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Burglary at Ruby Tuesday

THIEVES smashed their way into Ruby Tuesday and have stolen items and caused damage estimated at $10,000 after what is being described as a brazen early morning attack on Saturday.

At 6.45am it is believed three men wearing headlamps and driving a medium sized hatchback dark in colour, similar to a Mazda 3 shape car, used some sort of hammer or sledgehammer to break into the popular jewellery store on Melbourne Hill Rd.

A security camera in the top left hand corner on the exterior of the premises captured the incident on film and a passerby witnessed the men breaking in through the front door. At the time the Diary went to print no arrests had been made and the security camera footage hadn’t been viewed.

Cabinets were left shattered
and some jewellery remained, including gold items. Fortunately thieves didn’t rob the safe, nor did they enter the workshop
area, according to Ruby Tuesday owners Terry Rafferty and Anita Sigmund who believe the robbery must have been “a smash-and- grab” incident. “They haven’t taken the most expensive things, it seems, and they were obviously in a hurry.”

Crime investigation squad members from Box Hill were at the scene on Saturday morning taking fingerprints and looking for other clues.

A post about the robbery on
the Diary Facebook page reached almost 10,000 people in social media and drew about 50 comments from locals who were appalled by the robbery to one of our favourite business houses.

Things to do these school holidays in Warrandyte and surrounds

Stuck for ideas these school holidays? We’ve put our heads together in the Diary office and also asked friends of our Warrandyte Diary Facebook page  to help us come up with these beaut suggestions.

Bounce into action

Are your kids bouncing off the walls at home? Well why don’t you take them somewhere where bouncing is actually encouraged and loads of fun! Bounce is a massive indoor trampoline park with more than 50 trampolines and giant airbags with slam dunk arenas, wall running and dodgeball courts rolled in. The kids will never got bored here and there is a café so you can chill out while the kids go wild. Or you can jump into the action too. Bounce is at 22 Joseph St, Blackburn North.

More: bounceinc.com.au/locations/blackburn-north

Go to the movies

Want something a little bit more relaxing? Croydon Cinemas is just around the corner! I know what you’re thinking: “I would love to take my kids to the movies but they’re so expensive.” Well, not any more! Croydon Cinemas tickets are really affordable – children’s tickets are $9.50 and adults just $12.50. There are heaps of great movies to see including Minions, Inside Out and if you’re kids are a bit older, Jurassic World. Croydon Cinemas are located at 1,3-5 Hewish Road, Croydon.

More: www.croydoncinemas.com.au

Load up on lollies

Of course you can’t watch movies without some yummy snacks, so head over to see Francesca and the team at Warrandyte Lollies and Treats for the most delicious confectionery that all kids will love. She has great sweets from all around the world including Hersheys and Ben & Jerry’s from America, Speculaas and Syrup Wafers from the Netherlands, Walnut Whips and English Cadbury from England, Quavers and Monster Muches from Scotland, and don’t forget the good old Aussie treats such as Sherbert Fountains, Liquorice Logs, and Timeless Drops from Sovereign Hill. They have an unlimited selection over at 207 Yarra Street, Warrandyte. How could you ever just drive past, especially with hungry kids in the back seat!

More: www.warrandytelolliesandtreats.com.au

Jump on a horse

If your kids are animal lovers, and in particular horse lovers, then we have two fantastic suggestions. Head to the Ponyland Equestrian Centre for an amazing horse riding experience where you can ride in a group through the beautiful native bush with experienced leaders – your kids will never get lost or bored. These horses are as tame as they come and they love people, especially kids. Ponyland Equestrian Centre is at 35 Osborne Road, Christmas Hills (make sure to pack the carrots and apples!).  Otherwise, Tandivale Equestrian Centre and Pony Club Holiday Program in South Warrandyte is going to be a big hit over the next fortnight. Even if your kids have never ridden a horse and they just want to have a go, the school holiday program at Tandivale covers it all. Your kids will learn the basic skills they need to groom, saddle and ride their own horse or pony for the day. The day runs from 9am to 4pm with a BBQ lunch provided. Give your children an experience they will remember these holidays at 88 Johansons Road, Warrandyte. Karen Paine and Marnie Kruyer sent Tandivale’s School Holiday Program into us over Facebook. Thanks for the great suggestion!

