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Alpacas do the bus stop

It was Warrandyte’s version of the Great Escape recently when four pet alpacas named Boris, Mr Snuffy, Kath and Kim pulled the wool over their owners eyes and ventured beyond the boundaries of their property in Research-Warrandyte Road.

But it was their appearance at the local bus stop where it really gets interesting. They’d clearly spat it and were well and truly on the move!

The Diary’s very own IT man Bora Seker was driving past and couldn’t believe his eyes, so he snapped a quick photo on his mobile and sent it into to yours truly before rounding up the naughty escapees and calling for help.

A week or so later and a Diary Facebook photo post about the incident has clocked up more than 660 likes, 75 shares and reached more than 20,000 people in an astonishing social media viral reaction.

The culprit? Owner Monique Jaksic, who was a little sheepish when quizzed by us.

“Yep, it was my fault, I left the gate open,” Monique said with a giggle.

“After a while I thought I’d better check on the alpacas and I started calling them. I couldn’t see them, so I went into panic mode and went into the forest, ringing all the neighbours – it was four hours later and I finally found out they were up the top.”

Originally the Jaksics went down the goat route to keep the grass down on their property, but “they were a real pain”.

“They used to get into the neighbours’ property, into the roses and that sort of stuff,” Monique says.

“In the end we got onto the alpacas and bought these guys from Kangaroo Ground. They’re so beautiful, they just nibble at the grass and don’t rip it like goats do, and they don’t run through the fences, they’re great with the kids and, of course, they’re great lawn mowers.”

Let’s be honest. Hands up who wouldn’t want a pet alpaca? Even Diesel the family pet dog is best mates with them at Jaksic central.

“They have their own individual personalities,” Monique said with a smile. “The baby, Kim, she will stare you down. She’s quite feisty. Being the males, Boris and Mr Snuffy (named after Sesame Street’s Mr Snufeupagus) fight over the girls all the time. They have these really funny neck fights – they can be quite noisy and annoyed at each other.

“But they’re pretty good. We love them all, of course, especially now they’re famous.”

Boogie brilliance at Warrandyte Festival

By CHERIE MOSELEN

THERE are some realities organisers can do without when readying a large group for an outdoor celebration. Like, for example, continuous rain.

Even Town Crier Ian Craig was heard trying to auction off his velvet frock coat to the lowest bidder in light of wet conditions before Saturday morning’s Grand Parade.

But the weather gods certainly took pity on Warrandyte Festival last month, ending heavy showers before they dampened crowd enthusiasm.

Kids in kangaroo tails, mini monsters, this year’s festival theme Boogie in the Bush produced some fantastic costumes. (See parade awards).

Warrandyte Neighbourhood House waved their boogie boards, while the team from Riveresque looked right at home wearing the curtains.

Light show projectionist Hugh McSpedden, (famously first to light up the Exhibition Building in Melbourne) and accomplished musician and botany lover Glen Jameson, were this year’s parade monarchs.

Warrandyte’s Emperor of Luminosity stole the show somewhat with his fanciful pairing of giant turban and cow print pants. Arabian Nights meets pyjama party, perhaps?

Monarchs and entourage floated down Yarra Street on a “magic carpet”, stately and dignified bar the occasional honk from a squeaky clown horn. (Vintage McSpedden).

Meanwhile, down at Stiggants Reserve, festival committee volunteers showed their true colours having shovelled mulch over much of the site to combat boggy conditions.

It helped.

Numbers were a little thinner on Saturday but wet weather aside, the popular village celebration unfolded with ease.

A Welcome to Country and introduction from local councillors, then it was time to put on those boogie shoes and get around some fabulous food and entertainment.

As you would expect from an event that attracts upwards of 10,000 people, there was a lot to see and do.

I didn’t make it to the tango lessons on Saturday evening, but heard they were a huge hit. Here are some things that kept me entertained over Warrandyte’s biggest weekend.

Crowd pleaser: Crazy energy and an irresistible beat from drumming ensemble African Star had audience members dancing up a storm at the Riverbank stage on Saturday. Nobody cared about the actual rain. Bow to the rhythm!

Gozleme grace: There was some- thing serene and comforting about the ladies in white from Turkish Kitchen & Catering, calmly rolling out their pastry amid the hubbub. Most importantly, weren’t those little parcels delicious?

Move over bananas in pyjamas: Colourful costumes, stacks of talent, the Funky Monkeys musical act and circus show made me wish my teen- age boys were small again. (Yes, they were that good.)

Who’s news? The Diary decided to put the community into the community newspaper this year, rigging up a frame so people could have their photo taken celebrity-style. Congratulations if you were front page news over the weekend!

Eastern FM 98.1. A long-time festival favourite, this community radio station kept the crooners coming, pumping out familiar tunes in between announcements. Because, who doesn’t love a bit of Harry Connick with their coffee?

Second is the new first. She didn’t win. She managed second. However, her happy grin said it was just as good. Aboriginal art exhibitor Loz told the Diary she’d been trying to win Sunday’s iconic duck race for years. Next year, Lorraine, next year…

Transport Tribute: Nillumbik council donated the use of a shuttle bus and two staff to take people who needed it, back and forth between the festival ground and the commu- nity centre. Hats off, for providing these much appreciated free rides.

Caravan of care: Whether the quandary was “toilet paper?” or “I’ve lost my children”, the staff in the information caravan dealt with it expertly. One shy little girl buying a drink admitted to “only having not really enough money”. Top notch volunteer, the man in the van Cyril Dixon gave it to her anyway.

Boogie central: I wish, like Michael Jackson, I could blame my dance moves on the boogie – and no, I hadn’t made one too many trips to the beer tent! This space was all about getting down: Hip-hop, Go Go, belly dancing and more. The lessons were tremendous fun (and Bollywood a touch harder than it looks. Just saying).

Dragon dance: If you decided to wait for the last band on Sunday evening, well done. Festival organisers pulled out a surprise finale. Huge silk dragons, lit from within, whirling through the picnic crowd. The look of awe on children’s faces: priceless.

Old favourites: It’s been a feature of this town for 39 years but still the sight of family-friendly, well-behaved festival crowds never gets old. I spent part of my weekend conducting a survey and almost everyone when I asked “what do you love about this event?” mentioned the strong sense of community.

It’s official.
Warrandyte Festival, you’re a gem.

Bridge over troubled waters


Bridge over troubled waters

IN a surprise move the Andrews State Government has committed to $5.1 million funding for major works to Warrandyte Bridge that includes widening it in an aim to reduce congestion and boost safety in Warrandyte by making it quicker and easier for residents to evacuate during emergencies.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan, Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green and ALP Senate candidate for Victoria Steve Kent made a sudden visit to the bridge last week to announce the plan.

The works…

The funding is for a project to widen the bridge to three lanes and build a new pedestrian path across the Yarra River. Two of the lanes will be for southbound traffic travelling from North Warrandyte to Warrandyte and the existing footpaths on either side of the bridge will be removed and replaced with a footpath on one side of the bridge.

Improvements will also be made to accommodate an extra lane of traffic from the bridge at the roundabout at the Yarra Street and Warrandyte-Ringwood Rd roundabout. Traffic lights will also be installed at a wider Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd and Research-Warrandyte Rd intersection. Drivers travelling across the bridge on Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd regularly experience significant traffic congestion and long delays. The press release went on to state that according to traffic modelling data about 2500 vehicles per hour would potentially travel southbound across the bridge during an emergency evacuation compared with the current 1100 vehicles per hour during a typical morning peak.

The works will take place either side of the fire danger season and are expected to start next month and be completed by the end of 2017.

Mr Donnellan said:We’re widening the bridge to ensure the safety of locals by reducing evacuation times by up to 90 minutes. We have listened to the community and we’re delivering a safer and more efficient bridge.”

Ms Green said: “Crossing Warrandyte Bridge, especially in the event of an emergency, has been a serious concern for the local community for many years and we’re fixing it. We’ve listened to local residents and we’re building the infrastructure that they need for a safer community.”

