Relocating the nation’s pesticide regulator will create 800 new jobs in a “game changing” move for the city.
The almost $200 million boost will be the most significant progress since David Drummond and Earl Page planned the teacher college and university in the 1930s, Foundation for Regional Development chief executive Peter Bailey says.
We can expect 53 direct and indirect jobs next year, 404 the following year, and 350 in the third an independent Ernst and Young report reveals.
Armidale will make a 4 per cent employment gain in the second year alone while the ACT will only lose 0.2 per cent.
That equates to a 0.2 per cent economic loss in Canberra and a 4.7 per cent or almost $100 million gain for Armidale.
University of New England senior economics lecturer Shawn Leu said the relocation news was a significant win for the city.
“These are brand new jobs, and it is foreseeable from the analysis that more new jobs will be created down the track,” he said.
Dr Leu also expects the entire region to benefit from the relocation.
“There is going to be a new level of economic activity kick in and the new demand will have to be satisfied by industries surrounding Armidale,” he said.
“If we need new constructions, perhaps the raw materials will have to come from Tamworth or additional food supply will have to come in from neighbouring regions.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce confirmed on Friday the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority would relocate to Armidale.
He also issued the controversial cost-benefit analysis report.
That reveals, while the “economic benefits to the Australian economy … are modest”, the benefit to Armidale will be huge.
Co-location to the University of New England, proximity to other agricultural researchers, reduced property costs and the NBN were identified as key benefits to the move.
Job creation and diversifying the economy were also likely benefits to the Armidale community, the report said.
The housing market is predicted to make some of the biggest gains outside the employment and construction industries directly related to the APVMA.
An $8 million boost to real estate services is forecast in 2018 and almost $7 million in 2019.
The retail sector can expect about 30 new jobs in 2018 and again in 2019.
And accommodation and food services will also make significant gains of about 20 jobs per year in the second and third years.
While the scope of analysis was only three years, Dr Leu said Armidale would reap the benefits long into the future.
“Presumably there is more permanency with this particular move so we can anticipate that the benefit will continue after the three-year window,” he said.
The decision came just days after Armidale was announced as the new digital headquarters for TAFE NSW.
The new TAFE facility will deliver 40 new jobs in 2017 and more in the future.
Mr Joyce predicted the APVMA move would take six years to complete.
This is a total game changer for Armidale