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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 8 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2469..


MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mrs Burke, do you want to move an amendment to Mr Corbell's amendment? Is that your aim?

MRS BURKE: At this point, because there are so many amendments flying around, I will simply stick with my original comments. I have made my point about the date. I am concerned about the public knowing that it was due for tabling in August 2004. We have made that point. I was speaking to my proposed amendment. I seek your advice.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: We have to deal with Mr Corbell's amendment first. If you wish then to seek leave to move your amendment, you can.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.34): I would like to respond to the government's amendment and to move an amendment to it. I am sure that Mr Corbell realises that one of the reasons I have moved this motion is that we have no reason not to believe that the government is backing away. This motion is an opportunity for the government to tell us what it is doing. That is why I have moved it, and that is why I am going to move an amendment to the government's amendment.

The minister has already had a year to respond to this report. I believe that there must be a draft response in train. People have been left wondering about the government's intentions long enough, and further delays suggests that the government does not recognise the importance of maternity services and the urgency of the need to improve women's choices. My preferred outcome from today was a clear endorsement of the recommendations or an indication of which recommendations the government would support and why it chose not to support others. However, if we are not going to get that endorsement or the reasons for any lack of endorsement, let us not have further delays and equivocation.

If the government is not going to endorse the recommendations, we have wasted all this time hoping for a good outcome and stringing along community groups when we could have all been working for change in another way. If he will not take a brave stand and endorse the recommendations of the report today, I call on him at least to release a draft of the government's response for the purpose of community consultation. At least, minister, this will let people know where you stand. I move the following amendment to the minister's amendment to my motion:

Add:

"(3) the Minister for Health table a draft of the Government's response by the end of the current sitting week.".

I also want to respond to what Mr Corbell said about a collaborative framework. A collaborative framework is exactly what we do want. What we do not want is midwives being forced to work under obstetricians. I am not sure whether this is the stumbling block here. This is what we do need to know. A collaborative framework is all very well, but we do need a different model. I do not think we are talking about people standing outside whatever model is set up. I certainly have not heard that from any of the midwives and other people that I have spoken to.


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