On 9 December 2013, the Senate referred the following matter to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report.
The Terms of Reference are:
- the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and swallowing difficulties in Australia;
- the incidence of these disorders by demographic group (paediatric, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities);
- the availability and adequacy of speech pathology services provided by the Commonwealth, state and local governments across health, aged care, education, disability and correctional services;
- the provision and adequacy of private speech pathology services in Australia;
- evidence of the social and economic cost of failing to treat communication and swallowing disorders; and
- the projected demand for speech pathology services in Australia.
Submissions were sought by 21 February 2014. The reporting date was 27 March 2014. On 24 February 2014, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 26 June 2014. On 16 June 2014, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 15 July 2014. On 17 June 2014, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 1 September 2014.