The chief executive officer of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), Kareena Arthy, has resigned from her post. Her departure comes at a critical time for the Authority as it faces a controversial relocation from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), to Armidale, New South Wales (NSW). Ms Arthy is taking a position at ACT Public Service and joins an “exodus of staff” who are “flatly refusing to pack up their lives and move to northern NSW”, the Canberra Times reports. Ms Arthy recently told a Senate Estimates Committee that she was having a tough time convincing her staff to move to Armidale. The Senate is investigating the government’s policy of relocating corporate Commonwealth entities, including the APVMA.
The industry association, CropLife Australia, says that the APVMA improved its performance under Ms Arthy’s leadership and hopes that internal improvement momentum is not lost. “Unfortunately, much of her good work has been swiftly eroded as a direct result of forced relocation of the APVMA and associated experienced staff losses,” says CropLife Australia’s chief executive officer, Matthew Cossey.
The APVMA has established an interim office in Armidale, New South Wales in preparation for its planned relocation from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory in 2019. A small team of locally recruited staff will work from the new premises “ensuring local liaison with the Armidale community and connecting the APVMA’s regulatory operations in Canberra to the agency’s new home in regional Australia”, the Authority points out. The office will serve as the headquarters for the APVMA relocation team, giving Canberra-based staff a place to work from when they travel to Armidale. APVMA chief executive officer Kareena Arthy will not be moving to Armidale, having resigned her post. The resignation is effective from May 31st.