Page 1011 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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Mr Barr’s amendments agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Health and Community Wellbeing—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (4.58): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Health and Community Wellbeing. On 7 February 2023 a petition was received by the Assembly and forwarded to the standing committee for consideration. The petition requests that the Assembly call on the ACT government to invest in building a freestanding birth centre on the north side of Canberra in order to keep well women out of hospital, reduce unnecessary intervention and offer career opportunities that support midwives.

The committee acknowledges and supports the collective wish of the petitioners. The committee also notes and acknowledges the substantive motion tabled in the Assembly by Ms Clay, also on 7 February 2023. The motion called on the ACT government to, among other things, collaborate with the maternity reference group and the University of Canberra to conduct early design and feasibility studies before August 2024 and to establish a co-designed, midwife-led freestanding birth centre, located alongside or fully separate to the new north-side hospital.

The Standing Committee on Health and Community Wellbeing is currently undertaking an inquiry into a recovery plan for nursing and midwifery workers which will rigorously consider workforce planning for midwives. The committee also notes that the establishment of a maternity reference group as part of Ms Clay’s motion further denotes an associated and vital inquiry process to support the creation of the freestanding birth centre.

The committee considered the petition on 14 February 2023 and, given the aforementioned relevant consultative processes, the committee resolved not to undertake an inquiry. The committee thanks the petitioners and Ms Clay for their life-yielding health policy vision and shall keenly endorse, with active interest, the realisation of Ms Clay’s highly considered motion.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 24 November 2022, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.00): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill, which makes amendments to 10 pieces of legislation and/or regulations.

I would like to speak in depth about the amendments to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1991. The bill will extend section 69 of the act, which relates to the giving of evidence in sexual, violent and family violence proceedings.

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