Member for Morwell Russell Northe has called on the State Government to secure the future of the Latrobe Valley Yacht Club’s “Sailability” program. The recent closure of Hazelwood Pondage has left the Sailability program in limbo with a new suitable location needing to be found with urgency.
Sailability is a recreational sailing program designed for people with a disability and conducted at sailing clubs, and which supports the concept of growing participation and increasing the opportunities for sailors of all abilities to develop within the sport.
“Our local Sailability program has been operated by the Latrobe Valley Yacht Club and its band of volunteers for 18 years in providing a recreational pursuit for people of all abilities” said Mr Northe
Many of these sailors have gone on to compete in National and International competitions including Sarah Millsom and Mark Thorpe who are soon to participate in the 2018 Hansa Class World & International Championships in Japan.
“As I understand the Sailability program has been cancelled for the next School term which is a bitter blow for the many Schools and disability organisations whose students and clients are actively involved in Sailability” said Mr Northe
With the Pondage now closed, approximately 70 participants from across four Special Development Schools and seven adult disability program providers will now be missing out on this extremely important pursuit and activity.
“It’s imperative that this program is continued in the Latrobe Valley and delivering it from Lake Narracan is an option; however support and assistance is required from various authorities” Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe said, he had urgently written to the Minister for Energy, the Minister for Disability, Latrobe City Council and Sothern Rural Water seeking answers on how Sailability can be reinstated at Lake Narracan at the very least in the short term.
“Unfortunately and despite repeated questions to the State Government the future of Hazelwood Pondage and user groups such as the Latrobe Valley Yacht Club remain unanswered,” said Mr Northe