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KELLY’S Motor Club Hotel in Cranbourne have won a national award for their gaming room and contributed money to a local community charity.
The hotel was awarded Best Gaming Venue in the regional category at the 2016 Australian Hotel Association National Awards for Excellence.
Hotel manager Michael Goldie said the award was a great validation of the hard work they had put in to redesign the gaming area.
“Last year we decided to look at how the gaming room operated,” he said.
“All gaming rooms previously were designed for NSW standards, where you put the machines in and get as much as you can out of them.
“We wanted to make ours more customer-friendly.”
The hotel made changes such as separating the machines to give people more space and increased the base lighting level by 400 per cent.
“It is now a very bright gaming room and the changes we made make it more inviting and people can mix with other people but not be living on top of each other,” Mr Goldie said.
To showcase the new gaming room, Kelly’s held a 50 per cent off meals night where people could come along for a cheap meal and see the newly designed area.
It was through the extraordinary success of the night that the hotel was able to contribute funds to The ACE (Aiding Casey Education) Foundation.
The hotel has a long history of supporting local schools in the area through donating money to assist parents and schools with students’ transitions from primary to secondary education.
“We’ve been doing the scholarship here for about 20 or 25 years and last year we have $50,000 to local schools and $50,000 again this year,” Mr Goldie said.
“Last year or the year before, Leon and his band of merry men at ACE were looking at doing a similar thing and we thought it’s the same as ours but more involved into the genesis of why issues are there at basic level.
“We thought why not funnel the money into that.”
Kelly’s Hotel donated $4000 from the half-price meals night at the hotel to ACE.
Dr Leon Shapero, chair and managing director of ACE, said the money was a wonderful gift to receive from the hotel.
“The ACE Foundation is both honoured and delighted to receive such a generous donation from Kelly’s Cranbourne,” he said.
“The $4000 you have raised and donated will 100 per cent reach children in need within the City of Casey.”
Dr Shapero said the money would go towards programs such a study facilities and free tutors for high school students, return to school program for young mothers, and encouragement awards to students.
He said it would also help provide 2500 meal replacement drinks per month to high school students who attended school without having eaten breakfast, or who arrived without any lunch.
“To Paul and co-owner Michael Goldie as well as to all your staff and to all who contributed, we say a massive thankyou,” Dr Shapero wrote.
“We promise to ensure that your monies are properly appropriated and to guarantee as much as is humanly possible that each and every dollar reaches a deserving child.“
Greater Dandenong has the fifth highest crime rate in the state, latest Crime Statistics Agency figures show.
The Police Service Area (PSA) registered a 19 per cent jump in offences in the year to 30 June compared with the previous 12 months, from 17,414 to 20,728.
The figures, released on Thursday 29 September, showed a 13.4 per cent increase in crimes across the state.
The increase per 100,000 people in Greater Dandenong was 16.6 per cent, compared to 11.2 per cent for Victoria.
The highest increase was in Dandenong, at 28.2 per cent, and Noble Park recorded the lowest, at 0.7 per cent.
Springvale South was perhaps the most surprising, recording a 19.8 per cent increase, while Springvale registered a 6.7 per cent jump, and Keysborough 11 per cent.
Southern Metro Region Superintendent Paul Hollowood said any increase in crime was concerning, but it was important to put it in context.
“The rise in assaults and related offences is primarily as a result of an increase in the reporting of family violence incidents,” he said.
“Likewise, family violence has also influenced the rise in stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour offences.”
Figures showed a 64.4 per cent jump in those crimes, from 390 to 641 instances.
Insp Hollowood attributed the 98.3 per cent jump in justice procedures, from 347 to 688, to enforcing family violence breaches “and also the contravention of bail conditions”.
“We continue to encourage an increased reporting of family violence as our area already experiences some of the highest level of family violence in the state,” he said.
Insp Hollowood said thefts of and from cars drove the 42 per cent increase in theft and 19.4 per cent jump in robbery.
He said this was associated with “the youth-networked offending phenomenon that has been impacting all of metropolitan Melbourne”.
“The Southern Metro Region Crime Team continues to focus upon youth-networked offending, having made over 160 arrests since May,” he said.
