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16 May 2022

An Albanese Labor Government will fund a National Autism Strategy and boost critical research to address poor outcomes and the 20-year gap in life expectancy among autistic Australians.


Labor will develop 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.


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.


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.


Like all people with disability those with autism and their families have been neglected and overlooked by a decade of Liberal Governments that have 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.


Labor’s strategy will build on our commitment to make the National Disability Strategy accountable and get a fully funded NDIS back on track to deliver its original vision, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of autistic Australians and families currently worse off due to the Morrison Government’s attacks on the scheme.


Only an Albanese Labor Government will deliver a National Autism Strategy and fix the NDIS by working with autistic people and their families, carers, service providers and workers to ensure that real action is taken to improve outcomes – so that all Australians can have a better future.


Our disability policies are at