News

Growth projections “a concern for Council”

MANNINGHAM Council is preparing a submission to the State Government in response to proposed housing targets that would see 1,500 new dwellings built across Manningham per year.
Manningham Mayor Carli Lange said the proposed target of 39,000 new dwellings by 2051 represents a 76 per cent increase over 26 years, is a significant increase in growth projections for Manningham.
“Over many years, Manningham Council has accepted growth, planned for growth, and managed growth in a balanced and incremental way — in close consultation with our local community.
“The increased growth projections, and absence of detailed information provided, are a concern for Council, however we welcome the opportunity to engage with the State Government to ensure positive outcomes for the future of housing in Manningham.
“We’re eager to better understand the thinking and data behind the targets and how the State and Federal Governments will support the market to provide this additional housing,” said the Mayor.
As reported in recent editions, Manningham Council engaged with the community through feedback on its Residential Discussion Paper and Activity Centre Design Concepts.
The Diary, while reporting on these important issues, highlighted the significant threat to the amenity of Yarra Ward villages such as Warrandyte and Park Orchards, which were set to see significant development around the Goldfields Plaza and Hopetoun Road shopping areas as part of Council’s response to State Government housing targets.
As part of the Residential Discussion Paper consultation, more than 70 per cent of respondents said the “look and feel of their suburb” was their main reason for living there.
Respondents also identified a need for more diverse housing types, including more single-level townhouses for downsizers and larger housing for intergenerational families.
When asked about preferred housing types needed for the future, single dwellings were the top choice (40 per cent), followed by townhouses (23 per cent).
The community expressed similar values and preferences in their feedback on the Activity Centre Design Concepts.
As an indication of how engaged Yarra Ward communities are, Council said around half of the survey participants identified as visiting Park Orchards and Warrandyte Goldfield activity centres most often.
Many respondents urged the importance of protecting these areas from development because of the sensitive environment, valued character and amenity, and lack of public transport.
“The valuable community insights received through our recent consultations will help inform our submission to the State Government,” Cr Lange said.
“Plans for future housing growth should respect the valued neighbourhood attributes of local communities. “Planning also needs to ensure that the housing delivered is diverse and provides for a range of incomes, lifestyles, and life stages.
“It should also consider the impact on core infrastructure (roads, footpaths, drainage, community facilities), the environment, public transport, traffic and more.
“In addition to commercial development, we also expect that our major and neighbourhood activity centres will play an integral role in accommodating urban growth and development in Manningham,” she said.
Recently, neighbouring Boorondara Council released a statement condemning the housing target projections for its municipality, which was proposed to accommodate 67,000 new dwellings by 2051, a significant increase.

“The State Government’s approach to the housing crisis is both disappointing and flawed.
The need for additional housing is understood, but any suggestion that setting housing targets will solve this challenge or even be an effective tool is misleading for several reasons.”

Boroondara Council goes on to state that the housing crisis is a result of poor planning and should be the responsibility of the State and Federal Governments, not local councils.
Housing targets for its municipality represent a 300 per cent increase each year without any commitments to supporting the growth of surrounding infrastructure.
Its third point is that housing targets do not build houses; developers do — local councils cannot force developers to build housing for which they have approval.
The Boroondara release concludes: “Community well-being and sustainable housing supply should be our focus, not short-term politically motivated measures designed to deflect responsibility.
We look forward to a more holistic approach.” Similarly, Nillumbik Shire Council is also planning a submission to the State Government regarding its proposed increase of 53 per cent by 2051 — 12,000 new dwellings.
The Nillumbik statement says: “We recognise the need to increase the number and types of available housing in areas where our community needs it most, close to infrastructure, services, jobs and transport.
However, we need to do this in a way that supports what our community values so highly about living in the Green Wedge Shire, particularly the protection of Nillumbik’s unique character and environment.”
Sadly, politics is never straightforward, and while it is commendable that local councils are listening to their ratepayers regarding State Government housing targets, development around Box Hill and the Suburban Rail Loop provides a cautionary tale.
In May, Whitehorse Council released a statement regarding the State Government’s plans to accommodate 70,000 homes and 230,000 jobs around six Suburban Rail Loop precincts, which includes towers up to 40 storeys high in Box Hill and 20 storeys high in Burwood.
Whitehorse Council had advocated for better collaboration between local council and the Suburban Loop Rail Authority (SLRA) in February 2024, but were not consulted prior to the release of the plans.
Mayor Denise Massoud acknowledged the need for more housing and jobs but said increases must be balanced with the provision of open space and other amenities.
Increases in height and density on the scale proposed by SRLA will be a significant change for Burwood, where most dwellings are one or two storeys.
“It’s critical the Victorian Government works with Council to ensure new public open space is provided, as the Box Hill and Burwood populations and their workforces are set to more than double by 2056,” Cr Massoud said.
“We’d love to have our own ‘Central Park’ or ‘Fitzroy Gardens’ right here in Box Hill, which would bring enormous social, environmental, and economic benefits to the liveability of our city right now and into the future.
“We support the Suburban Rail Loop’s transport improvements but stress the need for transparent planning that puts the community’s interests first and includes collaboration with Council.”
Cr Massoud concludes: “As the local Council, we have unique insight into local issues and opportunities.
We need to be part of these decisions.”
The projected population increase in Australia and our major cities has triggered this planning scenario.
How do urban communities protect their amenities while addressing housing shortages?
Do we need to make sacrifices, or should the State and Federal Governments focus on making regional cities more attractive to businesses and residents?
Send your thoughts on this issue to editor@warrandytediary.com.au.

State and local governments at odds over dog park plan

IN THE 2023/24 Budget, the State Government announced $300,000 funding for a dog park at Stiggant Reserve.
Member for North Eastern Metropolitan Sonja Terpstra said, after “protracted negotiations” with Manningham Council, last month it was announced the dog park would instead be located at the northern oval at Warrandyte Reserve.
In Doncaster, Council has also diverted a planned dog park at Lawford Reserve to Burgundy Reserve.
Ms Terpstra said the funding package at Warrandyte was intended for the construction of a fully fenced off-leash area.
“An off-leash park where everyone can go [to their dogs] ‘knock yourself out in there’,” she told the Diary.
Manningham Mayor Carli Lange spoke to the Diary about what Council is intending for the funding.
“The improvements we’re considering for Warrandyte Reserve include essential features such as water bowls, shelter and shade, as well as upgrades to paths for improved connectivity.
“We are not intending to convert the reserve into a dedicated off-lead space, but rather provide these facilities to complement the current uses of this park for our broader community,” she said.
Dog poo left on ovals and along shared walking trails is a contentious issue, which the Diary has covered over the years through Letters to the Editor, cartoons, and articles. Uncollected feces by a few irresponsible pet owners on our sports ovals is also a regular issue on social media — especially with regards to kids turning up for footy training and having to dodge dog poo that has been left on the oval.
Council’s modified dog park plans will not alleviate this. Cr Lange said these proposed changes align with the objectives of the State Government’s New and Upgraded Dog Parks Program.
The State Government’s website says the dog parks program aims to:

  • Invest in under-utilised public land for Victorians to connect with their communities and exercise their dogs.
  • Invest in informal and formal offleash areas to meet the growing demand for people to socialise and exercise their dog off-leash.
  • Contribute to urban greening, cooling and shading of local neighbourhoods.
  • Improve connectivity of open spaces with other points of interest and activity.

However, Ms Terpstra said she has reservations about the lack of fencing and the space being shared between “dogs running around and people with footballs”.
Cr Lange said Council looks forward to starting community consultation in mid-July 2024.
“Dog parks are an important feature in Manningham’s Public Open Space; Council will consider further upgrades of other facilities when funding becomes available in the second round of the State Government’s New and Upgraded Dog Parks Program,” Cr Lange said.
She said Council would consult the community before delivering final designs early in 2025.
“We expect the projects to be delivered in mid-2026 and thank the State Government for their contribution to improvements for our community,” she said.
These projects are part of the Government’s $315 million Open Space for Everyone program.

