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:
- the prevalence and geographic distribution of Lyme-like illness in Australia;
- methods to reduce the stigma associated with Lyme-like illness for patients, doctors and researchers;
- 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;
- evidence of investments in contemporary research into Australian pathogens specifically acquired through the bite of a tick and including other potential vectors;
- potential investment into research to discover unique local causative agents causing a growing number of Australians debilitating illness;
- the signs and symptoms Australians with Lyme-like illness are enduring, and the treatment they receive from medical professionals; and
- any other related matters.
Submissions were sought by 31 March 2016. The reporting date is 30 November 2016.