Expo to pro­mote se­cu­rity, safety

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Aglife -

Wim­mera farm safety and crime preven­tion will be the sub­ject of a unique ru­ral expo at Mur­toa on Septem­ber 6.

The sec­ond Ru­ral Safe, Farm Se­cure break­fast expo will be at Mur­toa Recre­ation Re­serve and pro­vide in­sight into ev­ery­thing from in­jury-preven­tion to mak­ing prop­erty more se­cure from crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Mur­toa Neigh­bour­hood Watch is pre­sent­ing the three-hour expo, de­signed to also dou­ble as a so­cial gath­er­ing for ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties across the re­gion.

Event man­ager Robyn-ma­ree Penny-pa­ditz said the event was free of charge and would start with a break­fast at Mur­toa Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at 8.30am be­fore pro­grams and pre­sen­ta­tions from 9am to noon.

“As a team we are aware of how much im­pact crime, in­juries and ill­nesses have on com­mu­ni­ties, whether it be on the farm or in town,” she said.

“As a Neigh­bor­hood Watch group our fo­cus is pri­mar­ily crime preven­tion, but as mem­bers of a small com­mu­nity there is a big­ger pic­ture – com­mu­nity well­be­ing – that em­braces ev­ery­one’s health and safety.

“Our motto is ‘let’s look out for each other’ and this expo is all about ex­plor­ing what’s avail­able to help us achieve this goal.”

Ms Penny-pa­ditz said small towns re­lied on farm­ers and it was im­por­tant that ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing peo­ple liv­ing in towns as well as on farms, was aware of op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate safe and se­cure en­vi­ron­ments.

“When it comes to crime and oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety we’ve ei­ther heard of, or been aware of, many un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances,” she said.

“We want to make sure peo­ple are aware of their own assets, how to pro­tect them­selves and their prop­er­ties and to make sure there are no more in­juries,” she said.

The expo will in­volve a va­ri­ety of health and emer­gency agencies such as Vic­to­ria Po­lice and West Wim­mera Health Ser­vice and also groups and busi­nesses in­volved in ei­ther safety or crime preven­tion.

Late in­clu­sions

Ms Penny-pa­ditz said she was keen to get as many ex­hibitors – in­clud­ing topic-spe­cific speak­ers, agri­cul­tural-prod­uct sup­pli­ers, se­cu­rity and in­sur­ance spe­cial­ists, emer­gency ser­vices and spon­sors – in­volved in the morn­ing event.

“This is a free com­mu­nity expo, so we will be invit­ing and ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions to join in right up to the night be­fore. Sites are only $20,” she said.

“Vic­to­rian Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent David Jochinke, who has been help­ful in plan­ning, will be among guests.

“There will be three hours of dis­plays and guest speak­ers that will help ev­ery­one pre­pare for a happy spring, sum­mer and har­vest.

“At­ten­dees will learn more about crime preven­tion, be­ing smart around ma­chin­ery, firearm safety and se­cu­rity as well as gen­eral health, es­pe­cially in the com­ing warmer months.

“Peo­ple of­ten push them­selves to get things done be­fore rain comes or be­fore the crop turns.

“Cor­ners get cut and im­por­tant things like se­cu­rity, health and safety get pushed aside as peo­ple try to work longer and faster.

“We want peo­ple to take this op­por­tu­nity to stop for a mo­ment and think smarter – to head into har­vest sea­son with all these things fresh in their mind so that they make it through har­vest with the best out­comes pos­si­ble.

“We ask: when ev­ery­one is busy and pushed to their lim­its, can they af­ford to push them­selves dan­ger­ously?

“If you aren’t there to har­vest be­cause you’re laid up in hospi­tal or worse, who’s go­ing to get the crop in?

“Equally, if you don’t se­cure your assets and ma­chin­ery or a har­vester or trac­tor gets stolen or dam­aged, who’s go­ing to have the re­sources to cover you when ev­ery­one else is out us­ing their own?

“This can also af­fect town res­i­dents who are out work­ing the land, not to men­tion peo­ple rush­ing around from place to place in this rapid-dash mind­set. Slow down, think smart and make the most of the in­for­ma­tion we will have at the expo.”

Ms Penny-pa­ditz said all farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties across the re­gion were wel­come to at­tend.

“You don’t have to sim­ply be from Mur­toa. We’re reach­ing out to as far as Ararat, Kaniva and Hopetoun and ev­ery­where in be­tween,” she said.

“It is pri­mar­ily set up for farm­ers but any­one will ben­e­fit from the talks, pre­sen­ta­tions and dis­plays, all in an in­for­mal en­vi­ron­ment.”

Peo­ple keen to find out more can call Ms Penny-pa­ditz on 0423 320 108 or email ru­ral­safe­farm­se­cure@ gmail.com.

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