MORE THAN 450 applications have been received for a new wave of jobs at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority in Armidale.
Fairfax Media met with the pesticides authority’s interim CEO Dr Chris Parker on Wednesday morning to find out more.
“We did a round of interviews up here in Armidale as part of that process and interviewed 15 or 16 people locally for a number of positions,” he said.
Dr Parker said a whole range of jobs were advertised including a number of regulatory scientist positions.
He said around 100 to 150 people will be based in Armidale once the agency’s move from Canberra is complete in July 2019.
“With the strength of having one of Australia’s premier agricultural universities here, having the CSIRO service station here, having a number of farms and trial sites here that companies are already using … I think anything is possible in the future,” he said.
Dr Parker’s position as interim CEO will be replaced with a permanent CEO position in the coming months.
“There has been a process of employment for a new CEO … and I have applied,” he said.
He also aims to have the interim office, located within Armidale’s Department of Human Services building, full by the end of 2017.
“We’ve got an interim office with 15 work stations and my goal is to have that full by the end of the year,” he said.
“We’re also doing a little bit of work to expand that interim office, so we’ll have some more seats there and are working with DHS to do some internal restructuring.
“The idea of the plan to move is to incrementally build up staff numbers and functions in Armidale and incrementally reduce staff numbers and functions in Canberra.
We’ve got an interim office with 15 work stations and my goal is to have that full by the end of the year.
“There’s always going to be a bit of a balance going on.”
The Armidale office currently houses three full-time staff members.
“With the large majority still being in Canberra, those staff members are travelling quite a bit,” he said.
“We anticipate that will occur probably right up until we move here permanently because we’ve got a lot of expertise from people who’ve been in the organisation a long time in Canberra … we’ve got a lot of corporate knowledge we can use.”