TAMWORTH MP Kevin Anderson says moving entire government departments is fraught with problems and can upset a lot of people.
Mr Anderson said he couldn’t comment on the shift of the Australia Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Armidale, but he wasn’t a fan of moving whole agencies.
I think you attract a lot more people with honey, than you can with a heavy stick.- Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson
He said it was problematic “and we’re seeing some of those examples now”.
“When you think about lifting a whole department to regional NSW, you’re playing with people’s lives,” Mr Anderson told The Leader.
“They might actually like living where they want to live.
“So to suddenly move a whole department, you’re upsetting a lot of people and they might like the lifestyle they’ve already got.”
Mr Anderson said it would be better to look at “units” within departments which could be shifted.
“You’ve got to go, let’s look at maybe sections, units and say ‘hands up, who would like to try an opportunity in regional NSW,” he said.
“I think you attract a lot more people with honey, than you can with a heavy stick.”
The Nationals MP said changes in government also posed a risk when it came to decentralisation.
“The only reason I say that is because you suffer the vagaries of government,” he said.
“If you bring a whole department and there’s a change of government at the next election and they go ‘oh no, we want that department back’.
“Then you’re left with the problem of empty office spaces and it upsets people’s lives. “It’s a big thing to move so you’ve got to do it right.”
Mayor Col Murray said the city had been “treated unfairly” when it came to decentralisation.
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