The committee's role is to gather and analyse evidence and to present a report, with recommendations, to the Parliament. Central to the committee's inquiry is that it receives personal stories and evidence to inform its report.
The terms of reference require the committee to focus its attention on productive and meaningful ways to improve services and support for autistic people in the areas of education, healthcare, employment, housing, justice and rights.
Submissions that reference a link between vaccinations and autism, as well as cures for autism fall outside the terms of reference and will not be considered during this inquiry.
The committee may decide not to accept or not to publish material that is not relevant to the inquiry's terms of reference.
Publication of submissions
While the committee understands that submitters would like their submissions to be public, it is the committee's responsibility to make a decision as to whether or not to publish a submission. To assist submitters the committee has agreed to the following protocols:
- Submissions containing personal accounts will be published on the committee's webpage as name withheld and with names redacted, unless a contrary decision is made by the committee.
- Submitters may request that their submission be accepted by the committee as confidential.
In accepting submissions and hearing evidence of your experience, the committee must consider the right to privacy and safety of all parties. Although submitters may request that their submission be published, the committee may decide that it be accepted as confidential or published under name withheld.
Name withheld submissions
The committee has decided to publish submissions that contain personal accounts as name withheld and with names, contact details and identifying markers removed. The committee has taken this action to protect the privacy of individuals. This is because submissions published on the committee's website can be accessed by anyone, including via internet search engines; and will continue to be publicly accessible on the internet long after the inquiry has ended.
You will be provided an opportunity to inform the committee why you would like your submission to be published under your name. The committee will consider these requests and the secretariat will inform you of the outcome of the committee's consideration.
These submissions are still protected by parliamentary privilege. However, the protected document is the version that appears on the committee's webpage, and not the original document.
Please be ensured that name withheld submissions will not in any way diminish the strength of the evidence.
Confidential evidence will still form part of the committee's inquiry.
Once the committee has accepted your submission it is protected by parliamentary privilege. Confidential submissions should not be shared with other people. Parliamentary privilege gives you certain protections in relation to the submission you gave the committee. However, you will not have this protection if you show other people your submission.
An Easy English guide to providing a submission to a committee inquiry has been prepared. If you have any questions about this process, please contact the secretariat.