DUD NBN IS HOLDING AUSTRALIA BACK

Scott Morrison’s copper-based National Broadband Network is acting as a hand brake on national productivity and making it more difficult for Australians to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest figures from the Speedtest Global Index show Australia’s broadband internet speeds now rank 60th in the world behind Moldova, Bulgaria, Belarus and New Zealand.

The Index listed Australia’s average broadband speed as 60.54 megabits per second in November, similar to speeds in Ukraine and Vietnam. The global leader was Singapore, with 241 megabits per second – four times faster than Australia.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese said Scott Morrison should be ashamed of these figures.

“Today I will visit the electorate of Macquarie with local MP Susan Templeman, where hundreds of residents’ NBN connector boxes have failed in recent storms,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Poor mobile phone coverage in the Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury means some residents have been left without phone or internet for days or even weeks.

“Some people have lost up to six boxes in a row. They’ve started asking for a spare.’’

Ms Templeman said: “This makes it pretty much impossible for people to work from home or run a small business.

“It’s also dangerous during the bushfire season.’’

When the Government came to office, it replaced the former Labor Government’s plan for an NBN delivering fibre to the premises with a second-rate copper wire-based system that was out of date before it was even constructed.

In September, the Government finally admitted its error and committed $6 billion to bring the NBN into the 21st century, reverting to Labor’s initial plan.

This brings the cost of the NBN to $57 billion – nearly $30 billion more than what the Coalition promised their second-rate NBN would cost in 2013.

It has also been reported up to 238,000 NBN connections are still incapable delivering basic 25 megabit per second speeds, despite the Liberals promising everyone would have these minimum NBN speeds by 2016, and these speeds also being a requirement of Australian law.

Scott Morrison’s incompetence and mismanagement on communications is holding back business growth, particularly in regional Australia.

MORRISON’S $210 NEW YEAR’S PAY CUT FOR HOSPITALITY WORKERS

Scott Morrison wants this New Year’s Day to be the last that Australian workers are guaranteed penalty rates and pay loadings.

Under Mr Morrison’s nasty industrial relations changes a typical hospitality worker could be hit with a $210 New Year’s Day pay cut.

This Government has already cut the penalty rates of hospitality workers. Now it wants to abolish them altogether.

These workers, like all workers, deserve extra compensation for working on a public holiday.

But under Mr Morrison’s scheme to scrap the Better Off Overall Test a part-time level two hospitality worker aged over 21 could see their hourly New Year’s Day rate slashed from $46.85 this year to $20.82 next year, according to the Fair Work Commission’s pay calculator.

So instead of earning $375 for working 9am to 5pm they would earn just $166.

These sorts of cuts could occur across the Australian economy. No private sector worker would be safe from Mr Morrison’s pay cut.

This pay cut is Scott Morrison’s thanks to the workers who got us through the pandemic.

The cleaners, the retail workers, the truck drivers, the childcare workers and the aged care staff – they have put themselves at risk to get Australia through this crisis. But they could all lose take-home pay under Mr Morrison’s scheme.

If you abolish something called the Better Off Overall Test, guess what will happen. Workers will be worse off.

Scott Morrison’s earlier penalty rate cuts for retail, fast food, pharmacy and hospitality workers failed to deliver a single extra job. But now they want us to believe that cutting more penalty rates, cutting overtime, cutting shift loading, cutting allowances will create jobs?

Pay cuts are bad for workers and bad for the economy. For Australia to recover from the recession we need people with the money and confidence to spend.

The Government says the economy is doing well enough that businesses no longer need JobKeeper. But then they say the economy is doing so badly they need to cut the pay of workers. They can’t have it both ways.

Australian workers know they cannot trust a Liberal Government with their wages and conditions.

 

SCOTT MORRISON’S NEW YEAR CUTS TO HIT MILLIONS OF AUSTRALIANS

Scott Morrison is bringing in the new year by cutting crucial financial support to millions of Australians, who stand to lose up to  $300 per fortnight.

