MEDIA RELEASE

Barbara Perry MP
Shadow Minister for Disability Services

Helen Westwood MLC
Wednesday, 27 March 2013 COALITION SUPPORTS MOTION ATTACKING PREMIER OVER HIS FAILURE TO SUPPORT WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY O'Farrell Government members in the Upper House have today supported a parliamentary motion attacking Premier O'Farrell's "mean spirited refusal" to support World Autism Awareness Day. Despite promising to light the Opera House blue to mark World Autism Awareness Day (2 April), Mr O'Farrell has now backed away from his commitment and forced Autism Australia to run a last minute fundraising campaign to get it done. This is despite other global icons around the world – including the Empire State Building and pyramids - lighting up blue to acknowledge World Autism Awareness Day. The motion moved by Labor MLC Helen Westwood, and supported by Liberal and National MPs stated: Autism Awareness Australia is coordinating the 'Light it up Blue' campaign to light up the sails of the Opera House blue on 2 April 2013 despite the O'Farrell Government's mean spirited refusal to provide funds to cover the cost of the lighting. "The Empire State Building in New York, the pyramids in Egypt, Trafalgar Square in London and many other icons are turning blue to honour the day, but the O'Farrell Government is again refusing to support World Autism Awareness Day," said Ms Westwood. "The Keneally Government sponsored turning the Opera House blue in 2011, but Barry O'Farrell declined to do so in 2012 and has refused again this year. "This is exactly the kind of miserable penny pinching we have come to expect from this Government. "World Autism Awareness Day is an important annual event to raise understanding of autism spectrum disorders and recognise and support people with autism and their families. "However, it is heartening that the Coalition Members of the Legislative Council have supported Labor's motion on the issue and share the view that their own Premier has got it wrong," said Ms Westwood. “World Autism Awareness Day is next Tuesday, April 2 nd, so there is still time for the Premier to right this wrong,” said Barbara Perry, the Shadow Minister for Disability Services." Donations to Light it Up Blue can be made at www.lightitupblue.com.au

MEDIA CONTACT: HELEN WESTWOOD 0411 607 581

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