The history…

This announcement comes after increased community anger in the past two months (and longer) at the rapidly escalating delays to traffic traversing Warrandyte in the morning peak period, afternoon school period, and the early evening, which until this month had no funding in sight nor any state government will to resolve the problem. It might be useful to recap the events leading up to the announcement.

At the end of 2014 VicRoads installed folded signs and Displan boxes on each side of the bridge to assist in traffic control and one- way operation in emergency and evacuation situations, but this did nothing to solve the day-to-day problems of peak-hour gridlock.

In April last year Jennie Hill founded the “Fix the Warrandyte Bridge Bottleneck” Facebook group with many posts per day and more than 250 members. Note: not an official body, but merely a page with a constructive mission to create some noise and make something happen.

In June last year, after extensive lobbying over more than 12 months by Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) and supported by Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, VicRoads regional director Adam Maguire obtained funding of $140,000 to conduct a feasibility study and modelling to look at the road network around Warrandyte Bridge in both day-to-day and emergency situations.

In November last year at a WCA Emergency Management forum the results of this modelling and four alternative scenarios and their costs were presented, summarised as illustrated below.

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Only the second of these options would in fact help in a non-emergency day-by-day situation.

And that is where the situation had stalled.

The only funding that had come through was for the installation of four traffic-monitoring webcams which are the subject of a separate article in this edition of the Diary.

So, with nothing further being done, the rush-hour situation is getting worse daily, and is particularly compounded when there are traffic accidents or blockages either in Warrandyte or on the Fitzsimons Lane bridge. Such major disruptions have happened twice in February, on the 3rd and 19th, and resulting in traffic for Warrandyte banking up most of the way to Research. An excellent video of the latter is to be found on the Fix the Warrandyte Bridge Bottleneck Facebook group page. And on February 18 a bad accident closed Kangaroo Ground Road in the morning peak hour.

Recent actions…

On February 19 Ms Hill and local resident Belinda Steve met with Ryan Smith, Member for Warrandyte, to investigate what could further be done to have some funding and action. Mr Smith produced a large file of correspondence on the matter including Hansards and letters to Luke Donnellan MP the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. He was so frustrated with the lack of action and funding by the Victorian government that he rose in the house on February 10 to make a member’s statement on Warrandyte Bridge. Mr Smith told the house: “Whilst the minister was finally pushed, kicking and screaming, into reallocating the funding the previous coalition government had set aside for work to be done to provide options for the traffic problems in Warrandyte, he has not provided Warrandyte residents the opportunity for input. Nor has any funding been allocated for a solution to be implemented … fed-up residents have now formed the Fix the Warrandyte Bottleneck group and are demanding that the minister takes action.”

It is evident Mr Smith continues to be a strong advocate for residents’ concerns now, although his party (when in office) scrapped completion of the M80 Greensborough-East- link “missing link”, a project which has now been pushed out into the next decade which will do nothing to ease the problem in the short term.

However, in more recent times Mr Smith expressed his frustration with the continuing “obfustication” and lack of will to do anything about the local traffic problem. He suggested he may be seen as a lone voice, and that perhaps it would make more impact if residents wrote directly to the minister expressing their frustration.

Just as the Diary was about to publicise a “write to the minister” campaign, the Government appears to have caved in on the matter and the new announcement was made.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley has also been a strong supporter of funding and has urged the government to act.

The media release…

We find it odd local community groups and the local Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith, who has done so much for the cause, were not invited to attend the announcement. We at the Diary were only informed the day before and given we’re a part- time office missed attending. We also find it difficult to understand the role of Danielle Green in this as the Yan Yean electorate does not come any- where near Warrandyte and wonder why defeated ALP candidate Steve Kent was in attendance. The press release announces traffic lights for the Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte and Research-Warrandyte road T-intersection, which was not part of the original VicRoads presentation in November. It also states the works will take place outside the fire danger season and are expected to start next month. However, the fire danger season does not officially end until May 1.

The announcement also makes no mention of any further community consultation, something which has clearly angered residents who have vented on social media.

Dick Davies, president of the Warrandyte Community Association, says: “It’s good that the State Government has addressed the concerns about gridlock after at least 10 years agitation for some action. However, the lack of community consultation, promised by VicRoads in their November and December visits to Warrandyte, is astonishing. After all, residents who actually use the road at different times are most aware of the problems. The modelling quoted in the press release is a desk study based on Emergency Evacuation assumptions not actual data on daily traffic movements as advocated by the WCA. VicRoads will be present at the Warrandyte Festival. It will be an occasion to discuss the plan with them and see if there is room to be more inclusive of community views.”

Other initiatives the Bottleneck group suggested:

Trial traffic lights to operate between 3pm and 6pm at the round- about south of the bridge

Guidelines making Warrandyte roads subject to heavy vehicle exclusions or restrictions on safety grounds (narrow, winding roads)

Guidelines to keep roads not designed for high traffic (including Dingley Dell, Lewis, Blooms, Boyd, Hawkes and Floods Roads) free from traffic trying to evade bridge bottlenecks.

In the medium term, completion of an emergency bridge for bushfire management, possibly at the end of Bradley’s Lane or at another agreed location.

In the longer term, completion of the M80 to Eastlink gap or construction of at least one more permanent bridge across the Yarra somewhere between the Eltham crossing and the Yarra Glen crossing.

 

 

 

What contamination?


AN Environment Protection Authority Victoria investigation has revealed there has been no contamination of the Yarra River and surrounds at Pound Bend Reserve.

A leaked incident and hazard report detailing a poorly maintained wash down facility in the Warrandyte State Park has caused much controversy since it surfaced recently and also ignited some wild speculation and guesswork on Warrandyte social media pages.

The report revealed an apparent chemical contamination of the Yarra River and surrounding vegetation within the Pound Bend workcentre.

While the validity of the report’s claims have been questioned by Friends of the Warrandyte State Park (FOWSP), the matter has seemingly been put to rest by the results of an EPA investigation which proved there was no contamination of the river or surrounds.

According to the original report, which was written on April 29 last year, the wash down facility was “used to pressure wash vehicles, to triple rinse chemical containers and to mix/fill herbicides for use in the park”.

The report revealed the facility led to chemical drainage into the Yarra River and consequent nearby tree death. It also claimed “the wash bay doesn’t meet any legal requirements and if the EPA was informed, PV would face serious fines”.

The report surfaced in early January and was published by major news outlets. The allegations caused uproar from the media and general public as many were led to believe the issue was ongoing.

“These are shocking revelations of the Yarra being poisoned in a secret government report which Daniel Andrews has tried to bury,” said shadow environment minister Brad Battin.

“Daniel Andrews needs to order a full investigation into what’s been done to stop this environmental vandalism,” he added.

In response to the abundance of reports and articles, Friends of the Warrandyte State Park (FOWSP) committee of management addressed the accusations for the Diary in an official statement.

“We are not aware of any negative impact to the environment as detailed in the report – there is no out-of-the-ordinary dead vegetation downhill of the ‘wash-down’ facility. We would, of course, be greatly concerned, if this were the case.

“FOWSP enjoys a close working relationship with the rangers who operate from the Pound Bend workcentre. Their concern for safety and the environment is not only paramount, but it’s their job. As such, we do not believe that any of their staff would knowingly be a party to the actions in the aforementioned report.”

Committee member of the FOWSP Jason Patton elaborated on this with a list of his own personal observations after attaining a copy of the infamous report.

“There is NO tree death downhill from the site – well, actually there is one dead tree among a stand of healthy trees,” he told the Diary.

“The Yarra River is some 200m downhill from the site, including crossing an 80m alluvial plain. Is anyone aware of any water quality checks that prove that the Yarra has been contaminated from this site?

“I am not versed in the operation of the containment facility (pits, etc), but I CAN say that from my many visits there, it is designed as a retention basin to prevent release of poisons to the surrounding environment.”

