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.

Summer scorchers

Mid-summer means we are mid fire season, so staying safe is a must during the fire danger period. While parts of our community work hard to keep us safe and informed, others have been less than helpful. Explore the issue in this compilation of our hot-weather stories.

Be Aware in an Emergency

By COREY BLACKWELL

MANNINGHAM Council is set to launch a new Emergency Aware program which will empower local communities to prepare for the impacts of various emergency situations. 

The program, which will be delivered in partnership with emergency service organisations, will aim to help local residents develop home emergency plans, and work together so they can be better prepared for the effects of fires, floods, storms and other emergencies. 

Mayor Paula Puccini said that the support of the local emergency services partners and local residents was vital to the success of the initiative. 

“It’s great to see these organisations, the Council and local residents coming together to create a stronger and more resilient community,” Cr Puccini said.  

While Warrandyte’s natural beauty is among its best features, it also leaves our community especially vulnerable to bushfires, making the prospect of an emergency plan even more necessary. 

A recent report published by the SES shows that home emergency plans greatly reduce the impact of an emergency and help those affected recover quicker.

According to the report, taking the time to make a plan helps residents to “think clearly, have a greater sense of control and make better decisions when an emergency occurs.” 

With the aid of the program, Warrandyte’s locals will hopefully be relieved of some of the stresses that come with summer’s scorching heatwaves, knowing they are better equipped to handle potential bushfires. 

Cr Puccini said she encouraged all residents in fire or flood prone areas to get involved in the innovative pilot. 

“Emergencies affect the whole community.

“This program reinforces the importance of working together to plan and prepare for emergency events,” she said. 

The program will see the Council work together with emergency organisations, such as the CFA, MFB, Victoria Police, and the Red Cross, to help residents implement preventative strategies.

To find out more about the program and how to get involved call 9840 9333.

Fair weather fools

Hot weather brings tourists flocking to Warrandyte to engage in the age-old tradition of swimming at the Pound.

Not satisfied with having a dip under the bridge or at the tunnel, swimmers have been heading to more secluded areas of North Warrandyte.

The lack of infrastructure at these locations leads to visitors’ cars blocking roads and, dangerously, impeding access for emergency vehicles.

Cars impede emergency access to Normans Reserve

There were several high fire days in early January, and the North Warrandyte Fire Bridge reported major difficulty accessing Normans Reserve.

Captain of North Warrandyte CFA, Trent Burriss, told the Diary that there were many cars parked along the roadside. 

“We just squeezed through, I had to fold some mirrors in… there was also a car parked across the gate,” he said.

Despite Parks Victoria closing the parks, many visitors ignore the signage and park in no standing zones.

People just don’t care, they come from out of the area, I don’t think it is locals that are doing it, that is the hardest things.

But we get a few people fined and then those people don’t come back, and the next people who come down do it,” he said.

“If there is a fire in there, how are we going to put it out?”

He says the parks all along the river are having the same issues.

“Bradleys Lane, Laughing Waters, Koornong Cresent — we’ve had cars parked on blind corners, we could just squeeze the truck through — but it is a no standing zone, and down at the end there were cars parked in the turnaround — it is all clearly signed, I know Jimmy (Bolton) did a lot of work with that down in the Koornong.”

Capt. Burriss says there are more emergencies than just fire when swimming in the river.

“If they are down there swimming and they hurt themselves or they drown, the other emergency services need access as well.”

The Brigade took to social media to try and warn of the risks of blocking access.

“Nearly 80,000 people have seen that post — which is great.”

He thinks that a tow away zone may be a deterrent, however policing the hot-spots needs to be a priority.

 “Parks [Victoria] should be down in the parks telling people to move on — but who is going to listen to the guys in green, unless you have a blue uniform with a gun on your belt, that’s the only time they are going to listen to someone.”

Station Officer at the Warrandyte Police Station, Sergeant Stewart Henderson, said the local police have been patrolling regularly and, since the early January incident, “are pleased to report we haven’t come across any further instances”.

Capt. Burriss wants people who come to Warrandyte on Total Fire Ban days to exercise caution.

“I know they are trying to stay cool — but go to the beach or something — don’t come to one of the highest fire danger spots in the world,” he said.

Plan to survive

AS WE MARK the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires that devastated communities throughout our Green Wedge, CFA Captains are calling for better education for families in our bushfire-prone areas.

North Warrandyte Captain Trent Burriss told the Diary reaching new residents can be difficult.