From today, the economic support payments once lauded by Scott Morrison as crucial lifelines will be slashed, cutting support from the economy, small businesses and local communities and ripping hundreds of dollars from the pockets of some of Australia’s most vulnerable.

  •          From 1 January, Scott Morrison is slashing the rate of the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement by $100 per fortnight, hurting over two million Australians.
  •          From 4 January, Scott Morrison is slashing the rate of JobKeeper by $200 per fortnight for those on the top rate, and $100 per fortnight for those on the lower rate.

These cuts to support come at a time of heightened uncertainty, new COVID-19 outbreaks and when Australia is already in the grip of a jobs crisis.

At a time when 2.2 million Australians are looking for work or more work and 90,000 more are expected to join unemployment queues by March, according to the Government’s own forecasts, now is not the right time to be cutting crucial support.

After the end of March, unemployment payments are scheduled to go all the way back down to the old Newstart rate of $40 a day.

Business, economists, experts and those who work on the front line with people who have lost their jobs are all calling for a permanent increase to the base rate of unemployment payments.

In a country like Australia, people should not have to live in poverty.

The new year should be a time of optimism and hope but Scott Morrison is choosing to deliver a financial blow to millions of Australians.

Instead of a plan to create jobs, boost wages and tackle underemployment or outlining a permanent increase to JobSeeker, the Morrison Government is focused on cutting vital support, cutting workers’ pay and cutting superannuation.

Supporting the World Transplant Games 2023 in Perth

Perth will host the 2023 World Transplant Games in a major sporting coup for Australia.

The Morrison Government today announces it will provide Transplant Australia with $600,000 towards its preparations for the event which is expected to lure more than 1300 athletes and thousands more supporters from around the world.

Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said securing the World Transplant Games would significantly boost awareness and provide inspiration for transplant recipients around the world.

“This will be a spectacular showcase of what can be achieved from transplant athletes who have had either an organ or bone marrow transplant,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The Games are the world’s largest awareness event promoting the importance of organ and tissue donation and just how high transplant recipients can aim in their recovery.”

Minister Colbeck said it also marked another major sporting event in the same year Australia will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“Australia has already proven itself as an enviable host of global sporting events and securing the World Transplant Games serves to reinforce that reputation,” he said.

It will be the third time Australia has hosted the biennial event. Previous World Transplant Games were held in Sydney in 1997 and the Gold Coast in 2009.

It will also be a triumphant return for the Games after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 event in Texas.

Previously Australia has fielded teams in 20 of the 21 games, with competition in core sports including athletics, 3-on-3 basketball, road racing, cycling, darts, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, petanque, tennis, squash, tenpin bowling, and sprint triathlon.

Lawn bowls, beach volleyball and football are also under consideration.

Minister for Regional Health, Mark Coulton, said hosting the World Transplant Games provides an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s success stories.

“The games will highlight the importance of organ and tissue donation and will be a good chance for Australians to consider registering to become a donor and to discuss their intentions with their family,” Mr Coulton said.

“The games will see many visitors to Perth and Western Australia, and provide a boost for local businesses, hospitality and tourism.”

World Transplant Games Federation and Transplant Australia CEO, Chris Thomas, said the event is living proof that donation can lead to those with chronic organ failure living long and healthy lives.

“After the challenges of 2020 the world’s transplant population will be looking for a host city that’s modern, with excellent sporting facilities and first class health care services,” Mr Thomas said. “Perth will be a beautiful destination.

“Australia’s reputation across the world with how we handled the coronavirus pandemic gives people confidence they will be able to travel here safely to participate in this inspirational celebration.”

More information about the 2020-21 MYEFO statement is available online: www.budget.gov.au

To find out more about Transplant Australia and the World Transplant Games see www.wtgf.org

PBS listings bring greater hope in fight against multiple myeloma and severe psoriasis

The first day of the new year will bring with it new hope for Australians fighting one of the most common blood cancers, thanks to a critical new medicines listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

From 1 January 2021, Darzalex® (daratumumab) will be listed for the first time in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, as a second-line treatment for patients with multiple myeloma – a cancer of the plasma cells.

