Services to people with autism and their families will be expanded, following the State Government’s transfer of Crown land to the Autism Association of Western Australia.
Located on Stubbs Terrace, Shenton Park, the 3,646sq.m site will be used by the Association for clinical and support services and has been provided at the nominal value of $100,000.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the land transfer would result in improved services to people with autism and their families.
“I am very pleased we have been able to make the land available for this purpose at greatly under the land’s market value,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“The Autism Association carries out a valuable role in the WA community and I’m delighted we are able to give back to this deserving cause.”
Disability Services Minister Sheila McHale said autism spectrum disorders often presented a lifelong challenge for individuals and families and many children and adults required significant levels of support.
“We know the number of children diagnosed with autism has increased substantially over the past decade in WA, nationally and internationally,” Ms McHale said.
“The association plans to address this increased demand through an expansion of services from early childhood through to its adult support programs.
“The Stubbs Terrace site will accommodate a new, purpose-built early intervention centre, family support facilities, clinical services and the association’s service management team.”
Ms McHale said the Carpenter Government had already increased funding for early intervention services for pre-school children, including children with autism and provided more than $6million in 2006-07 to the association for services.
“The Autism Association is a critical part of our support network and I am pleased this transfer provides it with surety and opportunities for growth to benefit people with autism and their families and carers,” she said.
WA Autism Association CEO, Joan McKenna-Kerr said the land transfer was the first phase of a three-year plan to increase the organisation’s capacity to meet the needs of a growing number of people with autism and to provide support to their families.
Mrs McKenna-Kerr said the association could now embark on the next major course of service development and expansion.
“We are delighted the State Government has recognised the importance of building our service capacity,” she said.
“We estimate that within three years, our early intervention services to newly diagnosed pre-school children with autism will increase from our current capacity of 155 children to about 200 children a year.
“Our post school options program for school leavers will increase by at least 40 per cent.
“We also have plans for continued annual growth in clinical services, residential services, employment support programs and family support and we are now developing strategies to secure funding for this exciting project.”
Planning and Infrastructure Minister’s Office - 9213 6400
Disability Services Minister’s Office - 9213 6900