THE State Government will spend $3.8 million to transform the food scraps of Melbournians into compost and fertilisers.
The government is also pulling resources out of other areas of the public sector to hunt for mythical big cats in the Victorian bush.
Meanwhile, a group of Bendigo parents is getting nowhere in its push to build something that actually makes a difference to peoples’ lives – a whole-of-life autism centre.
It escapes belief that there is no such centre anywhere in Victoria, let alone Australia.
Surely the fact that there is a waiting list of up to two years in Bendigo, and longer for areas such as Gippsland, for early autism intervention services is proof more resources and funding is needed.
Locally, the State Government has not blinked in finding millions of dollars to build a new library, a new theatre and redevelop the art gallery (all legitimate projects) but can’t find a cent to help some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Autism is no longer a fringe disorder.
Predictions have as many as one in five children being diagnosed as fitting somewhere on the autism spectrum by 2020.
That is a phenomenal statistic. Autistic children and their parents need intensive help.
A brochure, some early support, maybe a bit of physiotherapy and access, eventually, to local services for a few years is not enough.
Both state and federal governments must look at this plan seriously – $2.5 million over four years is not a lot of money.
Such a centre would help so many.
Not only would it help families of those with autism, but it would also take pressure off local schools, and give them much-needed advice and help with resources.
The first six years are tough enough for these children and their families.A whole-of-life centre would help as they get older and not force famlies to bid for funding scraps that fall from worthless projects funding cats and worms.