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Which Way Warrandyte?

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

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

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

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

Council has identified nine NACs:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What capacity does Council really have to influence design quality?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They gave up their tomorrows for our today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It s not about gratitude and memory.

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

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

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

And for many, it was a place called Warrandyte.

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

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

Photos Bill McAuley and Anna Maree

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Community input on housing strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cr Geoff Gough spoke to the endorsement motion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ringwood identified as Activity Centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dennis Clarke named 2023 Manningham Citizen of the Year

Manningham Council has announced its 2023 Manningham Civic awardees who go above and beyond for our community through volunteer or paid work.
The Civic Awards, held in September each year, shine light on the incredible and selfless people in Manningham who give so much of themselves to the community without expecting anything in return.
To the award recipients, helping others and volunteering their time comes from a deeper sense of purpose.
“It’s what we are born to do.
It’s what life is all about.
“Nothing in this world gives more of a sense of achievement,” says Dennis Clarke, Manningham Citizen of the Year.
Manningham’s Mayor Cr Deirdre Diamante attended the award ceremony last month and thanked the winners for their service to the community.
“Manningham is home to remarkable people who go above and beyond for our community.
“I feel privileged to recognise and celebrate their achievements on behalf of Manningham and to share their inspiring stories,” Cr Diamante said.
The five category winners are:

Citizen of the Year
Dennis Clarke

Dennis is a pillar within the community through his work with Doncaster RSL as the Senior Vice President, Secretary of RAEME Vietnam Southern Chapter (previously Inaugural President), Anzac and Poppy Appeals, active participant of committees such as VVAA Box Hill Committee, ALPGA, VACC, RACV and more.
As well as the many hours volunteering and working for committees, Dennis spends time calling other Vietnam veterans, talking to them, checking in on their mental health and making sure that they are okay.
Though he considers himself extremely lucky, Dennis’ own traumatic experiences from the Vietnam War influenced his sense of purpose to unite, acknowledge and take care of others with similar experiences.
Dennis championed mental health for war veterans before awareness was prevalent in society. His compassion for people who are struggling and his determination to help those in need is an example of how important Dennis is to the RSL community and Manningham more broadly.
Dot Haynes OAM, Doncaster RSL Secretary, told the Bulletin, “Dennis does so much for so many and is a high achiever for the members and community.
“Doing maintenance when there is no one around at the Doncaster RSL as well as initiating some of our events, especially ensuring our ANZAC, Remembrance and Vietnam services and Appeals get much support from others as well.

Doreen Stoves Volunteer of the Year
Frank Johnston

Frank has been volunteering for Manningham organisations for over 30 years.
He has dedicated himself to those groups including, Manningham Uniting Church, LinC Manningham Inc., MannaCare nursing home, Outback Links, Blaze Aid and planting trees for the Tree Project.
Janet van Leerdam, a fellow LinC Manningham Inc., member, nominated Frank for the award.
“Frank is a selfless person who has been giving to others for many years, especially since retirement.”

Sports Volunteer of the Year
Caroline Clarkson

Caroline has devoted her energy to the Committee of Doncaster Dolphins Masters Swimming club in various roles such as, club Registrar, Recorder, Secretary and President.

Community Organisation of the Year
LinC Manningham Inc

LinC Manningham Inc. is a community organisation made up of volunteers from various Christian churches within Manningham.
It provides house cleaning, social support to new migrants and women affected by domestic violence, home cooked meals, decluttering homes, gardening, goods from Eastern Emergency Relief, or even the little things like taking clients out for a coffee or to do their shopping.

Young Volunteer of the Year
Shin Thant (Berry) Eain

Berry is committed to making a difference and is determined to bridge the gap between local and international students within her school and also wider community.
Berry is an incredible role model to her peers and an advocate for student voice.
“As a young teenager and a female student (in Myanmar), I never had the privilege to explore concepts like human rights and democracy.
“I intend to grasp any opportunity that is presented to me and make the most out of my experience here as a proud international student by volunteering and helping those who may experience the same circumstances as me,” Berry said when describing her inspiration.

Highly Commended Community Organisation
Doncaster Junior Football Club

DJFL fosters the importance of sportsmanship, diversity, teamwork and pride in local community whilst also consistently working towards a community culture that enriches friendships and fosters joy in sport.
“Hundreds, if not thousands, of children have transitioned through the club over its 50 plus year history.
“Each child has brought with them an extended family who have visited and contributed to the club culture.
“All of them have benefited from the club’s environment and in turn the community it has created,” Michelle Taylor, who nominated the club, said.
Manningham Council is exceptionally proud to have such outstanding local heroes and recognises their invaluable contributions to the local community.

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Gathering Circle takes shape at wonguim wilam

VISITORS TO wonguim wilam will notice a stunning new installation, with the completion of a Gathering Circle as the first part of an Indigenous art installation at the riverside park.
The work, by prominent Melbourne-based fine artist, muralist and creative, Simone Thomson, will be installed this year and includes an entrance sculpture and Gathering Circle.
This new addition highlights the significance of the area to Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people and reflects the preservation of culture.
“The Gathering Circle is a place where community comes to connect with one another.
“This is how our oral history has been passed on for thousands of generations,” said Simone.
The gathering circle takes advantage of sightline across to the Birrarung and is three metres in diameter, to invite the community to come together.
Edged by stone seating the gathering circle is organic in form and features Simone’s intricate design in stone and paint, mirroring the natural palette of the surrounding environment and reflecting on themes of country, culture and community.
A sculpture will be installed during the summer months, making up the second part of Simone’s artwork at wonguim wilam.
Simone is a Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Yorta-Yorta Traditional Owner through her mother, and her art is inspired by her, “spiritual connection to Country and the rich colours and textures of the earth and sky”.
Simone said, “In the Aboriginal way, the Gathering Circle or meeting place is a place where community comes to connect with one another, to sit down and discuss cultural business and family matters and to learn and share stories.”
“This is how our oral history has been passed on for thousands of generations — by facing one another with respect and hearing our songlines and men’s and women’s business from our Elders, our knowledge holders and leaders who are our teachers.”
Simone added that the Gathering Circle would represent the importance of community and the preservation of cultural practices significant to the oldest continuous culture on Earth.
“It will be a place of reflection on country and offer a peaceful connection to the lands and waterways in which it sits along the beautiful Birrarung, the river of mist and shadows.”
Manningham Mayor, Cr Deirdre Diamante, touched on the significance of stories to public art.
“When it comes to public art, it’s so important that we consider the works’ appearance within the context of what inspired it and the story it is telling.
“Through the Gathering Circle, Simone is extending the whole community an open invitation to come together, connect and reflect on the incredible cultural significance of Warrandyte.
“This art is also functional and immersive, providing a special place for residents and visitors to do just that,” the Mayor added.
The entrance sculpture will be in the form of a boomerang to be installed in the coming months.
It will be situated at the entrance of the park and standing tall from hand carved cedar pine, the boomerang sculpture will welcome all visitors to wonguim wilam while also acting as an invitation to return as visitors depart.

