News

Labor promises to spend big on public transport

‘TIS THE SEASON for election promises, and the Andrew’s Labor Party has brought out a doozy, the Suburban Rail Loop, which will form an outer ring around Melbourne, and importantly for the area, provide a station at Doncaster, finally linking Manningham into the rail network.

This is not the Doncaster Rail that has long been called for, but combined with the Bus Rapid Transit service that has been proposed to run along the promised Eastern Freeway upgrade incorporated with the North East Link, this could be good news for Warrandyte commuters.

It is unusual in recent times for governments to commit to such a long-term project, as the four-year election cycle does not often reward such far-sighted policy.

Premier Andrews says that the Suburban Rail Loop project will transform Victoria’s public transport system, providing an underground rail connection between Melbourne’s major employment, health services, education and activity precincts outside the central business district.

There is also promised to be a connection to the airport, providing a direct link for travellers without having to tackle the roads or transit via the CBD, the rail journey from Box Hill or Doncaster taking only around 30 minutes.

Presently, using public transport to travel between Warrandyte and the airport can take around two hours, if travellers want to avoid travelling into the CBD to take SkyBus.

“Trains on some sections of this new suburban rail loop will travel at up to 130 kilometres an hour and will be able to deliver very fast services,” Mr Andrews said at a recent press conference.

Greens’ candidate for Warrandyte in the upcoming election, Ben Ramcharan told the Diary that the Suburban Rail Loop will be a much-needed addition to our public transport system, but without upgrades to existing rail lines, he fears overcrowding will continue.

“I’m personally very excited to see plans for a train station in Doncaster as part of the Suburban Rail Loop.

“This will bring rail services even closer to our community in Warrandyte and is something that the Greens have been pushing for for a long time,” he said.

Undoubtedly, the planned project will fundamentally change public transport around Melbourne, moving from a “spoke and wheel” system to a “web”, directly connecting suburbs without the need to travel via the CBD and reducing reliance on the radial transport and road networks.

It will not happen overnight, the project is expected to be completed in stages over multiple decades, with the nal completion projected out to 2050.

The first stages are planned to commence construction in 2022, beginning with the south-east section from Cheltenham to Box hill and the Airport link to Sunshine.

Project delivery

Exact project staging, timing, route and construction methodology has not yet been released, but Mr Andrews says it will be con rmed as part of the full business case for the project.

Cheltenham to Box Hill (south-east)

  • Fully underground rail to minimise impacts.
  • Further technical assessment required to determine precise station locations, staging and construction timeline as part of the full business case.
  • Target work to commence by end- 2022.

Box Hill to Melbourne Airport (north-east)

  • Fully underground rail to minimise impacts.
  • Further technical assessment required to determine precise station locations, staging and construction timeline as part of the full business case.

Melbourne Airport to Sunshine (north-west, Airport Rail Link)

  • Potential sections of underground and surface rail.
  • Technical assessment being undertaken as part of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
  • Target work to commence in 2022.

Sunshine to the Werribee line (south-west)

  • Potential sections of underground and surface rail.
  • Further technical assessment required for this stage as part of the full business case.
  • To be constructed in sections over a period of decades.

With a headline budget of $50 billion, the actual costings are yet to be released, but the Government has said that the combined Suburban Rail Loop south-east and north-east sections are expected to cost in the order of $30–50 billion, and the Melbourne Airport Rail Link section is expected to cost $8–13 billion.

Local Liberal member, Ryan Smith said that while the Liberal Party supports road and rail infrastructure, he is concerned that the election promise has been developed outside Infrastructure Victoria.

“The devil is in the detail, which is why this idea needs to be sent to Infrastructure Victoria for proper assessment, costing and planning,” he said.

“The Andrews Government set up Infrastructure Victoria in the first place, to allegedly ‘take the politics out of infrastructure’, yet this proposal is not one that has been assessed by that agency, nor did it feature in Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-year infrastructure plan,” he said.

The Government have not yet outlined the funding arrangements for the project, however the project’s Strategic Assessment states “opportunities to o set capital costs and capture value will be considered in the full business case”.

“This includes direct commercial arrangements or developments at stations together with broader value capture mechanisms”.

Mr Smith said he thinks this project will hit Victorians in the hip pocket.

“Worryingly, Daniel Andrews won’t rule out new taxes to fund this project,” he said.

