Maryorough MP Chris Foley would like to see an autism centre built in Hervey Bay or Maryborough.
Maryorough MP Chris Foley would like to see an autism centre built in Hervey Bay or Maryborough.

We want an autism centre too

CHRIS Foley doesn’t begrudge Bundaberg for its new autism early intervention centre – but he does want one just like it for Maryborough.

The Maryborough MP has been pushing for an autism centre for the Fraser Coast region and has met with representatives from local autism organisations and with the parents of autistic children.

Maryborough, Toowoomba and Bundaberg featured as areas with the highest number of autism diagnoses from January 1, 2007, to December 4, 2009.

“There is a need for it,” Mr Foley said.

“I’m happy for Bundaberg but I want it for this area too.”

Mr Foley said that while he would prefer the centre to be in Maryborough the benefits of having a centre so close would be valuable for Hervey Bay too.

Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen also threw his weight behind an early intervention centre on the Fraser Coast, agreeing there was a strong need for the facility.

Mr Sorensen said early intervention was crucial for children with autism as it would help them immensely later in life, especially regarding their education.

“Children with Asperger’s and autism do need these programs.”

The new centre in Bundaberg will target children aged 0 to 6, giving them access to speech therapy, occupational therapy, specialist service and ongoing support.

The centre will also provide outreach services to children in the Wide Bay-Burnett region.



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