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Telstra outage hits North Warrandyte

AN UNFORTUNATE sequence of events, coupled with ageing infrastructure, have left a large number of North Warrandyte residents without landline phones and ADSL internet for almost a fortnight.

On May 9 a contractor working on the bridge project damaged a hydrant near Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road causing a water main to rupture, which left residents on both sides of the river without water for several hours.

The ensuing flood necessitated single lane working at the bridge while Yarra Valley Water (YVW) attended and repaired the fracture which led to further misery to motorists who are already frustrated by the road congestion in and around Warrandyte.

Dona Tantirimudalige, General Manager, Distribution Services at YVW advised us “Permanent repairs were completed and water supply restored as quickly as possible, with no further works required.

“We thank the community for their patience while these works were carried out.”

Unfortunately the flood of water found its way into an important Telstra pit containing a 400-pair cable and damaged both the connections and the cable itself which has to be replaced leaving residents with no phone service and no or very slow-speed ADSL internet.

Residents had been complaining to their phone/internet suppliers about problems with their service since May 3 so it is assumed that water had already seeped into this pit before the great flood of May 9.

Loretta Willaton, Telstra Area General Manager, tells the Diary “We have up to 170 landline and internet customers without service in the Warrandyte area.

“Problems were first reported to us from May 5.

“We have had a major cable damaged and contractors are working daily to replace 150 metres of cable and join two separate ends.

“The work is complex and in a difficult area to access and completion is tentatively scheduled for May 16; however it may be restored sooner.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this is causing and are working as quickly as possible to get customers back online.”

Vince Punaro, VicRoads Regional Director, Metro North West advised “VicRoads is aware of the issue of a burst fire hydrant in Warrandyte on Wednesday May 9.

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we worked quickly with the contractor, Melbourne Water and Yarra Valley Water and notified emergency services to minimise the impact on the community.”

Featured photo posted on Facebook Warrandyte Business and Community Page by Clive Rixon, May 9.

Full bridge closure this weekend: how to get around

After numerous postponements, the full closure of the Warrandyte Bridge is set to happen this weekend.

The works between May 4 and May 7 will include:

  • installing supports for the downstream bridge widening works
  • further preparation works for bridge strengthening
  • roadworks and clearing to prepare the road and surrounds for further works

Being the first weekend in May, it is also the Warrandyte Riverside Market.

To accommodate this, the following timetable for bridge closures has been put in place:

10pm, Friday May 4 — 5am, Saturday May 5

One lane of the bridge will be closed, with traffic management onsite, to help keep the traffic moving.

5am Saturday May 5 — 3pm Saturday May 5

The Warrandyte Bridge will be open as usual, this should reduce the impact of bridgeworks to stall holders and visitors of the Warrandyte Riverside Market.

3pm Saturday May 5 — 5am Monday May 7

Full closure of the bridge to vehicular traffic.

Cyclists and pedestrians will still be able to cross the bridge, under the direction of traffic management.

Although the Total Fire Ban period has officially ended in both Manningham and Nillumbik, VicRoads stress that scheduled bridgeworks may be modified/postponed to ensure the public safety and the efficiency of the emergency services is not impacted by bridge widening.

With a number of local events taking place this weekend, including the Kellybrook Cider Festival and Nillumbik Artists Open Studios, additional journey planning may be required.

Traffic diversions

 Both private and public transport will be affected by these works.

 Car

VicRoads have provided a map illustrating the traffic detours.

There will be four detours in place; (purple, green, yellow and orange).

All the detours start/finish on Main Street, Eltham, north of the river and cross the Fitzsimons Lane Bridge.

People travelling to Warrandyte are encouraged to follow the purple diversion which takes them down Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road.

For those travelling to Park Orchards and Warranwood and the South Warrandyte/Ringwood borders; the green diversion along Reynolds Road and Falconer Road is suggested.

For everyone else looking to travel between Eltham, Kangaroo Grounds and beyond, and Everywhere South and East of Ringwood, the yellow diversion (along EastLink) or the orange diversion (Box Hill and Whitehorse Road) is advised.

Full details of the diversion routes can be found under the diversion map.

 

Detour map (key)

  • Purple route: Main Road, Porter Street, Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road
  • Green route: Main Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Reynolds Road, Falconer Road
  • Yellow route: Main Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Williamsons Road, Tram Road, Eastern Freeway, Eastlink (toll road), Whitehorse Road
  • Orange route: Main Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Williamsons Road, Whitehorse Road OR Main Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Reynolds Road, Springvale Road, Whitehorse Road

Bus

During the bridge closure, PTV bus services 578 and 579 (Warrandyte Reserve to Eltham Station) WILL NOT CROSS the Warrandyte Bridge.

