Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – Speech in the House of Representatives 01/06/23

June 1, 2023

Hansard 01/06/2023  House of Representatives

Mr LLEW O’BRIEN (Wide Bay (13:54): There aren’t too many businesses in regional Australia that are as relied upon and as trusted as our local pharmacies. They are part of our community, and we trust them with our most sensitive personal information. They really do hold a special place. They provide services to their community motivated by a commitment to its wellbeing. Often those much-needed services are provided at a financial loss. Operating a pharmacy is complex and as unique as the needs of the community it keeps healthy. The Albanese government’s announcement to cut the income of local pharmacies is not only an attack on our community pharmacies; it’s an attack on our regional communities.

My local Tin Can Bay pharmacist told me how the $3.5 billion funding cut to pharmacies undermines his viability and that he will likely not be able to continue the Webster-pak service in its current form, meaning this will ultimately cost his customers more. Others have warned of reduced operating hours on evenings and on weekends, forcing patients to travel long distances to another chemist. But worst of all is that many will likely shut their doors permanently. The Albanese government’s pharmacy cuts will come at a great cost to our nation’s health.



In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.