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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2912 ..

reproduction, menstruation and sexual activity, many professionals will play an important role in many young women’s lives and young men’s lives as they start on their life journey.

It can often be a confusing journey and one in which advice from trusted health professionals is very important. Just the hint of judgement or stigma relayed to a young person when seeking advice, particularly in a very public setting like a pharmacy, can really have an impact, particularly on a young person seeking quite personal advice.

In the context of the motion, and after discussions with both Ms Cody and Mrs Dunne, I will be circulating an amendment. It is coming. It has not yet been tabled for others to see. I know that it has been discussed informally. I hope we can seek a resolution here that allows us to continue this conversation in the community and particularly with pharmacies and pharmacy representative organisations.

We must be careful that we do everything we can to make sure that young women and men in particular have the support they need to access important health care and healthcare products. We on this side of the chamber certainly support the rights of women to manage their own health, especially their reproductive health, and we support initiatives to reduce barriers that prevent access to health services and products.

This is evident through the significant range of sexual health services available to women that are funded by this government, including education and information services; sexual health testing and treatment; access to contraception; counselling and information relating to sexual activity; pregnancy; prenatal and postnatal care and support; and cervical screening.

Further to this, as we know, the ACT Labor government has been progressive in these areas, particularly in relation to abortion law reform. This is a jurisdiction and a government that have led on women’s reproductive and women’s sexual health rights for decades. We are committed to continuing to be in this space.

Specifically with regard to Ms Cody’s motion, as I mentioned earlier we must make sure that we work with all sectors of the community and all sectors of industry. I know that pharmacists are very important health professionals in the lives of Canberrans. I know, having met many pharmacists in my professional job and in my personal life, that they are compassionate and dedicated professionals. They are dedicated both to their profession and to their customers. Increasingly, our pharmacists are playing an important role in the health care of Canberrans. They provide many specialist skills that enable them to provide advice to their customers. But we also know that more and more Canberrans are seeking advice from pharmacists. I welcome that, as I know pharmacies and pharmacists also do, as an important part of our health sector.

But, in saying that, we need to make sure that we keep conversations like this alive. We know that there are regulatory, legislative and professional obligations that community pharmacists in particular have. I certainly acknowledge those. But we

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