Mr Smith says Governments must plan for the future, “however Melbourne’s commuters are sitting in traffic and standing in crowded trains today — they need a plan for today, not one that will only reduce growing congestion in 30 years’ time.”

Meanwhile the Liberal Party, so far, have more modest promises for Victoria’s rail network,

Liberals’ current promises are:

  • $487 million to extend the Cranbourne line to Clyde, adding both Cranbourne East and Clyde railway stations.
  • $450 million to extend the Frankston line with an electri ed, twin track to Baxter.
  • $300 million to duplicate the Hurstbridge line between Greensborough and Eltham, rebuild Montmorency station and add carparks at Greensborough, Montmorency and Eltham stations. $77 million to increase services and improve track conditions to Shepparton.

However, Mr Smith says “there will be others as the next three months progress”.

Both major parties have promises of massive infrastructure plans for eastern Melbourne, with the Liberals promising to construct an East West Link before they consider developing their own plans for a North East Link.

Labor is continuing its focus on public transport improvements alongside a North East Link and improved Eastern Freeway.

 

The Teskey Brothers perform at Fuji Rock

Photo: The Teskey Brothers Instagram

I WALKED along the meandering boardwalk from the White Stage — a most beautiful walk, spanning two kilometres in length, enclosed by lush greenery, bamboo forests and a canopy of trees for shade, with a rippling stream running alongside.

A part of me was excited with anticipation that there would be a band all the way from Warrandyte playing at Fuji Rock 2018.

It wasn’t long ago that I had sent clips and tidbits about this band to the Fuji Rock guys in Japan.

Coincidentally they were booked only a few weeks later. Nonetheless, they obviously stood out and caught the attention of the organisers.

We eventually enter the Field of Heaven, an outdoor stage within an enclave encircled by an eclectic mix of food tents, organic produce, teepees and craft beer.

It was surrounded by dense woodland, and by far the most chilled out area with a unique vibe — perfect atmosphere for The Teskey Brothers set.

From the moment The Teskey Brothers got on stage to do their sound checks, they gave a tiny yet robust glimpse of the solid performance that lay ahead.

This was cool with the audience who were either eating, ordering some beer or resting aching feet.

The band sounded pretty strong… until…it began… The magic started and their unique old school Motown sounds bellowed.

Folk moved in closer to the stage, some stopped in their tracks. When Josh Teske y (singer) unleashed his smoky, whiskey voice, the audience was taken back to an amazing analogue bygone era — I don’t think many saw it coming.

The fairly large crowd was mesmerised by the sounds of the six-piece band, two more members were added to create the horn section, which rounded off the tone quite beautifully. James from Fuji Rock Express added “ It can be strangely disorienting at times to see Josh speak between songs with his full Australian accent and happy go lucky demeanour then moments later witness the transportation to a rip roaring genuine blues wailer.”

We were treated to some songs that were over ten minutes in length. It was wonderful that each member was able to have their moment to do a solo or go off on a tangent.

During one of Sam’s climactic guitar solos, Josh ripped the set list off the ground to fan him with it, then crumpled it up and tossed it into the audience.

It was these charismatic and playful moments woven throughout that had the audience enamoured.

At the end of The Teskey Brothers hour-long set, it was clear that this was merely a taste of what this band has to offer.

They were captivating and engaged the crowd in their likeable, fun mannered ways. They were humble and appreciative of being able to perform at Fuji Rock.

The audience loved them and they were a favourite act for quite a few people.

Undoubtedly, The Teskey Brothers will be back at Fuji Rock, they have a great sound and left the audience wanting more.

Here’s to the potential and endless possibilities of what lies ahead for them.

Warrandyte, you should be proud. Fuji Rock is a three day Music Festival, nestled in the beautiful mountains of Niigata, Japan.

It is the third largest music event in the world, next to Coachella and Glastonbury.

It always features a solid line up. Fuji Rock is clean and green (the recycling process is meticulous).

It is a fun festival that is inclusive, strictly drug free and family friendly.

The majority of people are decked out in hiking and outdoor gear.

There are many areas to cater for all.

With stunning nature as the backdrop, it is a relaxing place to enjoy music and all the festivities.

Fuji Rock 2019 will take place from 26 July to 28 July.

If you would like your name on an exclusive wait list so that you do not miss out on this sell-out event please email: info@strikingproductions.com.au

 

Nillumbik says no to violence against women

NILLUMBIK Councillor, Jane Ashton lost her twin sister exactly 15 years ago.