The report certainly raises questions as there is no sign of river contamination or dead vegetation at the time of its public release.

However, local MP Ryan Smith said the report would have been filled in by the Warrandyte State Park rangers themselves.

“In this case, Parks Vic rangers themselves would have filled in the report as they noticed the effects of the waste water on surrounding vegetation. So, in short, this is a self-acknowledged incident, not a report done by an external party,” he said.

“The Warrandyte State Park rangers would have noted it for their bosses. What happens then was a decision for those higher up the chain.”

On January 20, Parks Victoria released a statement with the results of the EPA’s recent investigation into Warrandyte State Park’s waste management practices.

The EPA confirmed there was “no current contamination of the Yarra from these herbicides” and “minor herbicide contamination of soil near the wash bay” at the Warrandyte Depot.

Parks Victoria chief executive Bradley Fauteux revealed that resolution of the incident commenced in June of 2015.

“I am pleased that there is no current evidence of herbicides being washed into the Yarra. Herbicide washing in the facility ceased in June last year after the issue was flagged by staff in an internal occupational, health and safety report,” Mr Fauteux said.

“Trucks now come in to remove sediment. We have commenced an investigation and an immediate and ongoing state-wide review of our facilities, including wash bay facilities and reporting procedures.”

While the issue appears to be somewhat resolved, Mr Smith said he did not find that explanation conclusive enough.

“There has been no feedback about why practices allowed it to happen or what has actually been done to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “The response seems to have been ‘OK, it was wrong, it’s fixed, please move on’. I think that locals need more reassurance than this.”

Mr Patton, on the other hand, remains sceptical about the accuracy of the report in the first place.

“I do not believe that there ever was any contamination, from the lack of dead vegetation. The ‘report’, which is merely five bullet-points, would appear to be written by someone who does not have an understanding of the area, for example, a temp worker, or visitor.

“Unfortunately, the public and media have jumped on the report, and taken it verbatim – no investigation of the site.”

Fire guts house close to main street in Warrandyte


A FIRE has gutted a house in Brackenbury Street in Warrandyte today as more than seven CFA trucks attend the blaze.

Firefighters are at the scene containing the fire, which is only a few hundred metres away from Yarra Street, Warrandyte’s busy main strip. At this stage it is unknown what caused the fire and it is believed the house had no people present.

Neighbours called 000 after smelling smoke today at about 1.30pm. Resident Cassie Jones told the Diary she could smell smoke for about half an hour before taking a look around the area to see where it was coming from.

“The CFA trucks were here within minutes,” she told the Diary. “That same house only had a chimney fire that did some damage just a few years ago as well.”

It is believed the house is in ruins with fire coming through the side walls and rooftop with large amounts of smoke billowing out and across the eastern suburb.

More to follow.

 

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Jock and Steve the toast of the town


WARRANDYTE’S Jock Macneish and Steve Pascoe have been recognised for their great services to the community by each receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Announced on Australia Day, Jock, our much loved Diary cartoonist and master of many talents, was recognised for his service to the visual arts and to the community of Warrandyte. Steve, a legendary figure at the Warrandyte Cricket Club, was recognised for his service to cricket.

Both popped into the Diary this morning for a photo shoot and you can read all about it in the February edition of your CNAV Newspaper of the Year (back to back) Monday week.

 

New operator being sought for Warrandyte Community Market


MANNINGHAM council is seeking applications from not for profit community groups based in Manningham to operate the Warrandyte Community Market from April 2016.

The Warrandyte Community Market is held in the Warrandyte River Reserve on the first Saturday of each month (excluding January) with a second market held in on the third Saturday in December each year.

The decision to seek a new operator for the market has been made to resolve management issues at the market and follows extensive liaison between council and the existing Warrandyte Community Market Committee over the past two years.

In the interim, a working group has been set up to operate the market until a successful market operator has been selected. This interim group, comprising representatives from the Warrandyte Lions Club, Warrandyte Donvale Rotary Club, North Warrandyte CFA, Community Church and Be Ready Warrandyte, will operate the February and March 2016 markets.

Prospective market operators must demonstrate that they have the capacity, capability and skills to manage the community market, including effective governance through a properly constituted committee.

The successful operator will enter into a licence agreement with council for a term of three years, and will commence operation from the April 2016 market (Saturday 2 April).

Applications are required by at 11am on Wednesday 17 February 2016 and must be received by this time.

For more information, visit www.tendersearch.com.au/manningham or call Paul Goodison, Council’s Co-ordinator Landscape and Leisure on 9840 9460.

Full report to follow in the next edition of the Diary, February 8.

Warrandyte police station ‘will not close’ says Victoria Police superintendent


VICTORIA Police Force superintendent Richard Watkins says Warrandyte police station will “definitely not be closing” after recent rumours suggested the Warrandyte station was on the way out.

“Not true,” Superintendent Watkins told the Diary. “There’s no one size fits all when it comes to police stations and when there’s such a high bushfire risk in the area there is absolutely no intention of closing down Warrandyte police station.

“We’re still rolling out fire setter patrols (for anti-arson measures) during the warmer months and also going ahead with preparation and communicating with the local CFAs in the other months of the year.”

A source close to insiders at VicPol called the Diary earlier this week saying “it’s a done deal, 100 per cent” regarding the topic of the station closing. It follows more recent, and alarming, downsizing at suburban stations including Ashburton which has gone from being manned seven days to two, while Somerville has a brand new $16mill station completed last year but is yet to be manned and there are reports of a station in the Geelong area operating well below it’s full complement officers among several other examples.

A post earlier this week on the Diary Facebook page asking the question about whether the Warrandyte station would be closed down prompted mixed reactions from locals, most of whom were clearly against the idea of no police station in Warrandyte. “We have been here for two and a half years and had to use the station five times; seriously stupid idea (closing it),” one new resident said. Another pointed out, “No point staying open if no one is ever there,” while others said they would be shocked and disappointed given the station is only relatively new in addition to what many locals believe is a spike in crime in the area and the fact Warrandyte is one of the biggest bushfire risk suburbs in the country.

The topic of the future of the Warrandyte police station, along with how frequently it is unmanned, as well as the recent rejection of local MP Ryan Smith’s call for a 24-7 station with greater police numbers have been big talking points in recent weeks: particularly with the increased number of break-ins and burglaries to businesses, homes and cars within properties and on the street in the lead up to Christmas – and indeed the past two years – which have been of great concern to residents, business owners and community.

From documents received by the Diary showing Mr Smith’s requests (note plural) in August, October and November in relation to his and the community’s preference (1200 signatures were received) for a greater police presence in Warrandyte, official letters to Mr Smith show it is obvious both offices for the Minister for Police and the Chief Commissioner of Police were saying the other was responsible for making the decision about the allocation of additional police. Mr Smith’s letter to Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton in October also suggested “direct communication be made with the Warrandyte community as to why Victoria Police believe the current staffing level of seven officers is sufficient”. Clearly, that suggestion has been ignored.

Interestingly, Mr Smith did eventually get official response and in a letter from the Chief Commissioner’s office it stated: “There is currently no evidence to suggest that Warrandyte requires a 24-hour station or additional resources … statistics released by the Crime Statistics Agency in March this year indicated a decrease in the total number of offences in the Manningham PSA. I trust this advice clarifies the position of Victoria Police concerning the delivery of policing services to the Warrandyte community.”

However, through our own research, the Diary checked the Crime Statistics Agency website and found there has been an increase in offence counts in Manningham year on year for the past four years. Further to this, there has been a surge in thefts and break-ins in Warrandyte in recent months leading up to Christmas.

In one of the major ones, a pop-up gem shop called Rock and Mineral Store near the Roundabout Cafe was broken into on December 8 but security camera footage of the couple caught in the act resulted in the man and woman eventually handing themselves in to police over the burglary of more than $30,000 in jewellery and gems. The man, 39, and the woman, 37, surrendered at Doncaster police station last Wednesday with a large amount of jewellery and are in the process of being questioned and charged.

