Friday, August 20, 2010

Independent's Preferences may determine Corangamite

Protesters outside Nicola Roxon's office
Media Release

Friday August 20 2010

Contact: Sally-Anne Brown 0438 708 693

Independent's Preferences may determine Corangamite

Independent candidate for Corangamite Sally-Anne Brown has today announced she has not directed preferences to one major party over the other following the collapse of negotiations with both parties.

Neither party would commit to ensure the currently tabled 'collaboration determination' for women to be eligible for medicare funding with a private midwife be disallowed, to ensure a woman's right to informed consent be drafted into a new document. “ It is incredible that both major parties are prepared to risk loosing their bid for Corangamite, rather than revamp a document which costs them nothing”, said Ms Brown, adding “the major parties have once again bowed to the nation's most powerful union lobby, The Australian Medical Association” at the expense of birthing women across the nation”, she added.

As late as Tuesday night both parties were making calls to the Independent candidate requesting her preferences. “This is a clear indication both Liberal and Labor know the seat of Corangamite currently held by 0.9 % will come down to the wire”, said Ms Brown, adding “I was crystal clear that if I had a commitment in writing to uphold a woman's right to informed consent then I would deliver my preferences. Instead the major parties have sold women's rights down the river”, she said. Ms Brown is unimpressed that Australia's first female PM Julia Gillard and Health Minister Nicola Roxon, both members of Emily's list which advocate strongly to uphold women's rights are supporting the position.

Ms Brown a nurse and midwife of 28 years declared her candidacy for the seat of Corangamite following a twenty year policy platform by both parties to force women to travel to cities to birth. “Since the early 90’s over 70% of maternity units have closed in remote and rural Australia including the Apollo Bay and Lorne maternity units, forcing women to travel hundreds of kilometres to birth”, said Ms Brown, adding “our maternity system currently the highest volume of health beds at over 300,000 per annum is a lucrative business and a broken mess”, she added.

Due to mandated insurance requirements effective July 1 – eleven of the thirteen private midwives that serviced the 8,000 sq kms of Corangamite have had to cease their practice due to exorbitant insurance premiums and the move by medicos to veto a woman's right to make informed decisions about her maternity care. “To bypass a woman's right to consent in any aspect of her care constitutes a breach of ethical, legal and professional requirements of practice that must be adhered to by all health professionals, regardless of public or private practice”, she added.

Ms Brown is campaigning primarily on maternity services reform and on a strong social, environmental and health policy platform.

Ø Bring Births Back to Local Communities

Ø Zero Emissions by 2020 & a price on Carbon

Ø Housing affordability

Ø Improved roads & public transport

Authorised by Sally-Anne Brown, 3 Scott Place Apollo Bay, Victoria 3233

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