Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2490..
Question so resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.
Motion agreed to.
Paper and statements by members
MRS CROSS: I present documents from 35,000 signatories to an informal petition that opposes the attempt by supermarkets to establish in-store pharmacies and supports the current system of community pharmacies. I present the following paper:
Community pharmacy-Petition not in accordance with the standing and temporary
I would like to acknowledge the National Council of the Pharmacy Guild from around Australia and also all the local community pharmacies and their pharmacy assistants. I hope that you see this today as an attempt by the government to gag this debate.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Direct your comments through the chair, please, Mrs Cross.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning): I would like to seek leave to make a brief statement.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I just want to clarify, for the benefit of members, that in no way is the government seeking to prevent this petition being tabled. We are quite happy for the petition to be tabled; we just did not see any reason why it could not be tabled in the way every other petition is tabled in this place. But nor is the government interested in gagging debate on the issue of pharmacies. In fact, as I will outline to members later today, Mrs Cross's bill would have the effect of banning any pharmacy in the ACT that does not have a crown lease.
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker-
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, if you are going to raise a point of order, you are in deep trouble because you gave Mr Corbell leave to make a statement.
Mrs Dunne: He cannot anticipate debate. He is making a personal statement.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, the Assembly has given him leave to speak. It cannot be withdrawn, unless by way of a motion.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the legislation that Mrs Cross has tabled in the Assembly today prohibits the operation of a pharmacy where the owner of the pharmacy does not have a crown lease; that is, they do not own the premises. Every pharmacy in the ACT where the pharmacist rents the premises from a landowner, from a property owner, would be illegal under Mrs Cross's legislation. I find it ironic in the extreme that Mrs Cross submits a petition from pharmacists and their customers seeking to protect