Monthly Archives: November 2015

A trucking disaster

A NIGHT-TIME truck ban has been imposed by VicRoads on some of the busiest roads in Melbourne’s north-east, just a month after Melbourne’s new wholesale fruit and vegetable market opened in nearby Epping, drawing heavy truck traffic through Warrandyte from across the state.

Trucks are now banned on all major north-south roads which access the Ring Rd between Heidelberg Heights and Eltham between 10pm and 6am in response to a petition protesting increased truck traffic and noise on Rosanna Rd, signed by about 600 people.

A glance at the map of these banned routes shows the only river crossing to the east of this area that is available to trucks overnight is via Warrandyte Bridge.

The transport industry and fruit and vegetable growers have warned the Andrews government to expect road chaos as the curfew forces thousands of truck drivers onto other residential roads at night and in the early morning. The curfew is a 12-month trial on nine arterial roads that run between the Eastern Freeway and the M80, the so-called “missing link” in Melbourne’s ring road.

VicRoads have put out a brochure North-East Truck Curfew Trial which states: “The night truck curfews trial has been carefully planned to strike a balance for the local community and truck operators.”

However, the bans do not include Research-Warrandyte Road, Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd, Warrandyte Bridge, or Ringwood-Warrandyte Rd. Furthermore, the brochure goes to great lengths to specify where the trucks are not allowed at night, but does not make any attempt to explain where they should go, particularly for those trucks from the south and east of Melbourne coming up Eastlink to Ringwood that need to access the Ring Road.

The truck industry has warned the ban will simply create new conflict between trucks and residents elsewhere. Victorian Transport Association chief Peter Anderson called the government’s curfew “a lazy and short-term approach to the underlying problem of lack of connectivity of our road network. It’s going to push trucks down roads that they’ve never been down before,” he said.

This latest action by VicRoads reinforces the views of some residents that until such time as the state government does something about connecting the Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway and Eastlink, then Warrandyte is seen as the sucker in the middle that gets all the traffic.

That viewpoint gains strength when considered alongside other recent VicRoads decisions such as reneging on previous agreements to restrict engine brake noise through North Warrandyte and refusing Yarra Valley Water access from Research Road to their pumping station at Professors Lane on the grounds the road is “too busy”.

The Diary asked VicRoads to comment on why Warrandyte roads were not also considered for this ban, where the heavy traffic from Eastlink to the Ring Road was supposed to go, and what modelling had been done on the effect of this ban on Warrandyte’s roads.

Vince Punaro, regional director Metro North West, VicRoads said: “Before and after traffic volume, data is being collected at various locations in and around the curfew areas. Throughout the trial, this data will be used alongside community and industry feedback to ensure the curfews balance the needs of the local community and truck operators. At the end of the trial, all of the data collected will be assessed to determine the effectiveness of the curfews.”

Online shopping arrives

SHOPPERS in Warrandyte and surrounding suburbs now have the luxury of ordering their groceries online from Quinton’s SUPA IGA thanks to the installment of a cutting edge new ordering system.

By clicking into the easy to navigate site quintonssupaonline.com.au you can order all your groceries from the store and have them delivered to your door.

“We’re really excited about what we can now offer our loyal customers,” Quinton’s IGA manager Dale Farrugia told the Diary.

“It’s been a long-time coming, but it’s a really efficient system and we know a lot of locals are excited by it. Let’s face it, we live in busy times and by the time a person jumps in the car, drives to the supermarket, shops, drives home and unpacks, it can be anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half on average, so now they only have to spend 10-15 minutes on the computer or their smartphone and it’s all sorted.

“While we have a beaut system that works, all we ask is that residents have a little bit of patience as we fine tune it into a well-oiled machine.

“So far, so good, and we expect it to be a seamless process. We’ve already got people shopping online and they love it. Early days, though, we may be missing the occasional photo or an item is in the wrong section but ultimately it’s all up and running.”

And after test-driving the online ordering system designed for both your desktop and mobile (iPhone, iPad etc), I’m happy to report the experience is excellent. The site, created on the NoQ platform has slick design, is simple to use and everything is secure. Simply register and enter your details, and you’re ready to go.

“We have a support phone line available on the site and, of course, our staff are more than happy to take questions and help people.”