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Council conducted the commission in consultation with Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.
Find out more about the work at www.manningham.vic.gov.au/news/wonguim-wilam-public-art-commission.

Premiership win for WNC Kangaroos

IN A THRILLING finish to the season, the Warrandyte Netball Club (WNC) U13 Kangaroos came back from a five-goal deficit in the final quarter to win the Section 1 Grand Final by just two points.
Saturday, June 17, was Grand Final Day for the Manningham Netball Autumn competition and the culmination of 11 regular season rounds (12 rounds for the U9s and U11s who do not play finals) and two rounds of finals.
Although WNC had six teams compete in the semi-finals two weeks earlier, only the Kangaroos made it to the Grand Final.
The WNC U13 Wallabies, U15 Emus and Lyrebirds, Open A/B Kestrels and Open C Eagles had all played well during the season to reach the finals but lost to stronger teams in their semis.
Club glory rested with the Kangaroos, up against top-of-the-ladder Eltham Panthers Stars.
The Stars were undefeated in the regular season, with the Kangaroos’ only three losses being against the Stars.
At three-quarter time, the Kangaroos were trailing by three goals.
Kangaroos’ coach Amy Graham had spent the season building her team’s belief in themselves and their teammates, knowing this was just as important as developing their fitness and technical skills.
The Kangaroos had had a far-from-ideal lead-up to the final, with one of their key players suffering a season-ending knee injury during a mothers-and-daughters social game a few weeks earlier.
They had also had a disrupted final week, having to move their training session to Andersons Creek Primary School due to the media presence at Warrandyte Reserve.
It was now-or-never in the final quarter, and after such a disruptive run-up to the final, it would have been easy, and perhaps expected, for the team to drop their heads and console themselves with second place and another loss to a team that had already beaten them three times during the regular season.
Instead, the Kangaroos dug deep, held their nerve, and shot seven consecutive goals in eight minutes to emerge victorious with a final score of 17–15.
Congratulations to the Kangaroos for their stunning win, and commiserations to the Stars, whose disappointment mirrored the Kangaroos’ excitement.
The two teams had a great rivalry during the Autumn season, which will no doubt be continued during the Spring season.
Thank you to all the volunteers who help run the club, from the coaches, team managers, committee members, and everyone who helps at our functions and social events.
Thank you also to Warrandyte Community Bank for supporting our club and “Project Reconnect”, which has helped our community of players and families reconnect and return to the club after several years of COVID-related disruption.
Although our team numbers are still down from pre-COVID, they are up from a year ago, and we have two new Open teams starting next season, with one playing in the social competition on Tuesday evenings and the other playing in the regular competition on Saturday afternoons.
To the WNC community — we hope you enjoyed the season break and we look forward to seeing you at training.

Glamour, sparkle and firefighters

THE DIAMOND of the Warrandyte social calendar, Fireball, is less than one month away.
This grass-roots gala event is coming home, offering a chance for valued guests to don their sparkliest frocks or their most dashing duds for a night of glitz, glamour, great food, and amazing entertainment, right on your doorstep.
Love is in the air for our volunteer firefighters, the place to be is Bramleigh Estate, and the night of nights is July 29, when the who’s-who of our amazing community will be Strictly Fireball.
Prepare to immerse yourself in an evening of splendour as you step into the beautiful Bramleigh Estate.
Throughout the night, guests will be treated to an uplifting array of entertainment, carefully curated to ensure an enjoyable, inspiring, and enchanting evening.
Prepare to be mesmerised by breathtaking live performances, from talented musicians and dancers.
No gala ball is complete without a delectable culinary experience.
Bramleigh’s expert chef has meticulously crafted a four-course menu that will tantalise your taste buds.
Savour the sumptuous flavours of gourmet cuisine, indulge in delightful desserts and raise a glass to toast the power of community.
All food, drinks, and entertainment are included in the ticket price.
The evening will feature various opportunities to further contribute and support the cause that lies at the heart of the ball.
Returning guests will be familiar with the event’s champagne bar; this year, featuring delicious Pommery Champagne and offers all purchasers an opportunity to win a diamond valued at $5,000.
Don’t miss out.
Secure your tickets now to ensure your place at the gala ball of the year.
They really are the hottest tickets in town.
Ticket sales will not only grant access to an unforgettable evening but also contribute directly to fundraising efforts.
Visit Fireball Warrandyte’s website, www.fireball.org.au, to secure tickets and obtain further information about the event.
Please note, ticket availability may be limited, and it is encouraged to act swiftly to secure a spot.
Fireball is the local Fundraising Gala Ball of the year, where elegance meets philanthropy, and together, we can make a real difference.
Let’s make this evening one to remember.

FOGO commences in Manningham

DID YOU KNOW, on average, 56 per cent of the waste in our red-lidded bin is food waste?
Until now, the contents of our red-lid bins have been going to landfill, where all that food waste is released into the atmosphere as the harmful greenhouse gas methane as it decomposes.
Manningham Council is working towards a greener future by reducing food waste from residential garbage bins and diverting food waste from landfill through the Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) waste collection initiative.
This will help the government meet climate change emission reduction targets. Manningham’s FOGO service is now in effect.
Rachelle Quattrocchi, Director of City Services at Manningham Council, told the Diary that all Victorian Councils will introduce FOGO services by 2030 to assist in achieving the State Government target of diverting 80 per cent of waste from landfill by that year.
“Locally, removing food waste from residential garbage bins in Manningham will divert up to 20,000 tonnes per year from landfill — that’s enough waste to fill the outdoor pool at Aquarena 40 times,” she said.
She said when food waste breaks down in landfill, it creates methane, a greenhouse gas which is 23 times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. “Additionally, Australia’s landfill space is almost at capacity, and the cost of disposing of waste in landfill is continually increasing.
“Our focus is to collaborate with the community and provide information to assist residents with the introduction of FOGO,” she said.
By now, every household should have received a FOGO starter kit consisting of a kitchen caddy, a year’s supply (150) of compostable liners, and a new collection calendar.
The plastic-free compostable liners are Australian-certified and are actually made of vegetables.
They are very handy and should be used to help you collect and carry your household food scraps.
From May 2024, Council plans to provide each household with an annual resupply of compostable liners, which will be available to collect from Manningham Civic Centre or the Council Depot.
Remember, only lime green compostable liners with certified symbols of AS 4736 and AS 5810 are allowed to be placed into your FOGO bin.
If households run out before the annual resupply, major supermarkets sell alternatives such as the My Eco Bag brand, which sells a 36-litre, 25-pack for around $10. The FOGO Caddy is designed to be placed in your kitchen, and then, once full, the liner bags can be put into your existing, green-lidded bin, which, as of July 3, is now your FOGO bin.
The food and garden waste will be processed at Bio Gro, an organics facility in Dandenong, turning your organic waste into hi-grade compost, which will be used in farms and gardens across Victoria.
The rollout of the FOGO service also means changing how often bins are collected; the green-lidded FOGO bin will be collected weekly, while the red-lidded bin will be collected fortnightly, rotating collection with the yellow-lidded bins.
Ms Quattrocchi said Council will be tracking how the program is going, through weekly bin audits, to determine if more education is needed.
“Reducing waste to landfill will help us achieve net zero emissions for the organisation’s operations by 2028 and net zero community emissions by 2035,” she said.