Tell us what you think

Does Warrandyte need a dedicated dog park, or is Council right in simply providing more facilities for dogs to continue to share the oval?
Send your thoughts on this issue to editor@warrandytediary.com.au.

Council starts consultation with community groups on Warrandyte infrastructure review

LATE LAST year, Manningham Council released its latest Community Infrastructure Plan (CIP), which, in part, prioritised an investigation of community infrastructure within Warrandyte.
As reported in the September 2023 Warrandyte Diary, the CIP singled out Warrandyte for a review to determine if the community’s needs are being met and the potential of creating a new community hub.
Council says it will now engage local community groups to help plan the future direction of community facilities in Warrandyte.
Engagement will commence in July as part of the Warrandyte Community Facilities Review — a key project under Manningham’s CIP.
Manningham Mayor Carli Lange said Council is looking for future improvements to community facilities that will better support local services and connectivity for residents.
“Last year’s consultation on the CIP highlighted the need for a holistic review into the provision of community facilities in Warrandyte.
“With an increasing demand for services, we need to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support community needs,” Cr Lange said.
She said the Community Facilities Review will help guide future investment into community facilities in Warrandyte.
“During the consultation, community groups will provide information on their usage, needs, and expectations of facilities.
“They will also share ideas for future services and buildings, including opportunities for partnerships and facilities sharing.
“We want to better understand the needs, priorities, and aspirations of our local community groups.
“These discussions will guide the preparation of our draft recommendations, which will be shared with the broader community for further feedback early next year,” Cr Lange said.
Community groups and services will be contacted directly to participate in the consultation.
If you haven’t heard from Council by the end of July and would like to participate, please contact Council via Your Say Manningham. The final plan will be presented to Council for endorsement in 2025.
For further information, go to yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/ warrandyte-community-facilitiesreview.

Veterans’ Memorial upgrade

AS REPORTED in the December 2023 Warrandyte Diary feature article, Balancing accessibility and heritage, wide consultation and involvement with the community and interested parties has resulted in a Masterplan for future works in the Warrandyte Memorial Gardens.
|Stage one of the works will commence shortly.
Preliminary works have included the removal of some diseased and non-indigenous trees from the garden.
The Manningham Council Arborist determined that none of the trees proposed to be removed were protected by the planning overlay that covers the Memorial Gardens.
This stage focuses on levelling the soil around the stone base of the Memorial Tower and landscaping works to the lawn area to create improved runoff after heavy rainfall events.
At present, water is pooling on the stone base of the Memorial Tower and affecting its integrity.
Improved drainage around the Memorial Tower will address this issue, and an irrigation system will be installed to support the new turf that will be laid after the drainage/landscaping works are completed.
The Memorial Tower is a significant part of our community’s heritage.
It needs to be protected.
Many in the community rejected proposals to replace the grass area with hard materials to ensure that the memorial gardens retained a harmonious and spiritual “Warrandyte feel.”
The forecourt area will be replaced with a hardier natural turf.
Warrandyte RSL is determined to ensure a careful balance between functionality, accessibility, and preservation of the heritage aspects of the site.
This year’s outstanding attendance at the Anzac Day commemorative service highlights the importance of such places of reflection and remembrance.
Balancing both the accessibility and heritage aspects of the site has been a challenge.
Future stages of the overall project will be subject to ongoing consultation and community engagement.
It will include better access to the garden area and improved viewing areas.
Lest we forget.

In The Driver’s Seat National recognition

(Zeus portrait Olga Wahnich)

AS MANY OF you know I am an assistance dog.
I’ve done lots of training over the years to help my owner.
In the “trained dog” world, the canines I admire most are the guide dogs for the vision impaired.
Unlike me, they are very serious (but still lovable) characters who strictly abide by all the rules.
Recently, I picked up some great news from my canine companions.
Our Lions Club in Warrandyte has received an Australia-wide award for helping visually impaired people (VIPs).
Their project, “In the Driver’s Seat,” was recently announced by the Lions Australia Global Service Team coordinator, John Muller, in Darwin as the Top Lions Club Service Project for 2023–24.
Now running for over 25 years, the project involves giving vision-impaired people the opportunity to drive a car around Sandown Racetrack.
For some, the sudden or gradual loss of vision means they can no longer enjoy the simple pleasure of driving.
Our Warrandyte Lions use qualified driving instructors and dual-operated vehicles to offer our VIPs this enriching and thrilling experience.
The VIPs also have the opportunity to ride in racing cars, custom-line classic cars, and even on motorbikes.
Peter Watts, who was also vision-impaired, from the Warrandyte Lions Club had the initial idea.
I remember meeting Peter fondly.
We communicated by touch, voice, and scent.
Sadly, Peter passed away recently, but his legacy lives on.
In The Driver’s Seat is on again on July 14 at the Sandown Racetrack.
It will be great to catch up with all my guide dog mates.
A short video about the program, produced by 42K Media for Warrandyte Lions, is available on the Warrandyte Lions website warrandyte-lions.org/in-the-drivers-seat.

Newsflash As In The Driver’s Seat has won the National award, Warrandyte Lions is up for a Regional award, so my human is off to Bali in September to attend the ANZI Asia Pacific awards.

Heart of Warrandyte takes some beating

THE PINNACLE event of the Victorian hospitality industry took place at Crown Palladium last month, with a diverse array of venues and influential figures in the sector being honoured in 40 distinct categories during the gala dinner and awards ceremony.
A crowd of 1,200 attendees gathered at Crown Palladium for the highly anticipated 2024 AHA (Vic) State Awards for Excellence, where the industry’s strengths and successes were honoured.
The team from the Grand Hotel Warrandyte were hopeful of taking out at least one of the six categories they were in the running for.
Paddy O’Sullivan, CEO of AHA (Vic), said the awards celebrated the hospitality delivered through Victoria’s remarkable pubs and hotels.

“The Awards recognised the significant commitment and dedication of our publicans, hoteliers, and their staff,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

Tabcorp is a major sponsor of the event, and CEO Paul Carew praised the hotel industry’s resilience.

“A few years back, we were dealing with the pandemic, and more recently, we have seen pubs working through economic challenges like inflation and cost of living.
“Despite these challenges that you all face, you still show up for your customers, day in and day out, and for that unwavering dedication, you should be recognised,” he said.

The Grand team took out the prestigious Heart of the Community for the second time in four years.
Grand Hotel Warrandyte’s General Manager Peter Appleby said the Grand is a proudly community-focused pub.

“To win this award is a testament to the Grand family and the entire Warrandyte community.
“We love to support all organisations in and around town, the local kids through employment, and those in need when it matters most.”

He said the award was judged via a written submission, which allowed them to highlight all that the team at the Grand does.

“From meat tray raffles and subsequent donations to those in need, to the volunteering of our senior management teams time to support, guide, and educate groups in our community, along with providing a safe space for the many mental health organisations within our community.
“When Warrandyte needs help, we are there to assist.
“We can’t thank our entire Grand team enough for all their efforts to support, donate, raise awareness and participate in so many community activities that led us to win this most prized award,” he said.

The Grand was also Victorian state finalists for a further five awards:

  • Best Function and Event Space — Metro Best Outdoor Experience — Metro
  • Best Marketed Hotel Parma of the Year
  • Best Overall Hotel of The Year — Metro.

