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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . .

Page.. 156..


MS FITZHARRIS: The codeine up-scheduling was a decision that I supported. I note that significant funding was provided to the Pharmacy Guild from the commonwealth government to have a significant education and awareness campaign through community pharmacists, who are often clearly on the front line of people seeking medication, whether prescription or non-prescription. There has certainly been a significant discussion with community healthcare providers, community pharmacists, GPs and pain specialists.

One of the significant findings from the Therapeutic Goods Administration in its decision which came into effect earlier this month was about the efficacy of using codeine for pain management. There was significant national debate about the efficacy of codeine in particular, and the ability of all healthcare providers to let their patients know that they have other options, whether that be prescriptions or other pain management strategies.

Seniors—rebate changes

MS LAWDER: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Veterans and Seniors. Minister, on page 65 of the 2017-18 ACT budget review, tabled yesterday, there are changes identified to the seniors spectacles scheme. The change will deliver a saving of only $180,000 over three years. Given that the age of eligibility for the seniors card has also recently increased, seniors in the ACT may well feel that they are being hard done by. Minister, what consultation was undertaken prior to the decision to wind back the spectacles scheme, and with which organisations did you consult?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Lawder for the question and I welcome her to the portfolio as the shadow minister for seniors. I note that the spectacles subsidy scheme is actually not something that sits within the seniors portfolio; it is something that sits within the treasury portfolio. However, I draw to your attention that there have been not only changes in relation to the spectacles subsidy, which has for a number of years, going back long before I was a member here, been known to—

Ms Lawder: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Ramsay.

Ms Lawder: The question related to what consultation was undertaken and with which organisations. I ask that the minister respond directly to the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: Can we stop the clock while we go through the point of order. Chief Minister on the point of order.

Mr Barr: I am not on the point of order. The question is actually in my portfolio, so I will assume the responsibility for answering.

MADAM SPEAKER: Are we changing the responder to the question?

Mr Barr: I assume—


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