Ben Roberts-Smith: The Breaking of a Plaster Saint

It was an ugly case lasting five years with a host of…

The Strange Case Of PWC Or Where's Sherlock…

Someone has assured me today that Price, Waterhouse, Cooper did not change…

Australia's Humanitarian Visa System is Inhumane: An Open…

By Loz Lawrey Dear Minister Giles, Since my previous emails to you of 14…

AUKUS, Congress and Cold Feet

The undertakings made by Australia regarding the AUKUS security pact promise to…

"If The Voice Loses It Will Be Albanese's…

"If The Voice Loses It Will Be Albanese's Fault!" Yep, I saw that…

Research shows young people want to contribute to…

Victoria University Media Release Victoria University research in partnership with the Youth Affairs…

Meta and Privacy: The Economy of Data Transgressions

Meta, to put it rather inelegantly, has a data non-compliance problem. That…

We need to change how we think and…

By Callen Sorensen Karklis Neoliberalism is an illness: unregulated capitalism, it is not…


Labor: “Because They Don’t Give A Sh#t, Right?”

Ok, just to be clear here, I’m not writing about the lack of action on unemployment benefits. I’m saving any comments on that until after the Budget because, well, I can sort of guess how that’s going to play out. Either Labor will do nothing to raise the rate and be widely criticised for it, or they’ll raise the rate by a certain amount and be widely criticised for it. If they were to lift it by say $8 a day, many people would say that’s nothing. And while it probably isn’t enough, $8 is a lot of money to someone who doesn’t have it. If you suddenly have enough money to buy a loaf of bread, it’s a lot better than when you didn’t.

There is, of course, no Goldilocks figure, because if they were to raise it by as much as the inquiry suggested, then we’d have a plethora of cafe owners complaining that this will make it impossible for them to get workers owing to the “generous” unemployment payments.

And speaking of cafe owners, I find it surprising that none of them have been asked about the recent change that makes it possible for some people to get two months’ supply of prescription medicine at a time when it used to only be one month.

While they didn’t ask cafe owners, I did see a really interesting clip of Trent Twomey who was the Pharmacy Guild President, and he was responsible for the quote I used as a headline. The full quote was:

“And you know, it’s just been a really tough week. I’ve had Labor Party Senators and MPs take their phones of the hook because they don’t give a shit, right… I’m sorry I’m a North Queenslander and I don’t mean to swear.”

Of course, he may have very high standards of what makes a caring government. After all, the previous government generously found $2,415,000 for a pharmacy company to expand, and while this company was a third owned by Twomey’s wife, there was no conflict of interest as Mr Twomey was merely on the board that set out the criteria for the awarding of the grants, and not on the one that made the final decisions. That was a completely different group of people that just gave it to the groups that fitted the criteria that he helped create and the fact that his wife’s company did was just one of those lucky happenstances.

However, it wasn’t this, or even the fact that this LNP member was once a staffer for Warren Entsch, who just yesterday suggested that Mr Twomey should stand for the Senate rather than his seat of Leichhardt. It wasn’t even the fact he’s a North Queenslander and apparently swears without meaning to.

No, it was simply what he said in the interview that I found perplexing and I don’t just mean that idea that Labor Party people had taken their phones off the hook, which is pretty hard with a mobile phone, but would render the landlines in their offices unable to take calls from anyone.

Apparently, one single mum had got “her dad to put her house up as equity”, which raises all sorts of questions. For example, is she so poor at financial affairs that she didn’t know how to do that herself, which would suggest that her impending bankruptcy may be the result of factors other than the changes to the collection of scripts? Or does her father own her own house and if that’s the equity which enabled her to buy a pharmacy, doesn’t that mean that he’s the one who’ll be bankrupt? Or will she be homeless after the bank repossesses the house? Or… I mean the comment leads to more questions than it answers.

And then there was the 28 year old Victorian and his girlfriend who saved up for a house. They just got married and the house went up in value and “he put that up to buy his first pharmacy”. North Queenslander Twomey told us: “He’s in Victoria, he’s now bankrupt!” which is lucky because he’s gone broke he’s rung up too much debt and before the changes come in so he can sell our before the tsunami of bankrupt pharmacies put their houses on the market driving down prices… And given they managed to save up for a house before he’d even hit thirty, I’d suggest that he and wife must have good jobs which they can go back to.

Ok, it’s true that we may be talking about potential bankruptcies here, but I’d have to say that this is a strange idea coming from a potential LNP candidate. After all, we’re constantly told how people in business are taking risks and putting themselves on the line and it’s hard and that’s why they deserve a great reward when it pays off. Surely then we can’t worry when a government decision that reduces costs for a handful of people leads to the end of inefficient businesses who can’t make ends meet. Isn’t that the way capitalism’s meant to work?

Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the tears of this North Queenslander who didn’t mean to swear this time, unlike a few months ago when he told us that being able “to prescribe, dispense, administer and review medicines” didn’t constitute specialities and that ‘no one gives a shit’. He didn’t say that he didn’t mean to swear that time, so I presume that he did. He also told us:

‘Currently, I can dispense all things. And I can review all things. But I cannot prescribe all things, and I cannot administer all things. I need to be able to do all four of those for all medicines for all people.’

This led to a number of medical professionals suggesting – rather unkindly – that pharmacists might have a conflict of interest in prescribing a drug when it would be better to suggest something like a specialist appointment or exercise or something non-medicinal, but that seems very cynical. Rather like when Murray Watt – a Labor senator – rudely suggested that Twomey may have had a conflict of interest when setting out the criteria that lead to a company with links to his wife getting a grant.

In my opinion, Watt was the one with the conflict of interest because he didn’t make it clear that Twomey was an LNP member and probable future candidate!


Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

Donate Button


Login here Register here
  1. Phil Pryor

    Thieving types like this Twomey exist because systems can be rigged, controlled, moulded, organised to suit the pressing greed of conservative ambitious wannabe nobodies. So many can enrich themselves with insider knowledge and matey bonds, so conflict of interest doesn’t occur to them because of fellowship of common aims, policies, outcomes…Should Nth, Q’Landers have a medical clearance and psycho assessment before travelling, speaking, asserting? Some are outstanding loudmouthed duds…a huge proportion of the nation’s utterly empty larynxdriven uncomprehending warts come from the sunshine state, where the light fails to reach insides of some skulls.

  2. andyfiftysix

    Speculating on realestate and raising enormous amounts of money for a business seems rather a tragic formula for bancruptcy.
    And just to buy his first pharmacy too.
    I think anyone who goes out on a limb like that needs to be taught the 101s of business.
    I am going to put $5000 on my lotto ticket tonight, because , you know, i am taking a chance, giving it a go.
    Sorry, but i have absolutely no sympathy for people who go too far out on that limb and then fall. Sure we need people with get up and go, but we also need smart people who know their limitations and not borrow as if there is no tomorrow. You know, taking that almighty leap of faith some call taking a chance but I call it stupid. The feel good industry will say big risks big rewards, i say BS.

  3. ajogrady

    Perpetuating poverty is orchestrated genocide. Albanese’s AUKUS deal is perpetuating poverty in Australia.
    Having a roof over your head protects Australians far more then $400billion obsolete Albanese AUKUS nuclear subs ever will. It is obscene and perverse that the Albanese Labor government is trashing Labor’s values and principles.

    AUKUS: a collection of views not found in our Washington dominated media

    Australia pays Washington swamp monsters for war advice

  4. New England Cocky

    Oh dear Rossleigh your membership of the Nazional$ will be cancelled and you will not even be allowed to stay a member until the end of the financial year, for exposing the common knowledge fact that LIARBRAL$ tend to their own pecuniary interests before the needs of Australian voters.

    The best way to get rich is to spend other people’s money on your own pecuniary project, like Beetrooter & his Campaign Manager John Anderson (former leader of Naional$) spending taxpayer dollars building the financially unviable Northern Inland Railway rather than renovating and re-opening the Great Northern Railway across Beetrooter’s New England electorate.

    After all, re-opening the GNR for passenger traffic would introduce fresh ideas into the captive local community, like equality for women, alcoholism is not cool and water resources owned by Council should be only used for local residents rather than multinational corporations, and such innovations would hinder the development of New England as a19th century agricultural theme park slowly going broke, a ”wonderful” project that requires absolutely no government grants.

    But your exposure is an even greater betrayal of COALition graft & corruption ….. a ”donation” to a third party corporation in which a COALition supporter had a family interest ….. and seemingly without making the usualsupplicant’s donation to party funds for the benefit of the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection.

  5. Terence Mills

    My doctor tells me that the move by the government on prescriptions is a good move and will help free up GP’s , be convenient to patients and cut the cost of prescriptions.

    The pharmacies are concerned that their incomes will go down and patients might start getting well again.

  6. andyfiftysix

    yes Terence, it does seem to be a quite stupid arguement. Patients should pay more because we wont make enough money to buy a second pharmacy.
    Reminds me of a dental surgeon who did some work on my jaw. I thought my fee was quite reasonable till i saw 3 maseratis in the drive way.

  7. wam

    Sometimes it is sad to be stupid. Currently, my scripts give me a month’s worth of medecines and I go back to the doctor’s, every 6 months, to get new scripts. From September will the scripts last a year for the same outlay??
    The trouble for trained city chemists is the discount stores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: