News

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.

Our park gets a Woi Wurrung name

AT ITS SEPTEMBER meeting, Manningham Council voted to adopt the name wonguim wilam [pronounced “won-goom wil-lum”] as the official name of the park at the base of the Warrandyte Bridge.
Mayor of Manningham Cr Andrew Conlon said he thanked the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation for engaging in this process with Manningham.
“It is a great step in the right direction for us as Manningham as we move towards reconciliation.”
He said adopting a Woi Wurrung name for the park was a “historic moment for Manningham”, and he hoped that this would be the first of many places in Manningham to adopt a Woi Wurrung name.
“But more importantly I hope to maintain this great relationship we have with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Corporation,” Cr Conlon said.

Recognising Lions

Yarra Ward Councillor Carli Lange made a statement at the council meeting acknowledging the contribution Warrandyte Lions Club has made over the last 50 years.
She explained to the Diary:
“The Warrandyte Lions Club past and present members have been custodians of the former tennis courts for the last 45–48 years and have spent their time and resources caring for the local environment, maintenance and tennis courts.
The Warrandyte Lions Club [have said they] would like to take this opportunity to honour our Aboriginal people (past, present, and emerging) and take a leadership role in reconciliation, as we approach the official naming of what we have all known as Lions Park.
Lions Park has never been officially registered as a name, but is well known as Lions Park in the community and by Council because of the significant contribution the Warrandyte Lions Club has had within the park. Moving forward, the park precinct will be given a Woi-Wurrung name approved by the Woi-Wurrung Elders, highlighting our community’s commitment to reconciliation, and honouring our original owners of the land.
Significant signage will be placed throughout the park taking us on a journey of the monumental contribution The Lions Club have had and continue to have in the park, tennis courts, exercise equipment and maintenance of BBQ shelter and BBQs.
The Warrandyte Lions Club are
significant stakeholders in the past, present and future advancement of the park and should be honoured accordingly throughout the whole area.

wonguim wilam park, Warrandyte

wonguim wilam park

I look forward to continual consultation between Manningham
Council, the Warrandyte Lions Club, the Warrandyte Historical Society, and the Warrandyte Community Association on the care, future, and upgrade of the park, while ensuring this area honours all its custodians and future stakeholders”.
Following a unanimous vote, the Woi-Wurrung name was adopted for the park, including the area known as the Federation Playspace, with signage to be installed recognising the contributions made by Lions and other groups over the history of the site.

 

A brief history of wonguim wilam

By VALERIE POLLEY
WARRANDYTE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

THE NEW PARK development replacing the old tennis courts by the bridge has been a huge success and widely used.
It is about to receive a new name.
There are a few more steps to be undertaken before it becomes official, but the process is underway.
Manningham Council has worked with Aunty Doreen and the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, to approve the park’s name of wonguim wilam [pronounced “won-goom wil- lum”], which translates to Boomerang Place.
Wurundjeri’s Aunty Doreen provided the reason below for this name:
“Warrandyte Implement Making Pre‐contact food resources/areas where people continued to procure food.
Aboriginal people were seen making spears and boomerangs from tea tree in the vicinity of Trezise Street and Cemetery Road.”
Bill Onus, who was living in Epping, is recorded as giving boomerang demonstrations at the old Warrandyte cricket ground.
Two of these Boomerangs were given to Bill McCulloch (a local resident).
Bill Onus was born in the 1920s indicating that a possible date for the boomerang demonstrations could be anywhere between the 1940s–1960s.
This may also be the source of a miniature boomerang located at Pound Bend and held at the Parks Victoria office (AAV 7922‐560).
We have a boomerang purchased from an Aboriginal man (who we remember as Bill, so assume was Bill Onus) at the Recreation Reserve in the late 1960s.
It is the only one we have ever bought that actually returns when thrown.
Bill demonstrated the correct throw at the time, and it has been used quite a bit and is a bit battered — Polley Family.
Readers may be interested in the following item which is part of a series on Warrandyte Prehistory written by member/resident Lee Scott Virtue.
Lee has degrees in archaeology and history and ran her own archaeological consultancy business for a number of years.
This record contains historic language that may be considered outdated or offensive.
The original wording and content have been retained in the interests of research and historical data.

