By convenor |
Treasurer Mr Jim Chalmers MP
Subject:rumoured: ABS may not report on autism in coming SDAC report - seeking confirmation
Date:Thu, 28 Mar 2024 09:02:38 +1100
From:Bob Buckley (Co-convenor) <>
CC:The Hon. Mr. Shorten MP <>,,,, Senator Jordon Steele-John <>, Hughes, Hollie (Senator) <>,,,,,,

Dear Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP
Member for Rankin

I write having heard a rumour that the Australian Bureau of Statistics may not report as it usually has in the past on Autism in Australia when it releases the results of its latest Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers later this year. 

Failing to report on Autism in Australia at this time would be unacceptable.

The ABS's updated reporting on Autism in Australia is needed to properly inform:

  • the development of the National Autism Strategy
  • the implementation of recommendation from both the Disability Royal Commission and the NDIS Review, and
  • especially the creation of Foundational Supports outside the NDIS for the otherwise unknown number of autistic non-participants in the NDIS. 

To my knowledge, the ABS has not consulted the autistic/autism community about any such change. 

Please can you confirm that the ABS SDAC reporting due mid-year will include the regular report on autism in Australia? And if not, why not?


Bob Buckley
Co-convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, is the national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people, their families, carers and associates. A4 is internet based so that Australians anywhere can participate.
Recipients of correspondence from A4 are all subject to Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia's policy on unanswered questions that is available at

A4 recognises and respects the traditional owners, elders past, present and emerging, of lands in Australia. Sovereignty was never ceded.

“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one.” Jeff Daniels as Will McEvoy in The Newsroom.

Follow on is positive

A4's subsequent correspondence with the Australian Bureau of Statistics is shown in the email thread in the link below. Good news! The autism data will be reported in the coming round - later in 2024. 

Data is crucial to proper policy and program development. Systemic advocates must be vigilant. 

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20240523_Autism_in_Australia_later_this_year.pdf (208.31 KB) 208.31 KB