News

Bridgeworks finally commence

THE LONG-AWAITED works to upgrade Warrandyte Bridge finally commenced on January 15.

Major traffic disruption is expected over two full weekends in March when the Warrandyte Bridge will be completely closed to traffic on the Saturday and Sunday.

There may also be another full weekend closure in July.

Although VicRoads has not yet decided which two weekends in March are designated for the closures, they have confirmed that the bridge will remain open for the Festival weekend of March 17–18.

Whisper around the traps is that they may avoid the Labour Day long weekend of March 10–12, which leaves the possibility of March 3–4 and March 24–25, although the actual dates will be confirmed in February.

Residents planning trips during March weekends may need to reschedule their activities or plan for extra time as crossing the river during those two weekends will involve a 25km long diversion through Templestowe, Eltham and Research.

VicRoads has also confirmed that these bridge closures will be postponed if the Fire Danger Rating for Central District reaches Severe or above, or on days of Total Fire Ban.

CFA captains Trent Burris of North Warrandyte and Adrian Mullens of Warrandyte have advised the Diary that the emergency services have been fully consulted and they are both happy with the arrangements.

In the event of fire callouts during these closures, supporting brigades will be called from the same side of the river as the incident.

Now that it has officially started, the works which subcontractors VEC Civil Engineering Pty. Ltd. will be undertaking involve:

• Increasing the number of traffic lanes on the bridge from two to three, with two lanes southbound.

• New footpaths, including a shared user path for cyclists and pedestrians on the west side of the bridge.

• A wider intersection on the north side with traffic lights at the intersection of Research-Warrandyte Road and Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road.

• A new left-turn slip lane on Yarra Street eastbound for traffic turning left onto the bridge.

The worksite is at the Lions’ tennis courts on the southwest side of the bridge, and already some of the fencing has been demolished and contractors’ sheds and amenities installed.

Lions Club of Warrandyte president Jenni Dean told the Diary, “The tennis courts have not been well used recently and are a burden to maintain and run.

“We have been in discussions with Manningham Council and VicRoads and have agreed that the courts can be used as the worksite for the duration of the works, after which they will be turned into an outdoor fitness and recreation area.”

A spokesperson for Manningham Council’s Landscape and Leisure department, told the Diary that once the works were completed it was intended to completely demolish the worksite, tennis courts and fencing and turn the area into beautiful landscaped public open space with unrestricted access from the car park down to the Yarra.

Works undertaken on the weekend of January 20–21 saw the bridge taken down to one lane and an overnight power outage, works included:

• Removing light poles.

• Removing three trees on the south side.

• Removing sections of the road surface in preparation for a new surface

• Installing barriers and temporary yellow lane markings on the bridge, with restricted lane widths.

• Removing the pedestrian traffic island on the north side of the roundabout – much later a zebra crossing will be installed.

• Renewing the 22kV bundled electrical cable which spans the Yarra to the west of the bridge and relocating poles so as to be out of the way of the upcoming works.

Over the next few weeks, works will include installing scaffolding around the bridge and the temporary removal of the Queen of the Shire.

Until the work nears completion, there will be no access for pedestrians on the north side of Yarra Street to cross Kangaroo Ground road at the bridge roundabout.

Pedestrians will need to cross to the south side at the roundabout, walk past the bus stop, and cross back again on the other side, or use the river path under the bridge.

Canoeing at the festival… and more!

WARRANDYTE Festival organisers are pleased to announce that canoeing is back!

One of the keys in keeping a long-term community event like the festival in the ‘much loved’ category is to balance the mix of entertainment.

Canoeing on the Yarra was once a popular festival activity that began as early as 1979.

It delighted festival goers for many years, but was phased out of the programme due to insurance difficulties.

This year, Canoeing Victoria’s PaddleHub will provide easy to paddle, sit-on-top kayaks and qualified coaches and instructors over the weekend.

Offering supervised family fun on the water for all ages, PaddleHub will run hourly from 10:30am–3pm on both Saturday and Sunday. (Charges apply.)

Roving Entertainment

New this year at the festival, Manningham Council presents Polyglot Theatre’s Ants.