What can go in the FOGO bin?

The rule of thumb is if you can eat it and grow it in the ground, you can put it in your FOGO bin.
For example:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • meat and bones
  • seafood
  • eggs and dairy
  • bread and pasta
  • rice and cereal
  • tissues and paper towel
  • shredded paper
  • garden waste
What cannot go in your FOGO bin?

Anything that is not compostable and will not be able to be processed, which includes:

  • food packaging
  • plastic wrapping
  • stickers
  • rubber bands
  • tins
  • biodegradable products
  • clam and oyster shells
  • liquids, fats, greases and oils
  • treated or painted timber and building materials
  • animal waste,
  • cat litter
  • vacuum dust
  • tea bags

Because some tea bags are made with metal staples, plastic, and nylons, they must be cut open with only the tea leaves allowed to go into the FOGO bin.

No change for businesses

Ms Quattrocchi told the Diary, all businesses with a Council commercial waste service will remain on a weekly red-lidded bin collection.
She said collection for business is incorporated within the waste collection of public litter bins which include those at activity centres and bus stops.
Currently, FOGO is not being rolled out for commercial properties.

Will the council charge residents higher rates?

The answer is no, as FOGO will be part of the annual waste service charge.
According to council modelling, the savings made by diverting 40 to 80 per cent of food waste from landfill will account for the cost of the FOGO service, so there should be no additional waste charge for FOGO.
However, households may need to upsize one or all of their bins due to the change in how waste is collected and processed; details of this and the costs involved can be found on Manningham Council’s website.
For households with two or more children under four — who may be impacted due to the necessity to dispose of used nappies, Council offers discounted bin upsizing options saving eligible households around $168 per year.
Details of this scheme and information about Manningham’s waste service, in general, can be found at manningham.vic.gov.au/waste-and-recycling.
Ms Quattrocchi said Council is using a variety of measures to help achieve its corporate and community emission targets, including:

  • Advocating for improved public transport
  • Promoting solar and other energy-saving measures for residents and businesses
  • Investing in water-sensitive urban planning, design, and drainage solutions
  • Harvesting stormwater for open-space irrigation
  • Improving how Council responds to extreme weather emergencies and providing support to vulnerable residents
  • Increasing the number of energy-efficient LED streetlights in Manningham
  • Supporting the rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Partnering with the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) for wind-powered grid electricity and the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA).
See the FOGO process in action

Readers who are interested in exactly what happens to their food and garden waste are invited to see for themselves on one of Manningham Council’s tours of the Bio Gro facility.
Tours start and end at Manningham Civic Centre, with a bus to transport those attending to the facility based in Dandenong South.
The next tour is currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 8.
For more information and to book your spot on the tour, visit manningham.vic.gov.au/events/fogo-tours-see-bio-gro-organics-facility.

Warrandyte Netball Club supports breast cancer fundraiser

MANNINGHAM Netball courts in Templestowe turned pink to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).
On May 13, Warrandyte Netball Club (WNC) was excited to take part in the day organised by East Doncaster Netball Club, where players and spectators were encouraged to wear some pink and donate a gold coin to help support a worthy cause.
The highlight of the day was the mothers and daughter games, where girls ranging in age from seven to 17 teamed up with their mothers to play against teams from other clubs.
After halftime, the tables were turned and daughters from both teams combined to take on the mothers.
This led to far more competitive games, and although no-one was keeping score, the daughters made it very clear when they scored a goal against their mother.
Although it was Mother’s Day the next day, the daughters refused to show any mercy during the games and took full advantage of their own youthful enthusiasm and fitness.
WNC was proud to field four of the eight teams, showing great club spirit and commitment and having a lot of fun at the same time.
The club won the award for “Club with most participants” as well as some of the “Prettiest in pink”, “Most spectacular goal”, and “Best defender” awards that were given to players from each game.
The games re-awakened the competitive spirit in some mothers who are now looking to take up the sport once again and play either on a Tuesday evening or Saturday afternoon.
If you might be interested in joining a team, please email registrar@warrandytenetball.org to register your interest.
The day was a great fundraising success with over $3,000 being raised for BCNA.
Thank you to everyone who turned out to support the day, and we are looking forward to next year’s event.

Climate change threatens platypus in your river

Photo Melinda Casey

Photo Melinda Casey

HOW MANY of us have wandered down to the Yarra, Birrarung River in Warrandyte in search of the ever-elusive platypus?
We know they call this special part of the world home, but these cherished creatures are under threat.
From habitat loss and urbanisation to pollution and climate change, our platypus friends face numerous challenges.
Keep reading as we explore the dangers they confront and discover the urgent actions needed to safeguard their existence in the heart of the Yarra, Birrarung River.
Human activities such as damming upstream, excessive water extraction and alterations to the riverÕs flow disrupt the delicate balance necessary for the platypus to thrive.
These changes reduce water quality, impacting the availability of the platypusÕs favourite prey, including crustaceans, insects, and small fish.
Moreover, sediment accumulation, nutrient runoff, and invasive species further degrade their habitat, making it increasingly challenging for these captivating creatures to find suitable shelter, construct their burrows, and rear their young along the banks of the Yarra, Birrarung River.
Humans are also masters of pollution.
Industrial and agricultural activities and urbanisation introduce toxic chemicals such as pesticides, fertilisers, heavy metals, and plastics into our waterways.
Unfortunately, these pollutants contaminate the platypusÕs vital food sources, leading to long-term health problems and reproductive complications.
Chemical contaminants can accumulate in their bodies, compromising their immune systems and can result in untimely deaths.
The ingestion of plastic debris, mistaken for food, poses a severe risk, causing blockages in their digestive systems and leaving them vulnerable to starvation.
In the ever-changing landscape along the Yarra, Birrarung River, our platypus companions also face a heartbreaking loss of their precious homes.
Deforestation, land clearing, and rapid urban development encroach upon their habitats, leaving fewer places for them to forage, nest, and raise their young.
The loss of vegetation along the riverbanks exacerbates the situation, contributing to increased water temperature, bank erosion, and instability.
This combination threatens their survival, as the platypus population becomes fragmented, and their genetic diversity diminishes.
The encroachment of human activities takes a toll, leaving these remarkable creatures vulnerable to environmental changes and the outbreak of diseases within the heart of the Yarra, Birrarung River.
And on top of everything else, there is climate change.
Rising temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns disrupt the delicate equilibrium of their habitat.
Heatwaves and altered weather patterns make it difficult for platypuses to regulate their body temperature, leading to stress and reduced reproductive success.
Extreme weather events like droughts and floods wreak havoc on their homes, washing away nesting burrows and leaving individuals displaced.
These environmental disruptions pose immense challenges to the platypus population, straining their ability to adapt and survive amidst the changing climate along the Yarra, Birrarung.
So, despite all these threats, how can we help?
Reduce pollution by properly disposing of waste.
Participate in local clean-up events to remove litter and plastics from the river.
Follow fishing regulations, use barbless hooks, and release non-target species promptly.
Join local conservation groups such as the Friends of Warrandyte State Park, volunteer for platypus monitoring programs, and contribute to fundraising efforts of organisations that protect our waterways.
Advocate for urgent action on climate change.
Maintain healthy riverbanks by minimising disturbance and avoiding activities that contribute to erosion along the river corridor.
Spread the word about the importance of platypus conservation within the community.
By actively engaging in these actions, we can all contribute to the long-term conservation of the platypus in the Yarra, Birrarung River and ensure their survival for future generations.
Charlotte Sterrett is a member of WarrandyteCAN a local climate change action group that campaigns for positive changes to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Find WarrandyteCAN on Facebook for more information

Even if you are little, you can do a lot!

