22 July 2015

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Schools review needs special focus A STATEWIDE review of the needs of school students with disabilities could benefit Aspendale’s Yarrabah School. Education Minister James Merlino launched the Program for Students with Disabilities review earlier this month and said an advisory panel including representatives from principals’ groups, Australian Association of Special Education, Parents Victoria, AMAZE (Autism Victoria), the Specific Learning Difficulties (SPELD) Victoria, the Children’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne will be consulted on how schools can best support students with special needs, including those with autism and dyslexia. “This is the most comprehensive review of the Program for Students with Disabilities in our state’s history,” Mr Merlino said. “Everyone deserves a great education to reach their full potential – and children with special needs deserve support.” The government review will ask families, teachers and principals with an interest in the education of children with a disability to make their views known. Mordialloc Labor MP Tim Richardson said the review is a chance for parents and teachers of children with special needs to share their experiences of the state education system, including the challenges faced on a daily basis and ways care and support can be improved. “Just consider the amazing work done by Yarrabah School in Aspen-

Looking to the future: Yarrabah School principal Matthew Harris, left and Student Voice Leaders Catherine, Ben and Sarah at the Aspendale school’s temporary classrooms which urgently need to be replaced. Picture: Gary Sissons

dale and the huge growth in students they support over the past 20 years,” Mr Richardson said. “As well as our local primary and secondary schools who do all they can to give children with special needs the best education and support. We need

to know what is working and what needs to change to make it easier for children, their families and schools. I have had the chance to hear from parents of children with special needs about the difficulties they face. We need to hear their stories to better un-

derstand how we improve the support in years to come.” A questionnaire to provide feedback to the Program for Students with Disabilities review will be available online at education.vic.gov.au/specialneedsplan in September.

Edgy talks a work in progress Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au A COMMUNITY group formed to save the Mentone Hotel from a redevelopment remains hopeful a new pub can be opened on the ground floor of the iconic building. Save The Edgy representatives met with the Mentone Hotel’s new owner Paul Huggins last Wednesday (15 July) to discuss the planning application lodged with Kingston Council to build five apartments on the ground floor and seven on the first floor of the building (‘Edgy plans on the menu’, The News 15/7/15). An apartment block with 58 apartments will be built on the site of The

Edgy’s carpark, according to the planning application. Save The Edgy spokesman Chris Hill said Mr Huggins, founder of Momentum Developments, is still trying to find a suitable candidate to run a pub on the full 800 square metres ground floor. “He reaffirmed his commitment to find a tenant to take the whole floor downstairs even though the plans are drawn with a 240 square metre restaurant and cafe,” he said. “We just want to make sure that it’s fair and reasonable and all solid offers will be considered [to fill the whole ground floor].” Kingston mayor Cr Geoff Gledhill attended last week’s meeting between Mr Huggins and the Save The Edgy group. “Council’s position is to look at it

from a planning point of view and we have to observe the process,” he said. Council officers will review the application but Heritage Victoria will “take the lead” since the main building façade and an internal staircase have been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. “We’ve a fabulous opportunity here to have a terrific outcome and everybody can get a good share of what they want but let’s go into it with an open mind and be prepared to listen to other people’s positions,” Cr Gledhill said. Mr Huggins says he will remove the five ground floor apartments from the redevelopment plan if a suitable pub manager can be found.

Take the road to funding KINGSTON community groups can apply for funding under a $1 million Transport Accident Commission (TAC) grants program to make roads safer. The TAC’s Community Road Safety Grants Program offers grants of up to $25,000 to councils, schools, community and not-for-profit registered groups who can identify a road safety issue and devise a project to address it. “Local ideas can often be the best solutions and therefore I encourage as many local groups as possible to take a moment to identify road safety issues and propose a solution to make our community safer,” Mordialloc Labor MP Tim Richardson said. “I encourage all community groups to submit a proposal for the next round of funding if they have an idea about how to make our roads safer.” Community groups are encouraged to submit a grants proposal before applications close on Friday 14 August. Application forms and further information is available at www. tac.vic.gov.au or by contacting the community road safety grants officer at crsg@tac.vic.gov.au or on 5225 7517.

Safe driving courses offer KINGSTON Council is offering a range of courses to help older drivers continue to drive safely for as long as possible. The free courses are open to all Kingston residents and aim to help older drivers remain safe on the roads. Kingston mayor Cr Geoff Gledhill said older people who are able to continue to drive safely are more able to stay connected with their community and regular routines. “These courses will help older people assess their own ability, learn safe driving techniques and how health issues may impact on driving ability,” Cr Gledhill said. Bookings are required for all sessions. If you have concerns about your driving, speak to your GP for advice. Courses are taught by Murcott’s Drive for Life, Patterson Lakes Community Centre, the RACV and Aspendale Gardens Community Centre throughout August-November. Bookings essential. See kingston. vic.gov.au for details or call council on 1300 653 356.

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BLAIRGOWRIE • DROMANA • MORNINGTON • ROSEBUD • SEAFORD • TOORAK Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News 22 July 2015

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