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Pesticides agency move will happen-Barnaby

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

Barnaby Joyce has vowed to fight on with the controversial relocation of a pesticides agency to his northern NSW electorate.

"We will persevere and it will happen," the deputy prime minister told a National Farmers' Federation conference in Canberra on Wednesday.

Mr Joyce is facing opposition from Labor, a coalition colleague and agency staff over the plan to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale from Canberra.

There are concerns about a re-located agency's viability and whether it can attract dozens of crucial and hard-to-train regulatory scientists, and Labor has accused the deputy prime minister of "blatant" pork-barrelling.

But the Nationals leader, who's also agriculture minister, has dismissed the accusation.

"Yes, it's in the seat of New England, so what?

"Even if it wasn't, it's an ideal place to go."

Mr Joyce spruiked the financial benefits of moving several other agencies from Canberra, pointing to the $1.2 million saving from shifting a grains research agency to Wagga Wagga.

Regional areas must be given opportunity to grow too.

"(Canberra) ... is big enough to look after itself now."

Meanwhile, Mr Joyce is keeping a cost-benefit analysis into the relocation - which he's admitted doesn't entirely push the idea - under wraps.

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