Polyglot Theatre is Australia’s leading creator of interactive and participatory theatre for children and families.

Ants is an interactive roving performance which has giant Ants bringing children together in a gentle and unusual landscaping project.

The creatures are half ant/half human, patrolling nooks and crannies in search of food, collecting objects and making friends.

You can see the Ants throughout the day near the Manningham Council tent, help them with their crumbs and make your own Ant antennae!

Film Feast

Warrandyte Festival and Striking Productions have combined to present another riverside staging of short films.

Live music and food will be available at Warrandyte Film Feast from 6pm on Friday March 16 at the Lounge on the Lower Riverbank.

Screening starts at 8pm. Opening film Children of Ignorance — written, produced and directed by volunteer Film Feast co-organiser Rosalie Ridler of Striking Productions — tells the story of an end of year work party.

There’s a lot going on: eating, drunken therapy, gossip and speculation over ‘Dave’s new mail order bride’ – not to mention a catastrophic event.

Starring a talented cast and crew, the story tackles racial profiling, sexism and prejudice in society.

Also included in this year’s eclectic mix, are two shorts written and directed by local filmmaker Ryan de Rooy.

Simon is a tragic story about a young, socially isolated boy who ventures to his local pub to have a drink with his best and only friend, Chris, but as the night dwindles, conflict arises, changing their lives forever.

In music video Dragon Blood, a bride, believing the spark in her relationship has perished, leaves a clue for her husband in the form of a cocktail umbrella, with hopes he will follow its path and reignite the spark.

Written and directed with his distinct brand of black humour, award-winning filmmaker Matt Miram’s Deep Sea Fishing demonstrates how, in the dating world, some people are just using the wrong bait!

People’s Choice prizes (sponsored by Palace Cinemas and local Internet experts Australia Online) will be awarded on the night.

Please note: none of the films to be exhibited have been classified in accordance with the Australian Classification Board. Content is varied, uncensored and may offend some viewers.

Generally, the films shown earlier in the first part of the event have family friendly content and are less likely to cause offence.

Tickets cost $15 and go on sale from February 1 until sold out. Contact www.trybooking.com/TPDU or visit TryBooking and search for ‘Warrandyte Festival’.

Art Show

Always popular, the 34th Warrandyte/Donvale Rotary Art Show hosts its gala champagne opening on Friday evening.

Festivities take place at the Warrandyte Community Church on Friday March 16 from 7pm–10pm.

A ticket costs $20 and includes supper and refreshments The Art Show Gala launches a weekend-long exhibition of artwork by local and interstate artists.

Weekend viewing of the Art Show extends from 9am–8:30pm Saturday and 10am–4pm on Sunday.

Grand Parade

Warrandyte Festival will be held over the weekend March 16–18.

The theme for 2018 is “Streets of our Town”.

Capturing everyone’s imagination on Saturday is the Grand Parade, with its costumed ensemble of schools, kindergartens, community and sporting groups gathered on Yarra Street to start the colourful walk to Stiggants Reserve.

On Saturday March 17 2018, Ringwood-Warrandyte Road/Yarra Street, (between Falconer Road and Harris Gully Road roundabout) will be closed to traffic from 10:30am until 12pm.

The parade kicks off at 11am. As usual, craft and produce market stalls will offer home grown, home sewn and home made goods.

Program

A full festival program and rundown of events will feature in the March edition of the Diary.

For general information, go to www.warrandytefestival.org

Scouts waterslide, kids’ market, the Grand Read. Battle of the Bands, billycarts… and canoeing!

Two stages.

Great music.

Be sure you get along to the festival that has it all.

Celebrating unbounded love

WARRANDYTE-BASED Marriage Celebrant, Lisa Hunt-Wotton was instrumental in helping Simone Gemmell and Rebecca Lauder become one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry in Australia.

Simone, who attended Warrandyte High School, and Rebecca had been engaged for three years and were six months into planning their commitment ceremony when the same-sex plebiscite was held.

The couple told the Diary how delighted they were when the same-sex marriage bill was finally passed. “This, to us, felt surreal.

