Page 2493 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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conserve fuel. While it is not likely that we are ever going to run out of oil, it is true that there are some uses for oil that are more important than others. We are always going to need oil. Perhaps we should start conserving it.

How does the International Energy Agency suggest that we do that? It suggests, for a start, that we actually cut public transport costs by 100 per cent and make public transport free to use. It suggests that we do carpooling, telecommuting, and even suggests that we could change our tyre pressure so that we use less petrol. Further than this, the International Energy Agency goes on to say that putting in drastic speed restrictions and compulsory driving bans are the most effective way to reduce oil use. They suggest that bans could be one day in every 10 or the old method that I think we have seen before of bans placed on cars with odd or even number plates. This is not a pretty scenario.

The International Energy Agency suggests that extra police might be needed in these circumstances to stop citizens breaking the bans. I think this is because people have been told for so long that they have every right to drive their car; they have every right to buy a car that guzzles as much petrol as they like; so that now we have to turn around and use police to tell them that they cannot.

To finish this absolutely fascinating adjournment speech, as I can see from all members of the Assembly: in Britain there is a proposal, announced at the end of May, that motorists who drive fuel-hungry cars such as BMWs, people carriers and Range Rovers may face a five-fold increase in road tax under radical plans to combat Britain’s spiralling greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, this report even goes on to say that ministers were told that the only way they might be able to force motorists to buy green cars, that is, low-energy using cars, is to introduce a new top rate of road tax as high as £900 a year.

MR SPEAKER: The member’s time has expired.

Pharmacies—establishment in supermarkets

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (6.09): Mr Speaker, Woolworths Ltd has announced their intention to incorporate pharmacies into their supermarkets. Their initial plan is to try to establish 100 in-store pharmacies without pharmacists.

During the last Assembly, a petition signed by 45,000 people, the largest petition ever tabled in the history of the ACT Legislative Assembly, was tabled, supporting the current structure of community pharmacies in the ACT. As a result, the Assembly passed amendments to the ACT’s pharmacy legislation that prevented the establishment of pharmacies in supermarkets.

However, Woolworths Ltd continues to claim that consumers are paying too much for their medications and that they could make significant savings in a supermarket pharmacy. That is simply not true. Sixty-three per cent of a pharmacist’s business is provided under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, the PBS, the prices of which are controlled by the Australian government and are amongst the lowest in the world. Another 17 per cent represents front-of-shop products such as cosmetics and hair treatments, which Woolworths already sells and are open to full competition. This leaves

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