Page 1392 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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impact on individuals and their families, and I welcome the opportunity to talk about autism spectrum disorder. However, the government does not support the motion as it is, and I move the amendment that has been circulated in my name:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) that April is Autism Awareness Month and 2 April was World Autism Awareness Day;

(b) the significant support already provided by the ACT Government to people with autism, together with the Government’s recent commitments to disability support; and

(c) the potential impact that important national reforms in disability and education may have on support for people with autism; and

(2) calls on the Government to report to the Assembly by the last sitting day of May 2013 on support provided for autism diagnosis and services and the potential for further reforms resulting from the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Plan for School Improvement.”.

The government provides children with autism with a suite of services and programs, both in and out of school, which supports their development and education, and I will go into more detail shortly.

I am surprised that the Canberra Liberals have sought to draw attention in this motion to their own neglect of disability services during the 2012 election campaign. Mr Doszpot has included in his motion the only disability policy that they took to the election. His motion failed to mention that their policy was also grossly underfunded. The policy was costed by Treasury at $9.3 million, almost double the amount claimed by the Canberra Liberals.

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Doszpot!

MS BURCH: That was based on a school with capacity for 20 children, yet the Liberals promised a school for 40. You would think, Madam Speaker, that with just one disability policy, they could have got it right. What is more, this policy that they put forward involved significant costs for parents. So while the model does have some merit as it might be an option for some families, it is not the solution for all children with autism.

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Doszpot! You were heard in silence.

MS BURCH: As I think I have indicated before in a public comment, AEIOU proponents did put a proposal through to me to discuss it, and we remain open to

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