Passengers wishing to travel on the 578/579 can access the busses at the following bus stops north of the bridge:

578 – Research-Warrandyte Road/Bradleys Lane

579 – Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road/Research-Warrandyte Road

According to the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website, PTV do not anticipate any disruption to the 906 and 364 bus services.

The Warrandyte Diary will keep an eye on the forthcoming bridgeworks and communicate any changes via our website and on social media.

Happy outcome for river rescue

WE ARE BOMBARDED, on a daily basis, with all the horrors that occur in the world, along with the irresponsible and sometimes very awful things one person is capable of doing to another.

So, it is always extremely uplifting and hope filling, to hear the good side of human nature and how the safety or survival of a fellow human being can set a heroic deed into action.

On a Sunday afternoon in early March, Liz Marsh was enjoying her run along the river when she heard some cries for help and saw a young man; face down in the deep section of the river.

With split seconds to think, Liz’s lifeguard knowledge — not used for many decades — and her kayaking experience kicked in.

With shoes off, Liz headed into the water.

As she approached the young man, she was joined by Michael Wines. Michael and Liz instinctively worked as a team, with Michael flipping the young man on his back, allowing Liz to apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while they were still in the river.

Jeff Smith then assisted with the exhaustive swim to the shore and a group of people lifted the young man up the steep bank to safety.

During this time, Liz had called out for someone to call 000 and to her relief, another Warrandyte community member, Joanne Milic was speaking to the ambulance dispatcher.

Liz then ensured that her patient — in a semi-conscious state — was placed in the recovery position, enabling Liz to clear his mouth and keep his airway open until the paramedics arrived.

Several other helpers assisted with the onshore recovery, such as fetching a defibrillator and placing a blanket over the young man.

Six ambulance officers arrived, working on the young man, until he could eventually be taken to Box Hill hospital.

Saving this young man was a wonderful joint effort, but was triggered by Liz’s cool-headedness.

Her background, her first aid training and the fact that she is a former Outdoor Education leader, do not take away from her brave decision — at 54 and with a family of her own — to jump in the river and save this young man while continuing to direct his rescue.

It was not until Liz got home and had a hot shower that the reality hit her and shock set in.

Although many of us would aid and assist to the best of our abilities, not many of us could carry out such a heroic deed.

There is a mother and a father out there somewhere who will be forever grateful to Liz and the other rescuers.

Thanks to Senior Sergeant Stewart Henderson, Liz has been able to make contact with the young man she rescued.

He is fully recovered from his ordeal and Liz is still hoping to connect with him soon in Warrandyte and “give him a big hug”.

Liz has contacted Dr. Bernadette Matthews PhD, Principle Research Associate at Life Saving Victoria, who informed her that there were six drownings in the Yarra river in Warrandyte from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2017.

Although there are no statistics on non-fatal incidents (hospitalisations), previous research indicated that for every drowning there are two non-fatal incidents.

Where potters come out to play: Warrandyte Pottery Expo turns 18

THE 18TH ANNUAL Pottery Expo was held on the Warrandyte riverbank on the weekend of February 24–25, with an extensive list of almost 60 exhibiting potters, local music, wheel throwing demonstrations and workshops on offer.

Local studio potter, and event organiser, Jane Annois, was pleased with the turnout and the success of the Expo.

“We were lucky with lots of visitors, even though there was rain on Saturday,” said Jane, “and Sunday was fabulous, it was perfect.”

“The potters were happy, which is important too, with good sales and a few commissions and orders.”

And although it’s a lot of work, Jane says she wasn’t alone.

“A team of lovely volunteers helped make it a success.”

From the warm welcome I received as I entered, to each interaction with stall holders, I was instantly engaged with the creativity around me.

Local and intrastate potters, with guests from Tasmania and France, had certainly put on a sensory show of colour and natural aesthetics.

Marina Pribaz, a ceramicist from the Daylesford region and joint winner of the Innovative New Ceramics Award (INCA) summed it up nicely.

“Everyone is so individual; we all work with clay but it expresses in so many ways,” she said.

‘Cups to Go’ was my first stop, where a collection of cups and mugs from many of the exhibiting potters were available for sale, with the idea that you would purchase a handmade cup that took your fancy and then head over to the nearby coffee van for a fill.

Diane Williams, a potter from Central Victoria and a volunteer on the stall said,

“It’s a really good idea.

“It collects the diverse range of works from the potters in one place, and you get to enjoy your coffee in a beautiful mug.”

So I took my time choosing and then walked the stalls sipping coffee, keeping an eye out for the maker of my new mug while I chatted with some of the potters.

Exhibiting for their fourth year, Ali Duckworth and Karen Goldsmith make up the Clay Sisters in Croydon.

They enjoy coming to the Expo to connect with other potters as well as visitors.

