News

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.

 

 

Crowds flock to first ethical market

WARRANDYTE loves a market. And the community was given a chance to embrace that passion, along with their ethical spirit, when over two thousand people flocked to the Ethical Night Market on a balmy December evening at the Warrandyte Community Church.

The venture was hosted by the Warrandyte Community Church, who threw open its doors for the event. The church’s minister David Molyneux was delighted the community had come out to make the market such as success.

“We received around 2400 people registering their intention to attend on Facebook, and by 7pm we estimate that we had already had 1200 people through the doors,” David said.

ethicalThe brainchild of five 19-year-old young women from the Warrandyte area, the Ethical market promoted values that tied into their beliefs around social justice, which they began to take an interest in as students at Donvale Christian College.

One of the young organisers Laura Tepe said: “We are just passionate about these issues and have turned them into something, which is really great.”

Co-organiser Jordan Barton said they developed a list of criteria for stallholders to be part of the market, and they had over 40 stallholders step up to the mark.

“They had to be Fair Trade, Organic, Vegan, Environmentally Friendly, Locally or Ethically Sourced, or a Social Enterprise, so that they can raise money for good causes,” she said.

Ms Tepe added: “Any excess money raised through entry donations and stall fees will be donated to the church’s international aid agency, TEAR Australia which deals with global poverty and injustice.”

The women are buoyed by the support they have received from the local community and intend to run the market again.

“It has turned so much better than we expected… and it turned into something a lot more than we thought.”

 

Health & Wellness Warrandyte

The health and wellness industry is thriving in Warrandyte as a diverse offering of both conventional and complementary services is available to all residents.
There is no doubting the necessity of a more traditional medical route and all of science’s benefits on the health front, but a universal shift in approach and thinking allows all of us so much more choice today.

Don’t miss the Health & Wellness Warrandyte special four page guide in our physical edition of the December Warrandyte Diary. The guide showcases just some of the wonderful options available whether it be homeopathy, massage, reiki, energy healing, reflexology, NLP life coaching, integrative pathology, yoga, osteopathy, dental care, hearing health, personal fitness training, neurostructural integration technique (a form of Bowen Therapy), psychotherapy, meditation, crystals, and creative dance.

That’s just scratching the surface.

“It’s not so much ‘alternative’, which is the term that’s been traditionally used for a long time now – which is more of a separation when it comes to describing it – but it’s now complementary in an integrative way with orthodox and natural working together,” says Jane Offer, owner of The Purple Dragonfly in Yarra Street.

A relative newcomer to Warrandyte with her now well known “complementary services” hub, Jane’s business also offers workshops and all sorts of interesting modalities to suit your needs and interests.

She says the “shift” in the way people approach their health and wellness has  infiltrated around the world for some time now.
“Many people need a medical route, of course, but they can also help their own body to deal with that and heal quicker,” she says.
“In America we worked with a hospital where there was a whole wing that was working with acupuncture, massage and qigong, and those sort of things, so there was a big opening and the integrative side of it has become very much more well known and really wanted by people.”

Jane points out Warrandyte has a wealth of resources and every person is unique, so it’s about finding the right fit.

“Warrandyte is fabulous, it’s a place where people are very much aware and more open than some areas I’ve been to, and it’s really heartening to see that,” she says. “For complementary therapies it’s about finding what resonates with you and the person who resonates with you and who understands your uniqueness. There are people in the Warrandyte area who are skilled in doing that.”
So step inside and find your perfect match…

Down the drain

WARRANDYTE’S Melbourne Hill Road catchment residents say they are “outraged”, “devastated” and “extremely disappointed” with Manningham City Council’s decision to vote for a scheme that a 97% majority of affected residents didn’t want and also say they feel “abandoned” by two of our Mullum Mullum ward councillors, Meg Downie and Paul McLeish.

And our third Mullum Mullum ward councillor Sophy Galbally has entered the fray and blasted her two fellow councillors Downie and McLeish and the decision, which effectively means homeowners will be forced to pay a large sum from their own pockets to help x council drains.

Only 3% of the 125 affected residents in Melbourne Hill Rd supported the idea of paying for Manning- ham Council’s $2.2 million scheme to prevent what it describes as a “significant flooding problem”.

Homeowners where the drainage work takes place will be hit with varying amounts to help pay for the costs.

In a document lodged with the Ombudsman, there is an extract from the Manningham Drainage Strategy 2004-2014 published on the council website http://www.manningham.vic.gov.au/drains that reads “Council’s current policy requires 75% support of all properties within a contributory scheme”, yet council still advises that MHRC residents will incur a Special Charge Scheme at a cost to be determined.

Cr Galbally told the Diary: “Why did Cr Mcleish and Cr Downie support the officer recommendation? Beats me, I was under the impression we were trying to find a sustainable flood mitigation option. Yes, I am disappointed in both ward councillors. If the Melbourne Hill Road catchment area residents had their support we would have been successful in rejecting Scheme 1, the of officers’ preferred option.

“Considering that all along we understood the scheme’s aim was primarily ‘flood mitigation’, why would council approve one that causes more disruption to residents, clear 170 mature trees which will change the landscape in an area which has an environmental significant overlay?

“And for that, residents and all ratepayers are paying $2.2 million plus. On the other hand, the alternative, less invasive option would have cost $1.3 million … and it was reported by the consultants as providing the equal level of flood mitigation.

“The reason why the resident preferred option, Scheme 2.1 modified, lost is it didn’t provide a drainage outlet to all properties … it wasn’t about flood mitigation but about future development!”

Cr Galbally didn’t stop there, saying the damage to the Melbourne Hill Road Catchment streetscape with the removal of some trees that are more than 50 years old was clearly something the residents did not support.

“The residents of Melbourne Hill Rd will have many of their front gardens destroyed and pay for their own landscaping after they pay for the pipe connection from the roadside to their homes,” she said.

“These costs will be above what they will be liable for under the special rates and charges … all for the benefit of having something 100% of the residents didn’t want.”

In fairness to all parties, the Diary has given residents of Melbourne Hill Road Catchment, Manningham City Council, and councillors the chance to respond on pages 10 and 11.

The author of the article no longer resides in Melbourne Hill Rd.