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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1570 ..


workforce participation is up over a percentage point compared with this time last year, which means that more than 3,700 additional women in our city are in work. At the same time there are almost 1,000 fewer Canberrans aged between 15 and 24 who are unemployed now compared with a year ago, despite our overall population growth.

We have seen jobs created across a range of sectors as diverse as professional and scientific services, retail, transport and human services. This means there will continue to be even more opportunities for Canberrans from a diverse range of backgrounds to find a good job in our city.

MR STEEL: Chief Minister, what are the government's priorities to sustain and expand the territory's economic growth?

MR BARR: We will continue our strategic investment in services and infrastructure to keep the city moving and productive. We are investing $3 billion over the next four years on key capital projects, particularly in transport, in education and in health. This will help Canberrans move around our city more quickly and access high quality services locally.

We are also investing in a range of areas that will enable further economic growth: better connections with our region and the world, stronger partnerships between our local firms, and more promotion of what Canberra has to offer as a place to study, to visit or to invest. Next month's territory budget will continue to build on this work and ensure that the benefits of this economic growth are shared by all Canberrans.

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children—complaints

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to the minister for health. I refer to reports in the media of 26 April 2018 that midwives and nurses wrote a letter to you raising a number of concerns. The letter said:

Due to the lack of available beds, women and babies are discharged home inappropriately early with feeding, pain or health concerns ... Babies are often re-admitted ... due to excessive weight-loss as a direct result of being sent home early due to hospital capacity ... Staff are unable to provide adequate breastfeeding support in the brief period they are in the hospital and Midcall, the hospital postnatal home visiting service has been substantially reduced.

Why are women and babies discharged home inappropriately early with feeding, pain or health concerns from the Centenary hospital due to a lack of available beds?

MS FITZHARRIS: As I indicated previously, the letter was sent from a staff member at Centenary hospital. As I have also indicated, I would encourage members opposite to read the extensive open letter from Centenary hospital and the letter written on behalf of doctors to the Canberra community published in last Saturday's Canberra Times.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, why are babies having to be readmitted to the Centenary hospital due to excessive weight loss as a result of problems with the capacity of the Centenary hospital?


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