“There have been lots of houses for sale, a lot of different people coming into the area — it is a different generation that are moving in now,” he said.

New residents come into the area and are unaware that summer in Warrandyte means being ever-vigilant against the threat of bushfire.

“Unfortunately we can only educate the people who want to be educated, but it doesn’t matter how hard you try,” Warrandyte CFA Captain Adrian Mullens told the Diary.

Capt. Mullens recounted a recent phone call with a resident who was unaware how to respond to a Total Fire Ban day.

“When this guy said ‘we have been here twelve months, my wife is the only one that drives and we have got five kids, how do we know if there is something happening?’; when you get phone calls like that it really makes you start wondering,” he said.

For the record, Capt. Mullens’s advice to his caller: “CFA recommends, on a bad day you make a conscious decision to leave the night before or first thing that morning, don’t wait around until you see smoke and flames, because that is too late”.

Capt. Mullens says a good idea is to educate the children first.

“I have a personal belief that they should be targeting the primary schools, they did it years ago with the ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’… say from Grade 4 up you would have the ability to instil something into the kids — people probably do not get the time to do these things, but if the kids come home and say ‘what’s our fire plan?’, well that’s going to get Mum and Dad’s attention and that is a pretty good way of selling it — to educate the kids, who are going to educate the parents.”

Locals have also been called upon as volunteers for the CFA, but as Capt. Burriss said to the Diary, the brigades struggle to keep up with recruiting.

“The hardest thing is that, and they don’t have time to commit to the fire brigade, and we are a commuter suburb so people go out to work and they just come here to sleep because house prices are higher, meaning they have to work,” he said.

Local CFA brigades offer community education sessions throughout the year, you can also join your Community Fireguard group, and ensure you have a range of options for staying informed during the fire season, such as the Vic Emergency App, the CFA website, or listen to ABC 774 Local Radio for emergency broadcasts.

Check out the Be Ready Warrandyte website, warrandyte.org.au/fire, for tips on making a fire plan for your family.

People and power wilt in heatwave conditions

By DAVID HOGG

WITH WARRANDYTE experiencing many days of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius this January, Facebook has gone into meltdown with complaints about the heat, power outages and traffic delays.

Tuesday, January 15 was one such day and Warrandyte made the Channel 7 News on two fronts.

With the Fire Danger Rating for Central District classed as Severe and a Total Fire Ban in place, AusNet Services went ahead with an all-day planned power outage affecting around 500 residents to do remedial work in Aton Street and Osborne Road.

Affected residents, who had received prior notification, had realised that this was going to be a difficult day and had been phoning and writing to AusNet for a number of days beforehand asking them to reconsider and reschedule the work.

Jillian Garvey talked to AusNet on January 12 and was advised that it hadn’t been cancelled and would go ahead unless a Total Fire Ban was declared.

Meg Downie took to Facebook and wrote “AusNet are so uncooperative; we’ve had lots of ‘planned outages’ with some on very hot days and it isn’t fair to the frail and elderly who may not be able to go somewhere cooler.”

Despite the community uproar, the planned work did go ahead.

The Diary contacted AusNet Services for comment and Hugo Armstrong, Media and Communications Consultant in their Corporate Affairs section, provided the following statement:

AusNet Services’ Statement on January 15 Power Outage

In maintaining the safety and reliability of the electricity network, we are very sensitive to the need to balance the short term impact of maintenance or upgrade works with the long term interests of the community.

In very hot weather we normally review all planned works requiring customers to be taken off supply, to try to achieve this balance.

On Tuesday, January 15, (a declared Heat Health Day and Total Fire Ban day) approximately two thirds of all planned outages on our network were postponed.

The large planned outage affecting 446 customers in North Warrandyte needed to go ahead however, primarily because the work involved was bushfire mitigation work.

Safety regulations give us less discretion to re-schedule these kinds of works.

We thank affected customers for your patience and understanding.

These decisions are not taken lightly, and are made or reviewed at very senior levels within the company.

We remained mindful of the impact on customers (many of whom contacted us to express their concerns), and were able to complete the work (which included the replacement of three poles in Osborne Road, the installation of multiple bays of new overhead line, and some other works) and restore supply some two or three hours earlier than originally estimated.

The same afternoon a major accident occurred on the Fitzsimons Lane bridge between a bus and a 4WD, closing Fitzsimons Lane completely and causing massive traffic diversions in the area.