WHS Newsletter December 1982

This instalment will be devoted to some of the traditional Aboriginal activities observed in the Warrandyte area.
Whilst it seems most of the old cultural learnings were lost by the middle 1840s a number of traditional activities were observed in the area as late as the 1930s. Several oral traditions mention the presence of a number of clay ovens around Pound Bend and along other parts of the river.
Aborigines were observed baking magpies, ‘blackfellas’ bread and snakes and lizards in clay ovens situated under the original bridge across the Yarra.
The magpies were placed, complete with feathers, in the ovens and baked approximately an hour or until the feathers came free of the meat. Pieces of snakes and lizards were often mixed with the ‘bread’.
Bill McCulloch mentions seeing literally dozens of these mud ovens under and around the old bridge and witnessed a number of the above activities taking place on several occasions.
This appears to have been sometime between the late 1920s and early 1930s.
These activities were probably carried out by Aborigines visiting the area.
It was during this period when Healesville was finally closed down, leaving many Aborigines who refused to go to Lake Tyers to roam the area quite freely.
By this time also there appears to have been no permanent aboriginal
residents left in the area.
Native bread (or Blackfellow’s bread as it was known in colonial times) is a fungus Laccocephalum mylittae (formerly Polyporus mylittae).
It has a texture like closely pressed grains of cereal and was eaten by Aboriginal people.
Bill McCulloch (who died in 1987) was a long-time resident of Warrandyte.
He was the last mounted “postie” in Victoria as well as a gravedigger and a Trustee at the Anderson Creek Cemetery.
The following information has recently been sent to Manningham Council for possible signage for the new park.

Riverside Rallies

It was reported in the Evelyn Observer in 1912 that the Templestowe Shire Council had been successful in having the strip of Government land, including the tennis court up to the battery site, proclaimed a Recreation Reserve.
It was thought that, together with the river frontage, it would create a park, which would benefit both residents and visitors.
Over the decades their foresight has proven very true.
The tennis court mentioned was the first (east-west) tennis court built by Warrandyte Tennis Club volunteers in 1908, close to the river and the picturesque timber bridge.
Matches were soon being organised between adjoining clubs and improvements made with new planting and fencing planned.
However, over the early years the club’s activities waxed and waned according to demand and support and it was not until the later 1920s that the club began to flourish on a more permanent basis.
In 1934, catastrophic floods engulfed the court requiring much remedial work and then the Black Friday fires of 1939 literally melted the asphalt.
Yet the club recovered and continue to play on a new north-south concrete court even during the WWII years and the club continued to prosper.
The 1950s saw the area undergo considerable change with the replacement of the old bridge.
The court was resurfaced with asphalt in 1957.
A second court was added in 1961 and both surfaced with en-tous-cas in 1964 and a modest clubhouse built.
Then, in 1975 the Tennis Club moved to a new home at the recreation reserve where there were four courts and more room to grow.
The bridge tennis courts then fell into disrepair until the Warrandyte Lions Club took over their management in 1981.
The courts were made available for public hire (key to be collected from a nearby milk bar) and coaching classes held.
The Warrandyte Tennis Club could still access the courts when extra capacity was needed.
The Lions Club also provided barbecue facilities and parking and the Lions Park was well used.
However, as private tennis courts became more widely built, public use of the courts gradually declined, and the Lions Club eventually relinquished their management of the area.
From 2018 Manningham Council together with a Masterplan Community Reference Group worked on plans to replace the courts with an attractive riverside park.
Stage 1 was opened in 2020 to general acclaim.
Stage 2, upgrading the children’s play area, is currently underway.

Bridging the Yarra

This was the site of the third (and longest lasting) wooden bridge over the river.
Built in 1875 this was a strongly built, trussed wooden bridge on yellow box piles set into solid rock.
Its length was 308 feet (94 metres) and its height from the bed of the river 33 feet (about 10 metres).
The single-lane bridge provided a reliable link with the Caledonia Diggings and to other areas north of the river.
Over time the bridge withstood both fires and floods.
In the record floods of December 1934, water from the flooded Yarra River covered the bridge decking at one stage, with debris such as trees, cattle, and haystack, pressing down with the swollen water.
A collapse was thought imminent but the bridge managed to survive the intense pressure.
The old wooden bridge was greatly loved by the residents.
There were many stories about it, such as residents who, if challenged for being slow across, would leave their vehicle in the middle thus blocking traffic flow.
It was at the centre of the festivities when seeing in the New Year.
Being very picturesque, the old wooden bridge was painted by many well-known artists and photographed by others.
The well-loved bridge survived until 1955 when it was replaced by a solid two-lane concrete bridge, upgraded to three lanes wide in 2019.

Bridge Café

This was located at the village end of the bridge.
Various families ran the popular Bridge Café during the 1930s and 40s serving Devonshire Teas and refreshments to locals and visitors alike.
There were reports of weekend tourists sitting in a line of traffic while the single-track, wooden span bridge disgorged oncoming vehicles and children took advantage of delays to buy ice creams from the café.
The Bridge Café was sold, and the building removed to make way for the new concrete bridge in 1955.

Kia-Ora and Taffy Jones residence

The two other buildings located here were burnt down in the Black Friday Bushfires of 1939 that swept through Warrandyte.
The Kia-Ora Café dated from the early 1900s.
It grew and prospered under several proprietors over the decades, offering suppers, catering for celebrations and coach parties, afternoon teas, wedding breakfasts and generally catering for locals and visitors alike.
Taffy Jones took over the cafe and residence in the 1920s.
The ruins that remain on the site are all that survive of Taffy Jones residence.