“We didn’t think, with all the controversy, that Australia would actually come to the game and when they did it was a feeling like no other.

“We sat on the couch together, drink in hand and just took in what had just happened.”

Rebecca went on to discuss how, prior to the same-sex marriage bill, she experienced frustration in their inability to legally proclaim their commitment to each other.

“It was a constant reminder that we were different… it felt like our wedding, which was important to us, wasn’t as important to others because of the law.”

With the bill set to become law on January 9, Simone, Rebecca and Lisa had a new challenge to encounter, the date they had set for their original commitment ceremony was three days before the law would be passed.

Lisa was determined to make sure the couple could do it right, do it once and do it on the day they had planned to, so the celebrant immediately began studying the law to see if there was any way the women could legally marry before the bill officially came into effect.

“I called the girls and said that there were five reasons why the government would grant a change of date and that I thought they qualified for one of them,” says Lisa.

The couple made multiple trips to Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria and were given a decision on December 21, that they would be legally allowed to marry on January 6.

“It was truly a day we will never forget, a moment of sheer excitement,” the couple told the Diary.

Simone and Rebecca were married by Lisa, in front of all their friends and family, in Panton Hill.

“That day will always be the happiest day of my life, seeing her smile and signing those papers was our special moment for us to always have,” says Simone.

Rebecca added, “I’m the happiest I have ever been and words will never express what the YES vote has done for me, my partner, family, friends and children in the future.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart”.

Photo: Sigrid Petersen Photography

Community bank pays big dividends to local projects

CHRISTMAS just came early for more than 55 community groups in Warrandyte and surrounding areas.

They all received a share of $400,000 in grants and sponsorships thanks to the Warrandyte Community Bank’s Community Investment Program, which sees up to 80% of its profit returned directly to our community.

To celebrate, the bank held its Annual General Meeting and Grants Presentation with more than 100 volunteers and community leaders on November 13 at the Warrandyte Sporting Group clubrooms.

Staff and Directors heard first-hand how grant funds will be spent over the coming year.

Aaron Farr, Chairman of Warrandyte Community Financial Services, the company which operates the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch, said the grants would be used to carry out improvements to local infrastructure, resources and projects which will benefit the entire community.

“This year’s grants ranged from $850 to more than $56,000; $400,000 has been committed for the year, with $2.8 million reinvested in the community since we opened in 2003.

“It is really rewarding to see the Warrandyte clubrooms full of people, many volunteers who work hard with the greater good of their community at heart and all benefitting because the community banking model ensures funding is directed at a local level,” he said.

Grant recipients include local CFA’s, environmental and arts groups, schools, kinders, sporting groups, community services and church groups.

The Park Orchards Pettet Family Foundation gratefully accepted sponsorship of $5,000 to support its work in the local community — the Foundation provides crisis intervention for children and their families.

Foundation Director Graham Whiteside said: “we are continually striving in our efforts to increase our reach and are consciously expanding our horizons when caring for those in need in our community.

“There are a lot of people who have been assisted by the Foundation and this is due, in no small part, to the funds you make available to us.”

Veronica Holland told guests what Christmas Hills Fire Brigade will be doing with its grant of $16,995, which will ensure the replacement of the brigade’s manual bi-fold door.

Operation of the existing door is slow and arduous, it can take up to 20 minutes to be opened, requires two personnel and the brigade’s Tanker can barely pass under safely.

“The bi-fold door on the south station is old, warped, pernickety and tired, much like many of the firefighters,” said Veronica.

She went on to say “getting an automated push button magical door is going to make us all very very happy”.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia (SCA) was awarded the banks’ inaugural Strengthening the Community Philanthropic Award.

Warrandyte Community Bank Director Lance Ward made the surprise presentation sharing his thoughts on the significant impact of sports chaplains and how in times of crisis our young people need options to turn to that might not be their mum and dad, medical professionals or their teachers.

“It’s so important for young people to have someone to talk with when times get tough.

“The chaplains from SCA work alongside the young people in our sporting clubs and are making a genuine and far reaching impact in the everyday; that is, when things are going well and in times of need, this is both unique and special.

