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Plan to move is 'wild rumour'

Agriculture Minister John McVeigh.
Agriculture Minister John McVeigh.

AGRICULTURE minister John McVeigh has slammed suggestions the barley breeding program was to be relocated from the Hermitage Research Station.

Reports began circulating earlier this week that the program was to be moved interstate, resulting in job losses for about 17 staff members.

The news sent shock waves through the community, with fears of what the decision would mean for local workers.

Mr McVeigh yesterday vehemently denied the suggestions, telling the Daily News he had no plans to move the program from the Hermitage.

"The suggestion is ridiculous and I am puzzled at why people in the industry would be saying that," he said.

Mr McVeigh, who has been in the minister role for the past six weeks, said he had been engaging in talk with industry stakeholders but said he was not planning to move the research program.

"I am not interested in shifting any of the state-based research out of Queensland," he said.

"I think anyone discussing the closure of the grains research program needs to calm down and understand that would be my decision to make." It is unknown how the reports began circulating this week.

AgForce, who is understood to have made comment on the matter earlier this week, could not be contacted by time of publication.

Topics:  agforce, barley breeding operation, hermitage research station


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