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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2918 ..


I am very happy that Ms Cody has bought this conversation to the Assembly today so that we can continue this great work in making sure that women in the ACT can access health services in a way that does not judge them and does not stigmatise because they are accessing a legal health service. I commend Ms Cody for bringing her motion, and I support Ms Fitzharris’s amendment to the motion.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.35): To complicate things I have a further amendment to achieve what I believe is being negotiated between the minister and shadow minister in this case. I certainly support the intent of what Ms Cody is seeking to achieve through this motion. I believe in a woman’s right to choose; I said that in my maiden speech and I have said it subsequently on a number of occasions.

Taking steps to remove barriers and stigma for women seeking access to medication and some products and so on is a good intention, and I support that intention. However, I support Mrs Dunne’s point of view that this has not been done in a particularly good way in this motion. This is a ham-fisted way of doing it. There was a failure to consult with peak bodies to understand the legal complexities of signage in pharmacies. Some of the language in the motion—I am glad that that has been removed by the minister through her amendment—certainly could be interpreted as quite negative and critical and patronising of both pharmacists and doctors. I am glad the motion has been substantially amended by the minister to make sure that the complexities with regard to signage and legalities have been addressed and at least noted and that that particular language has been removed.

Ms Cody, it is good that we are having this conversation in the sense of making sure that we are doing what we can to remove stigma, but I reinforce the point that Mrs Dunne has made that consulting on and understanding the complexities of the issues before moving the motion in the first place would have resolved a lot of toing and froing and problems. I had conversations with the Pharmacy Guild yesterday and with others and I know that consultation before the motion was moved would have removed some of their concerns about the way the motion was originally crafted.

Ms Fitzharris has moved an amendment that cleans up the original motion, and that is a good thing. Mrs Dunne has moved an amendment that removes the requirement for signage in pharmacies, suggesting that that should be online. The understanding now is that that amendment will be withdrawn by Mrs Dunne and I will move an amendment that, rather than omit the requirement for signage, will add what was Mrs Dunne’s intention, that is, to make sure that when the government explores this issue it also explores the issue of online resources.

Mrs Dunne’s amendment to Ms Fitzharris’s proposed amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.39): I move the following amendment to Ms Fitzharris’s proposed amendment:

Add paragraph (3)(c):

“(c) in consultation with pharmacists and their peak bodies explore options for development of an on-line resource to assist the Canberra community to access reproductive health medicines and products.”.


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