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Notice given 22 May 2007

3208  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—Is the National Disability Advisory Council (NDAC) still functioning; if so: (a) who represents people with autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) on the NDAC; and (b) what relationship do these members have with autism/ASD representative groups.

3209  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Human Services—

(1) Given that researchers recently released a report on the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Australia and given that, while data from Centrelink was regarded as especially useful, Centrelink did not provide the researchers with breakdowns of statistics by state: Why did Centrelink not provide ASD researchers with a breakdown, by state, of the number of people with ASD who receive a Carer Allowance, a Disability Support Pension or other benefits.

(2) Will a state-by-state breakdown of the number of Carer Allowances relating to autism spectrum disorders be available to researchers in future.

(3) Can Centrelink data for autism-related Carer Allowances be provided to researchers annually.

(4) (a) Is Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOSS) a severe and pervasive disorder; and (b) does Centrelink identify persons diagnosed with PDD-NOS; if not, why not.

3210  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) (a) According to official government sources, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and/or the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), how many Australians have autism and related disorders; and (b) is this information contained in more than one source; if so, what are the differences between the sources.

(2) (a) Is the Minister aware of the recent report on autism prevalence given to the department by the Autism Advisory Board for Autism Spectrum Disorders, which shows that 1 in 160 Australian children aged from 6 to 12 years has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD); and (b) is there a difference between the prevalence of autism/ASD reported from official government sources and community sources.

(3) Is the Minister aware that pervasive developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders such as Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified, are by definition ‘severe and pervasive disorders’.

 

 (4) Is the Minister aware that the AIHW has reported that people with autism/ASD are most likely to have a severe or profound level of disability.

(5) Does the Government accept and recognise that autism/ASD is one of the most common types of disability experienced by Australian children.

(6) (a) How many Australians with autism and related disorders receive disability services that are funded through the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA); and (b) how many Australians with autism and related disorders do not receive disability services through the CSTDA.

(7) How many Australians with a severe or profound disability due to autism/ASD does the Government recognise as not requiring disability services.

(8) (a) Does the Government provide disability services on the basis of relative need; if so, how does the government ensure disability services are provided on the basis of ‘relative need’; and (b) how many Australians who receive services do not have severe or profound disability.

3211  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) How many, or what proportion of, Australians with a severe or profound disability need no government-funded disability services.

(2) (a) Given the limited resources that the Government has available to provide disability services, how does the Government ensure that it provides essential services for the people who need them the most; and (b) is this outcome achieved through the Government’s policy of setting priority for service provision based on the ‘relative need’ of people with a disability.

(3) What measures ensure the Government’s ‘relative need’ policy is effective.

(4) Given that the inquiry by the Community Affairs Committee into the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA) found that substantial numbers of people with disabilities do not receive essential services, will the Government increase CSTDA funding significantly in the 2008-09 Budget; if so, how much of the unmet need will the funding increase eliminate.