Home' The Great Southern Star : June 7th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - PAGE 21
By Tayla Kershaw
FOUR Leongatha Primary School (LPS)
students will represent Australia at the
Natural Disaster Youth Summit (NDYS)
in Japan in August.
The school was invited to the NYDS after the
success of its Water is Life initiative.
LPS students researched ways to reduce pollu-
tion and water waste, and their findings have been
discussed in Paris, Taiwan and India.
Grade 6 students Molly-Mae, Courtney, Jacob
and Josh have now been asked to give a presentation
on a natural disaster in Niigata, Japan.
“We are doing our project on bushfires and safety
for children who might travel on a bus and be caught
during a bushfire,” Josh said.
“We are making a safety kit to show the interna-
tional students who may not be at as much risk of
bushfire and help them understand a bit more about
Of the children attending the Japanese confer-
ence, 100 students will be from Japan and 200 will
be international students.
LPS was the only school chosen from Australia.
Before travelling, Molly-May, Courtney, Jacob,
Josh and six other classmates will visit CFA head-
quarters to gain a better perspective about bushfires.
“We want to talk about keeping safe in a bushfire
and what risks to avoid,” Courtney said.
The students will be discussing the major Victo-
rian bushfires as part of their report.
“I’m looking forward to working together on a
project we will be presenting as representatives of
Australia,” Courtney said.
Whilst in Japan, the students will also be able
to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, enjoying
food, traditions and Disneyland.
“There’s a massive five day gala on with things
like fireworks and musical performances at the same
time as when we will be there. It’s going to be a
whirlwind weekend,” Grade 6 teacher Megan Hol-
Megan and fellow staff member Leonie Mc-
Cluskey will be the heading off to Japan with the
Before they set off, the students will be involved
in a Water is Life community action day on June
They will be teaching the community about how
to save water throughout the day on the LPS bas-
On a mission: from left, Jacob, Molly-Mae, Josh and Courtney will fly to Japan in August to
represent Australia and educate international students about bushfire risks. But first they will
participate in a Water is Life project to encourage the community to save water.
Students give bushfire warning
A RAIL crossing on the
Strzelecki Highway in Le-
ongatha will be removed
as part of the Leongatha
Heavy Vehicle Alternate
Due to the South Gippsland
Tourist Railway ceasing opera-
tions earlier this year, VicRoads,
in partnership with VicTrack and
South Gippsland Shire Council,
will undertake roadwork to re-
move the section of track and rail
signals from the road which will
allow for repairs and regrading of
the road surface.
This will provide a smoother
ride over this section of the high-
VicRoads Eastern Region re-
gional director Scott Lawrence
said the measures would allow
for the reinstatement of rail lines
should the service become opera-
tional in the future.
Mr Lawrence said while the
railway line remained unused, the
temporary level crossing removal
would provide a number of ben-
efits including minimising road
maintenance costs, improving pe-
destrian paths to make it safer for
pedestrian access and provide a
smoother ride over the crossing.
He said VicTrack would also
retain the right to reinstate the
railway at a later date, with the
new design for the road allowing
for that, should it be required.
“The ongoing construction
works are progressing well and
we are seeing a number of sec-
tions being developed simultane-
ously,” Mr Lawrence said.
“With works having started in
February this year, motorists and
residents have already seen con-
struction work occurring at a num-
ber of locations, including the in-
tersection of Long Street/Nerrena
Road/South Gippsland Highway,
intersection of South Gippsland
Highway and Strzelecki Highway
and the intersection of Strzelecki
Highway and Long Street.
“Identified as a priority project
for South Gippsland, the alternate
route will be key in facilitating
amenity, safety, commercial and
parking improvements within the
town centre of Leongatha.”
Mr Lawrence said the alter-
nate route would remove about
600 trucks a day from Bair Street,
which supports council’s Bair
Street Rejuvenation Project to
create a safer, more vibrant and
prosperous commercial and retail
precinct for Leongatha.
To implement the alternate
route, works are currently being car-
ried out, with a number of changes
to traffic conditions including:
• changes in the level of the
• old road pavement removed
and strengthened to allow for re-
• new road pavements con-
structed where road widening is
• some lane closures;
• traffic management to guide
motorists safely around work
• vegetation removal to im-
prove sight lines across the corner
of Centenary Park
Works remain on schedule for
completion late this year.