This article first appeared in the Warrandyte Historical Society newsletter, September 2021.

Light at the end of lockdown: Back to school

REMOTE LEARNING has been a major component of schooling for students at all levels during the past 18 months.
For Year 12 students it has been especially stressful as not only do they have to deal with the stress of exams, but they have had to do it, via computer, in the isolation of their own home.
But with vaccination ramping up and the agreed National Plan now in effect, our students at the most critical part of their education journey can finally get back to the classroom.
With 70 per cent of the eligible adult population at least single dosed, our society has already begun to open up.
Note, these changes are in addition to children of authorised workers and vulnerable children who are already still participating in on-site learning. On October 5, Students sitting the GAT (General Achievement Test) will be able to do so in the classroom. This will be followed by on-site learning for VCE Unit 3/4, and final year VCAL and IB students on October 6.
From October 18, Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students will return to part-time on-site learning, with Prep on-site Monday — Wednesday, and Grade 1 and 2 students on-site Thursdays and Fridays.
When the eligible adult population reaches 70 per cent double vaccinated, which is expected to be around October 26, on-site learning will open up for all Primary and Secondary aged children — to some extent.
Phase B of the National Plan sees a continuation of existing arrangements plus:

  • Grades 3 and 4: on-site Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Grades 5 and 6: on-site Thursdays and Fridays
  • Year 7 students will be full time Monday to Friday
  • Year 8 and 9: on-site Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Year 10 students on-site Thursdays and Fridays
  • Year 11 students full time Monday to Friday

On around November 5, it is expected the eligible adult population will reach and pass its 80 per cent fully vaccinated target and all schooling will return to normal.

The three Vs of the education sector

In addition to the roadmap, Minister for Education, James Merlino announced the State Government’s three Vs for a safe return to school. The three Vs; ventilation, vaccination, and vital CovidSafe steps is part of a $190M+ initiative to provide schools with equipment needed to reduce the chances of Coronavirus spreading in our schools.
Mr Merlino said the introduction of air purification devices will help keep kids safe once they are back in the classroom.

“I know Victorian families can’t wait to see their kids back in the classroom — but we need to keep them safe once they’re there, and we’re delivering ventilation devices to prevent as much transmission on school sites as possible.
“With a roadmap in place to get all students back to school safely, we’ll make sure every single Victorian child is supported when they’re back in the classroom — whether that’s with their schoolwork or their wellbeing,” he said.

Term 4 will see 51,000 air purification devices rolled out to all government and low-fee non-government schools and installed in “high risk” areas such as staff rooms, hallways, music rooms, and “sick bays”.
Additionally, these schools will be entitled to a grant of up to $25,000 as part of the School Shade Grants Program, to create outdoor learning spaces.
In addition, State Government has mandated that all staff in schools and early childhood services will be required to have had their first dose of coronavirus vaccine by October 18, or have a booking within one-week of that date, and to be fully vaccinated by November 29.

Big Build responds to community concerns

FOLLOWING OUR coverage last month regarding community groups’ concerns over Big Build projects, several arms of the Major Transport infrastructure Authority that are overseeing the projects responded collectively to the concerns raised in the Diary.
A spokesperson for Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) told the Diary that the projects that incorporate Victoria’s Big Build: North East Link, Hurstbridge Line Duplication, the Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade, Suburban Rail Loop, and the Metro Tunnel, will all help locals get where they need to go safer and sooner, and community engagement always happens before major works begin.

“Our project teams have heard feedback from tens of thousands of local people, which has guided the designs of our projects from the start and led to meaningful improvements including more walking and cycling paths, better accessibility, and significant planting and landscaping.”
“We’ll continue to keep locals updated and seek community feedback as we build the transport infrastructure the north-east needs and deserves.”

Fitzsimons Lane

A statement regarding the Fitzsimons Lane project said there has been extensive engagement during planning and delivery of the Fitzsimons Lanes Upgrade project with over 1,000 pieces of feedback from community and stakeholder meetings, phone calls and written correspondence.
MITA had more than 560 conversations in person and over the phone with community members, more than 700 pieces of written feedback, meetings with the Eltham Community Action Group, and community information sessions.

“There have also been more than 9,000visitstoourprojectwebsite,”the statement said.