Again, hundreds of posts were made on social media, with local residents reporting traffic delays lasting hours on the eastbound approaches to Warrandyte.

A major complaint was traffic attempting, unsuccessfully, to take shortcuts through local streets.

Dianne Trenfield wrote “To all of those who try to jump six cars ahead of your fellow traffic jammers…..cutting up Blair St, Cemetery Rd, McCulloch Street and the cemetery end of Brackenbury St will get you nowhere; but we sure enjoy watching you find that out on your own.”

On Friday, January 25, another 40+ degree day with Severe Fire Danger and a Total Fire Ban, power outages hit Warrandyte and surrounding areas.

In the morning it was the turn of around 3,000 properties north of the river to lose power due to a fault, although this lasted less than an hour.

In the afternoon it was the turn of those south of the river experiencing one of the many load-shedding outages due to failure of supply against demand, and this lasted less than two hours.

Facebook was active with locals asking why our power infrastructure is so fragile, debating coal versus renewables versus nuclear, and

generally critical of State and Federal Governments; particularly as Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio had assured us earlier in the day that there would be no risk of blackouts.

This should serve as a warning to all residents that on hot days — and there may be plenty more to come this summer — we may find ourselves without power.

Everybody’s Fire Plan needs to take this into account.

Remember that a temperature forecast of 33C for Melbourne can mean a temperature approaching or exceeding 40C in Warrandyte.

And whilst some chose to vent their fury on social media, others sought cooler places such as shopping centres, cinemas or took a leisurely dip in the Yarra.

Fail safe

Warrandyte Fire Brigade have ensured they are able to remain operational in case of blackout, thanks to a generator purchased with a grant from the Warrandyte Community Bank.

The significant grant of $39,545 from the bank has allowed the brigade to install a 90kVA power plant to run the station in the case of a power outage.

Until the generator was installed, blackouts meant the firetrucks were trapped inside the station.

Captain Adrian Mullens told the Diary that the automatic doors can only be raised by the electric motor.

“Our engine bay doors are electric, so our pagers go and ‘boom’ the doors come up, if the power is out we can play around for ten minutes to try and get doors open,” he said.

The crew has to remove the door from its hinges to get the doors open.

“That adds significant time to our turnouts, and we are under a fair bit of pressure to get a truck out the door within four minutes,” he said.

The generator will now allow the station to remain fully functional during blackouts.

“If the power is to go off now within 10 seconds the generator starts up.

“A lot of places will only put in a relatively small generator, and you 

could only run a few lights, that thing runs the whole station and we have got a little bit up our sleeve”.

Capt. Mullens said that to have the ability to keep the station operational during prolonged blackouts was a major consideration.

“When we have members here waiting to go out on strike teams and the power goes out, we need to be able to continue to have power to run the doors, the radios and other appliances,” Capt. Mullens said.

In the event of a major incident power could be down for days or weeks, meaning that the station could become a lifeline for the community in the face of a Black Saturday level event.

“With the generator, we could continue to run the station as long as we can continue to supply fuel.

“The technology for solar and batteries to run three-phase is not there, so we felt the generator was the only way to go,” he said.

The last part of the installation is to put up a screen to help it blend into the surrounding landscape.

“That’s the way it comes from JCV — bright yellow — you can’t do much about that, but we will put up a fence to camouflage it.”

Despite the large outlay, Capt.Mullens says that he hopes there is no need for it.

“Hopefully it doesn’t get used,” he said.

Fresh approach to fire safety

THE DIARY have teamed up with Swinburne University and the CFA to produce a series of animated fire safety videos.

The resultant videos will be launched on the Diary’s website and social media channels, so watch out for them over the coming months.

http://warrandytediary.com.au/fire-safety/Our first video is up now, and explains the fire danger rating system.

Other videos talk about pet safety, preparing your property, using fire blankets, and fire safety for young children.

“We are blown away by the really out-of-the-box ideas these guys have come up with,” says CFA Region 13 Community Education Manager, Rohan Thornton.

Jaime Kroupa has lived in Warrandyte for around 15 years, and is one of the animation students at Swinburne University.

“It was great working with the Diary and CFA guys as ‘clients’ on our projects, it was great to have the feedback as we went along,” said Jaime.

She says being a Warrandyte resident gave her a better understanding of fire danger than some of her more urban cohort.

“I live only a couple of streets away from Flannery Court, and when the fire hit in 2014 I was at home, we expected the danger would be more in the bush areas around North Warrandyte, so we were a bit shocked when it happened so close to us,” she said. 

