LADS secretary Rob Wells shows Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell the plans for the new driving centre planned just outside Lismore. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
LADS secretary Rob Wells shows Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell the plans for the new driving centre planned just outside Lismore. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Southern Cross LADS help fuel driver education facility

COMMUNITY and corporate support is now being called for to get Lismore's driver education facility up and running.

The committee of Southern Cross LADS is also looking to government grants to help provide the $800,000 needed to fund the facility, with the first application submitted with Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

SC LADS chairman Paul Rippon said the committee and wider community were working hard to help fund the track.

"We have applied for grant money from National Stronger Regions Fund and looking to corporate and community donations as well," said Mr Rippon.

"We know we have a long shot of receiving any money from National Stronger Regions Fund as we are up against strong competition in the region but we believe that this driver education facility is essential not just from a social benefit but also for the financial consequences of driver crashes.

 

SC LADS treasurer Peter Luckett and secretary Rob Wells at the driving centre location in Lismore and, below right,
SC LADS treasurer Peter Luckett and secretary Rob Wells at the driving centre location in Lismore and, below right, Marc Stapelberg

"The community support has been overwhelming. We have one young man, Hugo Hayes, who is fundraising, using the endurance event Tough Mudder to reach a goal of raising $5000 for SC LADS.

Mr Hayes was involved in a fatal car crash in 2011 when he was 17 years old.

"(SC LADS) is important to me because I was responsible for the death of a loving husband and father due to an incredibly bad decision to get behind the wheel after a night of partying with no sleep," he said.

"Southern Cross LADS is the only charitable organisation I know of that strives to raise awareness for all issues related to driving and for the improvement of road safety in general - something I believe to be of huge importance and something that most teenagers, like myself aged 17, think little of."

Mr Hayes said he had 5000 friends on Facebook so if he could get each one to donate just a dollar then he could achieve his goal. In seven weeks he has raised nearly $4000, with just a few days until his event.

The idea for the SC LADS driver education facility was born out of tragedy, when four young men died in a car crash on the Northern Rivers in 2006.

"This year is the 10th anniversary of the crash and we want to ensure that phase one of the driver education facility is started this year and we will be asking the community to come with us to make it a reality," Mr Rippon said.

People can donate to Mr Hayes' fundraising campaign through the MyCause website at www.mycause.com.au/page/120384 and also directly to SC LADS at www.southerncrosslads.org.au



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