WHS presents Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

WARRANDYTE High School’s Matilda will captivate an eager audience with high energy dance numbers, catchy songs, and a wonderful production.
On stage for four performances, from June 16-18, this is one production not to be missed.
Living with unappreciative and uncaring parents, Matilda Wormwood (played by Sophie Dibb) is sent to an excessively olde-worlde school – Crunchem Hall.
Armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, Matilda dares to take a stand at this cruel and oppressive school, with miraculous results.
With the help of a kind hearted teacher, Miss Jenny Honey (played by Rhianna Cummings and Amber Gedge), Matilda uses her telekinetic abilities to settle the score after her tyrannical headmistress, Miss Agatha Trunchbull, brutally bullies her and her fellow students.
The diabolically evil Miss Trunchbull is superbly played by Curtis Konynenburg.
Bullies, however, can’t take on people who put up a fight.
The audience will be taken on a heroic journey of intrigue and wonderment as justice is restored.
Highlighting the senses, the visual glamour of the production will bedazzle an audience with sets and lighting by Gavin D Andrew, music by Tim Minchin, and an all-star cast from Warrandyte High School.
An array of fun effects has been added with pigtails being thrown around, magical chalk writing on black boards, and students (in particular, Bruce Bogtrotter played by Stephanie Lawry) being forced to eat whole Scrumdiddely chocolate cakes in three minutes.
The costume department, under Jho Suckling and Lilli Rose Lawrence, help showcase the fun, raucous and exciting characters with a smorgasbord of wonderful garments.
Keep an eye open for the injection of genuinely sourced local garments in When I Grow Up, a song that sees the young children looking at themselves in the mirror reflecting their grown-up selves.
See if you can guess what they become from just what they are wearing.
It is a truly touching moment in the show.
The overall student cast is superb.

Miss Honey, played alternately by Rihanna Cummings and Amber Gedge, is a heartening character and the epitome of the teacher we all wish we had.
Miss Honey is the only role which has been “doubled”.
Not because of any COVID protocols but simply because they both just suited the role perfectly.
Rhianna said “the production has been a lot of hard work but it’s worth it”.
As Matilda, Sophie Dibb, in Year 7, found herself in the title role in her first year at high school.
In this massive role, her beautiful singing voice, willingness to work hard and an innate cheekiness, makes her the ideal hero of this production.
“I feel lucky that I get to experience being part of such a great community and that I am able to be involved in this really fun performance in Year 7.
“I have worked very hard and I am excited to get the show on the road, and I really hope others will enjoy it as much as I do,” Sophie said.
Matilda Wormwood’s parents are truly horrible.
The audience will be teetering on the edge of their seats whether to laugh out loud, or just boo them off stage.
Playing the horrible Mr and Mrs Wormwood, Amber Robertson and Chloe Minogue, were both sceptical.
“We didn’t even like each other’s characters, but being part of this production has formed a new-found friendship.”
The hilariously evil Miss Trunchbull is superbly played by Curtis Konynenburg.
His wonderful blend of comic timing and portrayal of tyrannical brutality is reason alone to experience this production.
Bringing together this fine cast and ensemble is Director Gavin D Andrew.
Gavin said, “Matilda is an absolutely inspirational and fun show to direct.
“Roald Dahl can start off and then slowly (and often without you realising it) enter a heightened reality that if you sat and thought about it – couldn’t really happen – but somehow in a Dahl story it does.”
Gavin added, “Dahl makes a clear distinction between the heroes and villains and always makes sure the villains get their just desserts.”
A wonderful production is not just about a superb cast and a timeless story.
Gavin was quick to point out the enormity of the production encompassing not only the technical aspects of the show.
Broader support is required by not only students, parents and teachers and staff of the school, but also tentacles reaching into and strengthening relationships with the Warrandyte community.
Warrandyte High School uses its home advantage well.
“Having their own theatre is an absolute blessing,” said Gavin.
“It greatly assists with all aspects of the show, allowing students for example, to develop skills in lighting and audio over the course of the production.
“Many schools can spend thousands on these aspects of a production.”
Great support from parents turning up at working bees, handing out flyers or helping with hair and make up greatly enhances the overall production.
The plethora of support provided by school staff and teachers underpins and enhances the production in both a practical and magical way.
Lisa White, an art teacher, along with her band of students make regular visits to the theatre and keep adding to the fun and playfulness of the set.
Linga Naidoo, another teacher at the school specialising in woodwork, has been creating the foundation of the set along with some fun props that greatly assist in telling the story.
Gavin said, “Working closely with Jake Newton, Linga Naidoo and Lisa White has been an absolute joy for me.
“Even just walking into reception and the warm greetings from Bev, Anne and Sandra is always a lovely way to start a day.”
“Principal Rachel Lynch has been wonderfully supportive and even the intrepid groundskeeper, Bucky, seems to appear from nowhere whenever I need rescuing from a blown fuse or other calamity.”
Overall, an enthralling production not to be missed.
Well done Warrandyte High School.
For tickets, head to: trybooking.com/events/landing/1052960.

State Budget makes good on Election promises

LABOR CANDIDATE Naomi Oakley made an election commitment before the 2022 State Election to provide $300,000 for new cricket nets for Warrandyte Cricket Club, which has been honoured in the State Budget 2022/23.
Despite Ms Oakley not being successful in her bid for the seat of Warrandyte, and even before the spectre of the Warrandyte byelection was on the cards, MPs for North East Metropolitan Region, Sonja Terpstra and Sean Leane attended the Warrandyte Cricket Club on Budget Day to deliver on that commitment.
She said this will mean that the club can continue to be a place that members and the broader community can stay active and engaged.
“The Andrews Government recognises the importance of community sport,” she told the club executive at the announcement.
“I know you guys do a great job here, you play such an important role and I know this club is an amazing club, how you engage with everyone.
“The sense of community and pride is amazing, so we couldn’t be happier to be delivering that promise,” she said.
Club President Royce Jaksic said last season the club fielded nine Senior sides, 16 Juniors, Over 40s, Over 50s, Over 60s and Over 70s, as well as Women’s and Girls’ teams.
“We’re the largest club in the RDCA, which is amazing because we’re a pretty small community when you think about it,” Mr Jaksic said.
He said next season there were plans for an all-abilities side.
He said the current nets are a health and safety issue as they intrude into the playing field.
“If there’s a game going on out in the centre, particularly cricket, and we’ve got people training, if a six gets hit, someone’s going to get killed,” he said.
He said it is also an issue during the cross over between cricket and football seasons.
A major concern is children can climb on top of the existing cages.
Mr Jasic said the new nets would be designed to make that “impossible”.
Mr Leane said: “The Labor Andrews Government understands that local sporting clubs are at the heart of so many communities.
“It’s why we’re funding upgrades to the Warrandyte Cricket Club.”

