NOFASD Australia prepares submissions to public consultation processes where the terms of reference call for a specific response on FASD issues and/ or where a Government inquiry relates to matters of specific relevance to the work that we do. A list of our most recent submissions is included below.
Please note all the submissions below were made under our previous name, the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders (NOFASARD).
In May 2013 the Organisation made a submission to the South Australian Parliament Social Development Committee Inquiry into the adequacy and appropriateness of laws and practices relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol. The terms of reference for this inquiry included questions relating to alcohol-related harm caused by fetal alcohol exposure.
In March 2013 the Organisation made a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Inquiry into the value of a justice reinvestment approach to criminal justice in Australia. NOFASARD is of the opinion that increasing rates of incarceration can be attributed in large part to the over-representation in the criminal justice system of individuals with undiagnosed cognitive disability resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure, or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). There is no doubt that the root causes of offending behaviour must be addressed in order to reduce rates of incarceration and the ever increasing costs associated with the criminal justice system. The best way to do this is through a justice reinvestment approach.
In March 2013, the Organisation made a submission to the Australian Government on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Rules Consultation Paper. In order to respond to the questions contained in the consultation paper NOFASARD consulted with parents and carers in the NOFASARD network, people who have lived experience of supporting a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
In January 2013, the Organisation made a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Inquiry into the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill 2012. In the submission we welcome the acknowledgement in the Bill of the breadth of disabilities that exist in the Australian community and the range of support needs covered by the Scheme. In particular, NOFASARD endorsed the inclusion of both intellectual and cognitive disabilities. We also highlighted the need for improvements in knowledge and understanding about FASD within mainstream services in order for the Scheme to be effective for people living with FASD.
Following the submission, NOFASARD was invited to give evidence at a Senate Committee hearing as part of the Inquiry. Sue Miers, Tony Miers and Leila Picken represented NOFASARD.
In January 2012 the Organisation welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the national Inquiry on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia in the hope that change will follow. Governments have been aware of alcohol and its teratogenic properties at least since the late 1990s when NOFASARD was established and lobbying began in earnest and yet, the policy response has been ad hoc. NOFASARD recognises the prevention of fetal alcohol exposure and FASD is a complex issue and will require multiple strategies developed in collaboration and implemented in national, state and local contexts.
Following the submission, NOFASARD was invited to give evidence at a Committee hearing as part of the Inquiry. Sue Miers and Vicki Russell represented NOFASARD.