Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3664 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

mutual associations to provide various types of social assistance to their members in the days when there was no government-supplied social welfare. These pharmacies have survived until this time as mutual not-for-profit organisations but are now regarded as being incorporated entities under the Corporations Law.

As these friendly society pharmacies are controlled by boards of directors who are not registered pharmacists, these pharmacies would not be able to be registered as being incorporated pharmacists under my bill. In other states where companies are not allowed to operate pharmacies, friendly society pharmacies are allowed to continue under grandfather clauses in the relative state pharmacy laws, and their expansion opportunities are severely restricted.

As there are currently no friendly society pharmacies in the ACT, the implementation of my bill will have no practical effect on this organisation. In fact, I must admit that I had no idea that friendly society pharmacies existed when I prepared the bill. The Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association is, however, concerned about its exclusion from this bill and the negative message it sends to friendly society pharmacies elsewhere.

I also want to put on the record that I have some sympathy with the friendly society pharmacies in the mutual aid objectives under which they were established. The Greens generally support the concept of cooperatives and not-for-profit organisations being able to undertake business activities as a counter for the profit-driven corporate sector. I was prepared to look at amendments to my bill to allow friendly society pharmacies to operate in the ACT, but basically it got too complicated and I ran out of time. If I am here in the next Assembly I would be prepared to look at this issue again, particularly once the COAG response to the national competition policy review of pharmacists is released, as it is likely to have further references to the future of friendly society pharmacies which made need to be acted on.

I thank members for their support for this legislation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (6.00): I move the amendment circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3719].

The explanatory memorandum is on the same page. I believe it deals with the questions that were raised in advice to me over whether or not the legislation breached the self-government act. I believe this amendment will ensure that it maintains its validity under the self-government act.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .