Page 10 Thursday, 9 January, 2014
Connecting people and communities BN
Boost for the blind CONSTRUCTION on Victoria’s only primary school for the blind and vision impaired in Casey received a $1.5 million Christmas present. The funding was a September election promise by local MP Jason Wood and Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired founder Alan Lachman wanted to ensure the funding was received and construction on the facility continued. Due to a delay in registration and a blowout in costs, Insight had to pause construction on the Berwick facility while looking for new funds to pay the construction company, putting the 2014 opening at risk. Mr Lachman travelled to Canberra in November and Mr Wood intervened to secure a meeting with Senator Mitch Fifield MP, who helped rush the payment through and have it signed off by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. “I am extremely proud to be a part of building the Insight school dedicated to the blind and vision impaired in Victoria with Mr Lachman,” Mr Wood said.
“Thanks to Senator Fifield’s hard work with the Prime Ministerial Office and Mr Lachman’s tenacity, we can now proudly say that La Trobe will be the first to house Victoria’s only education facility for the blind and vision impaired.” Mr Lachman said the funding had allowed construction to recommence on the specialist primary school. “Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired is now being built at a very fast pace after receiving the $1.5 million of funding on Thursday 12 December,” Mr Lachman said. “The support we have received from Jason Wood, Senator Mitch Fifield and Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been formidable and greatly reflects the need for a facility like Insight Education Centre in the area and across Victoria.” Insight is the realisation of a dream for Mr Lachman, along with his family, whose vision impaired daughter can receive the education she needs in a supportive environment.
From left, Shaun Hill, Ross Mackay, Jem Belcher and Hastings MP Neale Burgess with one of the new bushfire information boards in Blind Bight.
Fire safety for coastal villages By BRIDGET COOK
Local MP Jason Wood and Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired founder Alan Lachman in Canberra. 112597_01
Tooradin Tractor Pull
CASEY’S bushfire prone coastal villages now have better access to critical information to ensure they are a step ahead this fire season. The communities of Blind Bight, Cannons Creek and Warneet celebrated the installation of two automatic fire danger ratings signs and three bushfire information boards at a launch on 13 December. City of Casey mayor Geoff Ablett said the council applied for the $40,000 in funding for the signs through the State Government as the coastal villages were recognised by the CFA as extremely at risk of bushfire. “It is critical that we support these communities to be well prepared,” he said. “Through community consultation, council identified the need for local bushfire information to be available for residents, visitors, tourists and fishermen who frequently use the area. “The installation of the solarpowered automatic fire danger rat-
ing signs and information boards will provide both locals and visitors with the most up-to-date information about weather conditions and provide messaging about what to do should a fire occur. “While the official fire danger period has not yet been declared, it is vital that these new alert systems are available now, so people can become familiar with them, be alert and ready to make decisions about their safety accordingly.” Hastings MP Neale Burgess was at the event6 in Blind Bight, representing Deputy Premier Peter Ryan. “This project will enable local residents and visitors to these communities to make informed decisions and be better prepared ahead of any potential bushfire threat,” Mr Burgess said. “The signs and boards will also raise levels of bushfire awareness and preparedness for tourists and visitors to the region.” For more information on fire prevention, visit www.casey.vic.gov. au/health-safety/emergencymanagement/fires or www.cfa.vic.gov.au
A Star Advertising Feature
The tractor pull classes are the feature of the event. Inset: Jessica Foster, from Pakenham, was all smiles at last year’s event. Pictures: DONNA OATES
Ready to rumble, roar By BRIDGET COOK
(MELWAYS REF 144 C4)
RUTTER RESERVE TOORADIN
THE rumble and roar of supermodified tractors are set to bring Tooradin alive this month. The town’s 16th annual Tooradin Tractor Pull and Truck Show will be held at Rutter Reserve on Saturday 18 January, and is set to be an action-packed day. The feature of the event is the tractor pull, where drivers of hotted-up tractors compete to pull a metal sled, which becomes heavier the further it is pulled, the furthest down the track. Another highlight is the truck show, where some of the best rigs from around the country will compete for the number of prizes up for grabs.
The family friendly event has plenty to offer the whole family, with a street car and hot rod display, helicopters rides, live bands and rides and entertainment for children. Peter McGrath, who is on the organising committee, encouraged the community to come along and join in the fun and excitement. “If you want to see something different, then this event has it all,” he said. “If you think the tractors are just tractors, they definitely are not. These are super-modified, loud, with V8 engines in them. “The truck show also has more than 100 entries, and the owners put so much time and effort into them. “It’s a great day out for the
whole family. There really is something for everyone.” All proceeds from the event go back into local clubs, schools and charities. The Tooradin Tractor Pull and Truck Show will be held at Rutter Reserve, Tooradin. The truck show takes place from 10am to 3pm and the tractor pull kicks off at 3pm and runs through until 10pm. The cost is $25 for adults, $10 for children and $60 for families, with discounts available for those arriving before noon. For more information contact www.tooradintractorpullers.com.au