News

Jumping Creek Road plan endorsed by Council

MANNINGHAM Council adopted the Jumping Creek Road Design Proposal at its April Ordinary Council Meeting.
The design proposal outlines how the Jumping Creek Road upgrade project will be constructed.
Yarra Ward Councillor Carli Lange told the meeting that the proposal successfully balances the priorities of safe road usage and the need to preserve the unique visual amenity of the local area.

“What came out [of community consultation] as the main concerns were wildlife protection, enhancing the vegetation, the footpath network, the Homestead Road intersection and the safety concerns there, and speeding along the road.
“All of these have been addressed when preparing the preferred option.
“I ask my fellow councillors to support the great work that officers have done,” Cr Lange told the meeting.

The $17.9 million Jumping Creek Road upgrade project is a major project to reconstruct the entire length of Jumping Creek Road from Ringwood-Warrandyte Road in Warrandyte to Homestead Road in Wonga Park.
Council endorsed the Jumping Creek Road Development Framework in 2016 after serious safety risks were identified on the stretch of road.
A study conducted at the time identified that between January 2009 and December 2013, 17 crashes resulting in casualties were reported at Jumping Creek Road, including one fatal crash.
It was also identified that Jumping Creek Road is an essential local link road that carries more than 8,100 vehicles per day, with the traffic volume expected to double to 15,000 cars per day by 2035.
In 2013, a Community Reference Panel was established to consult on the project with members of the community, Ward Councillors, and project officers, providing invaluable input on the road upgrade plan.
Cr Andrew Conlon was one of the original Councillors that worked with the reference panel.

“One of the great outcomes for the reference panel was the significant shift in recognising the wildlife and doing what we could to accommodate the wildlife crossing.
“I think that was one of those points of tension — I remember from the very start — and I do not think we really committed to the solution until relatively recently,” he said at the Council meeting.

Manningham Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert said that the endorsement of the design proposal signifies the start of the next chapter for this project.

“We know how passionate our community is about the safety of its members and preserving the beautiful natural environment we all enjoy.
“This concept plan has done a wonderful job of considering these two key elements.
“With a lot of constructive input from our community, we know this upgrade will add value to the everyday lives of those who use Jumping Creek Road,” Cr Kleinert said.

The concept plan is designed to improve safety for all users.
Jumping Creek Road’s original construction standard has resulted in limited locations for pedestrians to walk along the road safely.
With over 11 years of community engagement on this project, the final design reflects the community’s views that have been considered at each step of the process.
Works on the Jumping Creek Road upgrade project are expected to begin in early 2023, with an early works package commencing in late 2022.
For more information about the project, visit
yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/jumping-creek-road-upgrade.

Gold Memorial roadworks

GOLD MEMORIAL Road will be closed to traffic on May 10 to install three speed humps.
Anyone planning to circumvent the Yarra Street gridlock should be aware that, for at least one day, this detour will not be available.
Rachelle Quattrocchi, Manningham Council’s Director of City Services said the road will be closed between 7am and 5pm while works are occurring.
“This should be one day only, depending on weather,” she said.
The road will be closed to traffic at Harris Gully Road and Husseys Lane.
“We intend to maintain access for local residents for the period of the works with some potential delays,” said Mc Quattrocchi.
She told the Diary, that access to the Gold Memorial carpark will be available at all times but the direction may change during the day depending on the speed hump being installed.
Traffic guidance will be on hand to direct as required.
Access for Emergency vehicles will be maintained.
She said the road is only closed to vehicular traffic.
“Pedestrians, cyclists and horses would be able to go through.”

Another blitz for Fitzsimons Lane project

AS THE FITZSIMONS Lane project begins another major phase, motorists are warned that major disruptions will be occurring as a section of Porter Street is closed for around six weeks.
Major Road Projects Victoria’s Project Director Dipal Sorathia said creating a more reliable Porter Street junction is one of the biggest priorities for the Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade team.
New traffic lights will be installed at a Porter Street intersection in Templestowe to deliver a safer and more efficient crossing for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Removing the Fitzsimons Lane/Porter Street roundabout will ensure better traffic flow for all road users and will help clear a significant bottleneck and improve safety.
Construction crews will work around-the-clock for seven weeks, from 6pm Tuesday, April 26 to 5pm Sunday, June 12, to remove the roundabout and install traffic lights, with associated kerb and channel works, drainage works, build footpaths, earthworks, pavement replacement, line-marking and lighting.
“We thank locals for their patience as we get on with this upgrade and complete about six months’ worth of work over the next seven weeks,” said Mr Sorathia.
He said this intersection is one of the busiest in Templestowe.
“As traffic volumes return to pre-pandemic levels, congestion during the morning and afternoon peaks regularly leads to queuing — causing delays, frustration and distress.”
Mr Sorathia said replacing the Porter Street roundabout with traffic lights will reduce congestion for the more than 60,000 vehicles which use Fitzsimons Lane every day and make the community safer.
Two lanes of traffic will remain open on Williamsons Road/Fitzsimons Lane in both directions when works kick off on Tuesday, April 26.
Temporary traffic lights will guide north-south motorists through the intersection.
During this first phase of these works through to Saturday, May 14 — the eastern leg of the Porter Street roundabout will be closed, meaning traffic will need to detour via Foote Street/Reynolds Road, Blackburn Road and Warrandyte Road.
Access to nearby businesses, Templestowe Reserve and BlueCross Silverwood will be maintained.
Maps describing the detour in place can be found below:
Click on maps below slideshow for large-scale version

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

A second stage of works will be carried out over the remainder of May and into June, with one lane to re-open for those travelling from Eltham turning left into the eastern leg of Porter Street towards Warrandyte.
With restrictions on traffic movements throughout the entirety of the major works period, motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journey.
Delays of approximately 20-minutes are expected along detour routes although access through the closed road will be maintained for emergency vehicles and public transport.
Pedestrian and cyclist access has been maintained on select shared paths however, some verge areas are fenced off to ensure the safety of road workers.
A pedestrian detour is in place through Templestowe Reserve.
The temporary roundabout will be removed, and the upgraded intersection will be open by early June.
Finishing works — including asphalting, line- marking and signage works — will continue throughout 2022.
The upgrade will also improve the reliability of public transport with the introduction of bus prioritisation signalling.
Once traffic lights are installed at Porter Street, the project team will then turn their attention to major construction to upgrade the Foote Street intersection in Templestowe.
For more information or to sign up for updates, visit roadprojects.vic.gov.au/fitzsimons.
For up-to-date travel information visit:
ptv.vic.gov.au and vicroads.vic.gov.au.

Nieta Manser appointed Principal at Warrandyte PS

STUDENTS, parents, and teachers alike were delighted when it was announced that Nieta Manser, the current Acting Principal at Warrandyte Primary School (WPS), is to be appointed as their substantive Principal.
After undergoing a formal recruitment process, School Council President, David Wells, announced the great news to the school community.
As the new Principal, Ms Manser will continue the work she has been undertaking since she took the Acting role at the beginning of 2021.
Nieta is a passionate educator and leader who uses her teaching and leadership experiences as the springboard for the work she undertakes at WPS.
She is a fervent believer in building a team of educators who excel; supporting staff as they become involved in new initiatives and Professional Development.
As an advocate for Literacy, when arriving at Warrandyte Primary at the beginning of 2021 as the Acting Principal, she began a campaign to get high-quality texts into the classroom for teachers and students to use during their Literacy block.
The drive was so successful the school was able to purchase over 150 books across all age groups.
These texts are known as “mentor texts” that can be used to teach reading and writing strategies to students as they learn what good readers and writers do.
The push for more books in the classroom is also part of a schoolwide shift to promoting student voice and agency in the classroom.
“Students should be able to read quality literature from texts of their choice when practising their reading goals and apply the strategies taught in the lesson,” said Nieta.
In 2020 Nieta joined the Northeast Victorian Regional office as an Education Improvement Leader for Inner East schools, working with
school leaders to build staff capacity to deliver improved student outcomes.
She brings with her all the knowledge that she gained in this role and has begun to drive an agenda that complements and builds on
the current practices at the school, including the application of the ten High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) that are proven to improve
student outcomes.
She regularly leads staff development and training, and has an ongoing commitment to creating a culture where students and teachers are all
working together towards excellence.
“Our new instructional model sets clear roles for the teacher, the student and the peers in the classroom and supports explicit teaching, student voice and differentiation,” said Nieta.
It is not just the pedagogical knowledge that Nieta is known for around the school.
Anyone working with her knows that she strongly believes that wellbeing and academia are equally important.
After two very disruptive years for students, families and teachers, this will continue to be a focus for Nieta as she becomes the substantive
principal.
“Recovery from a difficult time is a big consideration this year,” she said.
Having attended Warrandyte Primary School herself, Nieta says she is thrilled to be able to give back to the community that instilled a strong
sense of community in her.
“Warrandyte Primary has a strong history and connection to our broader community.
“In many ways, it still reminds me of how things were when I was a student here, but Warrandyte Primary is anything but the small country school I went to.
“Our teachers have a very strong pedagogical knowledge and are passionate about their students achieving positive outcomes,” said Nieta.
She believes the students get the best of both worlds at WPS.
“The open spaces, strong cross-age relationships and of course the iconic Bushband are all still here, but when the students are in the classroom, they get to work with their teachers towards achieving their learning goals,” said Nieta.
Dave Wells, President of the WPS School Council, congratulated Nieta on her appointment.
“Nieta is to be congratulated — she submitted an outstanding application and her interview with the council was a delight.”
“Of course, Nieta is well known to the school having been interim Principal throughout last year.
“We would like to thank her for the wonderful work to date and congratulate her on being appointed to the role.
Nieta, we are very proud of our school and proud to have you leading it,” he says.

