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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3663 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

competition policy and all those sorts of things. The historical significance of this is that one of the first deputations was from the former Chief Minister who in 1989 declared herself as a friend of mine.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.55): Mr Speaker, I will be wholeheartedly supporting this legislation. I worry that if it is not passed pharmacies would be under threat from what I refer to as the Woolworthisation of the world. I believe that organisations such as Woollies would be itching to have a pharmacy in their premises somewhere. I am trying to visualise how they might do that, whether it would be with the fruit, the fish, the pharmacy or the deli. It just does not sit well with my impression of what a pharmacy should be. But I do worry. I have been told that Woollies in Manuka, although I have not been there, is set up for this very purpose. I am told that there is an area of that new development that would-

Mr Humphries: It's Coles.

MR RUGENDYKE: Coles, is it? Thank you. They are trying to gazump Woollies, by the sound of it-the Colesisation of the world. I have been told that this Coles has an area of their new premises that would adapt perfectly to a pharmacy, and that is the last thing I would like to see happen to a pharmacy. I wholeheartedly support this legislation.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.56): Mr Speaker, I endorse the comments that my colleague Mr Berry made. As Mr Berry said, the Labor Party will support this bill which addresses an anomaly in the Pharmacy Act of 1931 that permits a company made up of non-pharmacists to own and operate pharmacies, despite the plain intention of the act that pharmacies may only be owned and operated by registered pharmacists. This bill closes that loophole by requiring that directors, members and shareholders of any company wishing to own and operate a pharmacy be registered pharmacists. The only non-pharmacist directors and members permitted will be close relatives, parents, spouses, children, of the registered pharmacist. I understand that similar legislation is already in place in South Australia.

I have had representations, as I understand have other members of the Assembly, from the Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association which owns and operates 33 pharmacies in jurisdictions other than the ACT. Even though the association says it has no intention of opening a pharmacy in the ACT, it points out that this bill may prevent it from doing so.

I understand that Ms Tucker has considered an amendment to exempt the friendly societies from the bill, but I understand that she will not proceed at this stage. I believe, from discussions between her staff and mine, that she is prepared to revisit the issue around the position of the Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association if it does become a reality here in the ACT. I acknowledge that I received representation and that there was some validity to the point that they put. I do that in the context of the Labor Party supporting this bill but acknowledging there may be another issue that needs to be addressed at a later date.


(5.58), in reply: I want also to mention the Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association. We did speak to these people. These pharmacies were established last century by friendly societies which developed at this time as non-profit

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