Letters to the editor | January 12, 2018

IT'S A DOG'S LIFE: Aisha had fun keeping cool and retrieving sticks at Lake Lonsdale during a hot day across the region. Picture: PETER PICKERING
IT'S A DOG'S LIFE: Aisha had fun keeping cool and retrieving sticks at Lake Lonsdale during a hot day across the region. Picture: PETER PICKERING

Grateful for help to continue wildlife work

THE Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has again announced $2000 grants, per applicant, for wildlife shelters for the 2017-18 period. 

This includes an increased consumables limit of up to $1000 as it has for many years. 

This assists with ongoing expenses such as general infrastructure, including cages, enclosures, pens and fencing, as well as equipment relevant to wildlife rehabilitation including personal protective equipment, consumables such as feed, petrol, veterinary fees and veterinary supplies. 

I am sure all wildlife shelter operators are very grateful for the generous and ongoing assistance provided for this voluntary occupation in assisting our most precious nature wildlife, unfortunately injured, with the aim to return them to the wild as soon as possible. 

As I now enter my 35th year with Wildlife Shelters, starting with five years as a foster carer originally with the Department of Sustainability and Environment, I look forward to another year of some people who obviously like to prove what a good shot they are by shooting defenceless blue tongue lizards dead between the eyes as they sit on the roadside. It takes all kinds. 

Best wishes to all for the new year.

Lea Crystal, Nhill

Engagement programs help youth in the Wimmera

YOUNG people in the Wimmera will have more opportunities to actively participate in and connect with their local community through the state government’s Engage! 2018-20 program.

Five projects in Ararat, Stawell, St Arnaud and Horsham will receive a combined $550,000 for projects that will support young people aged between 12 and 25.

These projects join 107 local government and community organisations across the state to share in the $12.3 million Engage! 2018-20 program.

Funding for the Wimmera includes $120,000 for Central Grampians LLEN for the Youth Engage Ararat program, $90,000 for Central Grampians LLEN for the Youth Engage Stawell program and $100,000 for Horsham Rural City for the Young Generation program.

There is also $150,000 allocated for Northern Grampians Shire Council for the Igniting Youth Community Leadership program and $90,000 for St Arnaud Neighbourhood House for the Pathways and Community Connections program.

These five programs will help local youth with the hands-on experiences they need to achieve their personal and professional goals and I encourage more young people to get involved. 

I look forward to seeing more local young people participating in Engage! programs, building their skills and connecting with our vibrant community. 

Engage! helps young people to strengthen their education, training and employment pathways, and improve their health and wellbeing.

Young people are a key part of developing and delivering Engage! projects, which are aimed at a diversity of youth, including Aboriginal young people, young people from culturally diverse backgrounds, LGBTQI young people, young people with disabilities and young people living in rural and regional Victoria.

Engage! supports the Labor Government’s ongoing commitment to better connect young people with their communities, as outlined in the Youth Policy: Building Stronger Youth Engagement.

The Youth Policy also supports young people to have their say and participate in decision-making on government policy and practices.

For more information, please visit youthcentral.vic.gov.au.

Jaala Pulford, Member for Western Victoria

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