Page 4232 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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the line in the early months of 2018. Canberra Metro will also initiate a small round of driver recruitment later this year to ensure that the women and men who will be involved in operating the vehicle are trained and ready to go.

As we know, this is an exciting time for Canberra. The introduction of light rail is an important part of the story about our city—our maturing city—growing from a small government town to a growing, sustainable, progressive city embracing diverse and progressive industries and enterprises. I look forward to continuing to report as we get closer to boarding Canberra’s light rail.

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children—capacity

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. In September a group of expectant mothers in Canberra exchanged messages in a Facebook group. One message in late September read, “Don’t go into labour today, ladies. Cross your legs if you have to. It is a madhouse at TCH.” Another read, “Antenatal, postnatal and delivery are full and there are three people labouring in the waiting area.” Minister, were the delivery suite and/or the maternity ward at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children over capacity at any time during September 2017?

MS FITZHARRIS: I am not aware of that particular conversation, but if Mrs Dunne could provide further information and a direct link I would appreciate it. I certainly know there has been some pressure in the birthing centre and also the other labour delivery rooms in the hospital. As to the question of whether it was over capacity during September, I will take the specifics on notice.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, were the delivery suite and maternity ward at Calvary Public Hospital at or over capacity at any time during September?

MS FITZHARRIS: I will again take the specifics of the question on notice but, no, I do not believe so. One thing I can advise the Assembly of—I know it has been discussed previously in this place, and not while I have been minister—is that we are seeing increased growth in maternity services at the Canberra Hospital and a decrease in growth at Calvary hospital.

There is much work underway to address this because, of course, we have wonderful public maternity services at both Canberra and at Calvary hospitals. We do think there is additional capacity within Calvary that we could offer to Canberra women and their families who are seeking to have their babies, particularly those on the north side.

MRS JONES: Minister, what contingency arrangements are in place to cater for the needs of expectant women at times of peak demand?

MS FITZHARRIS: What I can advise the Assembly is that all those professionals—midwives, nurses and, particularly, obstetricians—who are working with women about to birth are working in a multitude of different circumstances. It may include spontaneous labour; it may include women who need to be induced; it may include

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