Furthermore, a recent report in the Herald Sun pointed out how Manningham had become so affluent that it was becoming a hunting ground for thieves, with police warning residents to beef up home security.

And there are more contradictions.

Despite the Chief Commissioner’s office claim there was a “decrease in the total number of offences in the Manningham PSA”, Manningham crime prevention officer Carla Reardon advised the Diary only last month that burglaries were on the increase and thieves often were from out of town specifically travelling to the area and targeting homes for their valuables. Even a roadside sign was placed on the side of Ringwood-Warrandyte Road at the entry point to the town – for traffic coming from the east – warning of a rise in thefts in the area and encouraging residents to beef up security and to be alert.

In Manningham over the past four years, burglaries were up 7 per cent to 533 a year, thefts were up 7 per cent to 1509 and drug use up 71 per cent to 163 people charged with drug offences, according to the latest Crime Statistics Agency data.

MP Ryan Smith believes it is one big mess.

“Warrandyte residents have real concerns about the escalation of crime and anti-social behaviour in their community,” he told the Diary.

“Unfortunately, while the Minister for Police and the Chief Commissioner pass responsibility between each other, these concerns remain unanswered by either party, while the call for an increased police presence falls on deaf ears. This latest development that Warrandyte Police Station may close will only add to the community’s fears that it is not being heard.

“Let’s face it, there has been an alarming trend this year in suburban police stations either closing or reducing the days they are manned.”

The Diary will provide a follow-up report in the New Year.

Anyone with any information about crimes being committed or suspicious activity is urged to call Warrandyte Police on 9844 3231 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

 

Bridge of discontent


THE Warrandyte Bridge is a source of community anxiety once again as summer arrives and bushfire season starts early as residents are left waiting for a much-anticipated traffic report and more so a solution to a serious problem.

VicRoads now expects “to present and seek community feedback on a preferred option by mid-2016”. If an emergency event were to strike Warrandyte tomorrow, an estimated 2502 vehicles per hour per lane would be able to evacuate the area, causing total evacuation time to exceed three hours. That’s time Warrandyte residents simply don’t have in the event of a bushfire, Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith told the Diary.

“I’m glad there has actually been some progress around identifying some options to ease the congestion and make the community safer during a fire event. However, the timelines are too long and we actually need to see some progress from VicRoads a lot sooner than the timelines that they’ve flagged,” he says.

“I will certainly be continuing to put pressure on the government to ensure we do get some progress in a more timely manner.“

Back in June, VicRoads regional director Adam Maguire informed Mr Smith in a letter that traffic modeling of the Warrandyte Bridge road network would be conducted and a report handed down by the end of August. An additional $140,000 was committed in the 2015–16 budget to investigate ways to improve traffic capacity of the Warrandyte Bridge during an emergency.

VicRoads has since completed the traffic modelling investigation assessing potential options to provide additional vehicle crossing capacity of the Yarra River in the vicinity of the Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road Bridge in the event of a fire evacuation scenario. The report is said to comprise emergency traffic plans to assist in evacuation in the event of emergency and an update on the daily bumper-to-bumper traffic.

A community forum was held on November 12 at the Warrandyte Community Church by VicRoads and Emergency Management Victoria to discuss with residents and authorities the possible scenarios for action in the event of a bush fire, and the construction work that should be done in regards to the traffic flow on the bridge.

David Teague, VicRoads’ director transport and planning metro north west, told the Diary: “Information and supporting documentation on the potential options will be made available on the VicRoads website in early 2016.

Among the options considered as part of the investigation were upgrading the existing bridge to three lanes and building a second pedestrian bridge on Bradleys Lane, which could be opened to vehicles during emergencies.

“VicRoads, in conjunction with councils and emergencies services, expect to be in a position to present and seek community feedback on a preferred option by mid-2016.

“In partnership with Warrandyte Community Association, emergency services and Nillumbik Shire Council we are committed to delivering new traffic cameras in the Warrandyte area over the coming months which will be strategically placed to provide real-time traffic information to the community.”

VicRoads has also installed new traffic management signs and Disaster Plan boxes in the area, which contain equipment needed to assist with traffic management during emergencies and together with Victoria Police and CFA has “also developed improved traffic management plans to better cope during emergency evacuations”.

Three scenarios were proposed by VicRoads at the forum including:

+ Upgrading the bridge to three lanes, two southbound and one northbound, with new T-intersection signals at Research-Warrandyte Road and a wider entry road prior to the bridge on Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road.

+ Building a second bridge at Bradley’s Lane/Everard Drive for emergency use only.

+ Combining both scenario one and two for optimum results, saving over two hours of evacuation time and costing between $7-$10 million.

Warrandyte is in for a hot and dry fire season that all residents need to be prepared for, says emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley and local fire chiefs.

“The presentation by VicRoads about the Warrandyte Bridge and the options available to help with the access and egress was a worthwhile start to the discussion but it also highlighted that no matter what option progresses, those who live in Warrandyte have to make good decisions about their safety early, and to know what they need to do in the event of a fire, or a high fire danger day,” he says.

“Victoria’s future emphasis is on safer and more resilient communities. Creating a resilience-based approach is the first step in creating a modern emergency management system for Victoria. Empowerment of local communities to drive their own emergency management processes is core to this, working through existing networks, local leadership and community priorities to ensure that planning and recovery process are tailored, meaningful and self-sustaining.”

Bush fire threats aside, residents are still up in arms about the daily traffic congestion at the bridge during peak times.

“Most residents are more concerned by the day-to-day gridlock,” says Dick Davies, president of the Warrandyte Community Association.

“I think in order to resolve the daily gridlock issue in Warrandyte, it needs to be tied into the emergency management planning. We’re [Warrandyte] too far down the list of priorities and I think the two need to be done together.”

If you have more information on this issue, or you want to voice your concerns about local issues, send an email to info@warrandytediary. com.au. To see the full report from the forum visit www.warrandyte.org.au and letters to the editor can be emailed to editor@warrandytediary.com.au

A trucking disaster


A NIGHT-TIME truck ban has been imposed by VicRoads on some of the busiest roads in Melbourne’s north-east, just a month after Melbourne’s new wholesale fruit and vegetable market opened in nearby Epping, drawing heavy truck traffic through Warrandyte from across the state.

Trucks are now banned on all major north-south roads which access the Ring Rd between Heidelberg Heights and Eltham between 10pm and 6am in response to a petition protesting increased truck traffic and noise on Rosanna Rd, signed by about 600 people.

A glance at the map of these banned routes shows the only river crossing to the east of this area that is available to trucks overnight is via Warrandyte Bridge.

The transport industry and fruit and vegetable growers have warned the Andrews government to expect road chaos as the curfew forces thousands of truck drivers onto other residential roads at night and in the early morning. The curfew is a 12-month trial on nine arterial roads that run between the Eastern Freeway and the M80, the so-called “missing link” in Melbourne’s ring road.

VicRoads have put out a brochure North-East Truck Curfew Trial which states: “The night truck curfews trial has been carefully planned to strike a balance for the local community and truck operators.”

However, the bans do not include Research-Warrandyte Road, Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd, Warrandyte Bridge, or Ringwood-Warrandyte Rd. Furthermore, the brochure goes to great lengths to specify where the trucks are not allowed at night, but does not make any attempt to explain where they should go, particularly for those trucks from the south and east of Melbourne coming up Eastlink to Ringwood that need to access the Ring Road.

The truck industry has warned the ban will simply create new conflict between trucks and residents elsewhere. Victorian Transport Association chief Peter Anderson called the government’s curfew “a lazy and short-term approach to the underlying problem of lack of connectivity of our road network. It’s going to push trucks down roads that they’ve never been down before,” he said.