Upgrade for dog parks

Ms Terpstra and Mr Leane also announced the Budget was providing funding for upgrading the dog parks at Stiggants Reserve, Warrandyte.
A spokesperson from Ms Terpstra’s office said the announcement was about providing funding, the details of the park “still to be hashed out”.
“They’ll likely be run and maintained by council, with details of the build and requirements to be negotiated, including individual funding amounts”.
He said Stiggants was marked for funding as it is known to be popular with local dog owners.
Exactly what that will look like is still up for speculation, as Manningham Council currently has no plans to make changes to Stiggants Reserve.
Manningham’s Director City Planning, Duncan Turner told the Diary, Council was pleased to see the recent State Budget allocation to upgrade up to 22 dog parks.
“We understand Lawford Reserve Doncaster and Stiggants Reserve Warrandyte are on the list, but we have no further details about the funding,” he said.

Park Orchards Community House

Ms Terpstra and Mr Leane also announced a funding for Park Orchards Community House & Learning Centre a budget allocation of $60,000 to go towards important upgrades to their learning centre.
Ms Terpstra said: “Everyone in Park Orchards knows the community house and learning centre and how they have been serving our community for years.
“I’m proud to give back to those who have given so much to us.”

Ryan Smith calls it a day

THE ELECTORATE of Warrandyte will be going to a byelection following the shock retirement of Ryan Smith MP.
You can read his resignation statement below.
Mr Smith has been the Member for Warrandyte since 2006, after retaining the seat for the Liberal party following the retirement of Phil Honeywood, who had held it since 1988.
Mr Smith joined the opposition frontbench in 2008 and was Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Youth Affairs during the Baillieu and Napthine governments.
He has served on the frontbench in opposition and has been Shadow Minister for Finance, for Planning and Heritage and for Suburban Recovery.
Following last year’s election in November, Smith had flagged his intention to run for the Liberal leadership, but eventually pulled out of the race.
The resignation will trigger a byelection, which will be seen as a test of Opposition Leader John Pesutto’s leadership.
The Liberals expect the byelection to be held in mid to late August.
Pesutto spoke to the media following the announcement and said he learned of Smith’s resignation like the wider public, by reading his statement.
“I think we all need to respect the way Ryan wanted to own the way he wanted to make these announcements,” he said.
He said the Liberals will “throw everything” at Warrandyte to retain the seat.
I’ll be working, obviously, with the membership and the leadership of the organisational side of the party to make sure we choose the strongest candidate.
“I would very much like to see a woman in amongst the candidates”, Mr Pesutto said.
Several women have already been understood to be lining up for the seat, including the Liberal federal vice-president Caroline Inge, Manningham Councillor Michelle Kleinert, and owner of Bramleigh Estate, Mary-Anne Lowe.
Former Manningham Mayor, Councillor Andrew Conlon is also putting his hand up for Liberal preselection.
There is also talk around former MP for Kew, Tim Smith, who resigned from the Liberal party following a drunken car crash, who has stated he is thinking of running for preselection for the seat.
It is also unclear whether the Labor Party will contest the byelection, but the party’s success at the Aston byelection has given some ALP supporters hope of another upset.
Previous Labor candidate for Warrandyte Naomi Oakley said she was not ruling out a run.
“Whilst I will always take any opportunity to advocate for my community, the ALP will make a decision in coming weeks about whether to contest this byelection.”
Raymond “the Snake Man” Hoser has announced he will be running in the upcoming byelection as an independent.
He released a statement saying he will be running on a centrist platform of ethics, economics, law and order, and environment.
Hoser said: “I am needed to deal with the snakes in the Victorian parliament”.
He said that only with a strong independent elected to the seat will the local area be properly represented.
The Liberals currently hold Warrandyte by a 4.2 per cent margin, so is considered safe Liberal.
People from across the electorate, and beyond, have extended their best wishes to Mr Smith.
Mr Smith’s Federal counterpart, Member for Menzies, Keith Wolahan thanked him for “outstanding service to our community and our state”.
“Wishing you and your wonderful family the very best for what comes next,” Mr Wolahan said.
Both Park Orchards Rate Payers Association and Park Orchards Market Committee took to social media to thank Mr Smith for his dedicated service to the electorate.
Manningham Council released a statement acknowledging and thanking Ryan Smith for 16 years of dedicated service to the Manningham community as the Member for Warrandyte.
Mayor of Manningham, Cr Deirdre Diamante said: “As a former Minister and active local member his impact has been meaningful and significant.
“We wish Ryan and his family all the best in the future.”
Cr Diamante said Council will “use the upcoming byelection to continue to strongly advocate for improvements to roads, transport, services and infrastructure for the Warrandyte electorate”. Prior to politics, Smith spent 18 years in the financial markets working for a number of Australia’s leading institutions before winning election to Parliament in 2006.
His last job before parliament was as Manager of Institutional Banking Service for the Commonwealth Bank.
He says he will be returning to a role in the corporate sector.