The winners of each category are now in the running for the National awards, which will be announced in November.
The Grand is the heart of Warrandyte, and we reckon it deserves to be the Heart of Australia, too!
Best of Melbourne The Grand Hotel Warrandyte and Biddicks Bakery are also strong contenders for radio station Triple M’s Best of Melbourne competition.
There is still a chance to vote for your favourite Coffee, Parma, Bakery, Kebab, Pub, Takeaway, and Sports Club Canteen at www.triplem.com.au/melbourne.
Voting is open until June 14.

Which Way Warrandyte?

GOLDFIELDS Plaza, Colin Avenue, and Melbourne Hill Road shops could grow to up to four storeys according to Manningham Council’s new concept design for its Neighbourhood Activity Centres (NACs), which could help meet the municipality’s housing shortfall.

As the reality of significant population increase and a lack of housing/infrastructure to meet it looms across Australia, government at every level is looking at ways to deal with the short-term and long-term implications.

With the population in Manningham expected to increase to more than 140,000 in the next 12 years, Manningham is faced with the challenge of building 8,000 new homes to accommodate an additional 18,000 people.

One option the Council is investigating is the development of Neighbourhood Activity Centres (NACs) as a way of introducing additional housing in urban/suburban shopping centres.

Council has identified nine NACs:

  • Bulleen Plaza
  • Donburn
  • Doncaster East Village (Devon Plaza)
  • Jackson Court
  • Macedon Square/Plaza
  • Park Orchards
  • Templestowe Village
  • Tunstall Square
  • Warrandyte Goldfields

Manningham Mayor Carli Lange said: “We want to hear from the community on how we can best accommodate growth and development while ensuring that our activity centres and surrounding neighbourhoods maintain their liveability.

“If youÕre a resident, chances are you regularly visit at least one of our vibrant activity centres across the municipality.

“We want to ensure that they continue to provide desirable destinations for people to live, shop, work and play — offering a range of retail, office and business opportunities, housing, community and education facilities, said Cr Lange.

With the final endorsement of the Activity Centre Design Guidelines not happening until mid-2025, the initial stage of community consultation is via a survey on the project’s dedicated Your Say page.

The survey is open until June 16, and users of activity centres across Manningham are encouraged to participate.

However, as per the nature of these surveys, the questions are agree/disagree statements regarding the extent of aspects outlined in the Concept Designs, and any genuine feedback/impression about design concepts — within the survey — is limited to about 350 words.

The concept for the NACs covers objectives under six key themes: Building height, residential interface, architectural presentation, public realm, sustainability, and access and car parking.

Of particular note is the proposal to allow buildings of up to four storeys in the Goldfields precinct.

Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) President Terry Tovey said the Concept Design requires careful consideration.

“It shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand and could, if handled sensitively, help address the shortage of diverse and affordable accommodation in Warrandyte and Melbourne.

However, as with all planning matters, the devil is in the detail.

Firstly, what footprint are we talking about for this activity centre?

Beyond this, Council’s discussion paper identifies three other themes, including design quality, neighbourhood character, and housing choice, that is, diversity and affordability.

What capacity does Council really have to influence design quality?

What capacity does Council have to influence diversity and choice in housing?

Does Council have any useful role in ensuring that any development incorporates some social housing?

And how would Council ensure that the activity centre has some design coherence and liveability and does not end up as a barren, over-developed blight driven by private developer interests rather than community needs and interests?

European cities manage medium-density development that focuses on community amenity, and quality design.

That’s what we could aim for here, but I feel that is not what we will get.

The WCA intends to engage Council on all these issues and encourages everyone to read the discussion paper and to make their views known.

Manningham’s housing strategy to date has been thoughtful and strategic, and we should conduct a sensible dialogue with Council to assist it in meeting targets imposed by the State Government while protecting the neighbourhood character, amenity and special environmental qualities of Warrandyte.

Of course, what isn’t addressed in any of this is whether rapid population growth is in Melbourne’s or Australia’s best interests.”

It is also worth noting Park Orchards is also proposed to allow up to a maximum of four storeys in its NAC.

The Diary contacted Manningham Council for more specifics about the concept design for the Goldfields precinct, particularly the perceived impact that four storeys would have on amenity.

Manningham Council Director City Planning, Andrew McMaster, provided this response:

“Manningham Council recognises that each neighbourhood activity centre has its own unique and valued character.

They also play an important role in meeting a range of daily needs for our communities as places where people can meet and socialise.

The Design Concepts identify that Goldfields Plaza Shopping Centre in Warrandyte has the capacity to accommodate developments up to four storeys in height.

However, the height in areas where a new development is adjacent to an existing residential development will be lower to protect nearby amenity.

A key objective of the Design Concepts is that all built form is based on the principles of good design and sustainability.

These concepts build on the objectives of the Manningham Liveable City Strategy 2040, endorsed by Council in 2022.

Importantly, they also seek to protect the amenity of the area through a range of requirements, including:

  • maintaining sunlight to footpaths and the public realm
  • active frontages and awnings to provide weather protection
  • internal spaces that are usable, functional, and have a high degree of amenity.

The current consultation phase seeks community views on a range of Activity Centre Design Concepts.

Feedback received will help inform the preparation of the draft Activity Centre Design Guidelines, which will be exhibited in early 2025 for further community feedback.”

Be sure to have your say on the future of the Goldfields precinct at yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/activity-centre-design-guidelines.

Manningham Council’s Manningham Activity Centre Built Form and Context Analysis, March 2024, which is available to download from the Your Say page, details the specific footprint of each of these activity centres.

They gave up their tomorrows for our today

ONE OF THE largest crowds in recent times gathered at the Warrandyte RSL this Anzac Day to commemorate our fallen service men and women.

The March, this year led by Jim Pleasance stepped off from Whipstick Gully towards the Warrandyte Memorial Gardens.

Older veterans were given the dignity of a seat in a former army 110 Land Rover, provided by, and driven by Justin Welander.

Marching veterans were joined by dignitaries, CFA, Scouts, sporting groups, schools and community members who this year numbered in the hundreds.

The March this year culminated in a flyover by four PC21 RAAF aircraft on their way to the skies above the March at the Melbourne Shrine.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, where 3,200 Australians took to the beaches of Normandy.

RSL President David Ryan told those assembled that Anzac Day holds a sacred place in the hearts of all Australians and New Zealanders, as we pay homage to the invincible spirit of our Anzacs who forged a legacy of sacrifice and resilience on the shores of Gallipoli over 100 years ago.

Their unwavering dedication to duty and their profound sense of camaraderie serve as guiding beacons for us all, inspiring to uphold the values of mateship, courage and sacrifice in our own lives.

The service also reflected on the discovery last year of the sunken Japanese transport ship Montevideo Maru, which was sunk in 1942 in the South China Sea, with more than 1,000 Australian Prisoners of War on board, the worst maritime disaster in Australian history.

A sobering speech from Member for Menzies and Afghanistan Veteran, Keith Wolahan MP vividly depicted the loss of life from war.

Imagining standing on the field of an empty MCG with its 100,000 seat capacity, Mr Wolahan took us through the casualties list of each war from World War I until the most recent casualties in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Timor.

“As young Australians lose their lives in conflict you will see on some days, one or two seats fill up, on some days a few rows, and in some devastating days, whole stands fill.

On April 25, 1915, 620 Australians will take their seats before you.

By the end of the Gallipolli campaign, 8,141 — one-third of the Olympic stand.

In Fromelles on July 19, 1916, 1,917 Australians will take their seats in a 24-hour period — more than the people standing here — in 24 hours.

In the Battle of the Somme, in the space of a few weeks, 6,800 will take a seat before you — half of the Ponsford Stand.

A few months later, the second half of the Ponsford stand will be filled by those 6,800 who lost their lives at Pozieres, in Bullecourt, 2,000 lose their lives.

In Passchendaele from, the end of July through the middle of October 1917, 12,000 young Australians will lose their lives.

