Monthly Archives: February 2019

Bridgeworks February 25 – March 8


EARLIER TODAY, VicRoads released their latest information update, detailing bridgeworks to take place over the next two week.

Between 7am and 5pm, Monday to Friday on weeks beginning February 25 and March 4, VicRoads contractors will be on-site installing expansion joints, and a “splitter island” at the south end of the bridge in the centre of the new pedestrian crossing.

The expansion joint will allow the bridge to flex in extreme weather conditions while the splitter island should be installed to complete the pedestrian crossing at the southern end of the bridge, separating the northbound from the southbound traffic.

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VicRoads have stated traffic management will be in place to ensure traffic is moving, even during lane closures and there may be speed restrictions in place.

With the works taking place only on weekdays between 7am and 5pm, although the morning peak may be affected by the bridgeworks, the evening peak traffic congestion should remain at its usual level.

“Plan ahead” as bridgeworks return


IN A MAJOR change of plan, VicRoads has announced with just four days’ advance notice that the resurfacing works on the bridge will commence next Monday, February 11 and are scheduled to take place for the full week in both daytime and night-time including the morning peak period.

Daytime works are scheduled to take place between 7am and 5pm from Monday, February 11 to Saturday, February 16.

Night-time works are scheduled to take place between 8pm and 5am from Tuesday, February 12 to Monday, February 18.

The suddenness of these works and the announcement of both day and night lane closures may come as a bit of a shock, when the Diary recently asked VicRoads about any further lane closures, Stephane Hinkeesing, Manager Structures Metro said:

“Over the coming weeks, we’ll be finalising our works including new asphalting on the bridge and permanent line marking.

“During these works, there may be some overnight temporary lane closures.”

The new update advises that during the above times there will be lane closures on the bridge; however traffic flow will be maintained with on-site traffic management, although it is unclear how many lanes will be open.

The latest email update also states:

“Works can only proceed under favourable weather conditions and can be impacted by rain, cold or excessive heat.

Contingency dates have been included in case of unfavourable weather.”

This would indicate — assuming all goes well — road users in Warrandyte may not need to suffer through a full week of lane closures.

But with peak time traffic still backing up, it is possible that any lane closures are going to have an adverse effect on already congested Warrandyte roads.

Take heed at VicRoads advice, plan ahead and assume the bridge is out of order for the second full week of February.

A decade on, artists reflect on time of Renewal

BLocal artists are using their art to heal the lingering wounds of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

A metal dragonfly fashioned from old fencing and barbed wire is one of the works of art at Renewal — A Black Saturday Memorial Exhibition.

It commemorates a decade since the Black Saturday fires tore through Victoria, in one of the darkest days the State has ever experienced.

A dragonfly was the first sign of life artists Dawn and Gary McDonnell saw on their return to their Nillumbik property after the fires — and it became a symbol of hope and renewal to them.

The couple is among 60 artists showcasing their work at an exhibition which runs from January 25 – February 25 at two locations in Nillumbik.

Diary contributors, Ona Henderson and Syd Tunn also feature in the exhibition, which gives them an opportunity to reflect on the events of 2009.

The pair lost friends to the flames that day, and recall the worrying time spent as the fires threatened their Bend of Islands home.

Ona’s contribution to the exhibition, Ancient Silent Sentinels [right] comes through as a message of resilience.

Ona explains, “the 2009 bushfires burned hot throughout much of the bush but these graceful grasstrees started to sprout again quite quickly — silent sentinels with black trunk.

She said that the grasstrees became for her symbols of regeneration, as they often stand starkly in the landscape “to remind us of the ability to stand strong and resilient against the chaos and destruction that follows a huge bushfire”. 

Nillumbik Shire Council Mayor Karen Egan said like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a feeling of renewal, fuelled by hope and courage, had emerged in the community.

“Hope is a flame that burns eternally, and many artists have found creating works of art a cathartic experience,” Cr Egan said.

“Art speaks from the heart often saying what words cannot.”

Ona told the Diary of how, in the month’s following Black Saturday, she and Syd healed by collaborating on shared canvases.

“We both went through trauma where we could not paint for several months, and then we started painting on each other’s paintings, we started new paintings, which were healing paintings,” she said.

Last year, Council put a call out to artists inviting them to exhibit their work.

Their art includes a range of mediums — paintings, ceramics, sculptures, etchings, jewellery, print, wool, a digital movie and photographs.

Cr Egan said many of the works are paintings that reflect the scars on the landscape that have healed over time – an outward manifestation of emotional scars which are often less easy to heal.

Others works of art are less traditional. 

One is made from latex casts of fallen trees in the Kinglake National Park.

Cr Egan said for many artists, creating the pieces on display would have been a cathartic experience.

“Some works of art are for sale, others aren’t. 

“Some visitors to the galleries will smile, others will be reduced to tears.

“But what I believe all will take away with them is the message of courage, healing and hope,” Cr Egan said.