Future remains uncertain for former South Warrandyte Fire Station

AS DISCUSSED in the March Warrandyte Diary, the future of the former CFA Station in Brumbys Road, South Warrandyte, is uncertain with the CFA putting the site up for auction.
Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith, pointed out the property is required to be offered to other government bodies, including Manningham Council, on a first-right-of-refusal basis, which had not happened.
The Diary understands that the auction has been postponed, and this first-right-of-refusal process has commenced.
Former South Warrandyte CFA Captain, Greg Kennedy acknowledges the CFA has made an investment in providing the new station in Falconer Road.
However, he notes the current fire station in Falconer Road has no different facilities than the FRV stations at Ringwood, Nunawading,
Croydon or Templestowe.
“The CFA has done nothing special with this facility.
CFA has a statutory obligation to provide the infrastructure, including buildings and equipment, to discharge its duties under the Act.
The CFA made the decision to upgrade the facilities at South Warrandyte to include career staff — this was simply the CFA undertaking the function that it has responsibility for.
There were no favours, nothing special, so there are no grounds for accolades.”
Mr Kennedy said the greater Warrandyte community appreciates the high bushfire risk level in this area, and the community support has been and continues to be significant.
Each of the brigades in the area — South Warrandyte, North Warrandyte, Warrandyte and Wonga Park — have over the years appealed to the
community for financial support.
“The community has been very generous, and I estimate that over the past 40 years, our community has provided at least $2 million to the
annual brigade appeals,” he said.
He said the level of support and commitment our community has towards their CFAs is exemplified by Fireball.
“In 2014, North Warrandyte brigade were raising funds to replace their ageing brigade owned tanker by holding a sausage sizzle outside
Quinton’s IGA on Saturday, February 8.
The next day a fire destroyed three houses in Warrandyte.
Julie Quinton was gobsmacked that the volunteers had to sell sausages to raise money to buy a fire truck.
Julie and a few colleagues then organised a one-night event, Fireball, which raised a little over $80,000 in the one night — to me, that’s a
community that gives.
North Warrandyte CFA was able to replace its truck.
Over the next three years, two more Fireball events were held, raising more than $80,000 on each occasion.
Warrandyte brigade replaced their ageing slip-on, and South Warrandyte replaced their FCV.
COVID came along and delayed Wonga Park’s opportunity to benefit to date.”
Local government and services clubs have also provided additional financial support to the Brigade.
He said the brigades used these funds to provide members with appropriate protective clothing in the earlier years, additional equipment,
including hoses and couplings, and additional appliances.
“The contribution has been significant and has saved the CFA financially,” Mr Kennedy said.
He said the Greater Warrandyte community has financially supported their CFA brigades with significant contributions over a very long period.
“It is now opportune for the CFA to return the favour,” he said.
As we go to print, Manningham Council has not been offered the property under the first-right-of-refusal provisions.
Lee Robson, Acting Director of Planning and Community, told the Diary: “While there has been recent discussion in the community around
the former CFA site in Warrandyte South, Council has not identified this location as a strategic site for community use.”
He said the site has a heritage overlay with very restrictive controls, but when Council receives notification, the property will be
considered.
Mayor of Manningham Michelle Kleinert said there are several issues that Council must consider, including potential users of the facility, what expenditure will Council need to undertake to bring the facility up to the required standard, and whether the potential user of the facility is willing and capable of making a financial contribution towards the necessary works.
Expressions of interest Mr Kennedy said now is the time for community groups interested in the property to come forward.
Let the Diary know if your community group could use the old South Warrandyte Fire Station, in what capacity, and whether you could make
a financial (or in-kind) contribution to the upkeep of the facility.
The Diary will collate details for the working group, headed up by Mr Kennedy, who will make a submission to Council.
Write to editor@warrandytediary.com.au to show your interest.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: re Brumbys Road Fire Station

The above property has recently been advertised for sale by the CFA.
The advertising of the same has made a few large assumptions about future use which conflict with current zoning and planning, but as a long-term resident of Warrandyte (20 plus years) and a long-term reader of the Warrandyte Diary, I would like to offer a comment as a first time contributor.
The Warrandyte Diary has a rich background of the history of the fire station at Warrandyte South over many years as I have read with interest.
I do not propose I know the full history, but I offer my thoughts and views to gauge if others within Warrandyte have similar thoughts, other ideas to what is a great locally owned and built asset that deserves to be utilised by those that built it.
By way of short history, the station was established thru the generosity and sweat of local Warrandyte people- the land was, thru a special council subdivision, donated for use as a fire station for the local CFA brigade, the construction was mostly thru donated labour and materials by Warrandyte south residents and CFA volunteers.
This was a community at its best.
With the growth and merger with the MFB to new facilities in Park Orchards, the site was deemed an engineering and research site for a few years.
The site was offered to council for other purposes of use to the community, but in my opinion the offer was confusing and lacked clarity and sadly any interested party, never ventured any further back in 2017-19 when it was offered.
The current sale process will see any funds put into a “special capital account” with the CFA/MFB according to the current property officer of the CFA.
My concern is if they are successful in achieving a possible windfall of $900,000 plus, will these funds be domiciled to the Warrandyte community or to the wider pool of CFA/MFB? I note the main CFA pumper truck is ten years old and as we have just finished donating for a fire support vehicle for Warrandyte South, could this money be directed/restricted to those and the area that made this CFA/MFB windfall happen?
I would not enjoy being involved again in a drive to fundraise for a support vehicle and equipment for one of Australia’s most highly rated fire zone’s, when our treasured local Warrandyte volunteers should have the best and newest equipment, but his “windfall” disappeared into the ethers of the combined CFA/MFB with unknown use or purpose.
As to a future use, I am sure if it was again offered to the local community as a re-purposed asset and location that the words local, community, involvement, have changed in the new COVID world, since a technically confusing offering back some 5-3 years ago.
We now live in a different world and such a significant asset built with local goodwill, has a future better than the real estate agent’s offering as a brewery etc!
My family and I would be prepared to offer up adjoining land for use as a community garden to assist a possible use as a not-for-profit community café/ artist display etc and in some way recognise the locals that gave and made the site a reality.