Before you 61,000 seats have filled just from WWI, from a population of five million.

We don t need to be a computer to know that that means there wasn t a family left untouched by that tragedy.

A few decades passed and some of the young boys who stood next to their dad or their granddad at the memorials like this are now serving in uniform in World War II.

749 will take their seat from Tobruk, 1,789 from the full of Singapore — and 7,000 as Prisons of War, who will die later.

On July 1, 1942, the sinking of the Montevideo Maru, 50 rows of the MCG.

And on March 23, 1945, nine will take a seat nine who never came back from an RAAF Liberator aircraft and one of those was William Flanagan from Warrandyte.

In Bomber Command 3,500 Australians were killed, and just under another 3,000 from El Almain, 625 from Kokoda.

At the end of World War II, The MCG, every seat, and all the standing room, is now full, with the additional 39,657 who died in that conflict.

And as we continue on through many other conflicts, those who die won t have room to sit down and they will have to move out onto the grass and the boundary in front of you.

In Korea 340 — 53 from the Battle of Kapyong alone.

From Vietnam 523 — 17 in one battle at Long Tan, 25 from the Battle of Coral-Balmoral.

And as we move through other conflicts, we will see 47 take their seats from Afghanistan, where a friend of mine from Doncaster, Greg Sher, who takes his seat on January 4, 2009, as well, Marcus Case who takes his seat on May 30, 2011, and is buried across the river in the Eltham Cemetery.

So right now, at this moment in time you were looking at 103,021 with an average age of just 19 or 20.

Lest we forget who you were, lest we forget what you did, lest we forget that you gave up all your tomorrows, so we can have our today.

But the other part of Anzac Day is just as important.

It s not about gratitude and memory.

It is about looking forward to the lives we want to live, to the country we want to build.

And when you do that, you wonder about their memories of home.

I know that their memory was a happy one, because it was a place called Australia.

And for many, it was a place called Warrandyte.

And that is a place that stood for something it still does.

A place that we will dedicate ourselves to be one that is worthy of their memory, worthy of their sacrifice and if required, one that is worth fighting for.”

Photos Bill McAuley and Anna Maree

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One sausage at a time

THOSE STATE Emergency Service (SES) people from the Manningham Unit are smart.
They help advertise their skills and display their equipment at the local warehouse hardware store.
I think my owner calls it “Bunnys”.
They meet all their potential customers before any emergency even happens.
My favourite aisle is 25.
Prowling up and down, taking in all the aromas, I adore this aisle with all its plants and fertilisers.
My absolute favourite scent is blood and bone.
My owner is always dropping into Bunnys to pick up all sorts of nuts, bolts, brackets, bits of wooden sticks and stuff to paint it all with. Recently, I discovered aisle 26.
Around Australia, this new aisle has delighted my fellow pets with its excellent selection of yummy food treats, toys, and pet accessories.
Often the people in red shirts and wearing aprons give me free samples.
They really appreciate my highly developed ability to appreciate treats.
I often chat with the special orders desk people as well.
They are very helpful and have put all my free samples into a special plastic box just under the desk. Each time I visit, they let me sample their latest products.
This magical box never seems to empty. Many humans visit Bunnys on a weekend for the famous sausage in bread.
I just love doing this because it’s a sizzling way to help a charity.

Manningham SES Open Day

At the recent Manningham SES Unit Open Day, they invited what seemed like 100s of young, hungry Scouts.
They were ravenous after visiting all the fun stands with all the searching and rescue equipment on display.
I got myself a canine life jacket in case they let me ride in one of those rubber duckies.
After visiting all their equipment stands, I looked over and — there it was — the Bunnys’ sausages had come along too!
Not only did I get to see my favourite red-shirted, apron-wearing humans alongside my new best friends, the orange-emblazoned members of the SES, but all the sausages were FREE!
It topped off an excellent night for the Scouts.
Those SES people are brilliant.

The former site of the Warrandyte Café, 61-63 Yarra Street, is on the market.

The property is just over 1.3 acres and currently has two buildings: the former Warrandyte Café site, which closed following damage sustained during the 2021 Melbourne earthquake, and a “cottage”.

Both buildings are advertised to have been restumped and had their plumbing replaced.

The Real Estate agent spruiks the property as having “the scale and potential for a substantial commercial venture or the ultimate riverfront home (STCA)” in its advertising brochure.

The potential sale of this property sparks new potential for the development of the Stiggant Reserve precinct, which is already a hot topic in the community given the continued dereliction of the former Warrandyte Garage—which has only recently been cleaned up due to community complaints to Council regarding graffiti.

But, what is truly possible for 61-63 Yarra Street?

The property has several planning overlays which could significantly impact any development:

  • Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 3
  • Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 5
  • Design and Development Overlay Schedule 2 (Yarra/Birrarung Corridor)
  • Design and Development Overlay Schedule 3 (Warrandyte Environmental Residential Area)
  • Heritage Overlay
  • Land Subject to Inundation
  • Significant Landscape Overlay Schedule 2
  • Bushfire Management Overlay

With the property boundary on the edge of the Warrandyte Riverwalk path, the site also includes the grassy paddock between Police Street and the area just behind the Community Church.

Presently, the property is also utilised by Warrandyte Riverside Market.

“The plots are used for car parks which we enter off Police Street,” said Greg Rowell, Market Manager of Warrandyte Riverside Market.

“They are used by both stallholder parking and the Lions Club for public parking.”

The Diary asked Mr Rowell about the impact on the market if the potential new owners did not allow the market to use the property anymore and if the market—as a stakeholder in the precinct—had any opinion regarding the future use of 61-63 Yarra Street.

“The market will need to find an area for stall holders to park, and it will further complicate plans for those members of the public who require car parking.

“I don’t think the market has any comment about any future development of the sites.

“We understand the titles are subject to many overlays so it will depend on the objectives of the eventual purchaser.

“The market, of course, will contact the new owner and request access to the car parks.

“The current owners have been very community-minded and the committee of management of the market thank them for allowing the area to be used for car parking.”

Warrandyte Diary also contacted the Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) for comment regarding the site.

Association President Terry Tovey said the WCA would ideally like to see the site used for retirement or social housing, given its proximity to services.

“However, because so much of the land is subject to a flood overlay, that would require a joint venture with Council, whereby the flood-prone land would be reserved for community parking, and we do not know whether Council would have any interest in that.

“On the matter of parking, much of the site is currently used for parking for community events such as the festival and market.

“This has been due to the generosity and community-mindedness of the current owners.

“Whatever the final use of the site, the loss of that parking would significantly impact community life.”

Given the planning restrictions, Mr Tovey also proposed an alternate use for the land.

“We don’t know what planning restrictions may apply to the land and whether any redevelopment is possible.

“It would be no bad thing if the land could revert to public open space with revegetation suited to the river reserve,” he said.

The Diary also contacted the current owners, but they were unable to provide comments in time for publication.

Community input on housing strategy

MELBOURNE’S population is growing, currently topping 5.3 million; it is predicted to surpass 6M by 2035 and 8M by 2051.

This surge in population is a significant factor in the current housing crisis, causing housing affordability to be at a generational low.

In September 2023, the Victorian Government released Victoria’s Housing Statement: The decade ahead 2024–2034, setting a target to build 800,000 homes in Victoria over the next decade.

For those living in green wedge townships like Warrandyte, the ever-present spectre of suburban encroachment is more real than ever.

However, thankfully, both state and local governments are working to protect the green wedge by establishing high-density centres around shopping precincts and main roads.

As reported in the March M&N Bulletin, the State Government also released the Green Wedge and Agricultural Land Action Plan in mid-March, aiming to enshrine planning protections in planning policy.

At its March 26 meeting, Council endorsed the Manningham Residential Discussion Paper (March 2024) to be put out for community consultation in April and May.

