Young lives protected through tireless campaign

LOOKING FORWARD: Southern Cross LADS Committee Secretary Rob Wells with Kadina High Campus students who will benefit from such a driving school.
LOOKING FORWARD: Southern Cross LADS Committee Secretary Rob Wells with Kadina High Campus students who will benefit from such a driving school. Marc Stapelberg

A TEN year mission to protect young lives on North Coast roads is now a tangible reality as construction begins on the SC LADS Driver Education Facility.

The four Rivers Secondary College Kadina High Campus captains that were on hand to pay their respects and witness the occasion were a stark reminder of the kind of young lives that would benefit from such a driving school.

In front of a large crowd consisting of financial contributors, Southern Cross LADS Committee members and family, the first sod was broken on the Stage 1 section of the Driver Education Facility, just outside Lismore.


The facility was born out of tragedy, when the lives of four young men were cut short as a result of a motor vehicle crash at Broken Head in October 2006.

Southern Cross LADS Committee Secretary Rob Wells said it had taken this long to make sure they had all the specifications right.

"We lost four fantastic boys in a car crash that affected this whole region so this is going stay here for the future, for the region and for our grandkids and our great grandkids," Mr Wells said.


"Any money that goes into stays here," he said.

"We want to teach young people to identify the risk indicators and modify their driving accordingly.

"If we can give them more skills so that when they are in control of that motor vehicle they are aware of their responsibilities not only to themselves, but to their passengers and other road users that is what this facility is all about."

Karen Eveleigh, who's son Mitchell lost his life in the accident, said she never thought it would take ten years to get to the ceremony today but having lived through it she understood why it tookt his long to raise that much money.

"It means an incredible amount to Robert and I in the memory of our son and that he didn't die in vain and that we can get young people with driving skills that otherwise wouldn't get the opportunity to learn," Mrs Eveleigh said.

According to LADS Chairman, Mr Paul Rippon, a generous benefactor, a competitive quote from civil construction company, Civil Logic, and funding from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development meant Southern Cross LADS was able to start building Stage 1.

"The community has been incredibly supportive of Southern Cross LADS and has helped keep the dream alive. We are excited that this very important day has arrived," said Mr Rippon.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan today helped turn the first sod on Stage 1 .

"Any life lost on our roads is far too many.

"I was determined to help get this life-saving facility built. This is why I made an election commitment of $250,000 to kick start the project.

"It has been a community effort to turn this very good idea into a reality.

The track will be about 500 metres in circumference and built on a 50 acre site on the outskirts of Lismore.

It will feature various road conditions including 'wet' conditions, roundabouts for vision and steering training, corners of various radii, a straight sufficient for vehicles to accelerate to 80km/h, sand traps and a spectator viewing area.

The Federal Government is contributing $250,000 to kick start the project, with donations raised by Southern Cross LADS making up the remainder.

Topics:  broken head car accident northern rivers development northern rivers driving safety southern cross lads

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Council ski jump vote 'small victory' for residents

CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport.

Councillors vote 8-0 not to support development application

LGBQTI* community takes part in marriage equality action

VOTING FOR CHANGE: Maude Boate will be at the the marriage equality action at Lismore City Hall.

Lismore calls for awareness on marriage equality

Woman felt 'dirty, ashamed' over partner's abuse

Lismore Court House. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

"I thought I was going to lose my life to this person"

Local Partners

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

HIT comedy show heading towards Nimbin.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Felix Riebl wants to be in your arms

TOURING NOW: Australian musician Felix Riebl is coming to the Northern Rivers in June.

Cat Empire frontman brings out his romantic side in solo show

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!