More: www.tandivale.com/holidayprogram.htm or www.yellowpages.com.au/vic/christmas-hills/ponyland-equestrian-centre-13672134-listing.html

Go 10 pin bowling

If you’re feeling like a little bit of competition these holidays then you should head over to AMF 10 Pin Bowling and challenge your kids in a game of this great activity that everyone in the family will love. They are running a special offer for these school holidays:  two games of bowling or laser PLUS 5 arcade tokens, shoe hire and a $5 return game pass for only $19.90 per person. What better time to head over to the Forest Hill complex or the Knox complex, so get striking! Thanks to Sheya Atherton who made this great suggestion and many others on our Facebook page. Check them out at our Facebook page

More: www.amfbowling.com.au

Head for the Dark Zone

Are your kids more into the athletic, skill and teamwork sort of activities? Then you should be in your car heading to Box Hill for games of Laser Tag at Dark Zone! Dark Zone is one of the only Laser Tag centres in Australia to offer the latest Helios Pro Laser Tag technology as well as having the biggest and best multi-level arena in Australia. Dark Zone offers the best variety of deals for all groups from kids events and birthday parties to corporate events and overnight lock-in. They also have many deals for these holidays. Head to 942-946 Whitehorse Road in Box Hill for a crazy, fun time.

More: www.darkzone.com.au/beta

Visit chocolate heaven!

Are you and your kids chocoholics? Then Yarra Valley Chocolaterie is definitely for you! Enjoy free delicious chocolate tastings and watch some of their European chocolatiers create over 250 of their incredible chocolates. They also have a range of ice creams for you to taste and enjoy. If the kids are getting a bit tired then scoot over to their café where they specialise in amazing sweets. Once the kids have fueled up on chocolate then they can run around and play on the beautiful lawns and gardens. What’s not to love about a place where the kids are entertained and you get to indulge in chocolate? NOTHING! So get in your car and head over to 35 Old Healesville Road (Cnr Melba Highway), Yarra Glen.

More: www.yvci.com.au

Spin those wheels in a Go Kart

Those looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush, and you’re willing drive a bit further, should set your GPS sights on 55 Waterview Close, Dandenong South to experience Le Mans Go Karts Melbourne. With more than 23 acres and four massive tracks you’re bound to have a great day! Le Mans Go Karts provide you with all the safety equipment you need so don’t worry if you don’t do this often, you’ll be safe. With great prices and ultimate experiences, everyone in your family will love a day out at the track.

More: www.lemansgokarts.com.au

Get ready to be splattered with paint

Looking for a bit of fun with your kids where you can shoot them? Then Melbourne Indoor Paintball is the place to go. But don’t worry, it’s all in the name of good fun. Even though the drive is a little long, the experience and fun is totally worth it. The address is 25 Salmon Street, Port Melbourne, and just five minutes from Melbourne CBD. There are many exciting fields, fully carpeted and with a sniper tower and surround sound. What better way to entertain the kids for a day.

More: www.melbourneindoorpaintball.com.au/index.html

Read a good book in our beautiful library

Are your kids books worms or have always wanted a PlayStation? Then visit the Warrandyte Library at 168 Yarra Street for a quiet but fun afternoon. The library has such a variety of books for kids to choose from and now with the PlayStation kids can take turns playing fun interactive games. There are also DVDs for the kids if they’re keen to borrow a free movie. The library has some great holiday activities for the kids and staff are always happy to help them find books. So c’mon, book lovers, visit the Warrandyte Library. Sheya Atherton and Michele Petalas both suggested this one on our Facebook page.

More: www.wml.vic.gov.au/Page/Page.aspx?Page_id=848

Join the Circus Oz team

After a fantastic and funny show for the kids? Well you’re in luck because Circus Oz is back in Melbourne these school holidays from June 17 to July 12 at Birrarung Marr. The new show is reportedly one of the company’s best shows yet, full of fun, laughter, jokes, comedy and of course circus tricks. This would be a great show for any kids but especially for kids who are interested in the arts, gymnastics, dancing and acrobatics. Hurry! Tickets are going fast.

More: www.ticketmaster.com.au/section?tm_link=tm_header

A day out at the theatre

Looking for a more gentle, relaxing outing? One is certainly on offer at the Regent Theatre where The Lion King is on until July 3. Tickets are selling out very fast for this incredible show and before long they’ll all be gone. Don’t miss the opportunity to take your children to what must be one of their favourite movies recreated into an amazing live theatrical performance.

More: www.ticketmaster.com.au/Disney-Presents-The-Lion-King-Australia-tickets/artist/820969?tm_link=tm_homeA_b_10002_1

Visit Edendale

Rug up and take your kids over to Edendale farm at 30 Gastons Road, Eltham. Meet and feed some of the farm animals, try out the new activities revolving around patterns, pictures and textures or book into one of the wildlife or art school holiday programs.

More: www.edendale.vic.gov.au/Visit_Edendale/School_Holiday_Activities

Whatever floats your boat

Want to take your kids to some place fun where they probably haven’t been to before? Inflatable World is the place to go. They say it’s all about having fun, so bring the whole family and bounce on in to Inflatable World.  It’s not just for the kids – they encourage the parents to have fun too. Sessions are for two hours per single entry fee after which time you will be pooped anyway. You can play on the inflatable activities as many times as you like during the session and  supervisors are there to make sure everyone is safe and gets a fair go.