The exhibitions are at Wadambuk Art Gallery in St Andrews and the Eltham Library Community Gallery.

The exhibition was among seven Nillumbik community initiatives collectively awarded Victorian Government grants of nearly $33,000 to mark the 10th anniversary of Black Saturday.

South Warrandyte Cricket Wrap

PULSES were racing at South Warrandyte Cricket Club over Australia Day weekend as the 1stand 2nd XI sat in 4th, just two points clear of 5th place.

The club has been buoyed in recent weeks by the return of favourite son and Western Bulldogs Premiership player Shane Biggs.

The last time Biggs played for South Warrandyte was the 2010/11 season.

Biggs helped the 2nd XI in two tight chases in the games leading up to the Christmas break with not-out innings in both.

In addition to Biggs, the club has also seen the return of Scott Brasher to the 2nd XI.

Brasher last played in for the 6th XI in the 2016/17 season where he helped the South Warrandyte reach the Grand Final in the K Grade.

Former club Junior and Fitzroy-Doncaster player Mitch Chappie debuts for the 1st XI in their Round 12 match against 7th place St Andrews who have won only one of their six games going into Australia Day weekend.

1st XI

Their up down season has continued, with the team unable to maintain its strong form going into the break.

A win against North Ringwood was offset by heavy defeats to Croydon North and Scoresby.

Tom Peter-Budge and Josh Barrett have continued their strong form with the bat however, and along with Josh Exley, will be key to club for the rest of the season.

2nd XI

The 2ndXI four-game winning-streak came to an end in Round 11, losing by only 10 runs in a tight run-chase against Warranwood.

Despite the loss, there was excitement in the stands when 14-year-old Lucas “Big Dog” Bridger made 38.

In the games leading up to the Australia Day weekend, Lucas has taken 12 wickets and made 84 runs.

The club is looking forward to watching this up-and-coming youngster progress over the months and years ahead.

3rd XI

Sitting on no wins and with a bye for Australia Day weekend, the 3rd XI can only hope for a win in the final game of the home and away season where they will face 4th place Boronia on February 23.

Despite their run of bad luck, 60-year-old Lachie McMahon is having a career-high year, accumulating 183 runs with an average of 36.

The club also continues to watch the development of 3rd XI youngsters Rhonan Appleby and Kyan Brasher.

Stat attack:
1st XI leaders after 11 Rounds

Batting Overalls (total runs; average)

Tom Peter- Budge —  347; 34.7

Josh Exley — 339; 30.82

Josh Barret —  244 ; 27.11

Bowling Overalls (wickets; average)

Josh Exley — 15 wickets; 16.8

Josh Barret — 13 Wickets; 20.92

Syed Musavi — 10 Wickets; 19.6

Lack Livingstone — 8 Wickets; 27.13

South Warrandyte “stalwart” honoured with Australia Day award

THE 2019 MENZIES Community Australia Day Awards were held on January 26 at the Manningham Function Centre.

Presented by Federal Member for Menzies, Kevin Andrews, the awards are bestowed on those members of the community who make the country a better place to live.

In presenting the awards, Mr Andrews told the gathering:

“Today we honour a group of individuals who come in many different guises, in many stages of life in a variety of activities that have all sought to contribute to our community.  

“We acknowledge them, we encourage them, and we thank them. 

“We recognise it is not government, it is not grand plans, but the commitment and dedication of individuals and families that ultimately build a great nation.

“We are a fortunate country because of those who we celebrate today and many others like them who have dedicated their efforts and time to serving others in our community.”

Alan Duffus

“Alan Duffus has always loved sport from a young age, especially cricket and is known as a stalwart of the South Warrandyte Cricket Club.

After retiring from the game in his mid-twenties, Alan resumed playing veterans cricket in 1990 and, at the age of 77, he has played one match in the Over 40s and one in the Over 60s this season.

He has played well in excess of 200 veterans games, notwithstanding the number of senior games he played for the South Warrandyte Cricket Club.

He has used his knowledge and skills in the game by being active in coaching and giving assistance to Captains in junior cricket.

A Grand Final in Division 2 for South Warrandyte in 1994 was a special thrill for Alan.

He has been an administrative coordinator for 25 years and served in the Ringwood and District Cricket Association committee for many years.  

He always says he was a decade late as he started playing Over 40s as a 52 year-old, Over 50s when he was over 60, the only time he has played veterans cricket in his own age group was at 65 when he played in the over 60s. 

We hope to see you playing in the Over 80s and 90s.”

Alan says he feels over-awed by the award.

“I was always one to help children, when I had learnt a sport, I could pass that on, and you don’t see this [receiving an award] as something that will happen,” he said.

Alan told the Diary he joined South Warrandyte Cricket Club to start up a veterans’ team in 1993/94.

“This is the first year I have not been on the committee since that time.”

He was treasurer for 12 years in total, with the last couple of years mentoring a protégé.

“A young fellow who was doing his accounting course and put his hand up for doing the treasurers job, so I looked after him for two years,” he said.