MITA’s statement said design changes in response to community feedback, announced in February 2020, have “already enabled the retention of approximately 150 trees and reduced the footprint of the Fitzsimons Lane and Main Road intersection by around 15 per cent while still delivering travel and safety improvements”.
The project changes included the removal of two traffic lanes from the Eltham approach and the removal of dedicated bus queue-jump lanes.
It said further options will continue to be considered as the project progresses.
“Through a series of careful design considerations, based on community feedback, the project will plant thousands more trees than the number that is needed to be removed to deliver this vital road improvement project,” the statement said.
MITA says an additional 6,000 indigenous trees will be planted under a new partnership between Major Road Projects Victoria and Rotary Club of Eltham, “meaning more than six new trees will be planted for every tree removed as part of the project”.
A network of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths will be delivered creating new active transport connections to the wider public transport network.
A major concern of the Eltham Community Action Group was the disregard of the alternative design for the intersection the group put forward during the consultation process.
Major Road Projects Victoria has said it has reviewed all design options, including one put forward by the Eltham Community Action Group to retain the roundabout at the intersection of Main Road and Fitzsimons Lane.
It has engaged multiple leading design consultants to assess this roundabout option, however it was found not to meet the safety and traffic performance requirements.

“The final design will make this critical link significantly better for all motorists, users of the smart bus routes, cyclists and pedestrians for decades to come, as well as improving emergency access and egress.
“The Fitzsimons Lane Upgrade project will continue to work with community to help create the new gateway into Eltham, ensuring the urban design captures the local sense of place,” the statement said.

Hurstbridge Line Duplication

The Hurstbridge Line Duplication received more than 1,000 pieces of feedback from the community from mid-2019 to August 2021, which helped shape the project designs
to have better accessibility and connections for passengers and locals.
Once this project is completed in 2022, around 2kms of track will have been duplicated between Greensborough and Montmorency and around 1.5kms between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen.

“The investment will deliver two modern stations and will enable more trains, more often, making commuting safer and easier.
“The community’s local knowledge, combined with engineering and urban planning expertise, will ensure we understand local issues and get the best outcomes,” the MITA statement said.

Part of recent community consultation has been around the upgrades to the Eltham train substation where a Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) is being constructed to protect the train substation from high voltage spikes.
The site upgrade will make it ready for bushfire protection technology, which is being installed on the electricity network.
The community was invited to have their say on the final colour and finish of the retaining wall.
A 50-vehicle carpark is to be built in Wattle Glen, there has been a portal established for feedback on that project at: engage.vic.gov.au/ car-park-upgrades-drouin-nng-ufg-and-yarraman/wattle-glen-station- car-park-planning-approvals- consultation.
Locals can stay up-to-date on further opportunities to have their say on Big Build projects, by visiting bigbuild.vic.gov.au/community.

North East Link

A statement from MITA regarding North East Link said it started talking to the community early and undertook a comprehensive Environment Effects Statement(EES) process.

“More than 15,000 pieces of community feedback over five years has helped to shape the project,” the statement said.
“More than 10,000 people have visited North East Link information sessions and our Watsonia Community Hub, and we’ve had thousands of conversations with local people and businesses.
“Our community liaison and business liaison groups include locals from a range of backgrounds including traders, local residents, sports clubs and schools.
“Locals will continue to help shape the plans for North East Link — we’re working with our preferred bidder to finalise the design for the project, ready to share details with the community and seek their input,” the statement continued.

MITA says a wide range of approaches and tools have been used to encourage public involvement in Big Build projects.
This has included public hearings as part of an EES process, face-to-face engagement, ongoing meetings with councils, online surveys, creation of Community Liaison Groups and Business Liaison Groups, workshops and community information sessions.

“Communities are at the heart of Victoria’s Big Build — we’re working with locals every step of the way as we plan, design and build the major transport projects that will transform travel in the north-east.”

Earthquake update

A MAGINTUDE 6.0 Earthquake was felt across Victoria at 9:15am today, Wednesday September 22.
Geoscience Australia is reporting the epicentre was in Mansfield at a depth of 10 kilometres.
So far, there are minimal reports of damage or injury.

The Diary will continue to monitor Geoscience Australia and other information sources and update this story as necessary.

Locals plea to save Apollo Park

THE APOLLO PARK Community is battling to save their identity and the public space around Civic Drive, Greensborough.
In recent years, the renovated playground, fitness centre, library, along with ample parking, has made the space very popular.
However, a $675M State Government initiative to build 10 community hospitals close to major growth areas across Victoria has identified Civic Drive as the preferred location for the Eltham area Community Hospital.“The Victorian Government is building community hospitals so families can have peace of mind that help is just around the corner when something is not quite right or when a loved one gets sick,” a Department of Health spokesperson told the WD Bulletin.While not against the idea of a new community hospital, residents around Apollo Park are concerned the choice to site the proposed community hospital at Civic Drive will take away existing parking, forcing facility users to spill out into local streets, or avoid the area completely.Apollo Parkway resident Kelly Farrow, told the WD Bulletin why her family moved to the area, and the concerns she and her three year old son Clyde have about the works and the impact it will have on the green spaces and congestion in the area.