DONNA SMITH
Warrandyte South

Warrandyte Men’s Shed still homeless

[OPINION]
By CHRIS CHEWY PADGHAM
WARRANDYTE MEN’S SHED

AS SOME OF you may know, a group of men from the Warrandyte Community have been working to establish a Men’s Shed in Warrandyte.
A Men’s Shed is a men’s health initiative aimed at improving the mental and physical health of older men in our community through social
inclusion in an environment that is meaningful and comfortable for men.
The success of Men’s Sheds throughout Australia and abroad is a testament to the valuable contribution that they make to the welfare of the community in which they are present.
I have been working on the establishment of a Men’s Shed in Warrandyte for the last five years, and it is fair to say that everyone I have
spoken to agrees that it would be a magnificent asset for Warrandyte, including Manningham Councillors, and our State and Federal Members of Parliament.
There is one major obstacle in our progress: a suitable site to house it.
Imagine my pleasure when  it became apparent that the old South Warrandyte CFA building was available for Council to acquire.
It is fit for purpose and ideally located close to public transport.
However, Council’s current position on the old South Warrandyte Fire Station is: “the South Warrandyte Fire Station has not been identified
by Council as a strategic site for acquisition.”
And its position on finding an appropriate site for a Warrandyte Men’s Shed is: “work is being undertaken by officers to identify existing Council-owned land that may be suitable for community
focussed uses such as a Men’s Shed.”
For five years, I have heard that line.
It seems it takes the council a long time to identify their own land.
It is frustrating, but we will continue to meet at the Scout Hall, which is falling down because of council neglect.
I worked with the council to specify appropriate upgrades to address its glaring deficiencies.
That was completed in July 2021; the last informal word I had was that it might make it into the budget for 2023/2024.
I know councils like to think of themselves as businesses these days; a key performance indicator for them is the provision of appropriate and
well-maintained facilities to benefit the community.
From my perspective, Manningham Council is comprehensively failing Warrandyte on this KPI.

Community history for sale

By SANDI MILLER
March 2022

PAST AND PRESENT members of the South Warrandyte Fire Brigade and other members of the broader Warrandyte community are dismayed as the Country Fire Authority has placed the old South Warrandyte fire station on Brumbys Road up for sale.
Greg Kennedy was a member of the South Warrandyte Fire Brigade for 36 years, holding the office of Captain on two occasions, Lieutenant at various levels on several occasions, and President, Secretary and Treasurer.
He said he was “disgusted” to see the former fire station in Brumbys Road advertised for sale.
“Whilst the CFA is undoubtedly the owner of the land and therefore entitled to dispose of the property and everything that is built upon the land, there is a moral obligation for the CFA to take fully into account the history of this site.”
Mr Kennedy provided the Diary with a background of the site; he said the land was acquired in 1954 for the token amount of 40 pounds from Mr Pridmore.
The Pridmore family was very grateful for the assistance of brigade members in searching for their young son, who had become lost in the area.
“It is unclear who provided the funding, but I have been reliably informed by members from that time that the brigade raised the necessary monies — not the CFA.”
After a delay of two years, a rural shed donated by a resident was erected on the site by the brigade members — no cost to the CFA.
In 1963, a building suitable to house an appliance was acquired by the brigade from a resident and erected, again by the brigade members.
Over several years, the shed was refurbished with additions of a meeting room and communications facility and eventually a brick façade.
The members sourced all the materials and provided all of the labour.
The brigade undertook the supply and erection of the shed at no cost to the CFA on the understanding that the brigade would be provided with an Austin tanker as soon as there was somewhere to house the appliance.
The CFA honoured the undertaking, and an Austin tanker arrived in 1963.
By the early 1980s, the facilities were inadequate.
The brigade approached the CFA and was advised that a new station was scheduled, but not for at least 10 years.
Under the leadership of Captain Les Dixon, the brigade went about designing a new station with assistance from a local architect who provided his service pro bono.
Additional land was required to house the new building.
The brigade negotiated on behalf of the CFA to acquire an additional parcel of land adjoining the existing site.
“I recollect that the CFA paid for the additional land, but the purchase price was well below market value — the only cost to date for the CFA,” said Mr Kennedy.
The CFA approved the plans and agreed to allow the brigade to construct the building provided the brigade met
all costs — and that is precisely what the brigade did.
The brigade went to the South Warrandyte community and, through various fundraising activities, raised a little over $100,000.
The brigade members then undertook the building of the station.
Working bees were held most evenings and every weekend, and all brigade members freely gave their time.
Local tradesmen — carpenters, electricians, roofers, cabinet makers — gave their time without payment.
Materials were donated by various residents who were involved in the building industry.
Corporates were encouraged to provide materials with plant hire company, Wreckair Ltd, providing all types of machinery weekend after weekend for no charge.
Mr Kennedy said the only other financial contribution made by the CFA was $30,000 to assist in the final fit-out of the station.
“This contribution was made very late in the building program and only after the then Chairman Mr O’Shea was embarrassed by what he found the brigade had achieved without any financial support from the CFA.
“To me and the many members and especially former members of the brigade, the fire station in Brumbys Road, holds a very special place in our hearts — we toiled long and hard both in fundraising and construction to provide ourselves and our community with a decent facility with virtually no financial assistance from the CFA.
“The facility was provided by our community, for our community.
“The CFA may own the land, but it can never own what has been built — it belongs to us.
“To simply have this facility placed on the open market for sale shows no understanding of the history and importance of the facility.
“For the CFA to expect to pocket $900,000+ with no recognition of what the community has contributed is a heartless act.
“This is a community facility, built and paid for by the community.
“Morally, it belongs to the community,” Mr Kennedy said.
Valerie Polley of the Warrandyte Historical Society (WHS) notes the site is protected under a historical significance overlay.
She told the Diary that the site is an important part of the town’s history.
“The Warrandyte Historical Society is concerned that this heritage- listed building could be lost to the community.
The fire station is listed as of local significance on Manningham’s Heritage Overlay (HO27).
It has strong links back into the community.
This building which dates to 1986/7, used brigade (community) raised funds and CFA volunteer labour.
It was listed due to its ‘elegant and sympathetic adaptation of an organic design approach to a public building’. The citation felt it contributed to a future design for rural public buildings rather than a colonial vernacular, and WHS agrees.
WHS considers it detrimental to lose yet another well-designed community asset when there are local demands for premises, including for a Men’s Shed, which is currently homeless.
That its heritage values could also be compromised is also a big consideration.
WHS is hopeful that any changes will not lead to the loss of the building’s heritage significance and contribution to the architectural heritage of Warrandyte.”
Mr Kennedy said that during the planning of the new station, when he was Captain of the brigade in 2014, he met with then Chief Officer, Ewan Ferguson, to discuss the future of the Brumbys Road site.
“I received an assurance that no decisions on the future of the station had been made and none would be made without further consultation with the brigade — I accepted the word of the Chief Officer.
“On May 24, 2016, I wrote to the newly appointed CEO, Lucinda Nolan seeking assurance that the disposal of the fire station would be handled with care and compassion, bearing in mind the history of how the facility was provided.
“I received a telephone call from Lucinda Nolan again advising that no decision had been made and a consultative process would be undertaken at the appropriate time.
“To my knowledge, neither of these commitments have been honoured.”
He said the CFA as the property owner, clearly has a right to dispose of the property, but there should be at least some compassion and understanding given to those who hold the facility dearly.
“There are retired members of the brigade who are very upset by the current actions of the CFA.”
Mr Kennedy said the decision to list the property without any consultation is “immoral, heartless and totally inconsiderate”.
He said he hopes the CFA will reconsider and is prepared to accept a peppercorn payment if the facility becomes a community centre.
“After all, the investment by the CFA is minimal, but the investment by the South Warrandyte community is enormous.
“I cannot believe the CFA who promote themselves as ‘WE ARE COMMUNITY’ can so heartlessly place this property on the market without any consideration of the community – what am I missing here?”
A CFA spokesperson told the Diary the Authority is not in a position to gift properties to other parties, nor retain or sell them at undervalued amounts.
“CFA and the Victorian Government made a significant investment of
more than $6m in the acquisition of land and construction of a new and modern fire station in 2015 to serve the community of South Warrandyte and neighbouring areas.
CFA has an obligation to utilise its assets in the best possible manner to support our volunteer brigades, and the sale of surplus stations is a significant contributor to our program of station refurbishments and replacements, which benefit all CFA volunteers and our local communities.”
Despite being placed with a real estate agent, the Diary has been told the former South Warrandyte station property has recently been resubmitted through the First Right of Refusal process, which gives state and local government entities, including the Manningham Council, the ability to express interest in the property and purchase from CFA at the Valuer General’s valuation.
This process takes around 60 days, and if there is no outcome from the process, CFA will relist the property for public auction.