Councillors discussed the municipality’s unique range of urban and leafy suburbs, rural lifestyle areas and vibrant activity centres.

However, with the population expected to increase by more than 18,000 in the next 12 years, more than 8,000 new homes will be needed in Manningham.

Today, most of the population in Manningham live in single detached homes.

As the community changes, Council says it will need to plan for a range of homes catering to varying needs and different life stages.

Councillors heard how the location of future housing also needs to be carefully planned to support the affordability, sustainability, and character of Manningham’s suburbs.

Cr Geoff Gough spoke to the endorsement motion.

“There are a lots of issues in where we should build, and this is what the discussion paper [addresses] — where we should put high density, at what height we should do it, how dense it should be.

“But the thing that is going to hit local government is the absolute cost of extra infrastructure, because that infrastructure is going to be put onto ratepayers and local government to build that infrastructure.

“We know we have already got pressures on sporting grounds and things, we already know we are way behind with roads, and we have huge drainage problems, but when it comes to more intense development, it is going to put huge issues onto Council that we have to make provision for into the future.

“We do have a residential strategy, but the state government in recent times have moved in a number of policy areas, which have thrown up a number of questions that we are going to have to address into the future.

“This document is going to go out to public consultation, and we are going to do a revised residential strategy.”

The first stage in developing the new residential strategy is the preparation of the Manningham Residential Discussion Paper, which identifies four themes to underpin Manningham’s housing future:

  • Location and connectedness
  • Housing design quality
  • Neighbourhood character
  • Housing choice, diversity and affordability

Mayor of Manningham Carli Lange told the meeting these themes would set the foundation for how growth is managed and how Council and community can work together to achieve desired outcomes for all.

A survey has been prepared as part of the engagement activities and will seek community feedback on current and future housing needs of the existing neighbourhood character precincts.

  • Council will also be seeking feedback on its draft Neighbourhood Character Study, which has identified nine neighbourhood character precincts:
  • Garden Court 1: Doncaster East, Templestowe Lower and Wonga Park (south)
  • Garden Court 2: Matthew’s subdivision, Tindals Road Donvale
  • Garden Suburban: Bulleen, Doncaster, Doncaster East and Lower Templestowe
  • Infill/Contemporary: Main roads — Doncaster Road, Manningham Road, Williamsons Road
  • Remnant Bush Low Density: Donvale, Park Orchards, Wonga Park, Warrandyte, Templestowe
  • Exotic Bush Low Density: Wembley Gardens, Donvale
  • Templestowe Low Density: Templestowe, Lower Templestowe
  • Warrandyte Bush Garden: Warrandyte
  • Rural Lifestyle: Warrandyte South, Donvale, Park Orchards, Wonga Park, and isolated pockets of Templestowe and Lower Templestowe

Cr Anna Chen told the meeting the existing 2012 Manningham Residential Strategy and associated planning controls have been generally successful in meeting the municipality’s housing growth objectives.

In particular, the strategy has been instrumental in directing higher-density housing to the preferred locations, namely along main roads and surrounding activity centres.

“We have to be mindful that since then, the State Government has implemented several new city-shaping infrastructure projects across Melbourne — the Big Build, which includes the Eastern Freeway upgrade and the North East Link.

“Last year, the Victorian Government released the Housing strategy, it introduced streamlined pathways for housing related assessments including a greater ministerial role, which means the minister can intervene if she wishes.”

Council will hold Stage 1 consultation on the Residential Discussion Paper, which is proposed for six weeks from April 8 to May 19 via Your Say Manningham: yoursay.Manningham.vic/gov.au/residential-strategy.

Ringwood identified as Activity Centre

Building more homes up — not just out — in established suburbs is one of many initiatives outlined in the Housing Statement.

Communities across 10 established Melbourne suburban centres are being given a chance to have their say on the State Government’s plans to build more homes close to jobs, transport, and public services.

Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny said, “As part of our landmark Housing Statement, we’re enabling 60,000 more homes to be built across established suburbs, ensuring more Victorians have access to affordable housing close to services, jobs and transport.”

Ringwood was one of the initial 10 suburban centres chosen for their potential to accommodate more homes while ensuring access to amenities.

The Ringwood Activity Centre is between the Ringwood Bypass and the train line, including Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood Square Shopping Centre, Realm, Ringwood Lake Park, and surrounding shops, parks, and municipal buildings.

The project is reviewing building heights and design rules for the Ringwood Activity Centre to allow for more, good-quality homes to be built in the area.

This project will build on the City of Maroondah’s existing work for Ringwood, including the Ringwood Major Activity Centre (MAC) Master Plan.

Insights from Maroondah Council’s existing work, new input from Council, and community engagement will inform the development of clear new rules for the area.

“We’re working with local councils to guide investment in the things that matter to you, like improved streets, parks and community infrastructure,” the Minister said.

As plans for the Activity Centres develop, she said the Government will work closely with communities and councils to review design requirements and building heights.

Residents are encouraged to have their say on what they love most about their area to help shape the future of their communities.

Victoria is the fastest-growing state in the country, so these changes are crucial to accommodate Melbourne’s growing population, which is set to be the size of London’s by the 2050s.

“We want to hear from communities on how best we can accommodate more housing choices while ensuring their suburbs maintain their liveability,” said Ms Kilkenny.”

Feedback will also guide investment in the things a thriving, liveable, and growing suburb needs, such as community facilities, public spaces, and parks.

For more information, visit vpa.vic.gov.au/metropolitan/activity-centres.

Cat confinement in Manningham

RESIDENTS of Manningham with registered cats would have received a notice in the recent animal registration mail-out about the Trial 24-hour Cat Confinement Order, which commences on April 1, with an amnesty period running until December 2024.
The pilot (overall) will be evaluated in December 2025.
Despite being a major component of the Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP) 2021–2025, and the trial officially adopted at the December 2024 Ordinary Council Meeting — compared to the roll-out of other schemes, such as the Food Organic Green Organic (FOGO) bin system — information about when the trial would begin, how long it would run for, and what actions cat owners need to take to ensure they (and their cats) comply has been minimal, or at the very least not as obvious as the extensive advertising and information campaign that accompanied FOGO.
The information in the animal registration mail-out also says Council will “provide support and information to help with the transition, including educational information, videos and practical advice on preparing your pet and your property.”
Some of this information is already on the Council’s dedicated cat confinement page, manningham.vic.gov.au/pets-and-animals/cat-confinement, and it is worth reviewing if you have any questions about the trial.
What is of note is the details of the amnesty period, with the webpage stating:

“If we find your cat outside of your property during the amnesty period we will try to reunite the cat with you.
We will only take the cat to our Pound facility if its owner cannot be found.
If your cat is registered and microchipped, this will assist Council Officers in getting your cat home to you safely.”

Manningham-based pet advocacy group Friends of Manningham Dogs and Cats (FOMDAC), which supported the cat confinement concept while the current DAMP was out for public consultation in late 2020 and early 2021, has run a series of workshops and events over the last three years to help cat owners prepare.
The latest is a presentation by local Animal Aid volunteer Jennah Rose, who will discuss keeping your cats happy, healthy, and indoors and how to do it cost-effectively.
Jennah spoke to the Bulletin about what the presentation would entail.