More: www.inflatableworldoz.com.au/stadiums/oakleigh

Lots on in Nillumbik Shire

Nillumbik Shire Council has many events running throughout these school holidays. If your kids are interested in helping out with the environment and have a real green thumb then these are perfect: Backyard chooks for beginners, Stories of Place – Heritage Walk, Energy Freedom workshop 5 – solar electricity, Beekeeping – a taster, Set up and maintain a worm farm, and so many more. Don’t let your kids sit at home and do nothing these holidays, get them involved and actively learning while having fun in the outdoors.

More: www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Environment/News_Activities_and_Events/Activities_Program

Warrandyte Basketball holiday programs

It has been another great term of basketball in Warrandyte and while the holidays are a fantastic time to get a little rest, they are also perfect if your kids want to stay active and participate in some basketball extension activities. There are some wonderful opportunities open to the Redbacks and Venom players, some of which are Warrandyte Basketball-based and some are offered by external organisations.

More: www.foxsportspulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=1-4089-0-0-0&sID=112048&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=35114007

Grab a DVD and chill at home

Can’t take your kids out but can’t keep them entertained at home? Video Ezy at The Pines could be your best friend. They have a wide selection of movies for all ages including the new Cinderella movie, Paper Planes, Big Hero 6, Paddington and so many more. What kid doesn’t enjoy sitting and watching movies all day? NONE! So head over to Video Ezy and grab some movies for great prices and pop the kids down in front of the TV for the day and they’ll stay out of your hair.

More: www.videoezy.com.au

A big thank you to all the people who made excellent suggestions on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break-ins on the rise

WARRANDYTE police and Manningham Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) are urging residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity after several houses in Warrandyte were been broken into last month.

Detective senior sergeant Matt Volk from Manningham CIU says thieves from a specific crime syndicate have made off with $4 million worth of goods from 28 burglaries and there has been a huge spike in burglaries in the area over the past few months.

The break-ins generally happened during evenings between Thursdays and Sundays from 5pm-10pm. Houses in St Muir Drive, Oakland Drive and Pamela Court were targeted and significant amounts of cash and jewellery were stolen. The Warrandyte Cafe was reportedly broken into over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend as the Diary went to print.

These burglaries form part of a larger series with houses in Donvale also being targeted by thieves. Affluent properties are the specific focus of the thieves and in at least one particular case a resident was downstairs in her house while the intruders ransacked upstairs, making off with jewellery and irreplaceable family heirlooms.

A common tactic of the thieves is to come knocking on the door and asking for a stranger who does not live at the residence.

Recording descriptions of these people, including vehicle types and registrations, is helpful to police, and of most benefit when the information is reported at the time.

At a press conference held on May 26, Det Snr Sgt Matt Volk said “we’re urging the community to come forward if you see anything suspicious call 000 immediately”.

Police have stepped up patrols in the areas but need the residents of Warrandyte to be alert to any suspicious activity.

Police urge all residents to communicate with their neighbours and start a dialogue so that anything out of the ordinary can be quickly identified and the police called in for suspicious circumstances.

Police say many people are concerned about interfering or wrongly accusing people of a crime, however, the spate of burglaries has proven residents can never be too vigilant, so residents are asked to not hesitate in calling the police if something’s not quite right.

Meanwhile, some time overnight on May 28, a vehicle in Fossickers Way and another on Harris Gully Road had their side windows smashed and personal items, loose change and personal belongings were stolen.

Also, on at least three separate occasions in May, a red and black laundry bag containing soiled linen has been stolen from outside the medical centre on Yarra and Trezise streets.

Anyone with any information
on these incidents is urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Warrandyte Police on 9844 3231.

Olivigna applies for helipad in Warrandyte

AN application for a proposed helipad at Olivigna in South Warrandyte is being considered by Manningham council.

The helipad will enable emergency services to have easier and more immediate access to the estate’s surrounding area.

Olivigna property manager John Di Pietro said the threat of bushfires prompted the business to apply for the helipad permit.

“During the height of a particularly hot and threatening summer we thought about our estate and its positioning and realised that if local emergency services could fly in and out of here it would really help them, which is essentially protect and help our community,” Mr Di Pietro said.

Although the proposal has been welcomed by emergency services, including the police and the local CFAs, it has received about 60 objections. Nonetheless, Olivigna management maintain that the helipad will not be used often and, when it is, will create minimal disturbance.

The number of flights will be limited to two arrivals and two departures per month and the size and type of helicopter will be restricted according to the acoustic report. As per Clause 52.15 of the Manningham Planning Scheme, flights will not take place before 7am (8am on weekends or holidays) or after sunset on weekdays.