This latest action by VicRoads reinforces the views of some residents that until such time as the state government does something about connecting the Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway and Eastlink, then Warrandyte is seen as the sucker in the middle that gets all the traffic.

That viewpoint gains strength when considered alongside other recent VicRoads decisions such as reneging on previous agreements to restrict engine brake noise through North Warrandyte and refusing Yarra Valley Water access from Research Road to their pumping station at Professors Lane on the grounds the road is “too busy”.

The Diary asked VicRoads to comment on why Warrandyte roads were not also considered for this ban, where the heavy traffic from Eastlink to the Ring Road was supposed to go, and what modelling had been done on the effect of this ban on Warrandyte’s roads.

Vince Punaro, regional director Metro North West, VicRoads said: “Before and after traffic volume, data is being collected at various locations in and around the curfew areas. Throughout the trial, this data will be used alongside community and industry feedback to ensure the curfews balance the needs of the local community and truck operators. At the end of the trial, all of the data collected will be assessed to determine the effectiveness of the curfews.”

Five for Friday (spooky!)


What’s happening in Warrandyte and surrounds in coming days? Hold onto your hat … and your heart! There’s something spooky in the air.

One … Tomorrow is the day when witches, monsters, black cats, zombies, vampires, werewolves and all sorts of creatures come out to play trick or treating. We don’t care if you think it’s too American and “unAustralian”. It’s all about the kids having fun, so have a heart!

Two … We are right in the thick of Spring Racing Carnival and where better to go than the mighty Grand Hotel Warrandyte for a beer, a bite, and a bet! TAB, great food, drinks, and the place to catch up with great friends. Aside from Saturday and the Cup on Tuesday, Oaks Day is on Thursday and the pub isn’t the only one having a function. It’s all happening at Olivigna http://olivigna.com.au/oaks-day/ but don’t bother trying to book – it’s a full house!

Three … Blatant plug for a valued Diary advertiser: Warran Glen Garden Centre & Cafe is holding a Pink Ribbon Charity Breakfast on November 5 from 9am to 11am with 100% proceeds going to the Cancer Council. Phone 9844 1322. What a way to start your Oaks Day and also contribute to a magnificent cause! Also don’t forget Warran Glen’s Ladies Shopping Night on November 26 that includes nibbles, fashions, specials and prizes from 5pm to 9pm.

Four … Food, glorious food, and this time it’s a Turkish Dinner Banquet at Cocoa Moon tonight and tomorrow night! $40 per person, don’t forget to book a table.

Five … Warrandyte Football Club’s amazing 15-minute DVD featuring all the highlights of the big Grand Final Day is up for sale for only $10 and available at the Grand Hotel, Warrandyte Newsagency and Diary office. Don’t miss your copy.

 

Bags of Cannabis dumped in Warrandyte


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Images Copyright Warrandyte Diary

POLICE were called this morning after loads of marijuana plants were found dumped in Gold Memorial Drive in Warrandyte after a resident noticed what appeared to be rubbish left on the side of the road.

More than 10 large garbage bags and four pot plants along with a hydroponic globe were found at the site on Gold Memorial near Hussey’s Lane. Police are currently investigating.

The resident called the Warrandyte Diary shortly after notifying police and said “at first I thought it was some idiot who had dumped a heap of rubbish, but I quickly realised what it was – it was some idiot who had dumped a heap of cannabis!”.

More information to come in the next edition of the Diary.

 

Living with Lyme disease


Is there anything worse than not knowing what’s wrong with you when serious symptoms kick 
in and affect
 your health and wellbeing? Yes – when you know what’s wrong with you but the Australian system can’t help you. SAMMI TAYLOR investigates

EUGENE Hansen has lived in Warrandyte his entire life. He’s a successful small business owner, a coach at the Warrandyte Junior Football Club and is a familiar face in our local community. He is a loving husband and a father to three children.

But Eugene has lived with a painful secret – an incurable disease. His health is rapidly deteriorating; his quality of life is in decline, yet he’s not receiving the help he so desperately needs.

Eugene suffers from Lyme disease, an infectious disease caused by bacteria and borne by ticks. Lyme disease is characterised by a steady break down of the immune system, causing those infected to become vulnerable to several co-infections. If left untreated, over time Lyme disease can cause a myriad of issues—seizures, migraines, cognitive impairment, arthritis and insomnia are all common for those with Lyme disease. These symptoms are often extremely painful and can, in some cases, be fatal.

But this is more than just your daily pains and aches.

“I’m in excruciating pain. I have seizures. I suffer excruciating migraines, between 21 and 25 days per month of migraines,” Eugene tells the Diary.

“I get pneumonia pretty regularly. I can’t battle illness. I avoid as many public places as I can—hospitals or any place where I could pick up any illness. I don’t have the capacity to fight off any infections.’

It took over 14 months, and 220 medical appointments, before there was even a glimmer of diagnosis or the hope of answers. Treatment, a cure and an end to this excruciating pain seemed like a lifetime away.

“I had CT scans, MRIs, blood tests…I had absolutely everything. The only logical conclusion they could come to was: ‘you’re nuts’. Neurologists throw their hands up in the air and tell you it’s all in your head. But, really? Simply, I am in pain and it needs to stop.”

Eugene’s blood was tested in Germany and America to diagnose the disease—and both tests came back positive. However, Eugene’s Australian tests showed no sign of infection.

The reason? As a technicality, the condition does not exist in Australia. Our doctors aren’t trained to diagnose it and our pathology testing doesn’t have the sensitivity to locate the infection in blood tests.

There’s cruel irony in what comes next. In the northern hemisphere, Lyme disease is not only treatable but curable. If diagnosed within four weeks, a simple course of antibiotics eradicates the disease from your system: 28 pills and you’re cured.

“It’s like if you stand on a rusty nail here in Australia, you go and get a tetanus shot. All I needed was those antibiotics for four weeks. It’s exactly the same as treating the common flu,” Eugene says.

There are at least 1494 diagnosed cases of Lyme disease currently in Australia, according to the Lyme Disease Association of Australia.

Another Warrandyte man, Terry Ryan, 45, has also suffered Lyme-like symptoms for over a year. The similarities between him and Eugene are indisputable: they’re both tradesman, living and working on expansive properties in the Warrandyte area. They’re both family men, devoted to their community and battling a mysterious illness that has destroyed their immune system and quality of life.

“I’ve been to dozens of hospitals, seen dozens of neurologists, cardiologists, immunologists. They pretty much told me it was all in my head and I needed to see a shrink,” Terry told the Diary.

But the physical pain and symptoms many Lyme patients suffer are clear signs the disease is far more than a mind game.

“I’ll collapse and have seizures and sometimes I’m just really out of it. I have no control over my body. It’s like there’s this big fog cloud over my head. It’s like you’re in a mist and you just don’t know what’s going on.”

Terry and Eugene are just two among the potential cluster of Lyme disease patients in Warrandyte. The Diary is aware of and in contact with at least a further three members of our local community who are battling the condition.

Australia’s medical boards, federal government and insurance agencies all deny Lyme disease exists in our country. For Lyme patients, these auhorities turning a blind eye to their suffering is just another punch in the guts. With no acknowledgement of the condition, there’s no accessible, or legal, treatment and no Medicare rebates.

Eugene says: “You basically end up paying for all of your treatment and there are locals here in Warrandyte who can’t afford that. They suffer through all the side effects, the seizures and the chronic symptoms, because they simply can’t afford to pay for the treatment.

“I could go to Germany. It costs $77,000 for the treatment there. We’re now looking at selling our home for the treatment. We shouldn’t have to go through this.”

But Eugene is determined to not only overcome his own illness, but fight to improve the lives of other Lyme sufferers.

“I want to just go and shut the gates of my property and get better. But I can’t do that unless I get the acknowledgement that [Lyme disease] exists,” he says.

“I’m going to scream into any microphone until they say that the easiest way to get this bloke to go away is to get off the fence, acknowledge it and fix the issue.”