Ryan Smith announces retirement from Parliament

IT IS WITH mixed emotions that I have informed the Speaker of my intention to resign from the Parliament of Victoria, with my formal resignation date being July 7.
After over 16 years serving as the Member for Warrandyte, and with a great deal of consideration, I have decided it is time to bring this chapter of my life to a close.
I have been privileged to hold this role and believe that many who choose this career do so with their communities’ best interests in mind.
However, amongst other reasons, I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the growing negative tone of politics, both internally and more broadly.
My role as a community representative has brought me into contact with an amazing array of people throughout the electorate, and I have valued the opportunity to work with and for them all.
I have held over a dozen shadow portfolios through the years of Opposition and, again, the stakeholders connected to these have been a pleasure to meet, and I appreciate everything that they took the time to teach me.
It is important to recognise former Premiers, Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine, who allowed me to sit at the Cabinet table with them as Minister for the Environment and Minister for Youth Affairs.
I am very grateful for their confidence in me.
Some further words of thanks
Firstly, to my local community – thank you for your support over five election victories.
My hope is that you believed I did my best to represent you and to be responsive to your needs.
Whenever the cut and thrust of politics made me question my career choices, spending time in our community always gave me the positive answer why.
Working as your representative and advocate has been an enormous honour and pleasure.
To my parliamentary colleagues – thank you to those who I have worked alongside over the years.
Particular thanks to those with whom I have developed firm friendships; your companionship and good humour has always been a valued asset.
To the Liberal Party – I am constantly impressed by the people who make up the membership of our great Party.
Thank you to those who have supported my preselections, and to all of those who have put up their hand to help me and the Party right across the state.
Whether it be handing out How to Vote cards or nominating to be a candidate, you are the foundation of our movement. I ask you to never forget our values and principles and to remind those who do.
To the press – thank you for the relationship we have had.
I have found the vast majority of you to be honest, forthright and fair.
You are an integral part of the political process and I welcome your increased willingness to scrutinise those matters which need a light shone on them.
To my many supporters and friends – thank you for everything you have done to support my campaigns, for your wise counsel and your faith in me.
To my staff – these are the people at our Electorate Office’s frontline, the ones who make the first impressions which are pivotal to how we are viewed by our community.
I could not have asked for better.
Thank you to all those who have worked with me over the years, but particular thanks to those who are working with me now.
Helen, who was been with me from the beginning and who has been a treasured confidante.
Marty, whose good humour and patience when dealing with our constituents has made him an invaluable part of our team.
Antonietta, whose infectious enthusiasm always brightens our day
Thank you to each of you.
Finally, a special thank you to my wife, Avril, and my children, Brodie and Jaime.
My son was one when I entered politics and my daughter was born into it.
I am exceedingly proud of both of them and they have been, not only the lift I need when I get home, but a big reason why I work to try to make things better for our community.
Avril – thank you for supporting me on this journey, which is just a part of our lives together.
I could not have asked for a better companion through these years, and I am looking forward to the next stage of our lives together.
I wish the next Member for Warrandyte the very best of luck and remain optimistic that the contest of ideas will ultimately provide Victoria with its best days ahead.
I will not be making further public comment at this stage.

Designer shortlisted for prestigious design award

RENOVATING is a dream for many people.
We have all watched those reality TV shows where a complete home renovation comes together in the space of an episode.
The “reality” is a bit more complicated than that.
So where do you start, and who do you speak to?
You can manage it all yourself — finding architects, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, painters, tilers, and cabinetmakers — or employ someone with the expertise and knowhow to make everything come together seamlessly, on time, and within budget.
Ok, so who?
This is where Warrandyte local Michelle Sterling from Sterling Renovations comes in.
With 15+ years of experience and countless head-turning projects completed, Michelle says she can help you make your dreams a reality.
And it is not just Michelle’s customers who think she is brilliant at what she does; luxury kitchen appliance manufacturer Gaggenau also loves her work.
A kitchen designed by Michelle for a home in St. Kilda caught the attention of Gaggenau’s judges and was shortlisted in the 2022 Kitchen of the Year Awards.
Michelle has lived in the area for over 15 years, moving to her current home in Warrandyte in 2021, which she has spent the last two years lovingly renovating.
If she is not sighted with sandpaper and paintbrush in hand, you might catch her floating down the Yarra on a somewhat questionably buoyant floaty thing.
Michelle sat down with the Diary to discuss her passion for creating amazing spaces.
“I used to be in the beauty industry, and during that time, I was buying and renovating houses.
I said to myself, ‘you know what? — this is what I’d rather be doing’.
So I opted for a complete career change, went back to university, and studied interior decoration and design, and that’s where it all began.
Initially, I worked predominantly in kitchen design, then progressed to laundries and bathrooms.
Now my work has expanded into many different areas — all types of cabinetry, even complete house renovations.”
Michelle said that often her clients have just moved into a house and want to renovate everything — kitchen, bathroom, laundry, wardrobes, living room.
“I begin by obtaining a design brief from the client and then respond with a proposed design concept.
“We then discuss the pros and cons of various materials and finishes, and I provide samples for the client to ponder over.”
She said she then produces computergenerated plans and elevations for the trades to work from.
“Sometimes the plans are for the client’s builder whom I liaise with — other times clients need me to provide and coordinate all the trades; I’m happy either way.”
She said being a woman with a comprehensive knowledge of the building industry helps her to translate ideas from the homeowner into language the tradies understand.
“I often assist clients who don’t know anything about the trades required for their project.
“I manage all the tradespeople and deal with all the headaches, so the client doesn’t have to,” she said.
Michelle says the surprising thing about engaging the services of Sterling Renovations is that it costs less than you might expect.
Her job is to prevent you from making expensive mistakes that could have been easily avoided with the correct advice.
Michelle works with professional trades that deliver work to a high standard and turn up when expected.
As an independent designer, Michelle works for you, not for a large company on commission, so she has your best interests at heart.
She can visualise how a space will look and advise on the suitability of different design considerations, colours, and materials.
From experience, she knows what will work and what will not.
Michelle insists it is important that your space not only looks fabulous but is also practical and functional.
Often, she is able to create designs that clients have never thought of, providing options that incorporate your ideas and her suggestions for a fantastic outcome.
So, whether it is a luxurious kitchen, tranquil bathroom retreat, enviable wardrobe storage or a complete house renovation, Sterling Renovations can make it happen.
Michelle is offering a free one-hour initial consultation for your next house renovation for residents of Warrandyte and surrounds until the end of April, mention this article when arranging your consultation.
Call her on 0413 745 485

Have a ball and support the CFA

FIREBALL is back!
Following the highly successful gala events in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and after two false starts in 2020 and 2021, Fireball will again come to life on Saturday, July 29.
The brainchild of Julie Quinton, Fireball was formed following the 2014 Flannery Court fires; Julie organised a small team of locals to recognise our CFA volunteers’ enormous commitment of time, effort, and personal risk.
Out of this intention, Fireball’s mantra was forged: to ease the burden of fundraising from volunteer firefighters.
CFA volunteers sacrifice a huge number of hours for our community.
They put their lives on the line. They often sacrifice their holidays, private/social lives, and family time in their CFA duty to the community.
They have been known to cook their own barbecue fundraisers, put on trivia nights, run raffles, letterbox drops and more, all in a bid to raise much-needed money to buy equipment to help protect our community.
They do this because they are committed to volunteering and keeping the community safe: they do not complain or seek recognition, and many of them are not comfortable with publicity.
To keep them safe in their endeavours and to enhance their community safeguarding, the Fireball Committee believes the whole community should take on some of the responsibility of fundraising for CFA services that serve us all.
This year’s event has been given an incredible kick start with the support of Bramleigh Estate Warrandyte; they have donated everything – the venue, the meals, their staff, and the drinks for the night.
This generous sponsorship significantly reduces the Fireball Committee’s need to call on the support of local businesses, many of whom have faced tough times over the past three years.
The committee knows other charity functions have been helped where possible, and Fireball intends to minimise the further impact on local traders as much as possible.
The owner of Bramleigh Estate, Mary-Anne McPherson, is passionate about “giving back” to the community, reaching out to the Fireball Committee to find out how she could contribute.
“The approach that Fireball has used in the past in ‘letting the Fireys get on and do what they do best while we, the community, do the fundraising for significant spends’ resonated with me,” Mary-Anne said.
She originally proposed this level of sponsorship for the 2020 event, and we are pleased to say she has stood by her commitment to support the cause still in 2023, even after her own business experienced significant impacts and closures over the last few years.
“It feels even more important now to be able to take some of the load off the local small businesses who are still recovering from the last few years by supporting Fireball in this way,” she said.
Historically, Fireball, with the support of our wonderful community, has raised between $60K and $80K in an evening; in 2023, Fireball aims to keep that momentum going to raise sufficient funds for essential firefighting equipment – for the same CFA brigades who also limited their fundraising activities over the last few years due to community impact.
Now it is time, and the Captains of the Greater Warrandyte CFAs consisting of North and South Warrandyte, Warrandyte, and Wonga Park, have determined that the broader community would benefit from the purchase of a much-needed light tanker to be housed at the Wonga Park station.
Money raised from Fireball 2023 will be delivered to the Greater Warrandyte CFAs to ensure they are able to purchase this more agile appliance suited to the local environment.
Tickets are on sale now for $220.
Buy your tickets on the Fireball website www.fireball.org.au.
Get in quick to be a part of the gala event of the year.

