About this inquiry

The committee considered this inquiry in the 44th Parliament. The inquiry lapsed at the dissolution of the Senate on 9 May 2016.

On 13 September 2016, the Senate agreed to re-adopt the inquiry with a reporting date of 30 November 2016.    

The committee has resolved not to call for new submissions but to rely on submissions received during the 44th Parliament. All correspondence and evidence previously received for this inquiry has been made available to the new committee.  This means that submissions already provided to the committee about this issue do not need to be re-submitted.

The Government’s response to the committee’s interim report [which was presented in the 44th Parliament on 4 May 2016] was tabled in the Senate on 9 November 2016.

On 12 November 2015, the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:

The growing evidence of an emerging tick-borne disease that causes a Lyme-like illness for many Australian patients.

The terms of reference are:

  1. the prevalence and geographic distribution of Lyme-like illness in Australia;
  2. methods to reduce the stigma associated with Lyme-like illness for patients, doctors and researchers;
  3. the process for diagnosis of patients with a Lyme-like illness, with a specific focus on the laboratory testing procedures and associated quality assurance processes, including recognition of accredited international laboratory testing;
  4. evidence of investments in contemporary research into Australian pathogens specifically acquired through the bite of a tick and including other potential vectors;
  5. potential investment into research to discover unique local causative agents causing a growing number of Australians debilitating illness;
  6. the signs and symptoms Australians with Lyme-like illness are enduring, and the treatment they receive from medical professionals; and
  7. any other related matters.  

Submissions were sought by 31 March 2016. The reporting date is 30 November 2016.

Past Public Hearings

02 Nov 2016: Sydney, NSW


Final Report

Growing evidence of an emerging tick-borne disease that causes a Lyme-like illness for many Australian patients

30 November 2016

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016
ISBN 978-1-76010-484-9

View the report as a single document - (PDF 560KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Chapter 1 - Patients first (PDF 41KB)

Inquiry background
Interim report
Conduct of the inquiry
Structure of the report

Chapter 2 - Testing for infection (PDF 155KB)

Lyme, or Lyme-like?
Diagnosing Lyme disease
What is in our ticks?
More research is needed

Chapter 3 - Treating the illness (PDF 92KB)

Existing treatment pathways
First do no harm
Establishing a treatment protocol
Committee view and conclusion

APPENDIX 1 - Submissions and additional information received by the Committee (PDF 140KB)
APPENDIX 2 - Public hearings (PDF 22KB)

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829