Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2491..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
pharmacies when her very legislation puts in place a requirement that the pharmacy can operate only if it has a crown lease and it owns the premises in which it operates.
Every single pharmacy in the ACT that rents its premises from a landowner or indeed which operates within an enclosed private shopping centre would be operating illegally under either Mrs Cross's legislation or Ms Dundas's amendments. Ms Dundas's amendments say very clearly that the pharmacy cannot operate legally if it is operating within another business which is not a pharmacy.
I think I should draw to the attention of members and indeed people interested in this debate that a business would include a private shopping centre. Woden Plaza, Belconnen Mall, Tuggeranong Hyperdome, City Markets, Wanniassa shops-any of these shopping centres where the pharmacy is conducting its business within a privately owned shopping centre would be illegal under Ms Dundas's amendments. And that is the absurdity and the irony of the situation that we now have before us.
The government is very interested in protecting community pharmacies but it is not interested in legislation that actually drives half the pharmacists in the ACT out of business, and that would be the effect of both Mrs Cross's legislation and Ms Dundas's amendments. It shows the absurdity and the ham-fistedness of attempting to regulate pharmacies in this way.
There are other ways of ensuring a pharmacy does not operate in supermarkets, and the most obvious way and the way that is already in place is the federal government's police, which refuses to allow pharmacies in supermarkets to operate with a PBS agreement so that they cannot sell medicines on the PBS.
That is the position in place at the moment, but what Mrs Cross's legislation means is that if you do not own your premises and you rent them from someone else, as a pharmacist you will be trading illegally. What Ms Dundas's amendments mean is that if you operate your pharmacy in a privately owned shopping centre you will be trading illegally. And it is for those reasons, Mr Speaker, that later in the debate today we will be opposing Ms Dundas's amendments and Mrs Cross's bill.
ACT Planning and Land Authority
The Clerk having called on Notice No 4, private member's business-
Motion (by Mrs Dunne ) agreed to:
That the Assembly now suspend for lunch.
Sitting suspended from 12.55 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
MR SMYTH: My question is to Ms Gallagher as the Minister for Industrial Relations and it relates to ACT WorkCover. Minister, as you are aware, I have written to the Auditor-General outlining my concerns about the expenditure of $1.5 million from the