Sunday, May 25, 2008

forests, arts, palliative care, scouts - a busy weekend out and about

What a busy weekend it has been, I started the weekend up at Warburton speaking at a Forests & Water forum put on by the local community.

The Warburton community have been very disturbed by the logging trucks that have been going through the town at a very rapid rate. (This has stopped now as logging doesn’t occur over the wetter months).

Sarah Rees from the Central Highlands Alliance and me with 'Legacy' a book produced by TCHA to highlight the legacy we are squandering by continuing to log Melbourne's water catchments.
They cannot understand why our catchments are being logged in a time of water scarcity. Neither can Yarra Ranges Council so that’s why we oppose logging of Melbourne’s catchments.

It has been very satisfying to see that nine other municipalities have joined with Yarra Ranges to oppose logging, with council 9 and 10 being the City of Melbourne and the Maroondah City Council. This represents over 1.2 million Melburnians, I hope the state government is paying attention.

Next stop on this busy weekend was Open Studios, a weekend where local artists throw open their studio doors and welcome the public to talk about their art, their inspiration, their lives. I managed to get round to 8 studios and was warmly welcomed by the artists. It’s a great initiative, a great drive around the Dandenongs and it cements our region as a place of great creativity.

Anne and Helen from Fernlea House with Charles 'Bud' Tingwell and me. Charles spoke about his career from the early days and how it continued after his wife died. Charles cared for his wife throughout her illness but never saw himself as a 'carer', just doing what family does.
On Sunday I dropped into Open Day at Fernlea House, who provide palliative care services for the hills region. It has been a very tumultuous time for the house, their federal funding was cut meaning the service could only be provided to 30 June. A reprieve was granted after a fair degree of people power highlighted the plight through the mainstream media, with the minister granting Fernlea funding to continue the service in the short term.

However the house still has a shortfall in funding and an ever increasing need to provide palliative care services in our region. I wish them well in their discussions with the minister and will do as much as I can to support them in their efforts to secure long term funding at a state and federal level.

Me at Lloyd Park, Belgrave South, getting to know the finer arts of firing water cannons, archery, poi making, bridge climbing and all sorts of scouting fun.

Last on the list of events for the weekend was the Scout’s Family Fun Day in Belgrave South. There were all manner of devices, contraptions and activities for children to participate in and children had the opportunity to experience the many facets of scouting. It was a great event and very well attended.

It’s been a busy weekend, but a great way to experience the Dandenongs (and Yarra Ranges) there’s a lot on offer with a lot to offer!

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