Promises broken on CFA Shed

RYAN SMITH MP
Member for Warrandyte
[OPINION]

I RECENTLY raised a very important issue in State Parliament regarding the former South Warrandyte CFA station on Brumbys Road.
The former station has recently been listed for sale for close to $1 million, an exorbitant mark-up from the Manningham council evaluation of $120,000 in 2017.
I have been campaigning with local community groups for the past six years for the government to allow the community use of the building, ever since the multimillion- dollar integrated station in South Warrandyte was completed.
Every time that I have raised this issue with the government, I have been told that the station continues “…to meet internal needs and will do so for the foreseeable future — there are no immediate plans for the CFA to vacate or dispose of these premises.”
Locals I have spoken with have been rightly angered by this response as the station has stood largely empty over the last six years.
In April 2021, the acting Minister for Emergency Services wrote to me stating that : “Should the CFA determine in the future that the site is no longer needed, there will be an opportunity for the local council to purchase the property for community purposes.”
Four months later, in August, the minister wrote again stating that, if the land was deemed surplus by the CFA, it must be offered through a First Right of Refusal process to Victorian government departments as well as to local government, whilst again reiterating that the CFA still require the South Warrandyte station for the foreseeable future.
Through conversations with Manningham Council and volunteer CFA members, it appears there has been no offering of the former station for community use as promised by the government.
It has become apparent that the government’s only vision for community assets is to try to sell them in order to fill the bottomless black hole of state debt.
This is just another example of the difference between what this government says and what they do.
Each Minister I have written to was aware of the various community organisations that would have been interested in using the space, including a permanent base for the Warrandyte Men’s Shed, the Warrandyte Scouts, or a dedicated ambulance station for the Warrandyte area or even for the volunteers at South Warrandyte to return home.
This is another disappointing result for the communities of the Warrandyte electorate, who have continued to be let down by this government.
I will be pursuing this matter further to ensure that all proper processes were followed by the government.
If they have not, my community will be made aware that this government continues to ignore community needs and expectations.
I have asked the Minister to withdraw the station from the market and gift it to Manningham Council for community use or at least — at the very least — offer the property at a properly valued price as was promised.
I will continue to keep the community updated on any developments.

Disruptions continue for Fitzsimons Lane upgrade

MAJOR ROADS Projects Victoria (MRPV) continues the works on the Fitzsimons Lane upgrade.
CONSTRUCTION teams are about to embark on another roadworks blitz, completing six months of work in seven weeks.
They will be transforming the Fitzsimons Lane/Porter Street roundabout into an traffic light-controlled intersection.
Residents are advised that the Porter Street/Fitzsimons Lane intersection on the eastern (Warrandyte/Donvale)
side of the road will be closed from April 26 for the seven-week period, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
From April 26, until May 14, there will be no access to eastern end of Porter Street.
Traffic Diversions will be in place, taking diverted traffic along Williamsons Road, Foote Street, Blackburn Road, and Warrandyte
Road.
Major Roads are advising there may be delays of up to 20 minutes for road users in this area during works.
There will also be no access to Hawtin Street from Porter Street; this street will be local access only.
Entry to Water Tunnel Car Wash, MarketPlace Fresh, Templestowe Reserve and BlueCross Silverwood will be from the Warrandyte side of the road closure.
Local bus route 905 is also likely to be affected by these works, the Diary and M&N Bulletin will have additional information about how this service is impacted closer to the time.

Lane closures
Lane closures have been in effect from Sunday, March 6, as works are undertaken to complete drainage works and build up the road along Williamsons Road and Fitzsimons Lane between Atkinson Street and Westerfolds Park, and on Porter Street — west of the roundabout if you are driving towards Templestowe Village.
During this time, there are lane closures and speed limits are reduced to 40km/h on Porter Street.
Construction crews will be in place Monday to Friday from 6am to 5pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 7am to 5pm.

Nightworks
There will also be some nights works from Sunday to Friday, between 6pm and 5am each night.
Traffic management will be in place to guide road users through the area. Access to businesses and residences will be maintained during these works.
Crews will be relocating powerlines underground.
The installation of new drainage and construction of pavement will continue in the centre medians of
Williamsons Road, either side of the Foote Street intersection.
As crews work to relocate overhead powerlines underground, there will be boring and trenching on Foote Street, west of the intersection.
One end of Glendale Avenue will be closed, with lane closures continuing across the Foote Street intersection.
There will also be trench and bore works around the southwest corner of Williamsons Road and Foote Street.

Main Road completion works
Following on from its major construction campaign, crews will be tidying up around the Main Road/ Fitzsimons Lane intersection and finishing off work on medians and the Fitzsimons Lane retaining wall.
There will be minor traffic management in place for the ongoing safety of drivers and workers.

Porter Street road surfacing
Heading into the final stage of works to upgrade the Porter Street roundabout to traffic lights, crews will continue to prepare the road surface for the signalised intersection.
Over the next three months, lane closures and changed traffic conditions will continue on all legs of the intersection as the new pavement is built and new drainage is installed throughout the area.
MRPV said it will notify directly impacted residents regarding nightworks.

Breaking Biases on International Women’s Day

MANNINGHAM Council was host to an International Women’s Day Morning Tea adopting the theme of #BreaktheBias.
The free event was held on March 8 in Manningham’s recently refurbished Function Centre and included a presentation and a lively panel discussion facilitated by TV and radio presenter Shelley Ware.
Shelley was joined by Asherly Bradac (disability advocate / Manningham Disability Advisory Committee), Varvara Ioannou (Food For Thought Network), Sally Goldner (Founding member of Transgender Victoria) and Aunty Irene Norman (Mullum Mullum Gathering Place).
The 2022 #BreaktheBias campaign seeks to create a gender equal world that is free of bias, discrimination and stereotypes.
Manningham Councillor Laura Mayne said that as a local council in 2022 they aim to achieve gender equality in every policy they do.
“We have just recently established a gender committee, which I am a part of, and it’s a really big action — also in gender diversity we have just established a new LGBTIQA+ diversity action plan.
“We are also undertaking a gender audit and considering our staff and operations, which is something we are continuously reviewing,” she said.
Guest speaker Aunty Irene Norman, a proud Wailwan woman and a Mullum Mullum Elder, said that breaking the bias means teaching
people — from going into schools and talking to the children and educating the teachers — is the first step to seeing change.
“One of the first things we say to teachers is, there is no such thing as a bad question, people are very uncomfortable about asking questions to first peoples of this country — gender bias, women’s issues, men’s issues, acceptance issues — don’t be frightened to ask is the biggest thing we teach them.
“How are you ever going to learn if you don’t ask questions, how are people going to learn if we don’t teach them?” she said.
Panellist Sally Goldner, an LGBTIQA+ diversity educator and founding member of Transgender Victoria, said transgender people
are not being represented at the higher levels.
“I feel mistrustful to people in positions of power because I feel trans people were often spoken for and spoken about without our consent and in ways we shouldn’t be talked about,” she said.
Ms Goldner said the value of curiosity and being open to learning is essential to breaking the bias.
“I hope we get to the point where International Women’s Day is celebrated with just the positives and we don’t have to talk about the
negatives,” she said.
Asherly Bradac single mother of four children, all living with disability and additional needs, said breaking the bias is looking within
ourselves and to understand what our own biases are — “it doesn’t take a genius or a degree to be kind.”
Facilitator of the event Shelley Ware, who has over 20 years’ experience in the media as a radio and television presenter on both
local and national AFL football news shows, said that although she has literally lived bias her whole career, we are now seeing more
women talking about AFL and having different conversations.
Aunty Irene Norman finished off the #BreaktheBias International Women’s Day discussion panel by saying: “It doesn’t matter who is biased against you, don’t hide — show yourself and your abilities, be yourself, hold your head up high and look people in the eye.”

A fresh look for Park Orchards mural

AS PART OF the Park Orchards Recovery Wall project, as reported in February M&N Bulletin, the community, through Park Orchards Learning Centre’s Nature in Art group, has given Pauline Brooke’s village map a fresh coat of paint, and a mural depicting local flora and fauna.
The Diary spoke with members of the Nature in Art group about the project.
Terry Napier, the founder of the Nature in Art group, said their goal was to represent the nature of Park Orchards on the wall.
“Our main theme in Nature in Art is to remind people of the beauty of nature and what we are losing rapidly, so we hope the mural is going to be a constant reminder.
“We have had so much reaction to it including all the little kids from school coming home, and that’s been tremendous,” he said.
The idea was presented to the Nature in Art group via local “dabbler” and Nature in Art member Anne Gibson who was approached by the Park Orchards Lions Club when they decided to give Pauline Brooke’s map a touch-up.
“Trevor from the Lions Club said ‘we’re redoing the map which Pauline Brooke did years and years ago, do you want to do something on the rest of the wall?’.
“I just thought it would be a nice community project, get the Nature in Art students from the Community House involved.
“I thought we would depict the 100 Acres.
“All of that is pretty close to my heart, all the mess we’re making of our environment,” she said.
The mural took a little over three- and-a-half weeks to paint.
Anne and the group usually paint with watercolours, but for this project they had to use housepaint, which Anne explained was a challenge all on its own.
“I had to pick out a red, white, blue, green, yellow and black.
“Because they are not primary colours — because they are made up of other colours — mixing them was a real challenge.
“We had a bit of fun with this, some strange colours,” she said.
The Park Orchards Nature in Art group is the second biggest group of its kind outside the Botanical Gardens.
The addition of the animals to the town map breathe new life and new meaning into a long-standing town feature, and the mural’s message “tread lightly and care for country” is a fitting reminder we need to look after our environment, as well as our community.

