibilities, including:
- the identity of corporate
Commonwealth entities that could be affected,
- the policy’s effect on the
ability of affected entities to perform their functions, and
- economic, environmental and
capability implications of the policy;
- the application of this policy to the Australian
Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, including:
- the plan for relocation, and
- the ability of the Australian
Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to perform its functions from its
new location, and any consequent risks to:
- human and
- productivity and
profitability to the agriculture and fisheries sectors,
trading reputation; and
- any other related matters.
On 9 May 2017, the Senate agreed to extend the reporting date until 9 June 2017.
Conduct of the inquiry
The inquiry was advertised on the committee website at www.aph.gov.au_fpa.
The committee also directly contacted a number of relevant organisations and
individuals to notify them of the inquiry and invite submissions by 10 March
2017. Submissions received by the committee are at Appendix 1.
The committee held a public hearing in Canberra on 11 April 2017 and
Townsville on 19 May 2017. A list of witnesses who provided evidence to the
committee is at Appendix 2. The Hansard transcripts may be accessed through the
Focus of the committee
The committee wishes to stress that the focus of the committee inquiry,
as per the terms of reference, has been the order and its application to the Australian
Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
The committee notes that there have been a number of campaigns to shift
the focus of this inquiry. The committee is aware of a letter that was sent to regional
councils encouraging people to get involved in the inquiry that was seen by
many as urging regional councils and towns to make a bid for federal agencies
to move to their areas.
The results of this can be seen in many of the submissions. A copy of this
letter is at Appendix 3. A form letter campaign was also set up through the
getoutofthecity website. The committee published a copy of this form letter on
its website. Some of the form letters included short additional comments which
the committee received as correspondence.
The committee did not consider it appropriate to deviate substantially
from the clear terms of reference that were agreed by the Senate.
Structure of the report
This report is structured as follows:
Chapter 2 examines the policy and consultative process leading to
the order, and the order itself;
Chapter 3 looks at the effects of the order on the performance of
the APVMA; and the government’s proposals to mitigate the disruption and risks
inherent in the relocation; and
Chapter 4 draws together the conclusions and recommendations of
The committee thanks all the individuals and organisations that made
submissions to this inquiry and appeared at the public hearings.
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