“On behalf of the Warrandyte Community Bank, the Directors and Chair Aaron Farr, we want to say thank you to the men and women of SCA for serving so selflessly in our local community,” Lance said.

The presentation night was showered with stories of change, hope and inspiration and on the back of a national Bendigo Community Bank “BE THE CHANGE” ad campaign, where customers are asked if they would like to see what difference their support makes.

In a sum up of the night, you may not think who you bank with matters — but it does, and for Warrandyte Community Bank customers their banking is making a real difference.

Every day customers help provide facilities, resources, community programs and change lives simply by banking with our local branch.

Their home loans are refurbishing pre-schools and supporting our CFAs, creating sporting facilities and providing classroom resources.

Personal loans, business banking and credit cards are funding rescue boats, conserving and rehabilitating native bushland, supporting the arts, festivals, Christmas Carols, the aged and relieving the hardships of those in need.

Everyday banking is providing all this and more.

In fact, $183 million has been returned to communities and initiatives Australia-wide via the community bank network.

Do you need a bank to give you the products and services you need?

Warrandyte Community Bank provides a full suite of banking products at competitive rates.

You can make a real difference in your community simply by banking locally.

To find out more contact Cheryl and the team at 144 Yarra St, Warrandyte or phone 9844 2233.

Teskey Brothers win big at Music Victoria Awards

THE MUSIC industries finest gathered in Melbourne during Melbourne Music Week for The Age Music Victoria Awards.

Melbourne soul tastemaker and RRR host Chris Gill and PBS presenter Lyndelle Wilkinson hosted the 2017 Awards acknowledging the best acts, releases, venues and festivals throughout the State.

This year’s awards saw some familiar faces gracing the prize-winners’ stage on multiple occasions as well as some first-time awardees, in what was an absolute standout celebration of the past 12 months of great local music.

Warrandyte’s favourite son’s The Teskey Brothers took out this year’s Best Emerging Act.

A previous winner of the award Remi was up for Best Male Artist this year but was edged out by perennial favourite and music legend Paul Kelly, so we hope to see the Teskey Brothers continue to go from strength to strength on the back of this prestigious award.

Frontman, Josh Teskey told the Diary that they are blown away by the amazing year they have had.

“From being a band from Warrandyte, that in our 10 years of playing together had never left Victoria, we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel our music all around the country and overseas to the States and London.

“Our album Half Mile Harvest has had a much bigger reach than we ever could have imagined,” he said.

Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan commented on this year’s impressive talent as he congratulated all of the winners and nominees.

“We are very proud that many of these winners haven’t just made an impact in Australia over the last 12 months, but acts such as Jen Cloher, The Teskey Brothers, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and A.B. Original have been flying the Victorian flag overseas,” he said.

To top off what has been such an incredible year for the Teskey Brothers, Half Mile Harvest was also awarded best soul/funk album.

Josh Teskey said the award was “the icing on the cake”.

“We’re so humbled people have responded to this album with such love, and avid thanks to Vic Music for everything they do for this thriving Melbourne music scene,” he said.

Major sponsor for the night was The Age, and Editor of the paper’s EG, Martin Boulton said “In our 12th year, it’s perhaps more satisfying than ever to see our genre award winners also making a name for themselves nationally and overseas.

“The huge array of talent nominated this year speaks volumes about the health of our local music industry,” he said.

Following the awards verdicts as per tradition, the festivities continued into the night with the official Awards After Party featuring killer live performances from minimalist disco act Harvey Sutherland and Bermuda, powerhouse trio Cable Ties and post-punk four-piece Gold Class.

Party starters the EG Allstars Band also backed some special guest performances from Josh Teskey (The Teskey Brothers), Archie Roach, Gretta Ray, Ella Thompson (GL), Michelle Nicolle, Birdz, Mojo Juju and Jim Lawrie performing some of the best songs of the year.

It was a big month for the local lads, as they also supported Australian music legends Midnight Oil for one of their sold-out performances at the Myer Music Bowl.

The boys are busy continuing with their tour around Australia and New Zealand, but if you are lucky, you can catch them on a brief visit back home on January 26 for a special twilight performance at Melbourne Zoo.