Labor wants the Federal Government to carry out a transparent process in appointing the new boss to run the pesticides body being moved to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s electorate.
Barnaby Joyce has announced former Howard Government adviser Chris Parker will temporarily take over the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from Kareena Arthy, who declined to be relocated to Armidale.
‘‘While Dr Parker appears well qualified for the role, his political pedigree was no doubt a factor in his selection,’’ Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said on Wednesday.
‘‘Barnaby Joyce wants a CEO who is willing to say the crazy taxpayer-funded pork barrel has merit and is prepared to drive the move without complaint or challenge.’’
Mr Fitzgibbon said he demanded a full, transparent and proper process for the selection of the new chief executive.
Croplife chief executive officer Matthew Cossey welcomed the appointment of Dr Parker as the interim chief.
‘‘I hold him in very high regard,’’ he tweeted.
Dr Parker has been serving as an assistant secretary at the agriculture department and previously worked at the Australian embassy in Washington.
Ms Arthy made headlines earlier in the year when she told MPs that executives from her agency were working out of the Armidale McDonald’s while they searched for an office.
She later said it was a ‘‘throwaway line’’ and she had learned a lesson about using humour in Senate estimates hearings.