The Lyme Disease Association of Australia is pioneering that fight. The dedicated group of volunteers provides support for Lyme patients—connecting them to medical services, peer support and updating them with new information. A recent awareness campaign, launched in May this year, saw 20,000 postcards with Lyme awareness messages sent to politicians across the country.

“I believe the government needs to take action right now. They need to indicate there is a Lyme-like illness here and it’s an emerging disease,” says Sharon Whiteman, president of the Lyme Disease Association of Australia.

“Lyme patients need to be given the best standard of treatment. It is hard for anybody to understand that in a country like Australia patients, who are obviously very ill, would go to a doctor and be told that their symptoms and all kinds of abnormal tests are being ignored. It is unbelievable, but it is the truth.”

The next step for the Lyme Disease Association of Australia is to get our federal government to take notice.

“The politicians are skirting around the issue. We’ve been bashing [Kevin Andrews’] door down to meet him but he hasn’t responded to me at all,” Eugene says.

“[There are] constituents here who are suffering, who are in horrendous pain. He says he’s a strong advocate for families—well what about my family, Kevin? Come and spend some time with me and my family when I’m having a seizure or a migraine at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. Come with me and tell my children why I’m sick.”

The office of MP Kevin Andrews has sought advice from the Minister for Health, Hon. Susan Ley. They are in the process of investigating the issue of Lyme disease in our community.

“I understand and sympathise with the concerns of people and their families who are suffering from a chronic debilitating illness,” Mr Andrews told the Diary. “But it must be up to the patient and their treating doctor to decide on an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.”

There also is some consolation in the support from the Warrandyte community and those battling the illness are drawing strength from one another.

“I keep in contact with all the others,” Terry says.

“Every now and again we catch up down the street or at footy or whatever, just to see if there’s anything new and what’s going on.”

Eugene says: “And Terry has been a tremendous support. He’s become a part of our support network. I want to try to arrest this thing. I don’t want to give in. I’m in a constant battle with pain because I want it to stop. I want to get better.

“I’m prepared to do what I need to do. I’m going to show everybody here that I can beat it.”

 

If you have any information on Lyme disease, or think you may be experiencing symptoms, please contact your doctor. More information on Lyme disease can be found at www.lymedisease.org.au

Police urge Warrandyte residents to step up home security in light of crime spike


MANNINGHAM crime prevention unit is urging residents of Warrandyte and surrounds to be vigilant with security of their homes and to invoke the basic Neighbourhood Watch Principles after another increase in crime in recent months.
Senior constable Carla Reardon told the Diary there had been a spike in burglaries in Warrandyte, Templestowe, Park Orchards and Donvale.

“By no means are we wanting to alarm people, but do need home security increased in the area to help deter burglars,” Sen Const Reardon said. “On many occasions people have security systems but  aren’t arming them or they are inactive for a variety of reasons including being broken or residents are only out for a short time.
“We are reminding residents to lock their houses including doors and windows, be aware of any suspicious behaviour, and people or vehicles that look as though they are out of place. Descriptions and details are very useful. It’s important to report any suspicious behaviour to 000 at the time of seeing these things so police have the opportunity to attend and make an assessment of it.
“Increase natural surveillance, for example, keeping gardens trimmed and having working sensor lights.
Get to know your neighbours and notify them if you will be away for a period of time, even just the weekend.”

Five for friday (grand final weekend)


One… Grand Final day and the Warrandyte Community Market is on tomorrow. It’s a magnificent 28-degrees and sunny. Why the hell wouldn’t you?

Two… Warrandyte Cricket Club season launch on Thursday 7.30pm with special guest speaker, former Aussie paceman Rodney Hogg. Go Bloods.

Three… Those of you who have not yet booked to see All in the Timing, Warrandyte Youth Theatre’s performance of 5 brilliant David Ives plays are missing a real treat.  A fantastic funny evening (or afternoon) awaits.  Grab the last tickets now for performances for tonight and tomorrow.  You will not be disappointed.  Tickets at http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=151653

Four… Fabrics and book sale at Warrandyte Uniting Church tomorrow from 10am until 3pm.

Five… Looking to expand your personal universe? The Warrandyte Community Centre (upstairs) plays host to a book launch – Peter Smith’s ‘Quantum Consciousness’. From 3pm.

ATO scam rattles residents – just hang up!


THE latest money-grabbing scam has hit residents in Warrandyte in the form of a hoax phone call to landlines or mobile phones.

On answering the phone, the listener receives a recording in a female voice with an American accent advising it is a call from The Australian Taxation Office suggesting you have failed to pay an outstanding debt. You are warned unless contact is made immediately, arrest warrants will be issued.

To prevent that from happening the caller is told to phone a Melbourne or Sydney number to arrange immediate payment.

Needless to say, it’s a hoax message.  The Diary contacted the ATO who advise it has been flooded with calls and has nothing to do with the message. It has been reported to the Australian Federal Police, but the AFP are powerless to stop the calls as they originate from overseas and the phone numbers given (Voice-over-IP lines) are changed frequently.

If you receive such a call, the best advice is to simply hang up.

Bloods bag three flags


WARRANDYTE Football Club made history in a momentous day for the community winning three out of three grand finals in front of a jubilant crowd at Walker Park on Saturday.
the U19s, Reserves and Seniors outfits all displayed the necessary grit and desire to record hard-fought wins over Ferntree Gully, Forest Hill and Kilsyth respectively.
For Warrandyte, the Grand Final victories mean a promotion back into division three of the EFL, as well as a place in the history books, becoming the first team of the decade to have all three sides win their grand finals in one year.

2015 triple flag souvenir liftout Pages 17-20

Icing on the cake

Bloods seniors seal the deal for triple treat

By MIKEY DI PETTA and SCOTT PODMORE

AS if the pressure wasn’t on.

Two sensational performances by the Warrandyte Football Club Under 19s and Reserves to claim flag glory, and the Bloods seniors were suddenly faced with ticking off a perfect day – a triple premiership bonanza that was as rare as hen’s teeth.

Pressure, indeed, because our seniors were the ones every fan was most confident about and also because their victory would be the deciding factor for moving back into Division 3 where the competition is better and healthier.
Playing a Kilsyth team that had pipped the Bloods by a point during the season, Warrandyte was well and truly primed with a week off after a convincing second semi final win over Forest Hill and also welcomed back James Appleby and Troy Ratcliffe to field an imposing line-up full of strong run and carry.
The Bloods line-up couldn’t look any more menacing.

With the crowd also primed after two big wins in the earlier games, the roar for the Bloods was immense.
Warrandyte couldn’t have asked for a better start, winning the ball early out of the middle and generating penetrating inside 50 entries. The Bloods forwards were licking their lips and it didn’t take long for Froud to claim his first and Appleby to slot one shortly after. The Bloods stormed to a 13-point lead within minutes.
However, Kilsyth proved it was up for the fight and star full forward Jay Sherlock answered Froud with a major of his own, starting a run of three straight Kilsyth goals. The momentum of the game was turned on its head and only desperate defending by skipper Tom Naughtin kept the margin under single digits at the first change.

Sherlock began to stamp his authority on proceedings and booted a controversial second major that seemed to graze the post to hand Kilsyth a two-point lead at quarter time.

Coach Tout calmed his troops in the quarter time huddle and pointed out “we knew they would challenge like this, it’s no surprise”, urging his troops to settle, focus on their roles and get stuck into the style of game that had worked for them all year. That including demanding more from playmakers to rise to the challenge, and even squared up in and under veteran Tom Appleby with a poke to the chest making it clear he was one he wanted a big lift from – and deliver he did, as the Bloods came out in the second with a dominant display throughout the second term kicking six goals to two.

Dunn and Froud began to link up in brilliant fashion, assisting goals for each other to help build a strong Warrandyte lead. They would continue to dominate and bag 11 majors between them in a powerful display of two gun forwards seamlessly linking up as the competition’s most dangerous forward set-up.

