The Liberal National Government is stepping up its fight against Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) today by unveiling a new national action plan and more than $7 million in new funding.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Government is committed to reducing the impact of FASD on individuals, families and communities.
“This plan will show us the way forward to tackle the tragic problem of FASD – guiding future actions for governments, service providers and communities in the priority areas of prevention, screening and diagnosis, support and management, and tailoring needs to communities.
“Alongside the plan’s release, I am pleased to announce a new investment of $7.2 million to support activities that align with these priority areas.
“This funding will enable work to start immediately and help protect future generations and give children the best start possible.”
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is the term used to describe the lifelong physical and neurodevelopmental impairments that can result from fetal alcohol exposure.
FASD is a condition that is an outcome of parents either not being aware of the dangers of alcohol use when pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or not being supported to stay healthy and strong during pregnancy.
Funding comprises –
· $1.47 million for prevention
· $1.2 million for screening and diagnosis
· $1.2 million to inform schools and workplaces and support the justice and policing sectors
· $1.27 million to tailor solutions to local communities
· $1.55 million to continue existing activities including continued development of a one-stop shop digital hub for information, tools, research and consumer support.
The Minister for Indigenous Health and Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the Government’s approach to FASD was to invest in activities which have been shown to be effective.
“Success is underpinned by a team effort, with collaboration between families, communities, service providers and governments,” Minister Wyatt said.
“FASD requires a national approach, linking in closely with local solutions. We are acknowledging the scale of the issue in Australia and intensifying efforts to address it.”
Since 2014, the Australian Government has provided around $20 million in direct funding for FASD-related activities.