Report into Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Fitzroy Valley Must Trigger Immediate Action

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has been saddened by the findings of the Lillilwan Report into the effects of excessive alcohol consumption by pregnant Aboriginal women on their unborn children.

The report into foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) was compiled after a comprehensive study of Fitzroy Valley residents, in the Kimberley region of WA, and will be released later this month.

“I look forward to considering the report in its entirety once it is published later this month,” Mr Chapple said.

“The information I have seen so far indicates the neglect and failure by successive state and federal governments in addressing Aboriginal disadvantage and lack of opportunity.

“It is astounding to consider the devastation caused to the community, as illustrated by the 2007 figures, although the warning signs have been with us for some time and the results are not entirely unexpected.

“My heart goes out to the families of those who are affected by this sad epidemic.

“Congratulations must go to those members of the Fitzroy Crossing community who have tackled the situation head-on. They are the ones who can take credit for an alcohol ban being put in place in the town, and who continue to demand further action for those caught in the trap.

“The government must immediately allocate sufficient funding to address the situation, including the development and delivery of programs that must be developed between the local community, government agencies and medical experts in equal partnership.

“There must be no more Northern Territory-style intervention when dealing with Aboriginal health, poverty and social issues.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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