Come and try: Nature in Art
Where: Park Orchards Learning Centre, 572 Park Road
When: Saturday, March 19, 9:30am–3:30pm
Info: Inspired by the Park Orchards mural, always wanted to try your hand at this great art form? This is a great opportunity to work with the wonderful Terry Napier. Be introduced to the world of botanical art using pencil and watercolour. In this intensive one day “Come and Try” workshop you will be guided in:
– An overview of botanical and natural history art
– Sketching and illustrating techniques
– Principles of composition
– Watercolour techniques, dry brush and wet on wet
This is particularly designed for people who wish to learn more about natural history art and who are interested in continuing in our term classes.
Cost of course includes notes and drawings to guide you. Bring your own pencils, sketch pad, however you will have access to our class set of brushes, paints and watercolour paper. Course cost: $100.
**To assist us in planning, we appreciate you enrolling 7 days prior to start date**
To book visit www.parkorchards.org.au
Pictured: Margaret Napier, Terry Napier, Deborah McNeil, Graham Pilley and Anne Gibson
Photo: James Poyner

Expect delays around Fitzsimons Lane construction blitz

**UPDATE 21/01/2022
Stage 1 works have now finished as part of the blitz, finishing five days ahead of schedule.

As of the morning of January 21, traffic can once again travel northbound from Templestowe to Eltham on Fitzsimons Lane with detours in place via Bolton Street for traffic travelling towards Eltham from Lower Plenty.
MRPV maintain Stage 2 works will finish on February 13, as per the December announcement.
For further details, read the story below.

WORKS ON THE Major Roads Project along Fitzsimons Lane are picking up during the school holidays, with plans for around-the-clock construction at the Main Road intersection from January 4 until February 13, 2022.
A statement from Major Roads Projects Victoria (MRPV) said upgrades to key intersections in Eltham and Templestowe are set to improve safety and traffic flow for the 60,000 people who drive through the area every day.
Continuous day and night works
From Tuesday, January 4 until February 13, 2022, construction will be occurring 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to complete six months of work in six weeks and upgrade the Main Road roundabout to traffic lights.
Major construction will occur during the school holidays while traffic volumes are reduced; however, intersection closures will result in significant delays throughout the area.
Works will include:

  • installation of new drainage and new pavement,
  • installation and placement of new kerb,
  • underground services and foundation installation for the new traffic signals and lighting,
  • installation of traffic signals and lighting, and
  • completion of new sections of footpaths and driveways for the new intersection.

MRPV said it would continue to work closely with residents, businesses and drivers to undertake these works safely and efficiently.
However, during major construction, there will be lengthy disruptions, detours, and lane closures, and significant delays when travelling through the area
Residents will be impacted by noise from equipment and machinery such as generators, excavators, trucks, vibrations, dust, and light from the work area.
Speeds will be reduced to 40km/h and traffic management will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The 901 buses will continue uninterrupted, and 902 buses will be given priority travel through the work area during major construction works, so the route is also unchanged.
The 513 will be detoured via Bridge and Bolton streets.
MRPV said it was working closely with emergency services to ensure that emergency access is maintained throughout this period.

Traffic changes
The construction impacts and planned traffic management will be broken into two stages.

Stage 1
From January 4, 2022, there will be significant delays throughout the area.
Where possible, MRPV recommends drivers seek alternative routes, avoiding the intersection during peak-hours and allowing an extra 30 minutes travel time.
One lane will remain open through the Main Road intersection for those heading south towards the city via Fitzsimons Lane from Eltham.
If you are coming from the city heading north towards Eltham or travelling between Lower Plenty and Eltham, a temporary detour via Bolton Street and Bridge Street will be in place.

Stage 2
The intersection will be reopened from January 26, 2022, to allow traffic movement towards Eltham from the city via Fitzsimons Lane.
Travel delays of up to 15 minutes are expected during this time, and detours will still be in place via Bolton Street for those travelling between Lower Plenty and Eltham.
Throughout this period, Souter Street and Jayson Avenue will be closed.
While the road is closed, Souter Street will have a temporary detour via Falkiner Street.
Jayson Avenue will be detoured via Homestead Road to Fitzsimons Lane.

Managing impacts
MRPV stated it would monitor noise, vibration and dust levels at all times to ensure these impacts are kept to a minimum.
If you have any noise concerns, please contact MRPV on 1800 105 105.

For more information, visit bigbuild.vic.gov.au/projects/mrpv/fitzsimons-lane-upgrade/roads/main-road

Gooligulch reopening

Photo: BILL McAULEY

THE REFURBISHMENT of the much loved Wonga Park playspace, based on Graeme Base’s book, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, is now complete with an official opening scheduled for 4pm, Wednesday, December 15.
Children can once again ride kangaroos, befriend wombats, emus and other characters under the watchful eye of Grandma at the refurbished Gooligulch Playspace in Wonga Park.
Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert said the refurbishment was a successful collaboration between Council, author Graeme Base and the original Gooligulch creative team, featuring artists, fabricators and suppliers.

“We listened to the community and worked together to preserve the park’s distinctly Australian theme, inspired by the book.
“The refurbished park will ensure new generations of children can experience this unique story and iconic playspace for years to come,” she said.

The refurbishment includes a renovated house for Grandma, refurbished play units for children, and reinstated art panels, improved seating, landscaping, picnic areas and signage for everyone.
The official opening will include storytelling, hearing from the original creative team and Christmas decoration for Grandma’s house.
The upgrade is part of Manningham’s Parks Improvement Program.

“Thank you to our community for their patience over the last few months as we complete the refurbishment,” Cr Kleinert said.

The Wonga Park Community Cottage 40th anniversary

WONGA PARK Community Cottage passed its 40-year milestone in early 2020.
Celebrations had to be delayed for close to two years as COVID suspended celebrations and gatherings.
So, on November 27, the Cottage belatedly marked its anniversary with a “Back to the Cottage” day and the unveiling of a commemorative artwork.
Current and former tutors and students all gathered for a laughter-filled afternoon — clearly everyone was delighted to be in one another’s company again.
Emcee of the official proceedings, Joan Hume, recounted a brief history of the cottage, which started its life in 1950 as the home of Alan Bickford and his family, some of whom were in attendance at the event.
In 1978, the then Lilydale Shire Council purchased the property as part of their plans to establish a recreational reserve in Wonga Park and the cottage began its life as a community centre.
It has been used extensively by locals and those from neighbouring suburbs for arts and craft, history clubs, cooking, bread making, exercise classes, and even laughter classes.
In the mid-80s it opened a childminding centre offering a supervised playroom for $1 per week per child.
In 1990 Lynda Hay became the first salaried coordinator, who retired in 2019 after chalking up an incredible 29 years at the helm.
“You could have tried for 30,” quipped laughter class facilitator, Tracy Bartram.
Louise Schweiger started as assistant coordinator in 2008, and then took over as coordinator in 2019 upon Lynda’s retirement.
In early 2021 the native garden and tables and chairs were installed with help from Manningham Council’s placemaking funding, where Brew & Willow’s coffee van now visits most Saturday mornings.
Manningham Mayor, Michelle Kleinert assisted the artist Janet Hayes in the unveiling of her painting, which was drawn from photographs throughout the last four decades at the cottage.
Janet, who teaches art classes at the cottage, reflected that it was in a way like painting portraits of her family.
“I feel that the people of the centre are like my extended family.
“40 years encompasses my adult life, so I could be any one of the people in this painting,” Janet said.
Cr Kleinert said everyone that attends the cottage is creating history. “The beauty of this cottage, there is life here — there is 40 years of history that we are celebrating, and we think there is going to be another 40 years, and you are part of the history here today,” she said.
Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith said he could sense the connection that everyone at the cottage felt for one another, especially after lockdown.
“Let’s not ever take for granted the people we are able to spend time with because we never know what is around the corner, none of us saw the last two years happening, and now that it is hopefully behind us, let us embrace every moment together, because there is no one so special as each other,” he said.
Joan thanked everyone who contributed during those 40 years to the cottage, and Manager Louise Schweiger for organising the event.
“Everybody puts their little part into the cottage on a weekly basis,”she said.
Which is why it is such a special part of the Wonga Park community.

