National Autism Strategy

Labor will take action to address outcomes for autistic Australians with:

  • A National Autism Strategy with $1 million invested for the next year to develop a coordinated national approach between all levels of government and service areas. 
  • A total $2 million for the Autism Cooperative Research Centre so it can continue to be Australia’s leading organisation for Autism research, coordination, collaboration and advice. 
  • We will create a National Roadmap to specifically target health and mental health outcomes, with a $300,000 investment to begin work immediately.

  • Lifting the age cap for people seeking autism assessment from 13 to 25 years of age so that young adults can access a diagnosis and support.

  • Specific autism focuses in our commitment to leave no person with a disability behind in the ongoing pandemic response, and in our plan to develop a comprehensive NDIS workforce strategy.

Why do we need this?

Up to three per cent of Australia’s population has autism and it is the largest primary disability category in the NDIS, yet autistic people experience some of the poorest outcomes of any cohort and a 20 year gap in life expectancy compared with the general population.

Like all people with disability those with autism and their families have been neglected and overlooked by a decade of a Liberal Government that has failed to take meaningful steps to lift participation and bridge these gaps.

Experiences shared with the recent Select Committee into Autism revealed that urgent, targeted action is needed, and that the community and mainstream services will bear a significant cost from continued inaction.

The details

Labor’s Autism Strategy will listen to autistic Australians and their families, carers, workers and service providers to forge a path to better outcomes in education and employment, social and economic participation, community attitudes, health and wellbeing, justice, domestic violence and research.

Our strategy will be a whole-of-life plan for all autistic Australians – not just those eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – and importantly, shaped by the experiences of autistic people.

Labor will also invest a total $2 million in the Autism Cooperative Research Centre so it can continue to be Australia’s leading organisation for autism research, coordination, collaboration and advice. This will support development and implementation of a National Autism Strategy by autistic Australians, with a national research agenda and evidence-based practice platform. 

We will support progress for autism with: 

  • A National Roadmap to specifically target health and mental health outcomes, with a $300,000 investment to begin work immediately.

  • Lifting the age cap for people seeking autism assessment from 13 to 25 years of age so that young adults can access a diagnosis and support.

  • Specific autism focuses in our commitment to leave no person with a disability behind in the ongoing pandemic response, and in our plan to develop a comprehensive NDIS workforce strategy.