The Bligh Government has provided $46,750 in one-off funding to ensure Far North Queensland’s only autism school gets new classrooms and amenities.

Disability Services Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today announced the grant to Autism Queensland.

Ms Palaszcuzk said the funds would help to complete an important upgrade of the Autism Learning Centre in Edmonton.

“The Cairns community has sent us a very clear message that the centre needs extra classrooms and facilities,” she said.

“We recognise this need, and the Bligh Government is pleased to be offering its support.

“Curtis Pitt has been a staunch advocate for the school, taking the local community’s concerns directly to the government.

“We’ve listened to these concerns and acted to get the best outcome for the families of children with autism and the whole Cairns community.”

Mr Pitt said the grant would allow Autism Queensland to reach its target of raising $300,000 to complete the construction of new facilities at the centre.

“Autism Queensland is now in a position to double the capacity of the learning centre, which currently supports 32 children,” he said.

“The Cairns building industry has shown great generosity by pledging $250,000 in materials and labour to the project.

“Local residents have also dug deep, contributing $3,250 to The Cairns Post fundraising appeal.

“It’s great to see the Cairns community rally around such a worthwhile cause, and residents can rest assured they have a government that listens and responds to their concerns.”

Ms Palaszczuk said that Autism Queensland worked tirelessly to support children and adults with autism, their families and carers.

“As a government we need to get behind them, and give them the support they need so that they have same opportunities as other Queenslanders.

“The Bligh Government sees early intervention as one of the key responses to giving children with autism the best start in life.

“The expansion of the Autism Learning Centre will provide more children needing early intervention with the chance to get the support they need.”