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Warrandyte has a new brew

THERE IS A new beer in town.
The eagle-eyed and more adventurous amongst you may have even already tried it.
The Warrandyte Brewing Co. launched its inaugural beer on Friday, November 28, an Australian pale ale called Sunnyside Ale.
Partial to an independently brewed beer, and always interested in trying something new, I was fortuitous enough to pick up a six-pack from Quinton’s IGA.
Warrandyte Brewing Co.’s first beer from the brewery is light, easy to drink, and perfect for spring/early summer.
I was curious to learn more about who is putting Warrandyte on the beer mat; I sat down with North Ringwood couple David and Bianca Ryan to learn about their inspiration and future plans.
David is a paramedic working out of the Ringwood branch, and Bianca works for a not-for-profit in the disability sector.
I started by asking them what drew them to Warrandyte and making beer.

BR: We both come from a background of wanting to contribute to the community and give back.
We love walking along the river, the sense of community and all the local shops, and we’ve got family out here as well.
Our dog loves swimming in the river as well.
But why we started Warrandyte Brewing Co.? I’ll leave that to David.

DR: Well, I spent a lot of money on beer — so, I guess it’s a way of saving money.
But, I guess the idea started when we lived abroad.
We lived in Calgary, and I guess it isn’t a typical place that people move to overseas because it is a smaller city. It’s on the west coast, so it is known for its harsh climate.
I worked there as a paramedic on a
First Nations reserve; I was contracted to look after them for whatever reason they needed.
It was an eye-opening experience because Australia has an Indigenous population, but there are so many similarities between their culture and the culture of Australia’s Indigenous peoples.
It was a very uniquely beautiful culture, so that was an interesting experience.

BR: Canadians are just so lovely.
Everyone you interacted with was so welcoming and kind of wanted to know your story.
We went there knowing that we wanted to still work in our fields, so I worked for UNICEF when I was over there.
We were there for a year and made great friendships, and hopefully, we can go back to visit soon.

DR: [In Canada] we lived near some breweries, and we found that they were the heartbeat of the area, and it was very social.
A lot of community events happen through the brewery or are associated with the brewing.
I guess that’s how we made lots of our friends that we still talk to now.
So, we want to provide that sort of atmosphere back where we lived, and then I think the COVID lockdown got the creative juices flowing.
And you know, one thing led to another, and the next minute, we are making and selling our brand to local venues and local liquor stores.
It is still weird to see people drinking your beer, but it’s super exciting.

JP: So let’s talk about the beer — with so many great beer varieties around, how did you decide on launching with an Australian pale ale?

DR: Well, that was the great dilemma. But then you have to ask what will number two be, and that’s the next great dilemma.
But, beer has seasons, and people drink beer based on the season.
So we knew that we were going to release it at the start of summer.
The Australian pale ale is approachable to everyone, whether you are a craft beer fanatic or a Carlton Draught drinker.
Through and through, we think there’s something in this pale ale that either side of the story can appreciate.

BR: Our goal is to, I guess, one day have a physical presence in the Warrandyte area but for now, we’re starting small and trying to produce good beer that everyone enjoys.

DR: I asked Michael [Burnley Brewing] his opinion on what would suit the Warrandyte area.
At the time, I was already thinking Australian pale ale, and he recommended it.
I just thought it’s a good fit for an Australian Riverside town.
And yeah, we’re delighted with the way it came out.
It’s low in alcohol or lower on the normal side in our call.
Which for me is a bonus because that’s the way I like.
It’s nice, easy-drinking, really approachable that I hope everyone enjoys it.
We have had a lot of feedback, and everyone seems pretty happy with it, particularly for our first release.
So we’re very, very proud.

JP: Let’s talk a bit about your logo design.

BR: We wanted it to be very on-brand for Warrandyte — we know that our label is quite different to what the other craft beer labels are like out there.
We wanted to make it our own and wanted it to represent Warrandyte as well.
So, there’s a gum tree around the can, and our logo is based on a gum leaf.

DR: It was Bianca’s friend who helped with the design.
I gave a bit of a design profile of what I saw in my head.

BR: We wanted to use the seasonal colours of the landscape as well.
So right now, we are also brainstorming what the next one might look like as well.

DR: We like a simple looking can.
I know some are very in your face and can grab your attention from the shelves.
We hope our beer speaks for itself.

BR: We hope that when we release other beers in the future, you know that as soon as you see our logo that it’s the Warrandyte Brewing Co.
We wanted to keep it simple and true and to represent the area.

JP: Without giving away too many secrets, what’s next?

DR: As I said earlier, beer has seasons, so we anticipate our next one coming out towards the end of January.
With every beer we release, we want it to not be just, ‘get another beer out there to make another dollar’.
We want it to be out there for a long time.
It will be one where on a 30 or 40-degree day when it is nice and dry, it will wet your whistle, be refreshing.

Warrandyte Brewing Co.’s beer is locally available at Hops and Vine and Quinton’s IGA, as well as stores in Ringwood East and Eltham.
See their website for more details warrandytebrewingco.com.au

Birrarung has a new voice

North Warrandyte resident, Charlotte Sterrett has been appointed a Yarra Riverkeeper, the first woman to take up the role.
The Yarra Riverkeeper Association (YRKA) is the voice of the Yarra, an independent, communityled organisation of advocates who represent and protect this iconic Melbourne waterway.
Charlotte said, as Melbourne’s population grows, the river is under increasing environmental pressure, pollution, and habitat fragmentation.
“Riverkeepers are vital to keeping the Yarra healthy”.
Much of Charlotte’s career has been with aid charities Oxfam and World Vision on climate change education and community adaptation
projects in countries such as Bangladesh, Vanuatu, and South Africa.
She is a member of WarrandyteCAN (Climate Action Now), as well as a local Landcare group, and is a regular environmental columnist for
Warrandyte Diary.
She told the Bulletin that working with Warrandyte CAN has shown her the impact local action can make.
She said her role is as the chief spokesperson for the organisation and “she will be telling the story of the Birrarung/Yarra and lobbying local and state governments”.
Charlotte joins another Warrandyte resident, Warwick Leeson, who is chair of the YRKA.
She replaces outgoing Riverkeeper, Andrew Kelly.

Photo BILL McAULEY

Manningham Roads

Gathering the evidence to fix 5-Ways

A COLLISION IN September gave rise to renewed calls for safety improvements to be considered for the 5-Ways intersection in South Warrandyte.
The intersection of Ringwood- Warrandyte Road/Croydon Road/ Husseys Lane and Brumbys Road in Warrandyte South, known locally as 5-Ways, is a State controlled arterial road managed by the Department of Transport (DoT).
It has been the site of a number of vehicle crashes and incidents, with the most recent collision between a car and a truck seeing a young woman airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon said Council joins residents’ concerns about the ongoing risks associated with this intersection and are continuing to advocate to have this fixed.
“I know many of you have tried to have this situation improved for years and thank you for your ongoing commitment,” he said.
Prior to the Pandemic Lockdown, congestion at the intersection often saw drivers queuing for extended periods to exit Croydon Road during morning and evening peak time, a situation that is expected to return as we open up.
Manningham Council says it continues to urge DoT to undertake improvements.
“DoT tell us that they don’t have enough evidence to move this road work up their priority list,” a Council spokesperson said.
Council is urging people to help them by reporting their experiences at the notorious intersection.
Visit the Your Say Manningham website to provide details of your experiences of using 5-Ways, including any accidents or near misses that you have been involved in or witnessed, and Council will share this information with DoT to support its efforts in ensuring this dangerous intersection is fixed.
yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/5- ways.

