House debates

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Pharmacy Guild of Australia

1:55 pm

Photo of Jane PrenticeJane Prentice (Ryan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

by leave—I rise today to present a petition on behalf of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia—indeed, the largest petition ever tabled in the House of Representatives, with 1,210,471 signatures. I understand the previous record holder was a petition on beer prices lodged in the year 2000 with more than 700,000 signatures. What you can see here is only a small part of the total petition delivered in 22 boxes.

The petition read as follows—

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This Petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House a recent announcement by the Federal Government, without consultation, to change the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and reduce what is paid to community pharmacy to dispense medicines. This PBS change will ultimately put at risk the viability of community pharmacies across Australia.

We therefore ask the House to take whatever action is needed to ensure that community pharmacy receives the funding support it needs to stay in business, serve patients, employ staff and remain open after hours.

from 1,210,471 citizens

Petition received.

I congratulate the Pharmacy Guild on their amazing effort, which saw pharmacies all over Australia collect signatures during August and September last year and has resulted in what I believe is the largest petition ever tabled in the Commonwealth. This petition calls on the House to undertake whatever action is needed to ensure that community pharmacies receive the support they need to stay in business, provide patient care, employ staff and remain open after hours.

I can assure the Pharmacy Guild that members of parliament are acutely aware of the key role pharmacies play in our local communities. Indeed, in his address to the guild's annual dinner last November, Minister Dutton said: 'It is incredibly important for us to embrace community pharmacies while going forward. That is an agenda that is shared by the Prime Minister.'