“He [Clyde] loves playing at the Rainbow Snake park and running around on the sloped hill and amphitheatre, which will both be loomed and shaded over by the hospital and carpark.
He is genuinely really worried about it and keeps asking me how we will save the park.
We moved to Apollo Parkways from the inner-city two years ago and one reason was that open green space and facilities on Civic Drive.
Clyde will go to the Apollo Parkways Primary School in two years, which is directly opposite the hospital site.
Due to the steep roads around here, we will have to drive there, and I’m already worrying about where I’ll park to drop him off as I’ve seen (and got stuck in!) the insane bottlenecks during peak times.
You can’t even enter the IGA carpark from 3pm as it’s completely chokkas with parents, as is every road and
carpark around there.
As his mum, I’m really worried about the greatly increased traffic that will go in past the playpark and sports centre, and out past the library, as kids like Clyde are fast runners and are used to being able to tramp around this green area quite safely,” Kelly said.

WD Bulletin also spoke to community members Rosemary Burdett and Dr Svetlana Ryzhihk, who have been active in the fight to save Apollo Park.
“I’m just disappointed that the hospital is going to be built on all the parking that services the facilities in the area — the stadium, the library — and that parking is also used by the parents of Apollo Parkways Primary School.
“I don’t understand why they think they can take all of that parking and then leave none for the local people who have been accessing those facilities for decades.
“All those community hospitals are a terrific thing, nobody is arguing against it, it’s just the site,” says Ms Burdett.
Parking pains are exacerbated with the expansion of the fitness centre — now hosting regional matches and more training sessions, increasing the demand for parking space.
There are currently no guarantees of free parking, as Austin Health will be managing future parking pertaining to the hospital.
Locals fear that potential paid parking in the precinct could deter activity in the centre and create congestion in nearby streets.
“If you take away the parking, where are people going to park?
“People are either going to use local streets or they won’t use the stadium,” says Ms Burdett.
Dr Svetlana Ryzhihk, President of Friends of Apollo Parkways (FoAP), has gained immense community support with her Save Apollo Parklands Now petition, receiving over 1,300 signatures nearly reaching its goal of 1,500.
Dr Ryzhihk says the community is also concerned by the “non-existent” public transport access.
“Public transport access is non-existent.
“There are two bus stops one 500 metres away and one 600 metres away — the terrain is very steep, so for people with limited mobility that won’t be an option,” said Dr Ryzhihk.
The open space in Civic 0Drive has been well loved by its community — many locals utilising the space for picnics, gatherings and walks with furry friends.
“Putting in one more high use facility will kill the community.
“The community is asking Council not to sell the land,” says Dr Ryzhihk.
In the coming weeks Council will decide whether or not to sell — however, if the August 24 Nillumbik Ordinary Council Meeting is an indicator of things to come, regardless of the verdict, the fate of Apollo Park could already be sealed.
Cr Peter Perkins told the meeting:

“Council has not yet resolved a formal position on whether or not to sell the land.
It is important to note that if Council resolves not to sell the land to the State Government, the option of compulsory acquisition is still very open to it.
Council will consider all available information at the time before making any decision.”

The Department of Health told the WD Bulletin they are considering community views. “We’re continuing to work with Nillumbik Shire Council to ensure community views are heard around the preferred location for the Eltham area Community Hospital.” However, a report from a member of FoAP following a Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) information session on September 8 would suggest VHBA’s community engagement is as tokenistic as the engagement other community groups have experienced with Big Build projects, as reported in September’s Warrandyte Diary.
Of the 40+ questions submitted by FoAP at the information session, FoAP says many were not answered or VHBA provided answers that qualified community concern.
As a verdict draws near, the local community are adamant that they will not give up their fight to preserve Apollo Park.
“We can’t let anything else happen to this land, we’re trying our hardest,” says Dr Ryzhihk. Nillumbik has an online community feedback portal on its Participate website for the Eltham area Community Hospital project, which is open until September 26. Following this, Council plans to decide on whether or not to sell the land to VHBA at the October 26 Council Meeting.
To have your say, visit: participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/hospital
To learn more about the community concerns at Apollo Park visit: www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Apollo-ParkwaysInc-101202678897604
To learn more about the Community Hospital Program visit : www.vhba.vic.gov.au/health/community-based-care/ community-hospitals-program

Writers set sights on the Nillumbik Prize

ENTRIES ARE open for the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing.
Now is the time to start writing those unwritten short stories and poems.
Nillumbik Council has announced that entries for the 2022 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing (NPCW) are now open, and on top of the glory of winning the prestigious award, there is $18,000 available in prizes.
The NPCW is awarded every two years and builds on the Shire’s strong tradition of supporting contemporary Australian writing.
In 2022 prizes will be awarded for:

  • Best short stories — with open, local and youth categories
  • Best poems — also with open, local and youth categories

In addition, there will also be a Mayor’s Award.
The prestigious Alan Marshall Short Story Award will be awarded to the open winner in the short story category.
The Alan Marshall Short Story Award has been an important fixture on the Australian literary calendar since 1985 and celebrates one of the giants of the local literary scene.
And speaking of prestigious, the judges for this year’s awards have also been announced with some high calibre names on the judging panel:

Judges

Alan Marshall Short Story Prize:

Tim Richards is a Melbourne- based writer, script consultant and screenwriting teacher.
He is the author of three story collections.
His latest book is Approximate Life: The Prince and Other Stories

Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne-based writer and academic.
She has written fiction and non- fiction for a number of publications including Westerly, Meanjin, Review of Australian Fiction and the Shuffle anthology.

Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing – Poetry:

Cassandra Atherton is an international expert on the prose poetry form and an award-winning prose poet.
Cassandra has authored and edited over 30 critical and creative books and has been invited to edit 12 special editions of leading refereed journals.

Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl; Ghost River, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.
In 2021, Tony will publish two new books; a poetry collection Whisper Songs, and a new book of short stories Dark As Last Night

Its 17th year

Nillumbik Mayor Peter Perkins said the Australian renowned and highly regarded prize is now into its 17th year.

“This prestigious award showcases excellence in contemporary writing and celebrates Nillumbik’s culturally rich artistic community.
“Council is proudly a strong supporter of all art forms, support that is especially important as we continue to mitigate the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cr Perkins said.

The best writing in local, open, youth and poetry categories from the Nillumbik Prize will be published in an anthology and celebrated at a special event next year.

Entries close Sunday, November 7. For more information and to enter visit nillumbik.vic.gov.au/NPCW

Doggie doo and cat curfews

THE DOCUMENT which outlines how Nillumbik residents and businesses manage their cats and dogs for the next four years has reached the next phase of public consultation.
Nillumbik’s draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 (DAMP) is on display with Council requesting feedback until September 22.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, every Victorian council is required to plan how it deals with its cats and dogs.
Council received more than 860 submissions from the public earlier this year about the management of cats and dogs in the Shire, collected at pop-up consultations in the community and via the Participate Nillumbik website.
Mayor Peter Perkins thanked everyone who made a submission to inform the draft, and said he hopes to see plenty of community submissions on the draft plan.

“To have more than 800 responses to the DAMP survey is reflective of how important pets are to our community.
“The consultation that has now kicked off is asking for your thoughts on the draft plan.
“You can quickly and easily provide feedback and let us know if you think anything else should be covered in the draft,” he said.

During the August 24 Ordinary Council Meeting, Councillors Natalie Duffy and Ben Ramcharan spoke to the motion.

“Education is key and that is one of the messages we have heard and what we have been trying to do as a council in coming up with this plan, “ said Cr Duffy.
“It is looking at how we can educate about responsible pet ownership and that seems to be the highest level of importance for the community.”

10 issues of community concern have been highlighted:

  • Dog owners not picking up excrement after their pets.
  • Dogs off leash when in on-leash areas.
  • Cats outside of property at night- time after curfew.
  • Dogs with owners far away/absent in parks and reserves.
  • Dogs barking for long periods of time.
  • Cats preying on wildlife.
  • Cats causing a nuisance to resident’s properties.
  • Cats that appear unowned.
  • Residents unaware of services the
  • Community Safety Department provides to the community, such as where the pet registration funds are spent each year and the cat trapping program.
  • Residents unaware of how to find on and off-leash areas in their community.

During the Council meeting, Councillors spoke specifically around the issues of dog poop and cat curfews.
Cr Duffy spoke to the unpleasantness of finding un-scooped dog poo and the frustration experienced by responsible dog owners.

“Most dog owners do scoop their pooch but there are many that don’t, which makes it really unpleasant for those of us who either step in it, dodge it, or are left to clean up the mess.
“It makes it really uncomfortable for those dog owners who do do the right thing as well so that would be my call to the community to make the effort to pick up your dog poo,” Cr Duffy said.

The DAMP outlines how, without any Local Laws in place around responsible pet ownership, it intends to use education through social media, printed materials, pet events and park patrols to inform and encourage responsible pet ownership.
Cr Ramcharan spoke about a proposed cat curfew.
The DAMP suggests a 22.5 hour cat curfew, which would run from 7:30am to 6am.
During these times, cats would be confined to their owners’ properties, although if a cat is found roaming the streets outside the curfew, it can be trapped if the resident “objects to the cat being on their property”.

The DAMP reports that a number of communities within the Green Wedge areas were in favour of a 24- hour cat curfew — including North Warrandyte, Bend of Islands and Christmas Hills, which Cr Ramcharan spoke to.

“A lot of submitters were in favour of that, and it would be a win for our wildlife, although I do understand that many people do have concerns with that,” he said.

There are many issues and procedures covered in the draft DAMP and Nillumbik residents are encouraged to read the plan and make sure they have their say on how our cats and dogs are treated, in Nillumbik, for the next four years.

