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Greens Pledge Support for Mental Health

Media Release -

A ten-year Autism Plan

The Tasmanian Greens today pledged to develop a comprehensive ten year State Autism Plan and Implementation Strategy to support Tasmanians with autism and their families.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP said the dedicated State Plan would help improve support across the whole-life course of Tasmanians with autism, from initial diagnosis through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and aged care.

“Our Plan will ensure a whole-of-government, whole of life approach to delivering the best possible support and service for Tasmanians with autism,” Mr McKim said.

"There is no one size fits all approach to supporting people with autism, which is why the plan will need to be developed with input from the many groups and individuals with expertise in this area."

"Some people on the autism spectrum lead fulfilling lives, while others need targeted support services throughout their lives, not just in the early years."

"The times of transition from diagnosis through childhood, adolescence and adulthood can be very challenging.”

“Both our community and economy will benefit from helping adults with autism who need support to live a full life with meaningful participation across work, recreation and relationships.”

“The ten year State Plan would be developed in consultation with stakeholders including government agencies, education facilities, including state, catholic and independent schools, carers, autism representatives and advocacy groups.”

“A dedicated State Autism Plan and Implementation Strategy will make a real difference to the quality of life of Tasmanians with autism, their families and their carers.”

The Greens also committed to continuing the recurrent funding over the forward estimates for Autism Tasmania, which they successfully negotiated during the 2010 budget process but which is due to expire on the 1st of July this year.

“The Greens would ensure that state funding to the not-for-profit Autism Tasmania is carried through, and we are also committed to guaranteeing the ongoing implementation of the successful STARS program, previously known as the A-Team.”

“Early identification, education and assistance with the transition between education, the workforce and social opportunities are the key to unlocking the potential and greater inclusion of Tasmanians with autism,” Mr McKim said.

The Tasmanian Greens Action for Tasmanians With Autism policy initiative is available for download.