Concept plans released for Jumping Creek Road

THE CONCEPT plans for the remainder of the Jumping Creek Road upgrade are now complete, with the detailed design process to be undertaken in late 2021 and works commencing in late 2022.
Council is planning to invest over $17.9M over five years to upgrade this major road that will see a reconstruction of the full length of the road from Ringwood-Warrandyte Road in Warrandyte to Homestead Road in Wonga Park.
Council says it will also advocate to the State and Federal Government for further funding for this road and associated detours.
Stage 1 of construction works were completed last year, and Council has now presented the concept plans for the remainder of the road upgrade.
Throughout the development of the concept plans, Council has obtained feedback from the community and worked closely with the Jumping Creek Road Community Reference Panel.
Outgoing Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon said that these concept plans were developed with the community and would be another step towards the upgrade of this important road.
“Manningham Council is proud to be another step closer to upgrading this road which will see safety improvements as well as increased vegetation, a mixed-use trail, wildlife protection measures, improved road useability and an upgrade to the township intersection and streetscape,” Cr Conlon said.
“We thank those who had input into the design of the concept plans and we look forward to commencing works on this important project.”
To be kept up-to-date with this project, please visit yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/ jumping-creek-road-upgrade.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Diary,
Can we trust an urban/suburban council with the upgrade of the last of our “undeveloped” street scapes and bushland remnants?
After Knees Road development which now looks a bit like an unclothed ex- lover, although are there trees to come for covering and shade?
Council should not let the same street scape designers loose on Jumping Creek Road; but they already have.
Stage one is a million-dollar, far-too- expensive-for-what-we-have-got waste, and a waste-land, with few “safety improvements”.
Stop now and rethink the treatment of stage two Jumping Creek Road Please!
Less concrete, roll over curbs, asphalt please, a thirty-centimetre strip of green for a footpath; come on?
It will be an unmaintainable dust bowl in summer, no space for pathways for walking, riding, horse riding, prams, kids etc. insensitive treatment of trees and treescape and no space for replacement of the carbon sinks destroyed and no space for replacement treescapes.
Concrete/concrete/concrete!
Does somebody in Council own a concrete batching plant?
More heat, more glare, more boring, less attractive, more likely to encourage speed away careless driving!
Expensive counter-productive!
Does anyone agree?

Bob Poppins
Wonga Park

New Mayor elected for Manningham

THE ANNUAL passing of the baton for the position of Manningham Mayor has been held and Councillor for Westerfolds Ward, Michelle Kleinert was elected to the position for 2021/22.

Cr Diedre Diamante was elected Deputy Mayor.

Cr Kleinert thanked the outgoing Mayor Andrew Conlon and Deputy Mayor Anna Chen, as well as fellow councillors, as she donned the Mayoral Robes in a ceremony in Council Chambers.

“I do not take this position lightly, recognising that it is a robe that is borrowed, many have worn it before me and many will wear it after me,” she said.

She reflected on the tough year that has just past and said that Council has done extremely well in these difficult times, “and together we will bounce back”.

She committed to holding to the mantra “Be Kind”, as she pledged to work on Bully Zero, the Council Plan and Council’s advocacy around the State and Federal elections.

“I pledge to serve with energy and devotion; there is much work to be done in this coming year, and I am very excited about it,” she said.

Cr Laura Mayne led the congratulations for the incoming Mayor, noting Cr Kleinert’s hard work and welcoming demeanour.

Cr Carli Lange thanked the outgoing Mayor and welcomed the new Mayor. “I know you will be able to climb over any challenge that comes your way,”Cr Lange said.

The Council then acknowledge the outgoing Mayor, Cr Conlon.

Former Deputy Mayor, Anna Chen said:

“On behalf of the residents of the municipality a motion of appreciation be recorded for the outgoing mayor, Andrew Conlon”.

She said, in an extraordinary year due to COVID, Cr Conlon demonstrated great leadership, is fair, cares about the community, and always has a positive attitude.

The elections for the Mayor of Nillumbik will take place on November 24.

Featured photo courtesy Mannigham Council/Facebook – pictured from left Deputy Mayor Cr Diedre Diamante and Mayor Cr Michelle Kleinert

New electoral boundaries

VICTORIA’S ELECTORAL Boundaries Commission (EBC) has released new State electoral boundaries to come into operation at the next State election in November 2022.

The EBC report, tabled in Parliament in October, includes the boundaries of each State district and region, and an explanation of how and why each change was made.

The EBC took account of the 127 written and 25 verbal submissions received from the Victorian community when preparing the final boundaries, which led to several key changes from the proposed boundaries.

The boundaries for Warrandyte have changed with the eastern boundary taking in more of Wonga Park uniting the electors of Park Orchards within Warrandyte District, while in the west, areas of Doncaster East have been incorporated into the district of Bulleen.

The Report noted that Warrandyte District was well under quota, at 10.69 per cent below the district average.

The Commission decided to extend Warrandyte District east to gain 4,091 electors in Chirnside Park from Evelyn District, south-east to gain 4,241 electors in Ringwood North and the remaining share of Park Orchards from Croydon District, and south to include 4,853 electors also in Ringwood North from Ringwood District.

The EBC said it also considered it appropriate to retain Warrandyte North within the district, “as the community ties of Warrandyte North tend to face south towards the locality of Warrandyte and its surrounds”.

These additions took the electorate over quota, but this was balanced by the loss of electors to Bulleen District, which brought Warrandyte District well within quota at 5.47 per cent above the district average.

The EBC is an independent statutory agency made up of the Chief Judge of the County Court, the Electoral Commissioner and the Surveyor General.

The Victorian Electoral Commission provides administrative and technical support to the EBC.

Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said he was pleased with the level of engagement in the process.

“Redivisions are a key part of Victoria’s electoral system, as they ensure fair representation and an equal voice for all voters in State elections,” Mr Gately said.

Comparing the existing boundaries with the new boundaries, a total of 910,384 electors (21.28 per cent of all electors) have been transferred to different districts.

The redivision has also replaced nine existing districts with nine new ones.

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Earlier this year, the augmented Electoral Commission for Victoria announced the outcome of its deliberations on the names and boundaries of the 39 Federal Electoral Divisions in Victoria.

The Hon. Justice Susan Kenny AM, the presiding member, thanked the individuals and organisations who contributed to the redistribution.

“All written objections and comments, as well as the information presented at the online inquiry, have been carefully considered in deciding the final names and boundaries,” Justice Kenny said.

The Division of Menzies covers Warrandyte and surrounds, and shares boundaries with the proposed Divisions of Casey, Chisholm, Deakin, Jagajaga, Kooyong and McEwen.

In 2025, the Division of Menzies is projected is 112,720 electors, which is less than the minimum number of projected electors required by the Electoral Act.

Menzies therefore had to gain at least 289 electors, or up to 8,485 electors, for it to fall within the permissible range for the maximum and minimum number of electors in an electoral division at the projection time.

The ECB has moved the southern boundary of Menzies to incorporate areas of Blackburn, Box Hill and Mitcham, while to the north areas of Kangaroo Ground, Research and Eltham will be folded into Jagajaga.

A small area of Warranwood will be incorporated into Deakin.

The changes were gazetted at the end of July, and the new boundaries will be used at the next Federal Election, which is due to be held before August 2022.

The full report and an interactive map of the new State electoral boundaries are now available to view on the EBC website ebc.vic.gov.au

The new Federal boundaries can be viewed on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website aec.gov.au.

Macedon traders unsatisfied

MACEDON Square’s proposed streetscape upgrade has been in the works for over a year, with traders fighting to keep the centre functional and safe.
In August 2020, Manningham Council released two concept designs aiming to upgrade Macedon Square, one with an open space plan (Option B) and one without (Option A). Traders and community members identified several sore points in the proposed plans, leading Council to prolong consultation and work alongside community members to address these issues.
Four key areas were identified for improvement: parking, safety, accessibility, and other design features. “Consulting with the community is a top priority for Council,” Director City Planning and Community, Angelo Kourambas, told WD Bulletin.
Officers created a revised plan based on this feedback, which was endorsed by Council in its September 28 Ordinary Council Meeting.
However, traders in the centre are still left unsatisfied. Gary Cyganek, owner of Egons Bakery and representing the Macedon Square traders, spoke with WD Bulletin about the points of contention in the revised plan.
“All they’ve done is revise the plan we’ve rejected.
“We feel safety has been compromised,” he said. Although the revised concept design increases road widths along Macedon Road (5.6 metres) compared to prior plans, traders are unsettled by any narrowing of the road at all. Council will also install a 0.6m wide central traffic median to limit east/west car movements along Macedon Road. Traders are apprehensive about the prospective narrowing of the road, due to fears of potential safety hazards, increased collisions, and congestion.
“I think it’s still very dangerous on the road, which is our number one priority.
“By narrowing the road you’re putting people closer to moving vehicles when they’re loading and unloading their car.
“We know the feedback from our customers — they don’t like the congestion [in the centre] and this is going to make it worse.”
Mr Cyganek goes on to say the traders are not convinced the restructuring of the road will create any benefit to Macedon Square patrons and traders alike.
“We’re going to call for an independent TAC report because we feel we need to be shown that this will be best practice, because we just can’t see it.
“We feel this is not functional nor is it safe,” Mr Cyganek says.
In the September 2021 engagement report, Council re- surveyed the community, prompting individuals to choose between Option A, Option B or Option C.
19 per cent voted for Option A (without open space), 56 per cent voted for Option B (with open space) and 24 per cent voted for Option C (neither).
With majority community support for an open space concept, Council is now preparing to progress with the detail design phase of the project, with construction expected to commence in early 2023.
Mr Kourambas said Council will continue to engage with the community on the Macedon Square project.
“Council will continue to engage with traders during the detail design stage of the project in early 2022.
“This may include further investigation of other suggestions such as locations for new trolley bays, electric vehicle charging stations, car share spaces and smart waste bins,” says Mr Kourambas.

A new chapter for Zul and Café Z

CAFÉ Z, HAS BEEN an important part of the Research and broader Nillumbik community for more than 20 years. Owner Zulal “Zul” Rogers opened the café in June 8, 2001, converting it from the Nillumbik Country Café to Café Z with the aim of introducing the community to Turkish culinary culture.
But after two decades of introducing Research and the surrounding community to Köfte, Döner, Baklava, and Kahvalti, and being a general all-round community superstar, Zul has hung up her apron and handed the café over to new owners in late-September.
To mark this new chapter in her life, WD Bulletin spoke with Zul about the last 20 years.
Prior to owning Café Z, Zul ran a catering business from home, selling food at the Eltham Market and teaching Turkish cooking classes at the local Living and Learning Centre.
The balance between raising young children and running a small business from home was stressful, not being able to “call home, home” is one of the reasons why Zul decided to open Café Z.
“Everyone dreams of owning a café, but I had to work my butt off.”
The first five years were tough, and she initially struggled to attract customers to come and try Turkish cuisine. “Research was a very anglo area and I was introducing Middle Eastern Turkish cuisine, so I had to find the right balance to keep the customers happy”.
Zul found that her food was “accepted, and not accepted” with people making comments belittling the type of food she was making, such as falafel.
But, over time, the community discovered the delight of Turkish cuisine, and she watched her business grow.
It is nearly impossible to chart the journey of a business, especially a café, without mentioning the current pandemic. Like many, government restrictions meant Zul needed to pivot to keep Café Z afloat.
She did this by providing freshly cooked, packed foods, take away coffee, and a bright, positive attitude to everyone who came to her front door.
The community response was a true testament to how Zul has made an impact within the community, with regulars not only showing their support with their wallet.
“The number of bunches of flowers and cards we got from people saying thank you for getting us through COVID was just beautiful, touching and humbling.
“We were fortunate, very fortunate and lucky.”
Doing anything for 20 years is a long time, so WD Bulletin asked Zul what her favourite part was of owning a café. “Meeting beautiful people and customers who have become friends”.
Over time, Zul has developed a two-way relationship with her customers, from an “outpour of love and support for the café and staff ”, to customers bringing in fresh, home-grown lemons for her desserts.
Looking forward, Café Z continues under the stewardship of new owners Rosa and Paul, adding their own take on
Image supplied, Facebook
what regulars of Café Z have become accustomed to, and the new owners have her blessing.
As for Zul, she continues to provide Turkish cuisine and cooking classes under the banner of Hart & Sole Catering and is also looking forward to going back to school in 2022, with the aim to become a teacher and is looking forward to a change of pace from the stresses of running a café.
Zul would like to the thank the community of Nillumbik for the kindness and generosity over the years.
“It’s been a beautiful humbling experience and I’m glad they liked what I did, thank you, thank you, thank you”. Zul would also like to thank her four children, Jess, Dylan, Will and Hamish for their love and support over the years. We wish Zul and her family all the best for their future endeavours.

Restrictions easing earlier

With Victoria set to hit its 70 per cent double dose vaccination target in the Roadmap nearly a week early, significant restrictions are set to be eased.
In a press conference on Sunday morning, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan has set Victoria on a hopeful path to opening while preserving the health system and ensuring Victorians can still get the healthcare they need when they need it most.
The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds, including hospitalisation rates and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.
With first dose vaccination rate at almost 90 per cent, Victoria will this week hit a significant milestone on the Roadmap, with 70 per cent of Victorians 16 years and over having received both their vaccine doses.
Because of this, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has determined that at 11:59pm on Thursday, October 21, Victoria will move forward in opening up and more restrictions will be eased.
With more than 3.5 million Victorians now fully vaccinated and having taken the necessary steps to protect themselves, their family, their friends and the entire community, Victoria is heading towards being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world.
Mr Andrews said he was proud of the work Victorians have done in stepping up and getting vaccinated.
“Victorians have sacrificed so much to protect their families, friends and the whole community from coronavirus – and have saved countless lives because of it.”
“The milestone we’re about to hit marks a new and hopeful path for the whole state – allowing businesses to reopen and Victorians to get back to things they love.”
These vaccination rates, in addition to revised Burnet modelling and lower than predicted length of stays in hospital mean further steps will be able to be taken at the 70 per cent double dose that were not previously outlined in the Roadmap, including visitors to the home and larger patron caps in certain businesses.
The Premier announced up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne.
He said to ensure this is done safely, it’s highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home.
Retail will not reopen until the next step in the roadmap, however hair and beauty salons are able to reopen for five fully-vaccinated patrons on October 22.

Metro Roadmap

In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15km travel radius will be lifted, however movement between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will only be allowed for permitted reasons.
This is to ensure Melburnians don’t spread the virus further into regional Victoria while the state pushes to the 80 per cent double vaccinated target.
Health Minister, Martin Foley said the rate at which Victorians have been getting vaccinated is “nothing short of incredible”, but, he said, if we want to ensure our health system isn’t overwhelmed and our hospitalisation rates aren’t too high as we open up, we need to keep that momentum going.
“Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment.”
People in metropolitan Melbourne must continue to work from home if they can.
Continuing from the rules that were rolled out last Friday, anyone on the authorised workers list is required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work on site.
Childcare will be open to children who are already attending, as well as children whose parents or guardians are fully vaccinated.
The return to school plan will also be brought forward in line with the rest of these settings, with the start of the staggered return of Grade 3 to Year 11 in metro Melbourne commencing on Friday 22 October.
The Premier said an easing of kids back to school after such a long time out of the classroom has been welcomed by parents and educators, especially for young children who have not had sufficient socialisation during home schooling.
Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be able to take place with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors subject to density limits and only if all attendees are fully vaccinated.
Or, if vaccination status is unknown, 10 people are permitted indoors for funerals, weddings and religious gatherings.
Most outdoor settings – outdoor cafes, cinemas, and physical recreation facilities like pools – will open with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those fully vaccinated.
Indoor settings like pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors with density limits, and only if all attendees – including workers – are fully vaccinated.
This is a higher cap than planned in the initial Roadmap and the change has been made after discussions between the sector and the public health team.
Large scale construction sites will increase to 100 percent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated.
Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.
The Premier said in terms of Halloween, he would expect a click-and-collect arrangement, encouraging trick or treaters not to enter properties and knock on doors, but for treats to be distributed from the driveway.
Announcements on events and other arrangements over summer will be announced over the coming weeks, which would include events such as Warrandyte Festival, the Pottery Expo and local theatre productions at the Mechanics Hall.

Regional Roadmap

In regional Victoria, indoor settings – like restaurants, cafes and gyms – will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated.
Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated.
If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people.
The next milestone in the Roadmap will be when Victoria hits the 80 per cent double dose vaccination target, which is predicted to be the first week of November.
It’s important to remember the more Victorians who get vaccinated, the sooner we will hit the next target and the more restrictions we can lift.
Mr Andrews encouraged Victorians to continue to book an appointment for a vaccination if they have still not received their first dose.
He said over the next week there are 52,465 first and second dose Pfizer appointments available, 6,244 first and second dose AstraZeneca appointments available and 15,477 first and second dose Moderna available.
Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their GP or pharmacist.
For more info on the Roadmap or to book a vaccination visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-settings.