Media Releases


April 11, 2022

Tasmanian kids struggling with hearing loss will have access to expert care and support under a Labor plan to open two new Shepherd Centres for hearing impaired children in Tasmania.


An Albanese Labor Government will provide $2.5 million in funding to establish Shepherd Centres in Launceston and Hobart so local families can get the critical help and early intervention they need for their children.


Shepherd Centres provide support services including development of speech and communication skills, life skills and emotional resilience – areas where hearing impaired children and teens need intensive clinical support.


There are currently no Shepherd Centres in Tasmania and no organisations providing comprehensive, on-the-ground clinical services in the state for children with hearing loss.


At present, Shepherd Centre workers have to fly in from Melbourne to deliver their vital support services in Tasmania.


The new centres in Hobart and Launceston will be fully equipped with specially designed equipment and facilities.


Together they will provide a comprehensive reach across Tasmania, giving local kids access to life-changing clinical support and education.


In addition, Labor will provide funding for the Shepherd Centre to complete the development of its national HearHub platform.


This is a national digital service that will deliver hearing tests, educational resources and practical support for families online. This will benefit children with hearing loss and related communication difficulties such as autism spectrum disorder.


HearHub will extend the reach of on-the-ground Shepherd Centres, and will be of particular benefit to children and families in rural and regional areas.


Quotes attributable to Anthony Albanese


“Kids with hearing loss deserve the best possible start in life and the best possible care and support – no matter where they live.


“It’s about time Tasmanian children had access to the same sort of services that are available on the mainland. Labor will make that happen.”


Quotes attributable to Ross Hart


“Opening a Shepherd Centre in Launceston will make a real and practical difference in the lives of families in northern Tasmania.”