“Having only recently been domesticated on the timeline of things and more recently asked to live indoors, cats are still hunters at heart.
When you see kittens play, they are effectively learning hunting and fighting skills.
When a cat catches a live creature and commences to play with it, it is instinct.
They teach their offspring by giving them live bait for them to learn to kill.
Such behaviour needs to be mimicked if a cat is confined, which is why there are all manner of sometimes costly toys and gadgets on the market.
It is a lucrative business, but you do not need to spend a fortune confining your feline to your property.
Among other things, the presentation will cover multiple reasons for property confinement, how to create ‘happy cat’ environments, feeding and play enrichment, suitable toileting arrangements, rest and sleep, causes of behavioural change, time outdoors, and effective property confinement.
It is a big adjustment for our furry friends to be asked to change their routines, but the first topic in the talk — reasons to keep cats confined — will hopefully convince you of the benefits.
It is not just about Australia’s precious wildlife.
It’s about quite disturbing diseases, parasites, and infections that your friend can pick up that cause incurable suffering. Building a stress-free, enriched life for your cat around your home is the most cost-effective approach.
The difference in vet bills between indoor and outdoor cats is considerable, as is their lifespan, the former being the longer.”

The presentation is free, but booking is essential to keep track of numbers.
Tickets can be booked at eventbrite.com.au/e/happy-healthy-indoor-cats-tickets-805458988517
The event will be held at the FOMDAC rooms, 55 Aranga Crescent, Donvale, on Thursday, April 18, 2024, 7pm-9pm

The value in shopping local

SUPERMARKETS have been in the news recently for the wrong reasons.
However, Warrandyte is fortunate to have an alternative to shopping with the major retailers.
Quinton’s IGA has been providing the staples of life in Warrandyte for 24 years and, in that time, has become a vital and integral part of the Warrandyte community.
Diary Editor Sandi Miller sat down with Quinton’s IGA Store Manager, Ken Barnes, and Assistant Manager, Hayley Farrugia, to discover what makes our IGA different.

Warrandyte Diary (WD): What is the Quinton’s IGA’s business model?
Ken Barnes (KB): Obviously, we’re part of the IGA family, which is part of Metcash, which, in essence, means Quinton’s IGA is part of a buying group.
This allows us, as a small family business, single entity store, to access the sort of pricing that the major supermarkets get.
But we’re not a franchise — that’s the big distinction — a lot of people will look at IGA as a franchise like a McDonald’s, but we’re not. IGA can’t come in here and specifically tell me what to do, but they give us the ability to access the bulk prices, which we can flow through to the local community.
We’re probably one of the largest single employers in Warrandyte, and we do take that with a great sense of pride, and there’s a bit of a responsibility to that, because we’re taking that generation, especially the young ones, starting them on a life journey of not only working but the bigger sense of the world.

WD: So what does that mean for local shoppers?
KB: “From our family to yours” — it’s not just a catchphrase; it’s our ethos — and we keep it local, where possible. At the moment, we have locally grown strawberries and plums.
We were getting local tomatoes until the storms came through and destroyed the hot houses — and some of the items we stock are from businesses with stalls at the Warrandyte Market, like PoppySmack and Jerry’s Burgers.
But we need to blend this with the national staples the consumer wants — like Tip Top bread and Pedigree dog food.
We go from being a small, local business to dealing with our larger suppliers, thinking “how do we think like Coles and Woolies but not act like Coles and Woolies”.

WD: Tell me about your relationship with your suppliers.
KB: With Metcash, there are things we have to do.
We have been doing a lot of work in the store over the last 12 months, which I know with some locals at times has generated some emotions, but it was about ensuring we had the right range.
The increase in the cost of living does not just impact households; it puts pressure on businesses, too. Interest rates go up for homeowners; they do for us, too.
We’ve got loans, we’ve got overdrafts, same as with rates, all that goes up, and we need to make sure we can make ends meet.
So, we either put prices up, look at ways of becoming more efficient, or negotiate with our suppliers to strengthen the relationship to get better pricing.
This could be in the way we buy stock — so volume — and means we may commit to purchasing more of one type of product to get a lower price, which we can then pass on to our customers and means we have access to products we may struggle to get if we were not part of IGA.
However, we also have upward of 100 direct suppliers — from mum and dad businesses to larger brands like Nudie Juice.
The main thing is, if a price increase comes from a supplier on a product, we see how we can minimise that through to the customer.
Unfortunately, sometimes we have no option, especially at the moment with anything wheat-related, so the bread has seen some large price rises over the last 12 months; we just have to pass that on.
But if it is things like our insurance or waste services, we will not put up the price of bananas or apples to offset that; we have to negotiate or use the IGA co-op effect to get a better deal.

WD: Tell me about the history of the supermarket and your relationship with the Warrandyte community.
Hayley Farrugia (HF): My stepdad Brian purchased the store in January 2000 — he had a big dream for the store.
When he passed away in 2008, Mum (Julie Quinton) stepped in and took over, and she wanted to carry on Brian’s dream.
But prior to stepping in and running the store, she had no retail experience, so she just wanted to come in and learn very quickly how everything operates, and she ran it from the eyes of a consumer.
I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve been able to get customer loyalty because we look at where things are from — even when I was a kid, Mum would only buy Australian and always read the nutrition labels.
Now, we can continue to build and grow with the solid foundations she and Brian created.
KB: Supporting the community is very much the DNA of independent stores.
Being relatively new to the store, the difference between here and other independent supermarkets is why they do these things.
Supporting the community at other stores is about gaining public recognition, whereas — partly due to the influence of Brian and Julie — we do it because we want to help; it’s about a community partnership, not necessarily community kudos.
HF: Like at Christmas, we donated to the local schools so the kids could make Christmas decorations for us.
That saves us going out and buying things made overseas — and the kids love it — it just brings in that community feel, and when the kids come in, they look for their things and show their parents, and it just generates a really lovely atmosphere.

Warrandyte IGA – Store Manager Ken Barnes and Assistant Store Manager Hayley Farrugia

WD: What is your point of difference from Coles and Woolworths?
KB: It’s an interesting question because it can be quite an emotional thing.
We can sit here saying, “We deliver better customer service,” and all the standard stuff.
But for me, I’ve worked across wholesale and retail, and I had my own store, and it comes down to the four walls, the people, and everything in there that make it the difference between what’s up the road.
We have a great community sense in the store.
When you come in, and you buy that product, and it is not just a commercial decision, we don’t say, “It’s not selling, so we will pull it”, we will keep it because you are coeliac, and that is the only product that meets that need, so we will keep it.
It’s all the little things that make a difference.
But first and foremost, it is our people that make the difference.
Julie leads that at the end of the day, she’s the one that has bred the culture, and we are just the caretakers.

WD: Cost of living crisis, so how can shopping locally help the community?
KB: Shopping locally gives us better buying power; it is a chicken and egg thing.
We cannot always compete with the large chains that are a 15-minute drive away.
They are a multi-billion-dollar, national business, and we are a small, family-run supermarket.
But by shopping locally, it keeps locals employed, it allows us to invest in more people, which ultimately gives better customer service, it enables us to invest back into the business, which helps us to lower costs, and it allows us to go to our suppliers and get the next tier pricing because a lot of it is based on volume.
All of that will flow back through to the customers.
HF: And the customers make it easier for us to do our jobs. I get about four to five hugs a week — just because — and I don’t think I could ever imagine walking into a big chain supermarket and hugging one of the employees randomly.
KB: There are people who come into the store; we know them by name; you know about their kids, you know about their grandkids.
Selling baked beans or bananas is just what we do, but knowing you can have that sort of impact, no amount of money can change that or make that any better.
I want to say, on behalf of the store, the family, and the whole team, a really big thank you to the Warrandyte community just for the way they make us feel. It is just a wonderful place to work, and that is down to the Warrandyte community.