A DRIVING program
at Leongatha’s Yooralla
campus has granted young
people an opportunity to
get on the road and gain
Wonthaggi’s Mycalie James
was one such participant.
The program was designed by
Yooralla service leader Shannon
Fischer who worked alongside
VicRoads and South Gippsland
Shire Council to extend the pre-
existing L2P program in which
volunteers worked with learner
drivers to obtain the required
120 hours for their probationary
“I started working at Yooralla
after I managed to get my licence
so I was familiar with the online
tests and requirements,” she said.
“I worked with VicRoads to
use the tests but change them so
they could suit the learning styles
of people of all abilities. We had
to think outside the box and come
up with alternative ways to teach
the tests, including diagrams and
drawings and other options.”
Ms Fischer integrated Vic-
Roads’ driving tests with coun-
cil’s initiative and adopted the
program at Yooralla Leongatha
Ms James was the first partici-
pant of the program to obtain her
probationary drivers licence later
As a result, Ms James has
achieved greater independence
in her daily life and new employ-
ment in Leongatha.
“I had my first shift at Leon-
gatha’s Lunchworks Cafe recent-
ly and I love it,” she said.
“The program was great be-
cause it has helped me to become
independent. I do not have to rely
on my Mum to drive me around
Ms James has also achieved
other goals with the support of
Yooralla, such as obtaining her
Certificate Three in Education
Support which has led to a school
She has also received her food
handlers certificate which she is
able to put to use when she works
with the 5A Yooralla Way Cater-
Currently, with the support of
Yooralla, Ms James is enrolled in
the Certificate Four in Disabil-
ity Support and is undertaking a
range of programs at Yooralla,
including fitness, netball, wood-
work, car maintenance and hospi-
“I live in Wonthaggi, which is
30km away from the Leongatha
Yooralla Hub. Before I learned to
drive, I had to get the school bus
to the hub. It used to take quite
a long time and the bus also only
runs during the week,” she said.
“Now I have passed my pro-
visional test, I can drive to the
Leongatha Hub whenever I want.
I also drive myself to netball
practice and to the supermarket.
Driving has given me so much
freedom and I am so glad I was
able to learn.”
Ms Fischer has also benefitted
from the program which she is
now teaching to other all abilities
participants at her full time base
“For most people, learning to
drive is a major life milestone. It
not only provides independence,
but passing a driving test pro-
vides a person with a great sense
of accomplishment and achieve-
ment,” she said.
“People of all abilities are ca-
pable of obtaining their driver ’s
licences and it is important for
people in the community to be
supportive and open minded.”
Ms Fischer was recently
nominated as a finalist in Dis-
ability Victoria’s Emerging Lead-
ers Awards. The award recipient
will be announced on Wednesday,
June 15 at Federation Square in
Path to success: from left, Yooralla service leader Shan-
non Fischer and Mycalie James stand by Ms James’ car at
Yooralla Leongatha. Ms James was the first to obtain her
driver’s licence under Ms Fischer’s guidance back in 2014.
Mycalie’s road to independence
No more bumps: motorists can look forward to a smoother
ride when the rail crossing on Strzelecki Highway (Roughead
Street), Leongatha is removed.
Rail crossing to go
BASS Coast Shire Council has taken
a step forward towards achieving long
term planning developments.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved
amendment C82 land subject to inundation over-
lay with the new controls forming part of the Bass
Coast planning scheme.
This amendment is a joint project between
Bass Coast Shire Council, Melbourne Water and
the West Gippsland Catchment Management
Bass Coast mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale said the
minister’s approval was a major step forward in
long term planning for areas at risk of riverine
and coastal inundation.
“Working collaboratively with partner agen-
cies, amendment C82 is at the vanguard of plan-
ning for flood risk across Victoria. It introduces
new planning permit requirements for earthworks,
buildings and works in areas identified as a risk of
flooding,” she said.
Inclusion of flood and coastal inundation in-
formation into the Bass Coast planning scheme
will allow for immediate access to necessary in-
formation about flooding.
This information will appear on planning and
property information certificates, and may also be
used to help council and other agencies plan and
prioritise emergency management and drainage
“This means any affected areas can be identi-
fied and considered in the early stages of the de-
velopment process,” Cr Crugnale said.
“This will help to ensure that new develop-
ment is designed with flooding risk in mind.”
For more information regarding the adopted
amendment C82, visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.
Planning green light in Bass Coast
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