He said the 53.3 per cent increase in dangerous and negligent acts endangering people, from 159 to 244, resulted from efforts to tackle hoon driving.
“The Regarder Task Force was very successful in identifying and prosecuting the main organisers and participants in this activity that used to occur regularly in Dandenong South,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp also praised Regarder, during a media conference on Thursday 29 September.
He said it led to 54 arrests and the seizure of several vehicles.
POLICE are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing woman and her newborn baby who are known to frequent the Endeavour Hills and Noble Park areas.
Brooke Altinay, 26, was last seen on Monday 26 September at Clayton hospital with her new baby.
It is believed Ms Altinay left the hospital in her older model white Holden Commodore but has not been heard from or seen since.
Ms Altinay is described at about 160cm tall with a thin build, long blonde hair and a fair complexion.
Police are concerned about the welfare of both Ms Altinay and her three-day-old baby boy.
Anyone with information on Ms Altinay’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Endeavour Hills Police Station on 9709 7666.
A LAWYER candidate has cried foul on a Casey Council media release targeting his election material late on 20 September.
Edrington Ward candidate Timothy Jackson, who works with Slater & Gordon, has called on the State Government and Victorian Electoral Commission to investigate an alleged breach of the Local Government Act.
Mr Jackson believed the media release – quoting the mayor Sam Aziz – was sent illegally during the election period.
According to the Act, the caretaker period began on the last day of candidate nominations on 20 September, Mr Jackson argued.
However, Casey Council has relied on a Local Government Victoria circular that states the election period starts at midnight at the end of 20 September.
At a 20 September council meeting – shortly before the issuing of the press release – Cr Sam Aziz targeted Mr Jackson’s election flyer that quoted metropolitan newspaper headlines damning the council.
The headlines referred to a “rates rort” in which Casey was criticised by the state Ombudsman over a special charge scheme, as well as a report finding the council made heavy use of closed camera meetings.
In a release, Cr Aziz said it was disappointing “some people” didn’t take heed that a municipal monitor had recently found the council took “swift and appropriate action” over the special charge scheme.
“Given the findings of the report were positive, it is disappointing that some community members are continuing to use adverse political commentary on this matter from June to criticise council.”
Mr Jackson said it was “grossly inappropriate” for the council to hold a meeting and issue “blatantly political” media releases “during the election period”.
“Behaviour like this is exactly why the State Government moved to appoint a watchdog for the City of Casey in June.”
Cr Aziz told Star News that Mr Jackson showed he had “no idea about the Local Government Act”.
“The media releases were issued by 9pm Tuesday 20 September, before the caretaker period commenced. There is no breach.
“They were issued to correct gross errors which Mr Jackson stated in his election material. He is the one that should be investigated for attempting to mislead the public.
“The appointment of a monitor was a cheap political stunt by the party to which Mr Jackson belongs, in an attempt to discredit the good name of City of Casey.”
A child ‘safety speed’ dating forum will bring experts together to help vulnerable families in the growing shire.
Attendees will gather around tables in groups of six to eight, meet, network and learn about other services.
The Pakenham forum will focus on assisting vulnerable families at risk of drug and alcohol abuse, family violence and mental health with children aged 12 and younger.
Anglicare Victoria’s Cindy-Lee Harper said the annual event represented an average of 50 organisations, with about 90 people attending last year’s forum.
“It’s a speed dating night but not the romantic kind,” Ms Harper said.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for different agencies, businesses, community groups and individuals to network and we’ve had fantastic collaborations form as a result of past events.
“Families are moving into Cardinia shire at the rate of five families a day. But there is no obvious increase in services and resources, and demand for services is rising.
“We have a guest speaker at the beginning to give people the chance for an informed discussion about the case study – namely child safety – about how their own services could contribute and whether they’re ready or may need more information.”
Sectors including the health, disability, drug and alcohol, mental health, housing and education fields and people from all backgrounds were welcome to register.
Commission for Children and Young People senior policy advisor Sandra Wakeham and child safe standards policy officer Carina Donaldson will deliver presentations on the impact of the new Victorian child safety standards.
A morning tea will be provided.
To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit cardiniasafetnet.com.au.