Class of 2030 start their school journey

PREP STUDENTS at Warrandyte Primary School (WPS) are off to a flying start, as they have started school and settled in straight away.
These children will be the Class of 2030 when they complete their primary school journey — a diverse and vibrant group of youngsters ready to explore, learn, and forge lasting friendships.
Teachers and support staff have left no stone unturned to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for the newest members of the academic community.
Prep classes are located in WPS’s historic stone building, close to the sandpit and dedicated Prep Playground, where the children enjoy making friends, playing, and running around at recess and lunchtime every day.
Principal Nieta Manser expressed her enthusiasm for the school year.
“It’s always exciting to welcome these children into our school family.
“We are excited about being able to provide them with a solid foundation for their academic and personal development.
“The evidence-based reading and writing model our school uses provides our students with the very best start to enable them to achieve academic success.”
The school’s newly established Dogs in Schools program meant the therapy dog, Winston, could provide comfort and support as WPS’s newest students said goodbye to their parents.
Teachers Meg Steeds and Steph Chivell have been delighted with their young students’ progress.
“It has been wonderful to see how quickly the children have settled into school life.
“They are a lovely group of children who enjoy spending time together and have a fantastic attitude to learning,” explained Steph.
Meg continued her praise of the students.
“I am loving getting to know each child’s personality and finding out what interests and excites them.
“I feel privileged to be a part of their early school journey.”
The Class of 2030 at Warrandyte Primary School has embarked on a journey filled with possibilities, challenges, and growth.
As the academic year unfolds, we know these Prep students will not only excel academically but also continue to develop into well-rounded individuals ready to make a positive impact on the world.
The WPS community wishes the children the best and hopes they have a fantastic Prep year.

Foundation students flourish at ACPS

EXCITEMENT HAS filled the air at Andersons Creek Primary School (ACPS) as the school journey begins for its newest students. Foundation students have seamlessly transitioned into the ACPS community with smiles and a positive attitude towards their learning.
The school community is thrilled to see these enthusiastic young learners embarking on their primary school journey.
The transition from Kinder has been smooth, thanks to staff dedication and the support of families.
ACPS’s transition program, designed to ease anxieties and familiarise children with the new school environment, has received positive feedback from parents.
Parents have praised the program and credited it for helping the children transition smoothly.
The Foundation students have entered the classroom with enthusiasm.
They are demonstrating a willingness to embrace new routines and are showing optimism and a readiness to explore.
There is a buzz with the joy of discovery as they are exposed to new subjects and make new friends.
The warm welcome extends beyond the classroom. ACPS fosters a spirit of inclusivity and support, as evidenced in the new Foundation students’ interactions with their Grade 6 buddies.
Staff have observed heartwarming acts of kindness and camaraderie in the playground, where older students are ready to lend a helping hand or offer friendly encouragement.
Witnessing this genuine compassion from senior students towards the new Foundation children fills the teaching team with pride.
It speaks volumes about the positive, nurturing environment cultivated at ACPS.
Looking ahead, the year promises to be filled with rich learning experiences, exciting challenges, and moments of individual growth.
The journey starts with a welcome, and ACPS has delivered one with warmth, support, and, most importantly, a sense of belonging.
As the children settle into their new routine, ACPS staff look forward to fostering creativity and curiosity in young minds ready to learn and grow.

Photo: JIMMY HARRIS

Queensland Fruit Fly found in Warrandyte

FOLLOWING a resurgence of Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) in Warrandyte and the Yarra Valley, it is important to identify and destroy this harmful pest.
In 2020, Nillumbik Council released a series of informative videos to help residents identify and manage the invasive pest, and now is timely to remind ourselves of the signs.
With the ability to lay up to 100 eggs per day and only a 14-day lifecycle from insemination to fully grown adult, an unchecked and uncontained population of QFF can have a devastating impact on fruit growers, whether they have one small tree on their balcony or are a large-scale commercial operation.
The three informative videos produced by Nillumbik Council cover how to identify, monitor, and trap QFF. Agriculture Victoria also has a comprehensive guide to managing QFF in your garden and hosted a webinar which is available to watch.
Popular, locally grown fruit which is known to host QFF includes apples, lemons, limes, strawberries and tomatoes.
The complete list of QFF host fruits is available on the Agriculture Victoria website which lists around 80 species of fruit.
The fruit flies are active in spring, when sunset temperatures exceed 16 degrees centigrade and remain active over summer and autumn.
QFF have also been known to survive winter by taking refuge in sheltered areas such as buildings and trees.
So the next few months are an important time to break the cycle, while they are dormant.
Right now, there are a number of steps anyone who grows fruit, on whatever scale, should be taking to reduce the risk of QFF:

  • Prune host plants regularly to a manageable height — so all the fruit can be easily picked and the trees can be netted with exclusion netting if need be.
  • Harvest all ripe fruit and “fruiting vegetables” from the host plants before it has a chance to fall onto the ground (fruiting vegetables includes tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, eggplants, et cetera).
    Collect fallen fruit immediately and dispose of it in the general waste (not compost).
    Suspect-infested fruit needs to be treated (cooked or frozen) before disposal.
  • Remove your unwanted or unmanaged host plants — including blackberries and unmanageable ornamental fruiting plants.
  • Carefully examine the fruit for pests and diseases before sharing and swapping fruit with friends.
    Movement of fruit from place to place is how pests and diseases are most commonly spread.
    Avoid transporting any fresh produce into the area from known QFF areas such as Northern Victoria, NSW, and QLD — this prevents new incursions.
  • Prepare and deploy (when appropriate) traps, and bait spray.
    These are available commercially or you can make your own.

As with most environmental hazards, be they fruit fly, deer or bushfire — knowledge and preparation is key.
Visit the Nillumbik website for information on how to identify and deal with Queensland Fruit Fly.
There is also contact information to report any known instances of QFF in Nillumbik. If you have found QFF in your harvest, you may put a sample in a sealed bag in the fridge and text an image of it to Council’s Land Management Officer on 0456 708 525.
Council can support you to ID the pest and provide information to assist you to eradicate it.
For more information visit: nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Environment/Pest-animals

Bravery, resilience, and quick thinking

ARE YOU ready for an exhilarating and rewarding volunteer career that makes a real difference in your community?
Warrandyte Country Fire Authority (CFA) is thrilled to announce it is now recruiting new voluntary firefighters.
With formal training beginning in May, your local brigade seeks passionate individuals eager to serve, protect, and support their local community.
This is your chance to be part of a dedicated team that responds to emergencies, saves lives, and ensures safety for all.
As a firefighter, you’ll face challenges that demand bravery, resilience, and quick thinking.
But you’ll also experience the immense satisfaction of making a positive impact every single day.
The brigade is holding an information night on Wednesday, February 14, from 7pm.

Why join us?

  • Give back to your local community, making a tangible difference.
  • Comprehensive training and resources to support your journey.
  • A tight-knit team that operates like a family.
  • All personal protection clothing, uniforms, and continual training are supplied.

Who are we looking for?

We welcome applications from diverse backgrounds, as we believe in reflecting the richness of our community.
Are you ready to embody our values of professionalism, dedication, and teamwork?
If you are passionate, committed, and eager to serve, we want you on our team as a volunteer firefighter.
Don’t miss this opportunity to become part of something truly special.
Join us at Warrandyte Fire Brigade and start your fulfilling career as a volunteer firefighter today.
For more information or to apply, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteers-careers/volunteer-with-cfa/apply-to-volunteer.

Rocking down memory lane

THE “TICE” were a 1970s cult band from Eltham and are famous for being the most famous band that you’ve never heard of.
Members of Reuben Tice recently got together and played two reunion gigs in Eltham and St Andrews.
Readers may not recognise the name, but the band played a part in the history of the iconic 70s band Skyhooks.
Officially called the Reuben Tice Memorial Band (named after an American engineer who died trying to invent a machine that de-wrinkled prunes — but that’s a whole other story), the band has been likened to a local version of the Grateful Dead — or perhaps the Rolling Stones.
Warrandyte-born songwriter Greg Macainsh and Elthamite Tony Williams formed Reuben Tice in 1969.
Guitarist Mark Smith joined the band in 1975 when he moved down from Sydney, but he told the M&N Bulletin the band first started around Montsalvat, with people such as Marcus Skipper in the line-up.
“The band used to get together at Montsalvat and jam together.”
They were also on the bill for the first Skyhooks concert in April 1973, which Macainsh was also songwriter and bass guitarist for, penning such classics as Balwyn Calling, Million Dollar Riff, Horror Movie, Ego is Not a Dirty Word, Women in Uniform, Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo) and Living in the ‘70s.
Reuben Tice vocalist Tony Williams joined Macainsh in Skyhooks in 1978 when Shirley Strachan left to pursue a television career.