Countdown to The Pottery Expo 2023

POTTERS AND ceramic enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting The Pottery Expo as it returns to the banks of the Yarra in Warrandyte for its 23rd year.
Ceramic artists across Victoria, New South Wales (NSW), and Western Australia (WA) have been working in their studios preparing for Australia’s biggest ceramics festival which comes to the banks of the Yarra on February 25–26.
The exhibitors will present work that uses various making and firing techniques, including hand building, wheel throwing, raku, gas and electric firing, and a range of clays from fine porcelain to stoneware, terracotta and earthenware.

New for 2023

There will be a special exhibition of guest artists from WA featuring influences from the WA coastline and local flora and fauna, with work ranging from large-scale and sculptural work to fine-detailed pieces.
Clay Connections, a three-day Pop Up exhibition by Valley Potters, will be in the Warrandyte Artspace, 168 Yarra Street, starting Friday, February 24, from 10am with the official opening Friday evening as part of the new Twilight Trail event.
The exhibition comprises works including sculptural, functional and decorative pieces.
Warrandyte Art Space Coordinator Denise Keele-bedford explains:

“Each artist derives inspiration for their work from different places, such as their surroundings, their loves, their passions, and their imagination.
As each pair of hands has different experiences and works with the malleable clay in their own way, each piece is unique and holds a piece of the artists DNA and soul within it.”

Twilight Trail Friday night will feature a new event for The Pottery Expo and be part of the walking tour and exhibition openings in Warrandyte ceramic galleries.
It begins at 5:30pm at Stonehouse Gallery, which recently celebrated 50 years, then continues to the official opening of the Clay Connections exhibition.
The final stop is Warrandyte Pottery Studio Gallery for the opening of a new exhibition by ceramic artist Josephine Cassar.
This is a free event. however, bookings are essential.
Follow The Pottery Expo on Facebook and Instagram for more booking information.
The Pottery Expo Throw Down will be held at the expo on Sunday — hosted by Northcote Pottery Supplies.
Potters are invited to get ready to show us their best on the wheel as they respond to the challenges set by the judges.
A highlight will be an installation by artist Danni Bryant, who works mainly with the ceramic medium.
For The Pottery Expo, Danni is creating a site-specific work responding to the surrounding landscape by the river.
Comprised mainly of raw, high-fired porcelain, the work is stark and bright, inviting curious viewers to look closely at its intricate nature.
Ballan ceramic artist Larissa Taylor will also feature a site-specific sculpture with suspended and hanging figures.
On Tuesday, February 28, WA Potter Bernard Kerr will be running a special one-day workshop at the Warrandyte Neighbourhood House for potters focussing on creating large pots, using coil and throwing methods with slip decoration techniques.
For more information, contact Jane Annois on 0422 942 216.

Expo favourites

Children’s clay activities return, presented by Warrandyte Pottery Studio and Clay Talk Montsalvat and supported by Northcote Pottery Supplies.
There will be live music sponsored by Warrandyte Community Bank featuring Rick Ozimo with Black Cat Bone, Neeko and Cath Rutten with Velvet Lounge.
Saturday features artist talks and presentations.
The Cups to Go stand will again offer an enormous range of cups by the potters for sale right by the coffee and food vans.

Entry to the expo is free, and visitors can enjoy delicious food by Scrumdiddely, PoppySmack, coffee, drinks and snacks from Now and Not Yet, wine, beer and more by Hops and Vine.
For more information, visit the website www.potteryexpo.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Pottery parking


WARRANDYTE can often seem like the victim of its own success as hundreds of out-of-towners flock to the riverbank, cafés, and restaurants on sunny days.
Traffic frustrations are often exacerbated during “events” where the usual influx of visitors increases significantly.
In recent years, the Pottery Expo has suffered from this success, with its hundreds, possibly thousands, of visitors struggling to find somewhere to park and congesting local streets.
“While a great local event, the influx of visitors and, often, careless parking causes significant egress difficulties for locals throughout the weekend.
“This is particularly applicable for Webb Street residents,” said a nearby resident.
The Diary raised these concerns with Pottery Expo organisers.
Jane Annois provided the Diary with the following statement.

“We always work with Manningham Council to manage the parking and find the best possible solutions.
In the past, we have used signage and bollards on Mitchell Avenue and Webb Street, advising NO PARKING.
The problems have greatly decreased, and last year we received no complaints, but thanks for our efforts.
Unfortunately, the issue of an impatient parker moving a bollard is beyond our control.
This year in consultation with Manningham Council, the Pottery Expo has engaged with a local traffic management company to recommend a strategy for dealing with traffic flow over the weekend.
Their recommendations specifically target parking in the Webb Street/Mitchell Avenue area, and we will be implementing their recommendations.
We have signs indicating parking areas in Warrandyte and will have bollards and No Parking signs on Webb Street, and Mitchell Avenue will have No Parking signs.
We have formalised the use of parking at the Warrandyte Café [Police Road] specifically for Potters.
This process will be managed and will therefore ensure that upwards of 80 parking spaces will be available to the public.”

Ms Annois also advised that public transport options were listed on the Pottery Expo website and official flyers and that the organisers “have a social media/ information campaign to promote the use of the existing public transport system”.
“The system is in place and perfect for the needs of the public travelling to Warrandyte,” she said.