Jaime’s video was a stand-out amongst the nine videos produced for the Diary, and we look forward to showing you her work later in the year. 

She is still midway through her course, and she hopes she will finish in two years’ time with a Bachelor of Animation.

From there Jaime hopes to be able to work with some of the big Melbourne based animation studios, so she can work on feature films.

Nillumbik and Manningham Councils both tackle Green Wedge plans

Manningham’s C117 Planning Review published

THE REPORT from the independent Planning Panel enquiry into Manningham Council’s C117 Planning Scheme amendment has now been published.

The controversial amendment seeks to encourage tourist-related activities within the Green Wedge and had been the subject of a three-day hearing at Planning Panels Victoria in October at which many local individuals, community groups, businesses and the Council made presentations.

The Panel’s findings

The amendment proposes three related but potentially independent changes to clauses within the planning scheme.

The first of these is to change the Municipal Strategic Statement at Clause 21.07 to give greater support to tourism in the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ).

The panel threw this change out, and recommended that changes to this clause be abandoned.

Changes to Clause 22.19 propose to allow outbuildings and sheds in the RCZ to the same extent as currently applies to the Low Density Residential Zone.

The panel found that these were reasonable.

The new local policy at Clause 22.20 intends to provide more guidance for non-residential land use applications in the RCZ, covering design, location and scale of new buildings.

The panel found that this clause provided useful guidance to applicants, but had some trouble with the wording and suggested improvements.

The Panel concluded that “the broader policy position to support more tourism in the Green Wedge is contrary to sound planning and runs counter to the purposes of the RCZ.”

However, it conceded that many of the issues with this broader policy position were beyond the scope of the Panel.

Community reaction

The Wedge Tails website, sponsored by the Warrandyte Community Association, the Friends of Nillumbik and the Green Wedge Protection Group describes the Panel’s report as “a major win for community involvement and for the values of the Green Wedge in the face of the usual commercial pressures.

“It is also evidence that the system can work as we would want it to.

“The Panel left no doubt that it understood the essential purposes of the Rural Conservation Zone and of the Green Wedge generally.”

Friends of Warrandyte State Park were delighted with the outcome of the panel hearing.

Lynda Gilbert said “FOWSP have been engaged in a number of environmental battles with other like-minded community groups to save the Green Wedge because there are so few places close to the city where humans can observe the wildlife and admire the flora in its natural state.

“There are some 24 restaurants and cafes in Warrandyte already, as well as several B&Bs and a caravan park nearby in Deep Creek, so we do not need any more development as it will severely impact on the habitat for our flora and fauna.

“Our only hope is that Manningham City Council accepts the Panel’s decision.”

Jamie Day, who is seeking to promote an eco-friendly low-impact tourist camping facility at Pound Bend said “I find it disappointing that it seems, in regard to tourism related business activity within the RCZ, the status quo might remain; that would restrict business activity that could be complementary to the area.”

Others who gave evidence at the panel hearing in favour of the amendment were approached for comment, but declined to say anything at this stage.

What happens next?

We now await the response of Manningham Council to the Panel’s report.

Lee Robson, Acting Director of City Planning and Community at Manningham Council told us “Council received the Independent Panel Report for Amendment C117 (Rural Areas Discretionary Land Uses) on December 19, 2018.

“The Report was made available to the public on Council’s website on January 8 this year and Council will consider the Panel’s recommendations at its Council Meeting on February 26, 2019.”

Manningham Council could choose to abandon the entire amendment, or they could put the amendment forward to the Minister for Planning either as it is or including some or all of the Panel’s recommendations.

The final decision will rest with the Minister.

For more information about the C117 amendment and a link to the Planning Panel report: yoursaymanningham.com.au/C117

Nillumbik Council divided over Green Wedge Management Plan

NILLUMBIK Council’s meeting on December 18 continued to run what appears to be a bunfight between Friends of Nillumbik in the one corner and Nillumbik Proactive Landowners Group (PALs)in the other.

As we reported in the December issue a community panel of 39 members had produced a 64-page Community Engagement Report to Nillumbik’s Green Wedge Management Plan (GWMP) of which 32 pages were the majority report, and a further 32 pages were a dissenting Minority Report, prepared by five resident hobby farmer panel members.

Because the full panel did not see and was unaware of this content Mayor Karen Egan determined it would not be considered by Council.

