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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 June 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2474 ..


labour for low-risk women is costly to the health system and obstetric care adds further to the cost of care for low risk women.

We can look to practice examples, as well as research, for evidence of the benefits of independent services. The Ryde Midwifery Group Practice, the first service of its kind in Australia, has recently celebrated its first year of operation. Under this model, women are cared for throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and early parenting days by one midwife. I would like to read a quote from a woman who used this service. She says:

The relationship I formed with my midwife made an enormous difference, helping create a special bond of trust not only between the two of us but with my partner as well. She knew when I called in the middle of the night and told her she didn’t have time for a shower that it was time to head straight to hospital. It really helped make the labour experience easier for my partner. He trusted her and did exactly as she told him. The other women in the hospital kept telling me how much better this was and how they couldn’t work out why you would go anywhere else.

The New South Wales Minister for Health said the success of the Ryde service after 12 months of operation was a significant milestone. Since the successful establishment of the unit, similar midwifery models have been proposed for hospitals in Victoria, Newcastle, the Illawarra and at Camden in Sydney.

I close by saying that it is actually pregnant women who should be able to make decisions about their ante and prenatal care and birth, not men in suits in the department of health. So, with that in mind, I will vote for this very watered down version of a strong motion. I hope that in the period between now and the tabling of the government’s response to the report there will be a really concerted effort by members of the government to make sure that the work that went into the pregnant pause report was not in vain and that we can hold our head up as a territory that cares about the conditions under which women give birth in this territory.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Quamby detention centre

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (5.05): I move:

That this Assembly:

expresses its concern over:

the failure of the Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support to ensure that the working group recommended by the Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity to examine the adequacy and appropriateness of the programs currently available in Quamby, was established in a timely manner;

the inability of the Minister or officials to indicate during Estimates Committee hearings whether the working group had been established;


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