Julie was murdered by her estranged husband. Her sister’s death is part of a sickening statistic where one woman per week is killed by a partner or former partner every week.

“We must change this,” Cr Ashton told a Council meeting recently.

Nillumbik Council listened and is taking a stand to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women and children, unanimously adopting a Gender Equity Policy.

Cr Ashton told the Diary she believes there is a link between gender equity and family violence.

“Equity is that everyone feels safe — and that physical attributes, your size, your strength, your gender, shouldn’t determine how vulnerable you potentially can be.

She says it is also about having respect.

“I think that if you are in a safe workplace, learning about equality and learning about the importance of language and learning and modelling respect, and respectful relationships — you are more likely to take that home and be able to influence your family and friends,” she said.

“Particularly with men, it is about giving them the tools and confidence that they can intervene or step in or say something.

“I think that historically family violence has always been seen as a private domestic matter that goes on behind closed doors and people have been very, very reluctant to get involved.”

Cr Ashton knows only too well the devastation that family violence can lead to.

“It is an absolute waste of a life — it is the worst form of murder — my sister had been murdered by someone who had been to my house, who had cuddled my babies, had Christmas dinner with us — what a betrayal”.

She says that while most perpetrators of these attacks are male, men should understand that they are part of the solution.

“The majority of men love and respect women, and they want their wives and daughters and sisters to be safe, but men also understand what other men can be like, and so it is very challenging when you are talking to men and they become very defensive.

“But men have to understand it is a real issue — murder is the ultimate form of family violence, but there are heaps of levels that go on underneath that.

“I’ve spoken to women in hospital who are severely damaged, and that is quite a regular occurrence,” she said.

Cr Ashton said police attended family violence incidents in Nillumbik every day, with sexual violence reported weekly, “we must change this”.

She told Council it was worrying that one in three people in Nillumbik did not believe in equal relationships between men and women.

“We must change this,” she reiterated.

“We all know someone who has been affected by domestic violence in the community.

“Preventing violence against women starts with community attitudes, and Council must lead by example.”

During an interview with the Diary, Cr Ashton said” “we can’t just rely on the police to arrest people or lock people away, or the courts to issue intervention orders, they have to try and manage attitudes around violence, and the way we do that is by promoting gender equity, challenging stereotypes and really supporting women to achieve equal outcomes”.

“Things don’t just happen on their own, they don’t just change, you really have to look at everything: from your advertising, when you are interviewing how flexible you can be, because it is alright saying you have equal opportunity, but people aren’t coming off an equal base, women often have breaks to have children, they don’t have a linear career path so we have to be a lot more flexible,” she said.

She said there is still a glass ceiling discouraging women from moving into leadership roles.

“From our politicians, to lack of female CEOs, for some reason there are barriers there to women being in those positions.

“You have to get it into people who are white Anglo-Saxon male: you come with privilege you don’t even know that you have, if you have never been someone who is marginalised or disenfranchised,” she said.

It is not just women who benefit from gender equity, she says there are benefits for everyone from moving away from stereotypes.

“It should take the pressure off about being an alpha male, for men to being able to enjoy their children and being able to enjoy things that are seen as more subtle sensitive, emotive, without any embarrassment.

“To reduce those stereotypes around both men and women frees us all and liberates us all and I definitely think that men have to be comfortable in their own skin too.

“Men that are artistic and creative people should be able to be themselves, whatever their gender or sexual orientation, everyone can contribute to community and be happy,” Cr Ashton said.

She said Nillumbik Council’s initiative in adopting a gender equity policy statement would be reflected in all its internal and external operations.

“That is making sure internally we have got it right and externally with sporting clubs, sporting facilities that we have got it right — that can actually create gender equity for men too — if you build a swimming pool for example, now we are having central family friendly toilets and change rooms, so whether you are male or female you can be with your child and go into a changeroom or a toilet, and that child is safe and with their mother or father”.

Cr Ashton cited the recent murder of Eurydice Dixon in Princes Park, “she had every right to walk home from work — as councillors if we make sure that our parks are well lit and there aren’t bushes hanging over the path — they are small things we can do, we shouldn’t have to do it — but it does help.”

“We have to do the audit on ourselves, make sure we have got things in place.

“We look through everything we do through a gendered lens — we look at everything — how we are building something, funding things,” she told the Diary.

As part of 16 Days of Activism, Nillumbik Council are officially supporting both Victoria against Violence and the global campaign.

