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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 8 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2462..


MS MACDONALD (continuing):

is another reason why we need to look at the way we implement this. Seriously, we do need to. While they can be an annoyance, smoke detectors, as we know, do save lives. That is what this motion has been about. But it has not just been about the smoke detectors; it has been about increasing awareness and everybody needing to remain vigilant and having a responsibility to look after themselves, their family, friends and property as well. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Motion agreed to.

Maternity services

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.05): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to amend the motion standing in my name on the notice paper.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: I move:

That the government formally adopt or agree to the 20 recommendations of the 8th report of the Standing Committee on Health entitled A pregnant pause: the future of maternity services in the ACT that was tabled in the last Assembly on 5 May 2004.

It has been over a year since the pregnant pause report was tabled in the Assembly. Prior to the election, the government was happy to talk about it and appeared to be broadly supportive. However, since the election, there has been a deafening silence and I understand that people with an interest in these issues have experienced difficulty getting a meeting with the minister. For some months we have been told that a response will be forthcoming, yet still we are waiting. Our patience was partially based on an understanding that the government was disposed to respond positively to the report. However, the lack of any funding for maternity services in the budget and other recent indications have us concerned that the government is backing away from this report.

The preface to the report says:

It is time for the government to take a brave stand, listen to what the community they serve is saying and respond to it without bureaucratic obstruction.

By putting forward this motion today, I hope to spur the government into taking a brave stand and stop delaying its response to this important piece of work and allowing bureaucratic obstruction to prevent progress on this important area of need. The primary message of the pregnant pause report is that women should have control over the antenatal, postnatal and birth phases and that this has important individual benefits for women and their families. It is about women having the full array of choice of the style of birthing experience that they have.

It also has significant benefits for the health system and the broader community. We have a situation in the ACT where general practitioner and obstetrician care dominate the majority of maternity services. There is no provision for publicly supported home birth and there is only one midwife-led program, the Canberra midwifery program. While this


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