Around 1,165 patients will benefit from access to this treatment, which might otherwise cost up to $160,000 a year. Patients could now pay as little as $41.30 per script, or $6.60 with a concession card.

Darzalex® mobilises the patient’s own immune system to fight the disease.

This treatment will bring improved clinical outcomes and quality of life for those affected by this disease.

In 2020, it is estimated more than 2,300 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed in Australia.

About 18,000 people in Australia are living with this serious condition at any one time.

Also from 1 January 2021, Australians living with severe chronic psoriasis will benefit from the first time listing of Otezla® (apremilast) on the PBS.

Around 5,000 patients with severe chronic psoriasis might pay more than $7,500 a year for treatment without this listing.

Around 1.6 million Australians live with some form of psoriasis—a long-term inflammatory skin condition. People who suffer with the most severe and chronic forms of the disease also have an increased risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The source of inflammation in psoriasis is thought to be caused by an enzyme, PDE4. Otezla® works to reduce the PDE4 activity and the subsequent inflammation.

Both Tagrisso® and Otezla® have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved over 2,500 new or amended listings on the PBS.

This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of close to $12 billion.

Changes to PBS co‑payment and safety net thresholds come into effect on 1 January each year. The changes are calculated in accordance with the National Health Act 1953 and are indexed based on the Consumer Price Index.

The PBS co‑payment for concession card‑holders will remain capped at $6.60 per script in 2021. The safety net threshold for concession card‑holders will also remain at $316.80 per year. When a concession card-holder reaches the Safety Net threshold, they will be eligible for a Safety Net Card and receive PBS medicines free of charge for the rest of 2021.

The maximum co‑payment for general patients will be $41.30 per PBS script in 2021.

The Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.

Rebuilding and reforming in a year like no other

The Morrison Government has this year passed major pieces of legislation to cushion the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping Australians in jobs, businesses in business and sparking a faster-than-anticipated economic recovery.

Despite 2020’s challenges, the Government has also successfully delivered on its promises to cut red tape and improve Australia’s economic competitiveness, with reforms to the tax system, insolvency, financial services and foreign investment.

In total, the Government passed more than 40 pieces of legislation in 2020 from the Treasury Portfolio, including:

JobKeeper

A key feature of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan is the temporary JobKeeper Payment which has been an economic lifeline to millions of Australians, helping to keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs.

Announced in March, legislated in April and extended in September, the JobKeeper Payment provided a critical economic lifeline for Australian businesses and their employees at the height of the pandemic.

The first phase of JobKeeper supported more than 3.6 million workers and around 1 million businesses, with payments totalling nearly $70 billion in the six months to the end of September.

RBA analysis released in November indicated that JobKeeper has saved at least 700,000 jobs.

Cash Flow Boost

The Government’s economic response also provided direct cash flow support to small and medium businesses and not-for-profit entities to keep operating, pay their bills and retain staff.

The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure was announced and legislated in March, with the first payments beginning in April.

In total, this measure is expected to provide around 800,000 small business and not-for-profit entities with support totalling around $35.5 billion.

The cash flow boost has offered vital support to businesses and not-for-profit entities weathering the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring they recover strongly and continue to grow.

JobMaker Hiring Credit

Unveiled in October’s Federal Budget, the $4 billion JobMaker Hiring Credit is helping younger Australians, hit particularly hard by the pandemic, get back to work.

Parliament passed legislation in November, securing fixed payments of $200 per week for an eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years and $100 per week for an eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years, paid quarterly in arrears by the Australian Taxation Office.

The JobMaker Hiring Credit is expected to support around 450,000 positions for young Australians.

Tax Relief

Following the Federal Budget in October, the Government secured the passage of legislation through Parliament to deliver tax cuts for more than 11 million Australians, backdated to 1 July this year.

By bringing forward Stage two of the Personal Income Tax Plan and providing the additional low and middle income tax offset, hard working Australians will have more money in their pockets at a time when they need it most.

The legislation also recognises the importance of businesses in the economic recovery, by allowing those with a turnover of up to $5 billion to immediately deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets as long as they are first used or installed by 30 June 2022.

Insolvency Reforms

In order to help businesses dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19, the Government successfully passed legislation to enact the most important changes to Australia’s insolvency framework in 30 years.

The reforms introduce a new, simplified debt restructuring process, drawing on key features of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy model in the United States. They will apply to incorporated businesses with liabilities of less than $1 million – covering around 76 per cent of businesses subject to insolvencies today, 98 per cent of whom who have less than 20 employees.

The measures take effect on 1 January 2021, reducing costs, cutting red tape and ultimately helping more small businesses to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Foreign Investment Framework

In December, the Government passed legislation giving effect to the most significant reforms to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 in nearly 50 years.

This ensures Australia’s foreign investment framework keeps pace with emerging risks and global developments, including similar changes to foreign investment regimes in comparable countries.

Responding to the Hayne Royal Commission

The Government continues to bolster protections for consumers and small businesses as part of its response to the Hayne Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

In December, Parliament passed legislation addressing 20 recommendations, strengthening unsolicited selling (anti-hawking) provisions and preventing pressure selling, introducing a deferred sales model for add-on insurance products and making the handling and settlement of insurance claims a ‘financial service’.

These changes are complemented by providing further clarity regarding the role of the regulators and enhancing the requirements of financial institutions reporting breaches of the law which will ensure significant misconduct is reported and investigated sooner.

The Government’s legislative agenda in 2021 will continue to create jobs, rebuild our economy and secure Australia’s future.

Contracts signed for rollout of COVID-19 vaccine

Contracts have been signed with companies to partner with the Australian Government to safely distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all Australians from March next year.

The contracts cover three vital aspects of the vaccine rollout:

  • Distribution and logistics— industry leading providers DHL and Linfox will undertake COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
  • Data—Accenture will provide tracking of vaccine doses as well as enabling overall program implementation monitoring.

In addition, PwC will be the Department of Health’s Program Delivery Partner for the vaccine rollout.

Finalisation of these contracts confirms Australia is on track to achieve a well-ordered, efficient and safe rollout of COVID-19 vaccine. Subject to approvals, the first vaccinations will be provided to health workers and aged care residents from March.

DHL and Linfox will work with the Department of Health to design and operate a national distribution network. They will support vaccination for all, including people in rural, remote and very remote areas and others who are hard to reach.

They will also be required to track and report the temperature of the vaccine at all times. The required temperature could be 2 to 8 degrees (standard cold chain temperatures) to as low as minus 70, which is needed for the Pfizer vaccine.

Purpose built dry ice containers will be supplied for moving the Pfizer vaccine around Australia, as part of the Government’s global distribution deal with Pfizer.

As well as transporting the vaccines from the point of acceptance from manufacturers to vaccination administration sites, the logistics partners will be responsible for transport and management of vaccination supplies such as needles, syringes, and personal protective equipment.

Data partner Accenture will design, develop, and implement a software solution to enable “point in time” visibility of COVID-19 vaccine doses across the delivery chain.

This will include receipt of the vaccine by health services, vaccination of patients, and subsequent monitoring for adverse reactions.

Vaccines will be a critical part of Australia’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and the Australia Government has secured over 117 million doses to cover the Australian population several times over.

Vaccines will complement the other vital health measures including social distancing, good hand hygiene, high testing rates and Australians mandatory hotel quarantine regime for international travellers.

Our advice remains that Australia remains on track for first vaccinations in March, and completion of whole of population in 2021.

Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains the envy of the world.

Contracts signed for rollout of COVID-19 vaccine

Contracts have been signed with companies to partner with the Australian Government to safely distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all Australians from March next year.

The contracts cover three vital aspects of the vaccine rollout:

  • Distribution and logistics— industry leading providers DHL and Linfox will undertake COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
  • Data—Accenture will provide tracking of vaccine doses as well as enabling overall program implementation monitoring.

