Community Midwife scrap brings Greens MP Dawn Walker to town

Hell hath no fury: Sam Wibberley and Kimberley Kettle will host a meeting with Greens MP Dawn Walker on Saturday to address the hiatus and future of the Community Midwife Program. Photo: Chris Bath
Hell hath no fury: Sam Wibberley and Kimberley Kettle will host a meeting with Greens MP Dawn Walker on Saturday to address the hiatus and future of the Community Midwife Program. Photo: Chris Bath

Greens MP Dawn Walker will be in Tamworth on Saturday to meet with residents concerned about the shock hiatus of the Community Midwives Program, just a fortnight after bringing the matter up during question time in the NSW upper house.

Ms Walker spearheaded a similar charge in her home town of Murwullimbah a few years ago, in which the outpouring of public pressure forced the local health department to re-open the service.

While Hunter New England Health claim to have only suspended the service due to staff shortages, Ms Walker said there are striking similarities in the two cases, as that is how the Murwullimbah service first closed the books.

Since the announcement of the closure a few weeks ago, Tamworth mothers and other concerned residents have taken up arms against the decision, forming a Facebook page that now boasts almost 900 members.

That action group have also held meetings with hospital management to form a consumer engagement panel, as they continue to fight for the future of the CMP.

Action group chief Sam Wibberley hopes that Ms Walker can help continuing to point them in the right direction, while bringing national attention to the matter.

“She (Walker) wants to meet with the community face to face to find out our concerns, while we want to thank her for the support she has already given us and hope it can continue,” Mrs Wibberely said.

“She is really unhappy that the service went into hiatus and is concerned about the future of not only this service but all community services.

“It is  a national issue, the federal guidelines recommend that all mothers have access to the community service because it is the safest option, but only 8 per cent of Australians have access.” 

The meeting with Dawn Walker is open for anyone to attend, and due to weather concerns will be held at 3pm on Saturday. Anyone looking to attend will find more information on the Friends of Tamworth Maternity Services Facebook page.