Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from Canberra to his own electorate has spurred bosses to consider pay rises of up to 15 per cent to convince staff to remain with the APVMA, Fairfax has revealed.
The pay rises are in addition to a 1.5 per cent retention bonus for workers still with the body in December 2017, a 3 per cent bonus if still employed in December 2018, and a 10 per cent bonus if employees remain until the Canberra office closes in 2019.
Other inducements made to workers include the offer of up to 12 free return flights per year between Canberra and Armidale.
Fairfax also revealed that fewer than ten of the APVMA’s regulatory scientists were willing to make the move, which is touted as a relocation of the agency’s “scientific leadership”.
It is expected that only 100 of the authority’s 190 public servants would be prepared to move to Armidale.
The relocation has been met with much criticism, with outcry increasing when it was revealed in December that the authority already lacks enough staff to complete its work on time.