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Fire danger period to end south of the river

The CFA have declared the fire danger period for District 13 will finish at 1am on March 20, this includes Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, and Yarra Ranges Council areas.

CFA Operations Manager Dave Renkin urges people to remember to adhere to local council regulations, and to register their burn-offs.

“Calls to unregistered burn-offs take volunteer firefighters away from workplaces, families and potentially genuine emergencies,” he said.

Given Nillumbik still has fire restrictions in place, taking the necessary precautions when planning to burn-off will allow the fire authorities to react efficiently to all fire calls.

“If you haven’t registered your burn you can expect some disgruntled fireys arriving at your property asking you to ‘please explain’,” Mr Renkin said.

Keep your burn off safe and legal:

  • Check fire restrictions in your area and always register your burn.
  • Check and monitor weather conditions — particularly wind.
  • Warn your neighbours beforehand that there will be smoke in the air.
  • Stay in attendance the whole time your burn is going.
  • Have sufficient equipment and water to stop the fire spreading.

Landowners can register their burn-off with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing burnoffs@esta.vic.gov.au

Photo: Stephen Reynolds

Australia Day honours for Warrandyte’s finest

This year’s Australia Day saw a clutch of honours go to local Warrandyte residents.

We welcome Warrandyte’s newest member of the Order of Australia, Judy Lazarus (AM), Her citation commends her for significant service to the community through social welfare groups, notably through custodial rehabilitation and resettlement initiatives.

She has been involved in a variety of services, including Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, Beechworth Correctional Centre, Association of Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres, Beechworth Health Service, Women’s Correctional Services Committee, and the Ministerial Community Advisory Committee – Prison Leaves and a Non-Government Sector Representative for the Corrections Victoria Stakeholder’s Forum. Judy has also been a recipient of a Churchill Fellowship, and has had the Judy Lazarus Transitional Centre named in her honour.

Also receiving a national honour for meritorious service was Warrandyte local Paul Wilkinson who received an Ambulance Service Medal (ASM).

Mr Wilkinson has been a paramedic with Ambulance Victoria for over 32 years and throughout his career has focused on developing paramedics and improving workplace health and safety.

His citation noted that “He has consistently demonstrated a selfless attitude and dedication to improving the lives and well-being of his colleagues. As a Clinical Instructor, he worked to mentor and instruct graduate paramedics to develop and build their clinical skills, and provide a strong ambulance service to the community”.

The Menzies community awards were handed out by local federal member Kevin Andrews, who saw the occasion as one to celebrate the grassroots achievements in our community.

“If only we knew what people in our community do, it is only on occasions like this that we find out,” said Mr Andrews.

The Menzies Community Awards saw two Warrandyte recipients.

Pam Booth received an award for her contribution as a volunteer at Information Warrandyte for a total of 13 years.

Ms Booth’s citation describes her as a “dedicated and reliable volunteer who capably assisted visitors and clients. She also contributed to Information Warrandyte’s Directory of Services and maintained the Community Centre Public noticeboard. Pam has been a long time Warrandyte resident, local kindergarten teacher and Warrandyte Tennis Club member”.

Denise Farran was recognised as a valued member of the Warrandyte community, working with the Neighbourhood House Committee of Management and as a Film Society member and volunteer. She was also recognised for her volunteer work at the Tarrawarra Gallery and for events at the Warrandyte Arts Association and Festival.

Denise Farran was very surprised to receive her award, especially after accidentally mistaking her letter as junk mail – but fortunately she managed to recover her invitation.

“The award was a surprise and a real treat,” she said.

Menzies Awards were also given to the parents of local identity Peter Fraser, whose father Malcolm Fraser and mother Beverley Fraser were both recognised for their work at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Templestowe.

Our CFA brigades ready for hot summer

On a warm November Sunday 200 fire fighters from 30 brigades descended on Warrandyte to train for responding to several of bush fire scenarios that could affect the area in this coming summer.

A series of exercises were conducted by volunteers from Warrandyte and Wonga Park and volunteers and career staff from the integrated South Warrandyte brigade.

Maroondah Group training manager Lt Will Hodgson said fire fighters from neighbouring areas were given an idea of the challenges faced where the Green Wedge meets metropolitan Melbourne.

