House debates

Thursday, 15 February 2024

Matters of Public Importance

Albanese Government

3:37 pm

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | Hansard source

I tell you what, I can't table my phone. I need it for all the good messages I will send to you in the future when you have another tilt at the leadership, member for Maribyrnong. But I am glad that the member for Dobell is here. She is the regional health minister. She is also a former pharmacist and a very, very good one. It is true. She would be interested to note a pharmacist in Forest Hill, where RAAF Wagga operates.

Mina Estafanos has owned the Forest Hill Pharmacy for six years. In the past week he has had several customers opt out of filling their vital prescriptions due to cost. One elderly man even admitted he had stopped buying food just to get some of his daily medication. Now, we should be better than that. We should be doing better than that. Watching residents choose between basic needs prompted an enormously generous response from Mr Estafanos. He's chosen to provide free medication to his customers who are doing it tough—he's taking to social media and asking the community to bring in those who've been avoiding paying for their medicine. What a generous man. But he shouldn't be required to do that.

Yesterday this government decided to give $14 million to Foodbank. That's a noble gesture. Foodbank is the largest hunger relief charity in the nation. Fourteen million dollars—that'll help.


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