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25       Notice

Senator Waters, also on behalf of Senators Keneally, McCarthy, Rice, Bilyk, Siewert and Polley, by leave, gave a notice of motion as follows: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that:

(i)                    more than 2000 children are stillborn in Australia each year,

(ii)                  the Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education identified the need for more support to be provided to bereaved parents and families affected by stillbirth,

(iii)                under current laws:

(A)                 parents are not eligible for a bereavement payment for a stillborn child, but will be eligible for a bereavement payment for a child who dies shortly after birth,

(B)                 parents of a stillborn child are eligible for a stillborn baby payment, and

(C)                 the amount of the stillborn baby payment is reduced by half for second or subsequent stillborn children,

(iv)                support payments to affected families can relieve financial pressure at a time of high stress by assisting with autopsy expenses, funeral or memorial costs, and access to counselling and health services,

(v)                  the grief and stress experienced by parents and families in response to a stillbirth is no less than that experienced in response to the death of a child, and

(vi)                the grief and stress experienced by parents and families in response to a stillbirth is not lessened by having previously experienced a stillbirth, and the cumulative impact of subsequent stillbirths may increase the physical and mental health impacts on bereaved parents; and

(b)              calls on the Federal Government to:

(i)                    take action to implement all 16 recommendations of the Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education, and

(ii)                  ensure equitable financial support is available to all parents and families experiencing the death of a child prior to, at, or near the time of birth by:

(A)                 extending eligibility for bereavement payments to parents of stillborn children, and

(B)                 increasing stillborn baby payments for second and subsequent stillbirths to be commensurate with the entitlements for a first stillbirth. ( general business notice of motion no. 286 )