In addition, PwC will be the Department of Health’s Program Delivery Partner for the vaccine rollout.

Finalisation of these contracts confirms Australia is on track to achieve a well-ordered, efficient and safe rollout of COVID-19 vaccine. Subject to approvals, the first vaccinations will be provided to health workers and aged care residents from March.

DHL and Linfox will work with the Department of Health to design and operate a national distribution network. They will support vaccination for all, including people in rural, remote and very remote areas and others who are hard to reach.

They will also be required to track and report the temperature of the vaccine at all times. The required temperature could be 2 to 8 degrees (standard cold chain temperatures) to as low as minus 70, which is needed for the Pfizer vaccine.

Purpose built dry ice containers will be supplied for moving the Pfizer vaccine around Australia, as part of the Government’s global distribution deal with Pfizer.

As well as transporting the vaccines from the point of acceptance from manufacturers to vaccination administration sites, the logistics partners will be responsible for transport and management of vaccination supplies such as needles, syringes, and personal protective equipment.

Data partner Accenture will design, develop, and implement a software solution to enable “point in time” visibility of COVID-19 vaccine doses across the delivery chain.

This will include receipt of the vaccine by health services, vaccination of patients, and subsequent monitoring for adverse reactions.

Vaccines will be a critical part of Australia’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and the Australia Government has secured over 117 million doses to cover the Australian population several times over.

Vaccines will complement the other vital health measures including social distancing, good hand hygiene, high testing rates and Australians mandatory hotel quarantine regime for international travellers.

Our advice remains that Australia remains on track for first vaccinations in March, and completion of whole of population in 2021.

Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains the envy of the world.

Holiday vigilance to protect older Australians in aged care

The health and safety of older Australians should be a priority this holiday season with families urged to keep in contact with those most in need – but to take appropriate precautions.

While restrictions have eased across Australia, providers and families living across the Northern Beaches and Penrith areas of Sydney must abide by the current visitation guidelines.

Until further notice all staff and visitors at residential facilities must wear a surgical mask.

Additionally, until at least Wednesday 30 December, all residential aged care facilities across the Northern Beaches LGA must exclude visitors, except those performing essential caring functions.

Up to two people are permitted to visit loved ones in residential aged care facilities in Greater Sydney including the local government areas of Central Coast and Wollongong.

The rule also applies for Greater Sydney residents visiting regional aged care facilities.


There are no restrictions on people from regional NSW visiting residents in regional facilities.

Updated advice for Residential Aged Care facilities and Home Care Service providers can be found here.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said aged care providers and families were required to follow the relevant visitation guidelines to ensure loved ones could maintain contact.

“We know where there is community transmission there is a serious risk of the virus spreading to aged care settings,” Minister Colbeck said.

“It is a difficult time for residents, families, providers and staff at facilities across this region but it’s vital we prioritise and protect our most vulnerable.

“Of course, we want families to maintain contact with their relatives in aged care, and a phone call or video call will mean a lot to those who can’t have visitors.

“Staff and management will continue to provide compassion and understanding, while also being a strong line of defence for those in their care from the coronavirus.”

Australian Government support for aged care providers in the Northern Beaches hotspot is already being provided, including asymptomatic testing, supplies of personal protective equipment as required, and workforce surge and support where needed.

A new three-tier escalation plan, backed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), outlines how providers can respond to the COVID-19 threat level in the local community and ramp the response up or down as needed.

The AHPPC guidelines outline visitation recommendations providers can put in place if they are in a defined hotspot with localised outbreaks of cases (Tier 2) and when there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the community (Tier 3).

“Residents must be protected in the least restrictive manner and their health needs must be balanced with their personal wellbeing,” Minister Colbeck said.

Additionally, Minister Colbeck said the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19, developed in conjunction with consumer peak bodies sets out a nationally consistent, principles-based approach to maintaining residents’ visitation and communication – the Government welcomes the latest version of the code.

