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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2528..


MRS CROSS (continuing):

with amendments on many other bills; it is a not uncommon practice. I think Mr Corbell is attempting to throw a red herring here, and I think it is unnecessary.

MR PRATT (4.46): In terms of the substantive issue raised by Mr Corbell as to why we cannot adjourn this debate to a later time this day, may I remind him and members that, yesterday in two major bills, on which I led the opposition's counter-debate, we had to deal with in excess of 10 major amendments. Ten major, complex amendments of the government's making were placed on the table and we accepted those without a whimper. May I just remind the minister of that issue as he judges this particular issue?

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (4.47): I seek leave to speak briefly.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: It is quite clear that amendments are dealt with in a variety of ways in this place. If members yesterday felt that they were happy with the amendments they saw on the table, then of course there was no reason not to debate them, but I have some questions about this amendment. Let me elaborate. Firstly, I am not convinced that this amendment will not capture larger pharmacy operations here in the ACT. Secondly, I am not convinced that this is not open to challenge. The question I have, which I want to get some legal advice on, is: what is to stop Woolworths coming to me and saying, "Your interpretation of a supermarket also applies to large pharmacy operations", and challenging that?

These are the issues that I think deserve some fairly serious consideration before members resolve on this particular piece of legislation. That is all I am asking. The definition of "territory plan"is neither here nor there. It is the pharmacy board that will have to interpret the definition in this section to ensure compliance with the act; it will not be ACTPLA, or anything to do with the territory plan. The chief pharmacist will have to undertake compliance activity consistent with what is in the act, based on some assessment by the pharmacy board. These are not insignificant issues. I am disappointed that members will not do the government the courtesy of an adjournment to simply enable consideration of this amendment and an understanding of its full ramifications. It happens all the time on all sorts of other legislation.

Mrs Cross: It is not rocket science!

MR CORBELL: You probably said that about your original bill, Mrs Cross, but look where that got you! Your whole bill has been gutted because you did not think about it. I simply ask members to do the government the courtesy of an adjournment until private members' business next week.

MS DUNDAS (4.50): Without wishing to address the substantive issue of the amendments, I would like to say that maybe this is a debate we need to have about the amendments in relation to some of the definitions included here. I think we can have that debate at a later hour today, and I am quite happy to do so. We have spent a lot of time working on this issue, both here in the chamber and with people in the community, and there is agreement that we deal with this issue as soon as possible. The resources of the government are at the command of the minister when the crossbenchers-I do not want


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