The crews experienced scenarios from protecting houses in the difficult terrain of North Warrandyte to supporting a Place of Last Resort where hundreds of residents may take shelter from an oncoming bush fire.

Lt Hodgson said the logistical support of Manningham City Council and the Salvation Army allowed for a realistic exercise which gave the brigades a chance to prepare for summer.

“We are making sure the fire fighters’ skills are ready to go for summer and to give the crew leaders and strike team leaders the opportunity to plan for what they are going to do if they are tasked to provide asset protection in the greater Warrandyte area,” he said.

Warrandyte CFA captain Adrian Mullens said CFA volunteers and career staff were working together to protect the Warrandyte Community this fire season, and all year round.

“The South Warrandyte career staff are able to turn out to inci- dents quicker than the volunteers, but we will always be out supporting the community with them,” he said.

PICTURE: STEPHEN REYNOLDS

Oh what a night!

FIREBALL 2016 is being applauded as an outstanding sold-out success, raising more than $70,000 in much needed funds for our local CFAs in a truly glamorous Saturday night affair.

The final figure matched 2014’s result when $70,000 was raised to contribute to a new truck for the North Warrandyte CFA. This year, the funds raised will go towards buying a Slip-On: a 4WD first-respondent vehicle on the wish-list of the Greater Warrandyte brigades for many years.

Fireball has grown since it’s inaugural event in 2014, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars and support for our local fire brigades: North Warrandyte, Warrandyte, South Warrandyte and Wonga Park.

The absolutely stunning Park Hyatt Ballroom was the place to be on Saturday October 15 with hundreds of guests from the Greater Warrandyte area dancing the night away in style—and showing their support for the fireys that dedicate so much of their time to keeping our community safe.

It was ball gowns galore and old Hollywood glamour with guests dressed to the nines in their best black tie.

Pre-dinner drinks were served in the luxurious foyer before the huge ballroom doors opened and guests flooded the dance floor and dining tables.

Melbourne’s hottest corporate cover band, Popcorn, sent the dance floor into a frenzy with covers from Taylor Swift and the Bee Gees, while guests also participated in a live online auction to raise more funds.

The live auction saw a stunning natural ruby necklace donated by Warrandyte’s own Ruby Tuesday actively stir the bidding, as did an original artwork by Laural Retz along with villas up for grabs in Thailand and Bali.

Another popular item was the wine fridge filled with wine which one local hairdresser was lucky enough to win.

Major sponsor and Fireball champion Julie Quinton was thrilled with the auction results and seeing the event come to fruition.

“Our committee has worked tirelessly for many months to not only build an event with significant fundraising capacity but also an event to remember,” she said.

“From early feedback we think we hit the mark. The Park Hyatt ballroom was alive and full to capacity with Greater Warrandyte taking it to town in support of our fireys and enjoying a quality night out to boot.

“Thanks to Warrandyte Community Bank, many attendees were chauffeured in and out of the city in comfortable buses from various parts of the area. The Park Hyatt ballroom delivered a stunning impression as our community entered on the night. It was alive and full to capacity.”

The Fireball committee will continue to raise funds for the CFA and expect the 2018 event to be an even bigger success.

“The objective of the night was for our community to take on the responsibility and obligation of fundraising from our local CFA volunteers. Fireball is the vehicle for our community to ease the burden of fundraising for our local CFAs,” Julie said.

“We choose to live and work in this beautiful, fragile and very volatile environment; so it makes sense for us to ensure those people who volunteer to defend and protect it are armed with the tools to best do that job.”

PHOTOS: Deb Sullivan

Kayakers rescued in Warrandyte floodwater

1_yarra-kayak-rescue-attempt_09885ayarra-kayak-rescue-attempt_09878Two kayakers trapped in floodwater in the Yarra River in Warrandyte have been rescued.

With fast flowing water in a dangerous section of the Yarra, the couple found themselves in trouble about 11am and were found clinging to a tree branch in the middle of the river. A cast of thousands were on hand to witness the event, including several news agencies and TV networks.

The rescue operation was led by Victoria Police, with assistance from the Country Fire Authority, Melbourne Fire Brigade and Victoria SES.

More info to come in the October edition of the Warrandyte Diary on Monday.

(pictures: Stephen Reynolds, copyright Warrandyte Diary)

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