And he has also been a mentor on the field.

“I really enjoyed coaching juniors, including my grandson, he started in the under 12s and went through.

“That was really beneficial because you see young children start at one stage and now they are playing in the Seniors, in the 1s,” he said.

Before retirement, Alan worked at the Australian Dairy Corporation as an accountant.

“They did a test and came to the conclusion that I was more an educator than a figures man, so teaching falls very easily,” he said. 

“I have an eye for what people do wrong, some people don’t like being told, so I don’t press it, it is up to them if they want to listen — the young usually do, it is the older ones that don’t.”

Alan has recently taken up lawn bowls and carried the same ethos with him to that sport.

“I bowled with a young lass last season who was 13 years old, and I was bowling against her and I noticed a fault in her backhand and I pointed it out straight away — I was sorry I did because she beat me!” he said.

Alan is a life member at South Warrandyte Cricket Club and looks forward to continuing his involvement with the club, and is now also the treasurer at Heathmont Bowls Club,

“I have always felt that you can benefit a group by using your qualifications, and so I have done several treasurer stints,” he said.

Alan loves sport and says that it is not just the physical aspect of sport that keeps you young.

“I went there to play vets, but I still played senior cricket, so I was involved with young people, and I think that by being involved with young people you stay young yourself.”

Community attempts to rescue bus shelter walling

Concern on lack of consultation

A HUGE community effort has gone into mitigating the effects of a Public Transport Victoria (PTV) decision to reconstruct the 906 bus terminus at the bridge roundabout; demolishing a wall and damaging heritage stairs in the process.

This work is part of PTV’s ongoing future-proofing of bus stops in the area to allow for the potential introduction of bendy buses.

PTV handed the work over to VicRoads to manage as part of the bridge reconstruction and to be performed simultaneously to prevent the need for any further disruption.

VicRoads had been planning this work for some time and had applied to Manningham Council for an alteration to the original permit to include this work — a permit being required because of the heritage overlay applying to the site.

Manningham Council did not advertise this planning request, deeming it to be of minor nature, and in June 2018 they amended the original permit to include this work.

The Diary has learned from VicRoads correspondence that Council had referred the permit amendment to its heritage advisor and urban design team.

It was recommended that the works reuse as much of the existing stone work as possible and care should be taken to match the new stone wall in size, colour, arrangement and visibility.

The first that locals knew of this work was in mid-November when fencing was erected around the site and contractors began to demolish the existing heritage stone walling, which caused damage to the historic stone steps.

A group of concerned residents, along with the Warrandyte Historical Society (WHS), convened meetings with VicRoads and their subcontractors, reminding them of their community obligations and offered the pro-bono services of local conservation stonemason James Charlwood as a design consultant to oversee the rebuilding to the appropriate standards.

Warrandyte Historical Society President, Margaret Kelly, spoke to the Diary regarding the bus stop works.

“The Warrandyte Historical Society was disappointed that there had been no warning of the work to be undertaken on the bus stop wall (this would have allowed photos to be taken for archival purposes) or neither it or other community groups had been consulted on the project.

“This highly visible, central area of the Warrandyte Township Heritage Precinct is historically significant and the Society is concerned that any changes to any of the various elements should be in line with the relevant plans and guidelines.

“We were pleased with the community response and the quick involvement of individuals to try to ensure the best outcome,” she said.

Last year, WHS was successful in negotiating the fate of the Old Dairy with Council and Melbourne Water and are hopeful that this sort of consultation will happen again in the future.

WHS along with Warrandyte Community Association are meeting with Council this month to discuss heritage protection in Warrandyte.

Mr Charlwood has produced a comprehensive Concluding Report which is highly critical of VicRoads, the sub-contractors and Manningham Council for their inadequate provisions to protect the heritage assets.

A copy of the report is available from the Diary upon request.

Whilst to a layperson the finished result may look acceptable, Mr Charlwood is critical that the style of the new work fails to match the adjacent walling.

Others have commented that the diagonal cyclone fencing above the wall detracts from the overall look and feel.

And it is noted that despite all this work, nothing has yet been done to rectify the broken stonework rumble strip that separates the bus stop from the Yarra Street traffic.

It is not known whether further work is intended here, but it would be a shame to leave the broken stonework as is, as the surrounding area and roundabout have been rebuilt.

Theresa Dawson, who was a driving force behind the community initiative to preserve the wall told the Diary: “There are a lot of new people living here now who are more than likely unaware that the reason they are able to live in such a unique and beautiful suburb, in such close proximity to the CBD, is because of the tireless work through the 70s and 80s of the Warrandyte Environment League, WCA, many other diligent locals and the Diary, that acted impartially to present necessary facts to locals. 

“We need to continue to honour the legacy of all these groups and individuals by standing up and carrying on their work if we wish to continue enjoying such a lovely village with rich history.”

The last 24 months have seen community groups defending heritage in the face of utilitarian progress and the Diary looks forward to reporting on the plans to help maintain cultural heritage.