Froud ran amok and quickly had the crowd in a state of delirium with three majors in 10 minutes and that excitement reached fever pitch when skipper Tom Naughtin bombed one in from outside 50.
As the half-time siren sounded, the Bloods left the field to raucous applause, having taken a commanding 25-point lead, 9.7.61 to 6.6.36.

The onslaught continued in the third term and Warrandyte seemed to have one hand on the cup with Froud benefiting from quick inside 50s that were clearly unsettling the Kilsyth defence. The Warrandyte run and carry was on show and was complemented by plenty of physical pressure from Jacob Daley, who threw his body into every contest as he had done all year. Daley was tremendous, an inspiration all day and eventually was rewarded with best afield honours.

Fans young and old began to accept that the trio of wins was now not just a possibility, but was looking extremely likely with Warrandyte leading by 44 points with a quarter to play.

It seemed impossible, but Kilsyth capitalised on Warrandyte’s drop off in intensity at the beginning of the fourth to squeeze their way back into the game. The underdogs chipped away at the deficit and suddenly found themselves within four goals off the lead with about ten minutes to play, but Warrandyte did enough to hold that lead and emerge as 23-point victors claiming the third premiership of the day.
Warrandyte fans piled onto the ground to celebrate with the three sides who had provided the first taste of grand final success since 2006. In a spirited community gesture, the senior team invited one and all in for the theme song which was delivered loud and proud.

Bring on season 2016 when the Bloods step up to Division 3.

FINAL SCORES

Warrandyte 3.5.23   9.7.41   15.10.100   16.11.107

Kilsyth           4.1.25   6.6.42   8.8.46       12.12.84

Warrandyte goals: Froud 6, Dunn 5, Naughtin, Lamaris, Ansaldi, Skorsis, T Appleby.

Warrandyte best: Daley, Gauci, Froud, T Appleby, Tout, Naughtin.
FLAG NO.2 Reserves dig deep and deliver

FRESH off the back of the inspirational U19s victory, the Reserves came out pumped up and ready to add to the Warrandyte tally.

The misty morning had cleared and the sun began to beam down over Walker Park and the crowd swelled to new levels in expectation for another terrific contest.

However, the game was a scrappy affair for the first 15 minutes of the match when both teams locked down each other’s forward line and the scoreboard was showing donuts. Not even a point had been scored as both teams went at it with relentless intensity.
But the Bloods finally broke the deadlock, finally managing to prize the ball free out of the endless stoppages and peg the first on the board before 100-goal star Gareth Hitchman also found a way through the big sticks to give the Bloods a two goal cushion going into the quarter time huddle.

Being scoreless in the opening stanza didn’t deter Forest Hill, who came out with the same level of attack on the ball and it started paying dividends.

Stoppages were certainly clogging the flow of the game and neither side was able to crack the game open. Jake Bentley showed admirable determination around the packs to help Warrandyte restrict opposition movement, but it was clear the Bloods had to get their season-defining “run and gun game going” to have a real chance, as one supporter aptly pointed out behind the fence.
A quiet quarter on the scoreboard for Warrandyte allowed Forest Hill to creep closer as the halftime siren blew, and managed to get within seven points of the Bloods, trailing Warrandyte 2.0 12 to 3.1 19.
An expectant and slightly restless Warrandyte crowd primed themselves to get behind the Reserves as they came out for the second half and do their part to help the side secure a second Bloods premiership.
However, it was Forest Hill doing all the singing in the stands after a magnificent three-goal burst stunned Warrandyte midway through the third term. The Bloods midfielders struggled to provide any serviceable entry for star forward Hitchman and co, as the fiercely congested nature of the game seemed to suit Forest Hill.

Strong defending by the Forest Hill back six restricted the Bloods to just two behinds for the term and Warrandyte trailed by nine heading into the last change, leaving the game on a knife balance. It was looking terribly like a repeat of last year’s Grand Final match in which the Bloods succumbed when it counted.

But not this time.
After a three quarter time spray by coach Wally Cashion, the Bloods came out showing they wanted it more. The game continued to sit in the balance throughout the early stages of the quarter, but it was Warrandyte holding field position due to terrific forward and midfield pressure, in particular by Toby Versteegen. The Bloods reduced the deficit to just two points by the 10 minute mark of the term and what followed in the final 20 minutes gave every supporter at the ground goosebumps. The Warrandyte boys well and truly switched on in the game’s most defining moments.
The Bloods found another gear and their forward line burst into life, seemingly feeding off the crowd. Hitchman bagged his third, which was quickly followed by a brilliant running goal by Kyle Sultana to put Warrandyte eight points up with just 10 minutes to play.
Dangerous small forward Matt Colborne-Veel finally got his moment late in the term kicking a clutch goal to give Warrandyte a double digit lead and send the pro-Warrandyte crowd into raptures.
With time winding down, Mitchell Gaffney iced the cake, kicing one of the goals of the season tucked on the boundary line to seal a classic 19-point win, Warrandyte taking the premiership by 18 points.

 

FINAL SCORE

Warrandyte 2.0.12   3.1.19    3.3.21   8.9.57

Forest Hill   0.0.0     2.0.12   5.0.30  6.3.39

Goals: Warrandyte: Hitchman 3, Sultana, Gaffney, Jurey, Colborne-Veel, Parker.

Best: Bentley, McWhirter, Munro, Johnstone, Versteegen, Gaffney.

 

Flag No.1 One giant leap for Warrandyte

By MICHAEL DI PETTA

UNDER 19s captain Sid Phillip-Owen said it best on Saturday in the post-match pandemonium as our Thirds rose from being underdogs to premiership heroes – “it’s one giant leap for Warrandyte”.

The Bloods’ Under 19s were first up on the big day and set the tone in sensational fashion claiming the flag with an inspiring 22-point win over Ferntree Gully.
Phillip-Owen played a terrific captain’s game to take home best afield honours and young star Benny Richardson kicked three to lead the Bloods to victory.

The game began in in typical finals fashion; tough and uncompromising, with consistent drizzle also affecting play. Warrandyte was relentless in its attack on the football in the middle of the ground and staunch down back, limiting inside fifties.
Young star Ben Richardson got Warrandyte off to the start they needed, finding space in the forward 50 to mark and convert.
The game remained stoppage heavy, with snap shots at goal serving as Warrandyte’s only way of troubling the scorers until Daniel Mifsud booted a beauty through the Bloods second.
Richardson added another late in the quarter to cap off a terrific first term, allowing Warrandyte to stun the more fancied rival in Ferntree Gully and take a 22-point lead into the quarter time break.
The second term was a very different affair, as Forest Hill emerged a much more effective team attacking the football with more vigor then the Bloods.

Getting numbers around the stoppages, the Forest Hill midfielders and forwards worked to lock the ball in their half and struck back with two quick snapped goals.
A couple of dropped marks and strong forays forward allowed Forest Hill to draw level, before a timely after-the-siren goal by Josh Beasley relieved the pressure for Warrandyte and allowed the Bloods to five-point lead into half-time.

The second half saw the Warrandyte leaders come to fore, especially captain skipper Sid who led by example, going back with the flight and putting his body on the line over and over again to rescue his side from opposition attacks. Defender Astan Ure stuck to his task in a lockdown role in the backline, but Ferntree Gully were still able to wrestle control of the game and took a five-point lead into the final change.

With the game and season on the line, Warrandyte lifted brilliantly in the final term, with Sean Bowers slotting one to put the Bloods 10 points clear with just 15 minutes to play. Ferntree Gully attempted to respond, but Captain Sid continued to play a blinder, especially when it counted, and refused to let his team surrender the lead.
A quick-fire pair of goals by big man Josh Beasley put the game beyond doubt with just a few minutes to spare and Warrandyte and supporters celebrated the first flag of the day.