PALs have responded, saying the half of the report now being considered is “illegitimate”.

At the December meeting, Mayor Egan attempted to defuse the situation by saying Council welcomes a submission from the dissenting Panel members — and the wider community — on the draft Green Wedge Management Plan, which will be released for broader engagement in early 2019.

But the meeting quickly descended into farce with the seven amendments to edit various sections of the response document, many being lost on divisions, and personal accusations flying around the room in a meeting that lasted almost 3.5 hours.

The final resolution that passed with amendments requests Officers to commence writing the draft GWMP for consideration by March 2019 for the purposes of wider community engagement.

Council spokesman Licardo Prince told the Diary: “The aim remains for it to go to the March 26 meeting and then subsequently be put out for further community consultation.”

And Nillumbik Council problems are not confined to the Green Wedge issue.

The Council returned two weeks earlier than expected in the middle of January on a Thursday night at a special meeting to consider a motion to rescind a decision made at the December 11 meeting that refused a planning application.

The rescission motion was defeated, but not before Councillors blamed each other for calling the Special Meeting at additional expense to ratepayers.

This is a divided band of Councillors, and it will be interesting to see how they handle the proposed GWMP at their March meeting.

Nillumbik’s GWMP and links to the Engagement Report are at:
https://participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/gwmp

2019: Time for a climate resolution?

THE START OF THE New Year brings fresh hope, potential and the promise of good deeds.

It is a chance to slip out of the shackles of the past 12 months, shake up some old habits — and get started on some new ones.

If the past year has left you feeling frustrated, infuriated and keen to push for climate change action make 2019 the year you throw some climate change resolutions into the mix.

Hungry for ideas? 

Here are our top five picks from the Climate Council’s climate action toolkit:

Make your vote a climate vote

2019 is a Federal election year in Australia — and a chance to make a real impact on climate change.

Contact your Member of Parliament (MP) and let them know that climate change will be an election-deciding issue for you.

For Menzies this is Kevin Andrews.

You could do this by attending WarrandyteCAN’s #Fridays4Future protests (every Friday at 4pm outside his office), calling his office or writing him a letter.

Install rooftop solar, or switch to green energy

Two million (and counting) Australians are now harnessing the power of the sun to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution and take control of their power bills, by installing rooftop solar.

And when paired with battery storage, rooftop solar can deliver clean, reliable, renewable power 24/7.

Alternatively, if you’re not in a position to purchase solar panels, you could consider making the switch to a clean energy provider, who will purchase renewable energy on your behalf.

This is also a great way to bring down greenhouse gas pollution and invest in renewable energy. 

Check out the Green Electricity Guide at: bit.ly/2G9QiJm for help picking a provider.

Move your money, so it doesn’t support the fossil fuel industry

Do you know where your personal finances are invested? 

Many banks, super funds and share portfolios invest in fossil fuel projects.

Making informed choices about where to invest your hard-earned cash, will put pressure on financial institutions to do better.

And thankfully, there are a lot of options out there for banks and super funds that support renewable energy and the environment.

To find out where your bank stands see: bit.ly/2HB9twp.

To find what future your super is funding see: superswitch.org.au/

Change the way you travel

Transport accounts for 18% of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution, adding 100 million tonnes to the atmosphere every year.

On emissions, transport is second only to electricity.

While a credible national policy is needed to tackle transport emissions, there are actions you can take to reduce your transport emissions, including: avoiding unnecessary travel, especially air travel; choosing cleaner alternatives to car travel; and encouraging your workplace to support cleaner transport.

Join the movement to Stop Adani’s mega-mine

Adani’s coal mine will contribute to cooking our climate, wrecking our reef and draining our water.

We must #StopAdani and move beyond coal.

We would love you to join us (join our local Warrandyte group or one of the other 160 local #StopAdani groups).

Our national movement so far has stopped public and private funding to the mine.

Every month we hold peaceful protests, meet with politicians, send letters and postcards to MPs, door knock our local community, attend local markets, and hold trainings and film/information nights.

There is an activity for everyone and all are welcome!

Charlotte Sterrett is a member of local climate change action group WarrandyteCAN. If you would like to become a climate change hero, join us. 

We are on Facebook at: WarrandyteCAN

February 2019


Welcome to the first edition of 2019 and our brand new Masthead.
But remember it may be a new look but it is still the same Diary you know and trust.

If you would like to download a copy of the February Diary, click here