Flash forward to 2023, and many of the faces remain the same, as the reunion line-up featured:

  • Tony Williams (Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica)
  • Mark Smith (Guitar)
  • Roger Davies (Guitar)
  • George Kirov (Bass)
  • Jamie Slagmolen (Cajon)

They were also joined by local musicians, country singer Leslie Avril and singer/songwriter Sharin Anderson.
The reunion gig was to celebrate the release of their four-CD box set Rolling The Tice — Songs From An Unmade Road (Reuben Tice 1969–1979), which includes a mix of live and studio recordings.
“A good friend of ours, disc jockey Maurice Hurry, took a great interest in the band over the years.
“He gathered together a whole lot of recordings and had them remastered, and this is the result,” said Mark.
Maurice told the M&N Bulletin he and music producer Marcell Borrack spent the pandemic compiling the recordings.
“It’s quite interesting as a piece of lost rock and roll archive with all these 60s and 70s musicians.
“It all started at Eltham High and Montsalvat — this art rock and roll culture — we have a lost heritage, from the last 30–40 years.
“Some of the band members moved on to Skyhooks, and this incredible archive was left behind, which I have finessed and remastered,” Maurice said.
Reuben Tice performed nine songs at the St Andrews reunion gig, including originals The Way It’s Played, I Couldn’t Get High, Rock Bottom Shuffle, Down The Road I Go, as well as covers The Weight (The Band) and Emergency (The Fabulous Thunderbirds).
Guitarist Mark Smith said the reunion concert was “lots of fun — we had a lot of our fanbase turn up at the St Andrews Hall”.
However, he said he doubted there would be another concert.
“Roger Davies is 76 now, and Vic, the original drummer, can’t play anymore because he has arthritis, and Greg Macainsh is now working as an Intellectual Property Lawyer in Queensland,” 
Lead vocalist Tony Williams has released a memoir, Touched by the Tice, outlining his time in Reuben Tice and later as the vocalist for Skyhooks.
Maurice said Rolling the Tice will be on Band Camp in the next few weeks, and video of the St Andrews concert  is available to watch on YouTube and an audio recording is in the process of being produced and will hopefully be released in the coming months.
Tony William’s book, Touched by the Tice, is available to purchase from Amazon or to borrow from Eltham Library.

Photos by BILL McAULEY

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RVMs arrive in Manningham

THE STATE-managed Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) has been running in Victoria for over one month.
But in Manningham, generally, the scheme has been slow to start, mainly due to a lack of refund points.
There are three ways to return refundable containers: Over The Counter (OTC) Depot Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) Until recently, the only options available — locally — to residents in the greater Warrandyte area were a few OTC locations, and the nearest Depot and RVM were both in Bayswater.
With Manningham slated for up to 10 RVMs across the municipality — including Warrandyte Reserve and Mullum Mullum Stadium — the rollout, to date, of convenient places to return eligible containers has been disappointing.
The responsibility is squarely in the lap of the Operator, Visy, who has until August 2024 to bring the operation up to standard.
By then, Zone Operators will need at least one collection point per 14,500 people in metropolitan areas, at least one per town of 750 people in regional areas, and at least one per town of 350 people in remote areas.
Residents looking to refund their bags or boxes of containers have good news: the first RVM in Manningham is now in operation at Rieschiecks Reserve, 125-149 George Street, Doncaster East.
Manningham Mayor, Councillor Carli Lange, was at the site for the official launch of the RVM and encouraged community members to take advantage of the opportunity.
“We all need to work together to take responsibility for how we dispose of waste.
“Let’s improve our recycling efforts while supporting a sustainable future and the local economy along the way.
“Our recycling actions create products for future generations and ongoing sustainability for our community,” Cr Lange said.
Cr Lange was joined by Deputy Mayor Laura Mayne, Director City Services Rachelle Quattrocchi, Visy Co-owner Fiona Geminder, Visy CEO Mark De Wit, Visy Executive General Manager Wayne Russell, and Visy General Manager Container Deposit Scheme Tim O’Donnell (pictured).
The reverse vending machines are automated, purpose-built and can capture up to 10,000 eligible containers per day.
They can be used from 7am to 8pm daily and include acoustic panels for soundproofing and external lighting for enhancing safety and security.
RVMs will help make recycling more convenient and accessible, said Mr O’Donnell.
“The Manningham community has already embraced CDS Vic in its first few weeks, returning containers through OTCs and depots.
“Reverse vending machines are another way for sports and community clubs to be rewarded for recycling, as every bit counts when it comes to fundraising efforts.”

Residents Yukon and Lucas (pictured right) were the first to use the RVM and said they found the machine very easy to use. Charities and Community Groups can register as a partner through the cdsvic.org.au. Once registered, they will appear as a donation partner in the CDS Vic app.
Presently, Wonga Park Cricket Club, Templestowe Football Club, Park Orchards BMX Club, Park Orchards Lions Club, Parks Orchards Junior Football Club, and Doncaster Baseball Club are among the 400+ charities and groups signed up to receive donations.
The community can choose to receive their refund via an electronic transfer through the downloadable CDS Vic North app, a voucher, or as a donation to a charity or community group.
“This initiative rewards recycling and allows used cans, bottles and other eligible containers to be repurposed into new products,” Cr Lange said.
“I’m confident that having the reverse vending machines in such convenient locations locally will significantly reduce litter and deliver positive community fundraising and environmental outcomes.”

Nourishing connections: The Big Community Lunch at Warrandyte Neighbourhood House

THE WARRANDYTE Neighbourhood House recently hosted a delightful event that filled stomachs and warmed hearts — the Warrandyte Big Lunch.
This initiative aimed to bring residents together, fostering a sense of inclusion and camaraderie in our community by sharing a meal.
It is the second Big Community Lunch held by the Neighbourhood house in the Community Centre hall and was attended by 40 people, young and old, well mostly old, but some younger and middle-aged.
The purpose of the meal is simple and two-fold: Help prevent social isolation and provide an opportunity for the Warrandyte community to get together.
Provide a nutritious meal for members of the community who may be struggling in the current financial times.
The Big Community Lunch was more than the simple act of eating; it was a platform for conversations, laughter, renewing friendships, and making new ones.
Neighbours who might not have crossed paths in their daily routines found themselves engaged in lively discussions, sharing stories, and discovering common interests.
The event served as a reminder that Warrandyte is more than a suburb; it is a strong community built on the foundation of connections formed through shared moments of joy and support.
This was only the second lunch, but the intention is for these events to become an integral part of a strong Warrandyte community.
This year’s third and last lunch is The Big Christmas lunch, and the plan is for a spit roast followed by Lions Club Christmas Puddings.
All of Warrandyte are both invited and welcome. Come along, meet friends, and enjoy a good meal shared with others from our community.
You can just turn up, but it really helps with catering if we have a rough estimate of how many will be attending, so please get in touch with Warrandyte Neighbourhood House if you are planning to go.
The Big Christmas Lunch will be on December 11 at 12:30pm; bring an empty stomach and some good conversation to share.
Manningham Council, Warrandyte Lions Club, Rotary Club of Warrandyte Donvale, Warrandyte Riverside Market, Access Health and Community, JobCo, and Life Therapies generously support the lunches.

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