This State campaign, now in its third year, involves 16 days of activism from November 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Activities in Nillumbik include a play reading, and Council are taking part in the Christmas Hills Mechanics poetry readings.

Council is putting the message on local garbage trucks to tell every family in Nillumbik that family violence has to stop.

Council is also offering five small grants of $500 each to local groups and businesses to fund activities to raise awareness of violence against women and promote gender equality.

“I really believe in lots of small grants to enable communities to explore ideas themselves, rather than always drive it or hold people’s hands,” said Cr Ashton.

Applications for the grants close on September 21, 2018.

 

Warrandyte Bridgeworks update

As the Diary goes to print, VicRoads announce an extension to this week’s work which involves reducing a section of Yarra Street to one lane with traffic control, works will now take place on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week:

Works originally scheduled for completion on Monday 13, Thursday 16 and Friday 17 August 2018 will now be completed on:
Monday 13 August 2018
Tuesday 14 August 2018
Thursday 16 August 2018
Friday 17 August 2018
We apologise for any inconvenience or confusion, however we will need more time, than originally thought, to complete these works safely.

We’re working with Yarra Valley Water to complete some service relocations along Yarra Street as part of the Warrandyte Bridge upgrade.

Yarra Valley Water will be excavating the road surface near the roundabout on Yarra Street to complete these service relocations.

When to expect us

Monday 13, Tuesday 14, Thursday 16 and Friday 17 August 2018

Time: 9:30am – 3:30pm

The impacts during these works include:
Only 1 lane on Yarra Street will be open for both directions of traffic. We’ll have traffic management on site to direct one side through at a time.
Long delays up to 15 minutes are expected on Yarra Street and the Warrandyte Bridge.
Pedestrian access around the area will be impacted during these works. We’ll have a site supervisor on site to assist any pedestrians with disabilities wanting to walk through the works area.
There’ll also be some dust and noise from excavation work on the road surface.
You can access real-time traffic disruption information via VicTraffic

These works may result in service disruptions. Your service provider will contact you if you’ll be impacted.

We thank you for your patience while we work to improve the Warrandyte Bridge for the community.

The Warrandyte Diary will continue to monitor these works and will publish any further updates here.

Can Warrandyte break the plastic habit?

AS THE single-use-plastic bag ban takes hold across the country, the people of Warrandyte are slowly embracing the change to reusable shopping bags.

“People have been really good,” said owner of Quinton’s IGA, Julie Quinton.

According to a survey of IGA cashiers, men have been the loudest complainants as the new system gets underway.

“They need to get organised and remember to bring their reusable bags so they don’t have to pay for a bag,” Julie said.

“Most people are pretty good, and you would hope that they would be after us trying to do it last time and now all the IGAs are doing this.”

Julie said when Coles and Woolworths said they would come on board in phasing out single-use bags, IGA followed suit. IGAs across the country have introduced a thicker reusable bag which cost 15c, along with a range of options for paper and fabric bags.

“Last time people were good when we first introduced it, but as time went on and they kept forgetting the complaints started — but it is more about them getting organised,” she said.

“We have also tried introducing reusable mesh produce bags in the past, but they were all stolen,” she said.

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The Warrandyte Riverside Market Committee spokesperson, Dick Davies says they are very receptive to any proposals to make the market plastic free, “especially offers to help”!

The market committee are encouraging market-goers to bring their own bags along to the market, as well as reusable cups.

Market committee member Greg Rowell told the Diary:

“We cannot control how the stall holders wrap their goods, it is up to market-goers to bring bags if they don’t want plastic”.

When the Diary turned up to the market this month, there was a large proportion of shoppers who had come with their own bags.

“Another major issue is coffee cups which are not fully biodegradable — people can bring their own of course,” said Dick.

“We have planned to have reusable mugs provided on stations at each end of the market but we did not get enough volunteers to run it,” he said.

Dick said that replacing stallholder’s plastic bags and containers comes at a cost, “which we are considering in conjunction with Council and other Manningham markets”.

The market would welcome members of the community to help out with their green initiatives.

“The onus of implementation should not fall on the committee of management who are all volunteers and working flat out as it is.

“Residents should bring their own bags and we need younger people who are concerned to come forward and help,” he said.

The ban on single-use plastics will hopefully go a small way to reducing society’s addiction to plastic and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our oceans.

Have you found ways of living with less plastic in your life? Contact the Diary to share your innovative ideas of how to live without plastic: editor@warrandytediary.com.au