Page 160 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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MR CORBELL: The Chief Minister was acting health minister during January, Madam Speaker. I thank Mrs Jones for the question. I am aware of the concerns that have been raised by a number of expectant mothers and their broader family and support networks in relation to this matter. I can reassure members that at this time no proposal is before the government in relation to this matter. If such a proposal was to be put to the government, it would first of all be the subject of detailed public consultation.

I note there has been speculation on this issue and I also note there has been commentary about demand in our maternity services. It is the case that maternity services continue to see significant demand. It is normal for the health administration to look at the best ways of managing that demand, but there is no proposal at this time to adopt such a course of action. If there was such a proposal, before being considered by government it would be the subject of detailed consultation with the broader community.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, why was the comment made that this was being considered if it was not? If it was the “least worst option”, what other options were being considered?

MR CORBELL: My understanding is that this emanated from an ABC news report. I understand the journalist involved was in discussions with people, informally, in maternity services and there was speculation on this issue. But that is what it is at this point in time—speculation. There is no proposal before the government at this time. If there was to be, as I said in my earlier answer, there would be a detailed process for a discussion, in consultation with the community, before any such proposal was considered further.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Has there been any option discussed, promulgated or advised within the Health Directorate to limit women by postcode as to where they can give birth?

MR CORBELL: There is no decision within the health system directing or requiring officials to undertake this course of action, because it is not the policy of the government, nor have any policy options been put to me as the minister.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: What has caused the shortage of beds at TCH?

MR CORBELL: Lots of babies.


DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Minister, last week you announced the outcome of the government’s reverse wind auction. Can you please tell the Assembly about this auction and its results?

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