I was really discouraged when reading about homebirth in Aus and the obstacles in the way for those wanting one. Not to say people can't have them, just its nowhere near as easy as it is in the UK. Our NHS midwives are covered insurance wise, its all taken care of under the NHS umbrella.
The main problem in Aus seems to be the decision (excuse wording here, its late and I can't recall the exact ins and outs) by the medical powers that be, in the public health service (ie not private) to no longer insure midwives to be covered for homebirthing. So any midwife wishing to assist homebirths has to have their own insurance. Or be self employed or some such and again, have their own insurance. And alas, the cost of this is high and many are not able to or not willing to fork out for it.
Therefore it has made it difficult for homebirthing. To say the least. Midwives have to jump through some major hoops to be able to help women give birth at home.
I did some research about homebirthing in SA and in the end felt I would rather remain in the UK to give birth to our second and ensure I could have access to the full homebirth facilities the NHS provide. I was put off considering moving to Aus before we had another child for no end of reasons, all of them outside of hospital care. Sad but true.
Anyways, some links for you :) I've more if you want them but google can turn up loads for you. Its not all doom and gloom and it can be done. Read the stuff in full as there is some really interesting reading in it all.
And a Facebook group for homebirthing - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-H...a/102957939870
This is from 2007 and not sure if its all still relavent. Check and see if there is a more up to date one somewhere online. - http://www.health.sa.gov.au/ppg/port..._policy_SA.pdf
Yeah, its a subject close to my heart.