In conjunction with the new visitation guidelines, it offers clarity for residents and families.

“It is an important time of the year for families to re-connect, particularly as we return to COVID-normal environments with the current exception of the Sydney hotspots,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The social distancing measures we have all adopted will protect our families.

“Don’t visit if you are unwell, practise good hand and cough hygiene, and follow the advice available from staff at the aged care facility.”

All aged care providers are urged to ensure their outbreak management plan is up to date and ready to be activated. They must also be alert to any staff or care recipients experiencing respiratory and flu like symptoms.

The Visitation Guidelines for Residential Aged Care can be found here.

The COVID-19 escalation tiers and aged care provider responses can be found here.

The Older Persons COVID Support Line can offer information and support to seniors who need assistance or are feeling worried and isolated. The line can be reached on free call 1800 171 866.

Mental health support is available to all Australians by calling Lifeline (13 11 14) or BeyondBlue (1800 512 348) and further resources are available on the Department of Health’s Head to Health website.

Government boosts funding for community pharmacies to support more rural and regional communities

The Coalition Government is providing more than $100 million for regional, rural and remote pharmacies to better support their communities through an expansion to a critical regional pharmacy program.

Over 400 additional pharmacies will be eligible for the Regional Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance (RPMA) program under changes announced today, with very remote pharmacies receiving significant additional funding to support the supply of medicines and healthcare in their community.

These changes will help ensure all Australians can access the medicines and pharmacy services they need, where and when they need them, and is a key outcome of the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) signed with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in June 2020. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is also a Signatory to relevant parts of the Agreement.

Community pharmacies play a vital role in providing access to medicines and essential health services for the third of Australians who live in regional, rural and remote areas.

Our Government, through the RPMA, supports access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines and pharmacy services for people in regional, rural and remote communities.

The Coalition is boosting its investment in the RPMA program from $16 million per year under the previous 6CPA to $21 million per year of the 7CPA through changes agreed to by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

The changes to the RPMA program will support more than 400 new pharmacies which will be eligible for the first time to participate from areas that were previously not eligible.

This will take the total number of pharmacies eligible for the RPMA to 1215 community pharmacies.

In addition, higher allowances will be available for up to 960 community pharmacies in rural, remote and very remote areas with low prescription volumes.

The RPMA program will transition to the Modified Monash Model of rural classification, from 1 January 2021, to align with other health workforce distribution programs.

Eligible pharmacies will receive between $3,000 to $51,328 per year under this expansion, depending on their remoteness classification and PBS prescription volumes.

The Government recognises the importance of maintaining the pharmacy network to provide a steady and reliable supply of medicines and other pharmacy services, in particular to people outside in the regions.

Community pharmacies stepped up to support their patients during 2020, and have kept their doors open during this year’s bushfires, drought, floods and COVID-19 pandemic.

All Australians benefit from equitable and sustainable access to effective medicines, including highly specialised, expensive and lifesaving medicines through the PBS.

Making sure all Australians have access to timely, safe and affordable medicines continues to be an Australian Government priority.

The RPMA is one of a range of pharmacy programs supported by a $1.2 billion investment in pharmacy programs under the 7CPA.

The overall investment in the 7CPA over the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2025 is expected to be $18.35 billion.

The Coalition Government has made approximately 2500 new and amended medicines listings on the PBS since 2013, at an overall investment of close to $12 billion.

Our Government’s commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.

George Tambassis, National President, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the increased support for community pharmacy.

“The Pharmacy Guild of Australia welcomes this expansion of support for the vital work that community pharmacies in regional, rural and remote Australia perform every day.

“In many small towns across Australia, the local community pharmacy is the only health infrastructure, and it is imperative that appropriate support is given to enable those pharmacies to sustain their service to patients.”

“Direct contact with a health professional such as a community pharmacist is a benefit that all Australians should be able to have access to, wherever they live.”

“We thank the Government for agreeing to this increase in funding for the program, and we will support our Member pharmacies in making the transition to the new program,” Mr Tambassis said.