“It’s lovely to catch up with other potters that you only see once a year,” said Ali.

“Pottery can be a solitary life and I think it’s important to have these kinds of things, to see what everyone is doing and connect.”

Josephine Cassar, from Montmorency, mentioned the importance of being part of a group of potters.

“We meet twice a week and have become a small community.

“I go for the company and to share ideas, we have a communal meal and chat and talk pots.”

Other exhibitors also mentioned the value of the network created by the Expo, saying how they appreciated coming back each year, catching up with people, and that the relationships built over the Expo are integral to their work.

Two awards are presented each year at the Expo, and this year’s judges were visiting ceramicists, Nanna Bayer and Bronwyn Clarke from Tasmania.

The Michael Hallam INCA award for innovative new ceramics, presented by the Warrandyte Riverside Market, was awarded to joint winners Marina Pribaz and Minna Graham, and the Lions Club award for the best stand was presented to Kim Haughie.

All three ceramicists are from the Daylesford region and have been exhibiting at the Pottery Expo for several years.

Kim Haughie said winning the award was a beautiful surprise.

“It’s a bit exciting,” she said with a big smile.

Kim’s work as a potter started over 10 years ago, but she says it all started much further back.

“I think it was seeded in my childhood.

“I spent hours in the sandpit, and then later, as I got into gardening, it went from there.”

Kim has a dam on her rural property and said: “Digging down deep I found clay; it’s lovely using the clay from my own property — my surroundings and my environment influence my work”.

Minna Graham, has been coming to the Expo for seven years and says that being a joint winner of the INCA is really affirming.

“I spend so much time on my own, at least eight hours a day just sitting in my studio, on my own, doing my thing, making my thing.

“You come here and you are surrounded by your peers and you really get some fantastic feedback.

“It makes you feel you are on the right track.

“This weekend is bolstering for me; it just makes me keep going.

“It’s the reset button for me every year.”

Jane Annois also likes discovering and supporting new musicians for the event and was very pleased with this year’s line-up.

“They were all good quality, local musicians, and there was a good feel about the place all weekend,” said Jane.

Wandering around, it was hard not to stop and listen to the music, and a nice patch of grass made the invitation to sit awhile even more appealing.

Nearby was the Manningham Arts Centre and Clayworks stall, where children, and a few adults, were deeply engrossed in painting and etching clay squares.

These terracotta squares will be returning to the community in a few months as a permanent piece of art for the community to enjoy.

Further along I came across French ceramicist, Jean Marc Plantier, who 20 years ago was part of the original idea to bring the Marche de Potiers (Potters Markets) of France to Warrandyte.

Jean Marc has been attending the Pottery Expo since it began in 2001 and clearly loves the river and the surroundings, and what has become of their idea.

“It’s a wonderful place,” said Jean Marc, “I like coming, and I will come again and again.”

Of course you will Jean Marc, for without you and Jane, we would not have such a glorious event.

Next year, Jean Marc will return with five other French potters, and as more and more local potters are applying to be part of the Expo, Jane says we can expect an even greater variety in the work.

Thank you Jane and Jean Marc, for you have brought something beautiful to our place.

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Warrandyte’s Olympic glory

Warrandyte’s own, Snowboarder Scotty James, has become Australia’s second medal winner at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, winning Bronze in the men’s halfpipe.

Following a hard fought battle with American Shaun White and Japan’s Ayunu Hirano, James was graceful in surrendering the top positions in the dais to his two rivals as he spoke to Channel Seven:

“Shaun is an amazing athlete and he has achieved a lot of great things. He achieved another awesome feat in his career today,” he said.

“Hats off to Hirano as well. He is one of the most flawless snowboarders I know. It is cool to watch him.”

The young athlete does not plan to rest on his laurels, James’ trajectory is upward.

With an already impressive lineup of sponsors, and an enviable lifestyle taking him around the world doing what he loves, this medal is seen by many to be James’ taking things to the next level.

“My goal is to come out here and ride as best I can and fly my Australian flag in the sport that is not necessarily done by many Australians,” James told reporters after Wednesday’s final.

“I am very proud of my country and where I come from but I can assure you I am just getting started.

“You can expect to see a lot more of me in the future. Me and my team, we are excited to keep going.”

James, who carried the flag for Australia in last Friday’s opening ceremony said: “I work so hard, and it is at times like these, obviously we are still focused, but you have to enjoy these experiences”.

“That is why we work hard … to enjoy these experiences as much is possible. I did that today. It was cool.”

However, never forgetting his roots, he told the media, for the moment that he was looking forward to getting back home to his ‘beloved Warrandyte’.

And Warrandyte are certainly looking forward to his return home with many taking to social media cheering on the local lad, some even contemplating a homecoming parade for our Olympic champion.