Mr Di Pietro said that two acoustic reports indicate that the noise generated by the helicopters is well below the Environment Protection Authority 1254 Noise Control Guidelines. He also reiterated that the proposed flight path will not impact on the neighbourhood as the helicopters will only cross the Olivigna properties.

 

Traffic gridlock

THE traffic congestion at Warrandyte Bridge has been a growing point of contention for Warrandyte locals with queues of cars often backed up for a few kilometres during peak hours.

The daily commute is becoming unbearable for many, causing frus- tration and concerns over residents’ safety in emergency situations.

The increasing outrage prompted North Warrandyte resident Jennie Hill to create the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck Facebook group in April last year. The page aims to encourage discussion about the congestion on the bridge, which continues on Yarra St, and find solutions. At this stage, reaching consensus is proving difficult.

“We can’t agree with the community on exactly what should be done to solve the problem so we can’t find a solution,” Ms Hill said.

With much discussion unfolding on the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck and Warrandyte Diary Facebook pages, residents are determined to find a solution. Suggestions include the installation of traffic lights (operating at peak times) at the roundabout of the bridge intersection, encouraging use of public buses, and widening of the bridge and/or building another bridge.

While many solutions seem plausible, opinion is divided. Some residents believe installing traffic lights is logical while others believe that common courtesy and giving way is more efficient. Construction of another bridge along the Yarra River in Warrandyte also seems a solution for some, but others may view it as an eyesore, not only damaging the character of Warrandyte but encouraging more traffic to pass through the quaint suburb.

Many locals are especially upset the traffic is not Warrandyte residents but from those living in surrounding suburbs. There is speculation the development of housing estates in areas such as South Morang, Epping and Whittlesea has created more traffic moving towards the city or down south.

“The traffic is not all local. I believe it’s from the growth areas around Doreen and Yan Yean looking for a way to go south without using the toll road. I also believe it is getting worse!” Lisa Upson commented on the Diary’s Facebook page.

The City of Whittlesea, which includes the suburbs of South Morang, Epping and Whittlesea, is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia.

According to population experts, forecast.id, the population of the City of Whittlesea is set to increase by almost 40,000 by 2020, indicating congestion is unlikely to ease in the future.

Snail’s pace: Jennie Hill stands near the Warrandyte bridge bottleneck during the school drop-off peak. “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. We can’t go back to ‘old’ Warrandyte. The traffic is here and it’s only going to get worse. We need to stop complaining and find a solution.”

Resident Dori Jennings said her son had missed his connecting bus to school on several occasions because the first bus takes almost half an hour just to travel from Pigeon Bank Road to the IGA on Warrandyte Road about 4km.

Although the excessive traffic con- gestion is inconvenient and causing patience to wear thin, concerns sur- rounding emergency management are not being dismissed. Warrandyte is listed as one of 52 high fire risk locations in Victoria, according to the CFA. Along with narrow roads and numerous dead ends, the bridge congestion is another factor contrib- uting to Warrandyte’s access issues.

In the event of a bushfire, a mass evacuation may become a critical problem as the bridge is the only one out of Warrandyte.

“It’s only a matter of time before it’s a matter of life and death. How

do emergency vehicles get through traffic congestion in an emergency let alone bushfire situations?” Jade Shoppee commented on the Diary’s Facebook page.

Ms Hall acknowledges opinions are varied because of residents’ needs and proximity to the bridge, however, she maintains the foremost issue for everyone should be the preservation of life in the event of an emergency.

“The argument has to be turned around. People cannot look at it from the perspective of what is going to benefit them most but instead look at what’s important and what can potentially save lives… it’s about preserving lives and not just a matter of personal preferences.”

Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith has been seeking action on the matter from the Andrews gov- ernment for some time.

After Mr Smith took Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley to see the congestion, Mr Lapsley immediately initiated discus- sions with VicRoads and local councils to install Disaster Plan (Displan) boxes at both ends of the bridge. The Displan boxes were installed in late 2014 and contain emergency equipment to assist with traffic in the event of an emergency.

“Our No.1 concern during an emer- gency is the safe evacuation of people,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said he contacted the Minister for Roads and Road Safety in December last year but there has not been any more progress on the matter; the minister has reiterated that VicRoads would continue to work with the Warrandyte commu- nity on local traffic management issues.

According to VicRoads metro north-west regional director Adam Maguire, VicRoads is working with the CFA and Melbourne Water to look at water access and supply for fire brigades and is also investigating a range of options for this Yarra River crossing, including the construction of a second bridge or the widening of the existing bridge.

Mr Maguire said funding for these activities would be considered.

Although no plans are final, Mr Smith is determined to find a resolution for the community.

“I will continue to hold the Andrews government to account on this matter and to push for the study that was started last year to continue so that a workable solution can be found.”

To have your say or to read more about it, join the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck page on Facebook and keep an eye on the Diary Facebook page for more updates.