I have to confess that I haven't really been following the latest news in Australia too closely, but I am aware that there are very positive and exciting national changes afoot that will give midwives a greater degree of autonomy.
Midwives will be able to provide continuity of care and be paid by the government in the same way GPs are paid. However, midwives will not be able to access insurance in order to be to provide homebirth, which in effect rules it out as a choice of care for women in Australia.
What I am finding interesting is the way that organisations like Homebirth Australia is utilizing social media to lobby for change ie over-rule this draconian attitude to homebirth. At the moment, there is an active campaign being run in Facebook. It will be interesting to see how effective this mode of campaigning is.
For more information about maternity services in Australia, I recommend you talk to midwives such as infomidwife, Lisa Barrett or Carolyn Hastie.