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NEWS DESK

Climate change the focus at hearings THE Legislative Assembly’s Environment and Planning Committee will meet at Mornington this week to look into community initiatives to tackle climate change. The public hearing at the Council Chambers, 2 Queen Street, 12.303.30pm, Thursday 7 November, is one of a series being held in regional Victoria during November. The committee will hear from the Port Phillip Eco Centre, Bayside Climate Action Group, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and South East Councils Climate Change Alliance. “We’re interested in finding out what’s happening at the local level to tackle climate change and what the Victorian Government can do to support communities take action,” committee chair Darren Cheeseman said. Ahead of the public hearing, the committee will visit a sustainable living centre and a local business that has used environmental upgrade finance to fund energy efficiency initiatives. “Seeing firsthand some of the community initiatives that are being rolled out will help the committee as it determines the recommendations it can make to help support communities in dealing with and mitigating the impact of climate change,” Mr Cheeseman said. Later public hearings will be held at Geelong and Warrnambool followed by Melbourne, Mildura, Shepparton and Wangaratta. The committee has received more than 140 submissions to the inquiry which it posts on its website. A comments box welcomes public comments on issues raised in submissions or at the public hearings.

On the same page: Cass Collett reads to Millie the dog watched by Angela Comden, of Story Dogs and Michael Johnson, of Bendigo Bank Dromana. Picture: Yanni

Remedial reading’s going to the dogs WHEN’S a dog not just a dog? When it’s a story dog helping children learn to read, of course. Story Dogs is a nationwide charity in which volunteers take their dogs into schools to listen to children read and help improve their literacy. Victorian sponsorship development officer Kim Croft said when children read to a dog the outcomes are amazing. “When they are in a non-judgmental setting, the children’s focus improves, their literacy skills increase and their confidence soars,” she said. “The accepting, loving nature of

dogs gives this program its magic and helps children relax, open up, try harder and have fun while reading to a friendly, calm dog.” Story Dogs has been running for 10 years and has 518 volunteers Australia wide. The 26 volunteers on the Mornington Peninsula take their dogs to 16 primary schools. Story dogs are accredited by professional dog trainers to assess whether they are suitable. The volunteers then undertake training to learn how to make reading fun by working through the dog. Retired school teacher and Rosebud

resident Angela Comben joined Story Dogs with her seven-year-old Labrador Millie in August. They attend Eastbourne Primary School. Millie is sponsored by Bendigo Community Bank Rosebud Rye Dromana which covers the costs of everything needed for the dog team to work in the school for the year. This includes accreditation of the dog, training for the volunteer, uniforms, books, book bag, reading rug and insurance. The program we run is free for the children but without the generous support of our sponsors and time

given by our volunteers we would not be able to provide this program,” Ms Croft said. “Our dogs get so excited when we put on their story dog vests. This is their signal they are going off to visit the children. “Then, when we arrive at the school, the children are so excited to see the dogs it creates a win-win situation for us and is very rewarding for our volunteers to see the progress of the children.” Volunteers are welcome to join the program. Details: visit storydogs.org.au

W O N * Y B S A Y M A T L R O F

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sealyscycles.com.au sales@sealyscycles.com.au Mornington News

5 November 2019

PAGE 5

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

5 November 2019  

Mornington News 5 November 2019

5 November 2019  

Mornington News 5 November 2019

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