25 March 2014
Minister for Children and Families John Elferink has given notice that a Select Committee will be established to investigate Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the Northern Territory.
Mr Elferink will tomorrow move a motion in Parliament to establish a Select Committee to examine the nature and extent of FASD which is caused by excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
It is proposed that the Committee inquire into and report on:
· The prevalence of FASD in the Northern Territory
· The nature of the injuries and effects of FASD on its sufferers; and
· Actions the Government may take to protect the unborn child.
“We know that FASD has debilitating effects on the individual and the community, however we must gain a greater understanding of its extent,” Mr Elferink said.
“The establishment of the Committee will provide an opportunity to explore the depth of the tragic social issue and consider the options available to protect an unborn child from FASD.
“This is an important matter for our community and I know that all members have concerns about this growing problem.
“I am optimistic that the Committee will be unified in its quest to seek answers to FASD and I expect that it will provide thoughtful and robust recommendations to the Parliament.”
The Committee will comprise of three Government members, two Opposition members and an Independent member.
The Terms of Reference for the Committee and its Membership will be debated on Wednesday and the Committee is expected to report at the end of the year.
Media Contact: Danielle Lede 0404 515 414