Page 815 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2023

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Ministerial response

The following response to two petitions has been lodged:

Health—maternity services—petitions 42-22 and 1-23

Ms Stephen-Smith, Minister for Health, dated 28 March 2023, in response to two petitions lodged by Ms Clay on 7 February 2023, concerning a freestanding birth centre for the north side of Canberra.

The response read as follows:

Dear Mr Duncan

Thank you for your letter dated 7 February 2023 with a copy of the terms of Petition 042-22 and 001-23 lodged by Ms Jo Clay MLA, calling on the ACT Government to invest in building a freestanding birth centre in the north side of Canberra. This letter is my response to the petition in line with Standing Order 100.

The ACT Government is committed to delivering better care when and where people need it. Petition 042-22 and 001-23 complement the Government’s commitment to enhance capacity within the ACT’s Birth Centres as outlined in Maternity in Focus: The ACT Public Maternity System Plan 2022-2032 and continue to improve maternity services to provide the right care, at the right time, and in the right place which meets the needs of the woman or pregnant person and their family.

The Assembly, on the same day as the petition was presented, passed a resolution on Maternity Services and Birthing Centres. This provides the Government with the opportunity to consider the early design and feasibility of establishing a co-designed free-standing birth centre, in the context of the current health service planning for a new northside hospital.

I acknowledge and thank the ACT community for its support for maternity services and for bringing forward this petition.

Motion to take note of petition

MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:

That the response so lodged be noted.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (10.16): I am really looking forward to reading this petition response. It was great to see the freestanding birth centre get such enthusiastic agreement, and we are really looking forward to seeing this coming along. It is
going to be such a great result to keep healthy women and birthing people out of hospital when they want to use a birth centre that is not in the hospital. That is really good to see. It is great to hear the commitment that the government will be working with midwives to make sure we get midwife-lead design. It is just win, win, win.

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