The draft DAMP, its accompanying consultation finding report and the mechanism for submitting a written submission responding to the draft DAMP is available at participate. nillumbik.vic.gov.au/damp

Fiveways intersection strikes again

A MAJOR COLLISION at the intersection at Croydon Road and Ringwood-Warrandyte Road has seen a resurgence of calls for an upgrade to the dangerous intersection.
A Police spokesperson told the Diary a 24-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries following a collision between a car and a truck just before midday on Friday, September 3.
The intersection of Ringwood- Warrandyte Road/Croydon Road/ Husseys Lane and Brumbys Lane in Warrandyte South, known locally as “Fiveways” is on a State controlled arterial road managed by the Department of Transport (DoT) which incorporates VicRoads.
Member of Warrandyte, Ryan Smith said he had been lobbying the government with three successive Labor Roads Ministers, “all of which have either ignored our community or assured us the intersection is safe”.
After years of agitation falling on deaf ears at VicRoads, many locals have taken to social media to vent their anger at the lack of action, with one local saying it is an “absolute disgrace that VicRoads refuse to do anything despite the community pleading for years”.
Renny Koerner-Brown created an online petition in 2019 that gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
Following this most recent accident she said: “It hurts my soul that after years of fighting VicRoads for something to be done, and their response to me and Ryan Smith has been “not on their radar”.

“What is it going to take to get this horrendous intersection “on the … radar”?

Former Police Officer and now Secretary of South Warrandyte CFA, Kim Dixon was first on scene at the accident, and has since written to Roads Minister Ben Minister, which she has shared with the Diary.

“If this isn’t a fatality, it will only be by the grace of god,” she wrote, after outlining the seriousness of the woman’s injuries, and the trauma of waiting with her until the Ambulance arrived.

She said it is not just the victims of the car accidents that occur at this intersection that suffer.

“The workers at the Shell Service station, who constantly see and hear accidents occurring and then go to their assistance.
The locals that live nearby, that assist the victims till emergency services arrive.
The Police, Fire and Ambulance Services that attend this intersection regularly, that just ‘accept’ that accidents happen at this intersection, as no one will acknowledge that there is a major issue there.”

Ms Dixon asked the Minister “why are roadworks being performed or proposed at intersection like Warrandyte Road and Tortice Drive, North Ringwood, that don’t carry as much traffic or seem to be less accident prone that this intersection.

“Why are insignificant roundabouts and gutter works being performed on Knees Road, Park Orchards, where there is definitely minimal traffic compared to this intersection and I would say little to no accidents occurring?” she asked.

Ms Dixon wrote:

“Someone needs to stop saying that this intersection is not on Vic Roads radar to be fixed.
Bureaucrats that allegedly keep informing members of the community that there need to be at least 3 deaths before they will even look at fixing the intersection.
This is not acceptable.
Passing the buck needs to stop and it needs to stop now.”

A spokesperson for the DoT told the Diary the Fiveways intersection, is a key, high volume access route.

“We will be working with Victoria Police to investigate the circumstances of the crash — and our thoughts are with the victim and her loved ones.
The safety of everyone travelling on our roads is our number one priority.
As part of the investigations we will review this intersection and make any improvements required to keep Victorians on our road network safe.”

The DoT spokesperson said assessments to improve the intersection are continually being made — including working to reduce bottlenecks and improve traffic flow.

“We receive many requests each year for safety improvements and upgrades to intersections, including new traffic lights, from across Victoria.
All requests are prioritised based on the extent to which such a treatment would improve safety and/or congestion at each intersection.
We consider a range of factors such as the number and type of vehicles using the intersection, the need to cater for pedestrians, the historical safety record of the site and the impact the improvements would have on the surrounding road network.”

The DoT spokesperson said there were six incidents at this intersection between 31/12/2016 and 31/12/2020,

Lockdown extended and tightened

Updated August 23

Pandemic of complacency

VICTORIA IS in hard lockdown as the state battles to get ahead of the highly infectious Delta strain.
Existing restrictions have been expanded across the state and permitted worker scheme, which was originally implemented in August 2020, has been reinstated, the 9pm curfew has also been reintroduced for Melbourne.
The current restrictions build on what was implemented on August 5, 2021, and are currently due to expire on September 2 at 11:59pm.
For three weeks, locals have been living with work-from- home arrangements, the 5km bubble and two-hours of exercise per day.
As of 11:59pm on August 16, these restrictions were expanded to further limit movement and the risk of community infection.
In addition to the 9pm–5am curfew and the need for “authorised” workers to carry a permit, exercise was adjusted to a maximum of two people — plus dependents — even if you are in the same household, and public skateparks, playgrounds, exercise equipment and basketball hoops are closed.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton said the new measures were needed to gain control of the outbreak and come on the back of several events that flouted the restrictions, which Professor Sutton hopes will not become super-spreader events.

“At the moment we have a steady number of cases who are out in the community each day, and an increasing number of mystery cases, and we need to get ahead of that.
“These new measures will help us limit movement, so we can catch up and shut down this outbreak,” he said.

