DRUGS, POISONS AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AMENDMENT (SUPPLY BY MIDWIVES) BILL 2012

 It gives me great pleasure to rise and speak on this bill. I am sure that there is a collective sigh of relief from members of this house that I can still rise and speak on a bill! As my good friend and colleague from Broadmeadows said this morning, perhaps no other MP has ever gone to such lengths to research the practical applications of the bill as I have. For the benefit of those who, I am sure, will be pouring over my contribution in years to come, I stand in the house seven months pregnant. At this juncture, while we are on the subject of pregnancy, I would like to put on the record my thanks to members on both sides of the house. I have had a lot of very warm wishes and inquiries about my health and the progress of this pregnancy, which have been greatly appreciated.

I also appreciate the proactive role of the officers of the Parliament and the Speaker’s office in relation to meeting with me and ensuring that there are steps in place for what are very exciting impending arrivals for both me and my colleague the member for Bendigo East.

I am living this bill day to day. I have direct contact with midwives. A lot has been said on the record by members about the importance of giving women greater choice in relation to their prenatal and postnatal care, their labour options and choosing the team around them as they go through a significant moment in their lives. We do not oppose the bill; in fact we have played an active part in what began as a broad initiative of the federal government involving a $120 million package in relation to these issues and others surrounding maternity.

I will give just a brief anecdote. A couple of weeks ago I was in my obstetrician’s office.

I had had a glucose test, as women do when they enter the third trimester. and I had slightly elevated levels. Apparently it was due to what I had had for lunch that day. Members will be pleased to know I did not get my lunch from the parliamentary dining room on that day. I was required to have another test. I sat in my obstetrician’s rooms for 2 hours waiting for this test to be done. During that time I was able to witness the extraordinary work of the midwives, including the manner and breadth of issues they dealt with on the phone, how they handled patients coming into the office, their care, professionalism, breadth of knowledge and the absolutely critical role


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they play in administering health services and ensuring that women during their pregnancies feel as well prepared, calm and confident as possible.

We do not oppose this bill that rewards and recognises that role. I will finish my contribution by saying that we urge the government to properly support midwives and nurses through this current dispute, because — as I, and so many others, can attest — the role they play is absolutely critical in providing health care across the state. It gives me great pleasure to rise and speak on this bill. I am sure that there is a collective sigh of relief from members of this house that I can still rise and speak on a bill! As my good friend and colleague from Broadmeadows said this morning, perhaps no other MP has ever gone to such lengths to research the practical applications of the bill as I have. For the benefit of those who, I am sure, will be pouring over my contribution in years to come, I stand in the house seven months pregnant. At this juncture, while we are on the subject of pregnancy, I would like to put on the record my thanks to members on both sides of the house. I have had a lot of very warm wishes and inquiries about my health and the progress of this pregnancy, which have been greatly appreciated.

I also appreciate the proactive role of the officers of the Parliament and the Speaker’s office in relation to meeting with me and ensuring that there are steps in place for what are very exciting impending arrivals for both me and my colleague the member for Bendigo East.

I am living this bill day to day. I have direct contact with midwives. A lot has been said on the record by members about the importance of giving women greater choice in relation to their prenatal and postnatal care, their labour options and choosing the team around them as they go through a significant moment in their lives. We do not oppose the bill; in fact we have played an active part in what began as a broad initiative of the federal government involving a $120 million package in relation to these issues and others surrounding maternity.

I will give just a brief anecdote. A couple of weeks ago I was in my obstetrician’s office.

I had had a glucose test, as women do when they enter the third trimester. and I had slightly elevated levels. Apparently it was due to what I had had for lunch that day. Members will be pleased to know I did not get my lunch from the parliamentary dining room on that day. I was required to have another test. I sat in my obstetrician’s rooms for 2 hours waiting for this test to be done. During that time I was able to witness the extraordinary work of the midwives, including the manner and breadth of issues they dealt with on the phone, how they handled patients coming into the office, their care, professionalism, breadth of knowledge and the absolutely critical role they play in administering health services and ensuring that women during their pregnancies feel as well prepared, calm and confident as possible.

We do not oppose this bill that rewards and recognises that role. I will finish my contribution by saying that we urge the government to properly support midwives and nurses through this current dispute, because — as I, and so many others, can attest — the role they play is absolutely critical in providing health care across the state.

Hansard, 2012