Invermay concerns raised
Political leaders from the lower South Island are meeting Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to discuss alternatives to the proposed downsizing of AgResearch Invermay in Wellington tonight.
Changes to the Government-owned Crown Research Institute are being considered by the Government, including moving 85 jobs from the Invermay campus near Dunedin to other parts of the country.
The group, led by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull includes Environment Southland chairwoman Ali Timms, former Dunedin MPs Katherine Rich and Pete Hodgson, Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead and its chief executive Peter Bodeker.
Cull said any cuts at Invermay would have a serious economic and strategic impact on the southern region.
"From Dunedin's perspective, there is potential for smart businesses and jobs to come out of there.
"From a regional point of view, the expertise at Invermay is crucial to ensure the continuation of leading environmental research related to farming and other industries which contribute significantly to the Otago and Southland economies.
"We believe the proposal would also have serious economic implications at a national level."
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