Professor Sutton has also made recommendations that masks be worn by all primary school aged children.
The government acknowledged the sense of lockdown fatigue that has set in but stressed these measures were needed to make our communities “CovidSafe” once again.

“These restrictions are hard work for every Victorian,” said State Premier, Daniel Andrews.
“Everyone wants this pandemic to be over, but the rules are in place for a reason — we know they work and if we follow them together, we’ll be able to lift them sooner.”

Although the list of exposure sites currently exceeds 500 across metropolitan Melbourne and there are more than 273 active cases in this current outbreak, residents of Manningham and Nillumbik are doing their part, with both municipalities relatively free of exposure sites, with one Tier 2 exposure site in East Doncaster recently added.

VCE Changes

All examinations, onsite school-based assessments and the General Assessment Test (GAT) will be conducted with extra health precautions.
And the Consideration of Educational Disadvantage will apply to every student completing one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 subject in 2021.
Consistent with 2020, the process will consider the individual impact of Coronavirus, such as school closures, students’ health impact, remote learning and mental health challenges, and will use data like the GAT, other assessment and school comparisons to calculate final VCE results.

Getting tested and vaccinated

The message from government is to get tested if you have even the mildest of symptom

  • fever
  • chills or sweats
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • runny nose
  • loss or change in sense of smell or taste

Visit the State Government’s Coronavirus website for the most up to date information on testing locations www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/where-get-tested-covid-19 People aged 18 and above are now eligible for vaccination with nearby vaccination centres located in Ringwood East and Heidelberg Heights and it is highly recommended to book in advance as most centres are not taking walk-ins for under-60s.
As of August 31, anyone 16–39 will be eligible for Pfizer vaccine.
For more information about the coronavirus vaccination and where you can get it, visit: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine.

Building the path less travelled

TWO RECENT projects to construct footpaths and kerbing on Research-Warrandyte Road have been completed by Nillumbik Council. Both sections were constructed and fully funded as part of the Getting to School Safely Program, which is known by the Federal Government as the School Infrastructure Road Upgrade project. Council received $1.6 million from the Federal Government for the project, which includes 17 sites across Nillumbik. The less contentious of these works connects Danita Drive to the bottom end of Valias Street, requiring pedestrians to cross the road at the bus stops, and runs for approximately 180 metres costing approximately $90,000. But the one that has caused controversy is a short length on the north side of Research-Warrandyte Road from the traffic lights at Kangaroo Ground Road up to the junction of a service road, a distance of around 90 metres, with associated kerbing and fencing at a cost of approximately $80,000.
Shane Drieberg star ted the discussion on Facebook and described it as a “path to nowhere”. In his post, he stated:
“Is anyone else a little disappointed with the new short stretch of path on the north side of Research- Warrandyte road which only serves the small number of houses in the little lane way it leads to? This was funded from ‘Getting Kids to School Safely’ program but it has missed the mark.”
Many others complained that the money could have been better spent. Reg Byrne, who lives in that little service road posted:
“We now use that path and whilst I don’t disagree that there may be families who need a path more, someone old or young may benefit from what has been done. I hope as a community we can seek support for continued development of services.”
When asked by the Diary for comment on the rationale behind this work, a spokesperson from Nillumbik Council said council sought community feedback on the project in March–April 2018, before advocating for funding.
“We received 144 submissions from 70 respondents. “A number of submissions from the North Warrandyte community sought footpath improvements to access the existing bus stops located on Research- Warrandyte Road and Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road”. It could be argued that a benefit from the works has been to tidy up that side of Research Road following the bridge and traffic lights works, and the rebuilding of part of the culvert in the low section before the lights. Cr Ben Ramcharan had been pushing to have this footpath extended to Somers Road in the short term, and eventually all the way up to the top of the hill, but is struggling to get this up the priority list and to get the necessary funding. He has advised the Diary that Council officers are arranging a site visit at Somers Road in the coming weeks. This will give them a chance to see what the issues are there and will help inform where it sits in Council’s priority list. We asked Council for information on further footpath works in the pipeline and it advised:
“A further project planned for North Warrandyte is the design and construction of a 1.2m wide asphalt footpath along Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road, North Warrandyte between Aton St and Blooms Rd. This project is still being designed to minimise native vegetation impacts.”
There has also been community concern for the difficulty that people, especially schoolchildren, have in crossing Research-Warrandyte Road, particularly in the vicinity of Browns Road where the footpath crosses from the north side to the south side at a blind corner — this concern was put to Council.
“There is a safe pedestrian crossing of Research-Warrandyte Road at the intersection of Kangaroo Ground- Warrandyte Road. A pedestrian crossing near Browns Road has not been funded as part of this program and there are no plans or funding at this stage for such a project. As a declared State arterial road, any additional crossing locations on Research-Warrandyte Road require the consent of the Department of Transport.”