Chemist Warehouse opposes legislation
CHEMIST Warehouse Group commercial manager Damian Gance is fighting the Pharmacy Guild and the Federal Government as he launches a petition calling on representatives in Canberra to stand up against the power of one of Australia's most influential lobby groups.
This news comes shortly after plans to build a Chemist Warehouse in Yeppoon were scrapped to comply with the changes made to where pharmacies can open.
Plans for the new Chemist Warehouse were beyond imprint stage.
"The store had the capacity to open within the next 18 months," Mr Gance said.
Current changes require that a supermarket and a doctor's surgery must be located within 500m in order for pharmacies to operate.
These businesses must also sign a statute declaration that declares the building is where the pharmacy claims it to be.
Federal Member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore MP said the Pharmacy Location rules had existed since 1991 and the new provisions were in response to the situation at hand.
"Following an independent review in 2010, the government has revised the rules for new pharmacy locations to encourage easy to access pharmaceutical services in areas with a genuine community need," Ms Livermore said
"We face a situation where pharmacies are closing down in residential areas with new pharmacies replacing them in industrial areas, further away from people's homes.
"These changes make it easier and cheaper for new pharmacies to be set up in locations close to existing medical and community services and where they would provide the greatest benefit.
"We need more pharmacies set up by local people providing for the community, rather than large multinational corporations dictating where and when people must access these services."
However, with 60% of plans for new stores being rejected, Mr Gance is urging the Coalition and the Greens to vote against these changes in Parliament.
"Pharmacies are a trailblazer in terms of primary healthcare. Not only will these changes threaten our business, they will also restrict the access of Australians to discounted medicines," Mr Gance said.
"It is now very unlikely that our Yeppoon store will be able to go ahead under the changes."