Delivery is Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

Orders must be in by 11.59pm the previous day. Minimum order delivery is $50 and there are four zone delivery areas going as far as Chirnside Park, Ringwood, Croydon Hills, Bend of Islands and Wonga Park, among others. See the site’s “delivery” page for more info.

Delivery is free for orders of $200 or more, while orders under that amount only incur fees ranging from $5 (Zone 1) to no more than $10 (Zone 4).

Visit: quintonssupaonline.com.au

Ready to rock

TALENTED young musicians from the Greater Warrandyte region are putting on a not-to-be-missed show this month.

The annual Wonnies Battle of the Bands, hosted by Wonnies Music and Sport, will showcase the hard work of Warrandyte’s best primary school bands and music groups.

Students from Anderson’s Creek Primary School, Donvale Primary, Eastwood Primary and more will have the chance to perform in front of a live audience, on a stage equipped with professional sound and lighting gear. The school bands have been preparing for months to compete in the competition, hoping to wow their family and friends and the all important judging panel.

“It’s something I never got the opportunity to do when I was younger, get up on stage and be in a rock band. It was always concert bands or brass bands, orchestras and stuff,” says Scott Van Gestrel, director and founder of Wonnies.

“Nowadays with shows like The Voice, these kids want to get up on stage and perform in front of an audience.”

The professional set up of the event is an added bonus, Scott says, and really gives the kids a taste of what it feels like to play a live music gig.

This year, the battle will be recorded and filmed, giving the kids a memento of their experience. And a few years down the track, when they’re famous, it might even be evidence of their musical career beginnings.

There are two coveted prizes to give out this year. On top of the overall winner of the battle, there’s a new award for an up and coming band, chosen by the judges.

“It’s for young bands, kids who are eight or nine who have never been on a stage before. They get to perform on a stage, so instead of competing for the big prize, which is a challenge, they get to compete for a junior prize,” Scott says.

High school students have an opportunity to perform as well in super bands, made up of past winners and students from Wonnies. Quiet Bedlam, an acoustic trio from Warrandyte High School, are headlining this year’s battle.

The community is heavily involved in the event—not only are they encouraged to attend, but there’s a strong Warrandyte presence in the judging panel, which features a music teacher, a representative from one of the primary schools and a keen member of the community.

“I’d love to get a celebrity judge one day, that’d be cool,” Scott says.

Sponsors are another huge part of community involvement, and Scott is incredibly thankful for the support of local businesses, including the Diary, Quinton’s IGA, Bunnings Warehouse and more.

Wonnies Battle of the Bands will be held at Anderson’s Creek Primary School at 12pm on November 29

More details can be found at www.wonnies.com.au

Purple people treaters

REIKI healing, chakra balancing, psychic readings, food intolerance testing, intuitive healing and loads more is set to draw a crowd of interested onlookers at The Purple Dragonfly’s first ever Wellness Expo on Sunday November 15 at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte.

“There will be a lot to explore and take in,” an excited owner of The Purple Dragonfly, Jane Offer, told the Diary this week.

The event is free to attend and will take place from 11am to 4.15pm with door prizes on the hour and products available for purchase on the day including crystals, oracle cards, journals, books, CDs, therapeutic tea, bamboo products, and plenty of great Christmas gift ideas.

A program of events can be accessed at thepurpledragonfly.com.au

“There’s a mix of mainstream and additional, more complementary approaches to health and wellness,” Jane says. “It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our therapists and a couple of local suppliers, including local authors.”

Some of the highlights of the day will include: intuitive healing sessions with trance healer David Offer; food intolerance testing with homeopath Catherine Bullard; psychic art works with Sophia Rigas; angel symbols and essences and what they mean, and; sound experience with Ruth Marr and her beautiful crystal singing bowls will be running throughout the day.

The program of talks also includes reiki master and animal healer Nicole Jacobsen doing a presentation about how to “deepen your connection with animals in your life” and Felicity Kearton presents hypnotherapy for weight loss, or to quit smoking, releasing anxiety and phobias, and explaining past life regression.

“It will be a great day, so come on down to the Grand and spend some time at the Wellness Expo,” Jane says.

The Purple Dragonfly Wellness Expo, Sunday November 15, Grand Hotel Warrandyte. For more information visit www.thepurpledragonfly.com.au