FINAL SCORE

Warrandyte   3.4       4.5       5.8       9.13.67

Ferntree Gully 0.0     3.6       6.7       6.9.45

Warrandyte goals: Richardson 3, Beasley 3, Bowers, Mifsud, Bektash.

 

 

Warrandyte Bloods shoot for 3 flags


It’s time, people of Warrandyte. Grand Final day is this Saturday in Division 4 of the EFL and the mighty Bloods have all three teams playing for premiership glory. So let’s paint the town red and white.

The place: Walker Park, Mitcham.

The time: All “bloody” day!

A remarkable seven-goal turnaround resulted in one of the most memorable final wins in EFL history when the Bloods’ Under 19s snatched a spot in the GF. The game was a highlight for Warrandyte Football Club president Stephen Bell.

“The 19s win tops off an awesome year and an awesome two years of hard work. We started pre-season in October 2014 for this,” Bell told the Diary. “To the coaches and 19s, they deserve credit because they’ve worked hard. I saw how disappointed they were after the loss the week before and to see them in the rooms after the game they looked really together. They are a terrific bunch of kids.”

The support for the 19s was immense and Bell wants to see the sea of red and white grow even bigger for the big dance.

“It’s a pretty unique situation where you’ve got three sides representing the community on the one day in finals. It’s never been done in Warrandyte before and we want to make sure there’s an absolute sea of red and white down there to get the boys going.”

Unfortunately, a couple of boys will have to miss out on places, due to the nature of competition within the squad.

“You can never have too many players, but obviously you can only field 22 blokes. So a couple of guys are going to have to miss out in the firsts, and a few in the reserves, but they know that they’ve contributed and worked hard to help us get here,” Bell said.

The action kicks off at 9.15am at Mitcham and Warrandyte footy needs your support. Let’s cheer the mighty Bloods home.

 

 

 

Multi-use stadium permit submitted


MANNINGHAM City Council has applied for a planning permit for the proposed $17.9 million multi-use stadium at Mullum Mullum Reserve.

The stadium plans include five multi-use sports courts, seating for up to 500 spectators, amenities and a café. The facility will cater for a range of sports such as basketball, netball, badminton and volleyball. The facility will be critical to addressing the shortage of court space throughout the area.

Manningham chief executive officer Joe Carbone said the stadium development was a key feature of the Mullum Mullum Reserve Management Plan. The plan also proposes additional improvements at the reserve including upgrades to the existing sporting facilities, improvements to landscaping and the construction of better pedestrian and cycling links throughout the reserve.

“Manningham has a growing demand for court space for a range of sports including basketball, netball, gymnastics, badminton and table tennis, so the stadium development will play a pivotal role in freeing up valuable space at our other highball stadiums,” Mr Carbone said.

The planning permit application for the construction of the stadium is on public exhibition from Wednesday August 19 until Wednesday September 9. Submissions should be made during that time, however council can consider all submissions up until the day a decision is made on the application.

As part of the exhibition and planning permit application process, a community drop-in session will be held at the Donvale Hockey and Bowls Pavilion at the Mullum Mullum Reserve, at the corner of Reynolds and Springvale Roads, between 2pm and 4pm, and 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday August 26.

Members of the community are invited to attend the community drop-in session to speak to the project architects, specialist technical consultants and council officers.Following the public exhibition period, a report will be prepared for Council to make a formal decision on the planning permit application. Subject to planning approval, construction of the stadium would commence in late 2016, with the facility expected to be open to the public by the middle of 2018.

For more information on the planning permit application:

  • Visit yoursaymanningham.com.au/MullumMullumReserveManagementPlan to view a copy of the application and plans, acoustic report, traffic report and sustainability report
  • View a hard copy of the application and plans at the Manningham Civic Centre, 699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster, between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday
  • Call Council’s Statutory Planning Unit on 9840 9333.

Submissions must be made in writing and include the submitter’s name and address. To make a submission, either:

Drop your written submission in to the Manningham Civic Centre, 699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster.

Warrandyte doctor opens her heart


GETTING across the message that every hour a woman in Australia dies of heart disease, so every day 24 lives will be lost, is a top priority for Dr Linda Worrall-Carter who has formed non-profit organisation, Her Heart.

With a background in nursing, teaching and research, the Warrandyte resident has become an expert in women’s heart health and is a leading authority in Australia on cardiovascular disease in women.

CHERIE MOSELEN spoke with Dr Worrall-Carter about her big new endeavour.

Q. Cherie M: I understand you gave up a professorial role at St Vincent’s Hospital to start this new organisation?

A. Dr Worrall-Carter: Yes, it was a big decision for me, but I felt I really needed to do it. Most people don’t realise heart disease is the single biggest killer of women in Australia. I’ve carried out research in this field for almost 15 years and have learnt women mostly believe two things: that breast cancer is more likely to kill them than heart disease and that men need to worry more about heart problems than women. I want to change these misconceptions and provide resources for women to reduce their risks, because heart disease actually kills more women in Australia than all cancers combined. But the good news is, 80% of heart disease in women is preventable.

Q: Why then, are so many women dying from it?

A: Heart disease is simply not on women’s radar. I’ve published exten- sively and spoken at forums about this silent killer for years and it’s become clear to me – we don’t need more research but strong national campaigns to raise better awareness.

Women are still shamefully under-represented in research studies and poorer treatment outcomes make them 38% more likely to die in the year following a cardiac event.

I have a family history of heart disease and I’m a mum of two teenage daughters, so I’ve been urging my own family to be proactive about their risk. But when a friend said, “it’s all well and good that you have this knowledge, but most women don’t”, I realised more could be done.

That’s why I started Her Heart.

Q: What are Her Heart’s objectives?

A: Her Heart aims to offer educational programs, activities and events, also to advocate for national action on women and heart disease. It will reach out to women using social media and selected print, radio and television media.

Nothing like it currently exists in Australia – an organisation solely focused on raising awareness of the prevalence, risk factors and symptoms of heart disease in women.

Today, more than 90% of women in Australia have at least one risk factor for heart disease, as many as 50% have two or more. Meanwhile, it’s estimated the number of women over 65 in Australia will more than double in the next decade, so women need this information now more than ever.

Q: Pink ribbons are the hallmark we associate with breast cancer advocacy. How will we know its Her Heart?

A: Around the world, the universal colour for Heart Disease is red and the logos often (but not always) include hearts. Our branding supports both and has a beautiful red heart. We support the international Go Red for Women campaign (also supported by The Heart Foundation), which is known by its red dress.

Q: How will you fund the organisation?

A: Through my professional and research collaborations, I’ve developed extensive international links and affiliations, so I anticipate sourcing a variety of funding by way of government submissions and philanthropic avenues.

In 2014, I was invited to act as a program leader for the World Heart Federation and Congress of Cardiology with over 8000 delegates and have since been collaborating with Professor Noel Bairey-Merz and her ambassador Barbara Streisand from the US, who have a strong Women and Heart Disease campaign. All these connections will be extremely helpful as the organisation moves forward.

Q: What steps have you taken so far, in getting your message out there?

A: A Her Heart website was the obvious place to start (with links to other social media platforms), because women are strong social media users.
However, people tend to suffer

from information overload these days, so I’ve taken care in making the site accessible. Rather than heavy, medical language, it’s filled with easy-to-read articles, videos and user-friendly tools to calculate risk factors.

Most importantly, it focuses on just three key messages around women and heart disease: Know the signs and your risk. Change your lifestyle, if needed. Maintain your wellbeing.

Google analytics showed that people from 50 countries accessed the website in the first three weeks and in 25 of those countries, visitors spent more than four minutes exploring its content. I’m told that’s really good going for a new website, so I’m thrilled!

Q: If you could say one thing to emphasise your message about women and hear t disease, it would be…?

A: On the website, I talk about how important it is to connect, recharge and unplug. Women tend to leave themselves last. Unfortunately, that can be fatal. So, I would say: spend some time prioritising ‘me’.

For more information, visit the website: www.herheart.org.au