Council and community make progress on Taroona Avenue path

CONSTRUCTION HAS commenced on the next stage of the bike path which will link Warrandyte with the Main Yara Trail and the wider cycle network beyond.
The High School end of the path has started, with works expected to be completed by April.
Meanwhile, consultation for a new path along Taroona Avenue has taken another step forward with a meeting at the Warrandyte Community Hall.
On Wednesday, February 1, representatives from Manningham Council’s projects, planning and infrastructure teams were joined by Yarra Ward Councillor Carli Lange and an audience of around 30 people interested in the Council’s latest plans for the path, including the Warrandyte Community Association, and residents from Taroona Avenue and neighbouring streets.
The original idea was to link the Warrandyte River path to Warrandyte’s West End facilities and then eventually the Main Yarra Trail, however, community backlash against the over-engineered plans saw a rethink by Council with new plans for only a pedestrian path along the eastern side of the road.
In its original design, first proposed in 2018, the path was originally planned to be a shared path with a boardwalk running along the creek before it crossed the road at First Street to run along the western side of Taroona Avenue, taking out a dozen trees and restricting parking for visitors to both the market and local sporting events.
Then last October a new design was presented to the community for feedback, which Council Officers have incorporated into this (hopefully final) iteration of the plans.
Cr Lange summed up the mood of the audience “I know we are all excited, we have been waiting and waiting for this to come, but it is worth waiting and getting all the feedback from last time, and we have to look at how that has been incorporated in this design,” she said.
The latest iteration of the plans has integrated local stone into the edging, grey concrete, and natural swale guttering, in what has been largely acknowledged by the audience as being a vast improvement on the original design, and retaining all existing vegetation.
The stone edging will separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic and keep cars from parking on the path.
The road will be widened on the western side at the lower section to take into account the intrusion of the path at that point.
Cr Lange said this path is something that has been requested by residents.
“There has been a callout for its need and it has been ranked as a priority for footpaths in Manningham.
“This is a project that highlights the new planning guidelines and the mechanisms that make sure that planning and construction in Manningham follow the guidelines and procedures,” she said.
Doug Seymour of the WCA said he was generally encouraged by the new design.
“I think they really have taken notice of community concerns and also adopted many of the measures in the Green Wedge Management Plan but I still think there are some minor details that we can seek some improvements on, such as the reduction of parking opportunities,” he told the Diary.
Taroona Avenue Resident Colin Hall was also disappointed parking was not better managed.
“We have big sports events, and the market, and we like those things, it is part of the excitement of living in this street.”
Cyclists have not been incorporated into this plan, with children able to ride on the path, but other cyclists keeping to the road, a dedicated cycleway may be incorporated at a future date, but given that Taroona Avenue is generally a quiet road, it is not a priority either for Council or cyclists.
Local resident, Ian Moore said as a cyclist, he would still ride down the middle of the road.
“But it is good for kids, elderly, and people with dogs, it keeps them separated from the cars,” he said.
There was a discussion for further improvements to the design, James Charlwood suggesting lining the swale with stones or creating raingardens, similar to those used by Maroondah Council in comparable situations, to assist in slowing the water and creating cleaner runoff into the creek.
The finalised plans will be returned to the community and, unless the project becomes subject to a cultural heritage review, construction is hoped to commence in mid-2023.

Staying safe by the river

THE YARRA is a large part of life in Warrandyte, so when the weather gets hot, our river becomes a popular place to swim, paddle, and have fun in the water for locals and tourists alike.
However, it is important to know the risks when swimming in nature.
Tragically, people drown each year in lakes, beaches, rivers, waterfalls, and bays across Victoria.
The dangers of swimming in the Yarra were brought home recently when the search for a man who vanished after telling his friends he was going swimming in the river ended in tragedy.
Frank Mellia was visiting Warrandyte with friends at Taroona Reserve, Warrandyte, on January 14, when the 39-year-old left his friends to head towards the river at about 3pm.
When he did not return, his concerned friends later tried to find him before contacting police to report him missing.
Police and SES searched through the bush and used inflatable paddleboards to comb the water.
The police air wing and divers also assisted in the search.
The following Monday, Victoria Police confirmed he had been found dead.

Staying safe by the river

On January 19, 2023 — about the halfway point of summer, the Royal Life Saving Summer Drowning Toll recorded that 43 people have drowned across Australia since December 1, 2022.
The majority of people who have drowned are men aged between 18 and 64 years.
With another month of summer to go, Royal Life Saving (RLS) is urgently warning people to stay vigilant around water and emphasises that drowning can happen when we least expect it.
Royal Life Saving Chief Executive Officer Justin Scarr is pleading with people to exercise caution around water, even if they are familiar with the environment and confident in their knowledge and skills, especially men.
“Sadly, we’ve seen a number of people drowning when attempting to rescue family members and when swimming alone,” Mr Scarr said.
“This summer, 43 families and communities have lost a loved one to drowning — one drowning is one too many.
“The leading activities at the time have been swimming, boating, and kayaking.
“These deaths have occurred at both inland and coastal locations.
“We urge people to consider their safety around the water by checking the conditions, being aware that weather and water conditions can change quickly, knowing your limits, avoiding alcohol, and wearing a lifejacket.
“If you see someone in difficulty, go and get help and alert emergency services as soon as possible.
“We want everyone to have a great day out and come home safely,” he said.
It is important to be aware of the risks and stay safe.
Whether you’re swimming, boating, or even just relaxing on the bank, there are many hidden dangers that you may not be aware of.
The Yarra is famously known as the upside-down river due to its muddy waters that hide many dangers beneath the surface.
Especially following the recent flooding events, there are many submerged objects that can prove to be very dangerous.
It is important to be aware of the dangers and always take care around water.
Remember that water conditions that may have been suitable one day can change hourly with the current.
There are no lifeguards along the river, and many people enjoy swimming in secluded spots, meaning should someone get into trouble, there may not be anyone there to assist you.
RLS has provided the following tips for staying safe while enjoying our river:

  • Strong currents and fast-flowing water.
    Check the current by throwing a leaf into the water to see the speed it travels.
If you get caught in a current, float on your back feet first, and go with the current — don’t panic.
  • Submerged objects such as rocks, snags and tree branches.
    Check the depth of the water and look for submerged objects using a stick.
Don’t jump or dive into the water.
Enter the water slowly and feet first.
  • Slippery banks and uneven surfaces.
    Unintentional falls into water are a significant risk.
  • Changing seasonal patterns and floodwater.
    Make sure you check the weather forecast and water conditions before venturing out.
Never drive through floodwaters.
  • Cold water.
    Water temperatures in rivers, lakes and dams can drop to freezing in winter and cause cold water shock if you fall in.

Know your risk factors

According to data collected by RLS, rivers and creeks claim more lives each year than any other type of waterway in Australia.
Drowning in rivers and creeks:

  • 25 per cent of drowning deaths occurred in rivers/creeks
  • 37 per cent of drowning deaths in rivers/creeks involved alcohol
  • Most deaths involved people aged 18 to 45 years
  • 81 per cent of all drowning deaths in rivers/creeks were male
  • 72 per cent of people lived within 100km of where they drowned

What happened immediately prior to drowning:

  • 21 per cent of people were swimming and recreating
  • 18 per cent of drowning deaths were due to an unintentional fall
  • 11 per cent of people were boating

Statistics from 2019/20 indicated that of all the drownings in Victoria during that period, 15 per cent were due to unintentional falls into the water.
This is a particular risk factor in children aged 0 to 4 years and people aged 65+ years.
Falls also play a part in alcohol and drug-related drowning incidents, as well as those where people have misjudged the hazards, such as uneven or slippery banks, strong currents and submerged objects.
Of drowning deaths in Victoria during that period, unintentional falls into water accounted for:

  • 75 per cent of children aged 0 to 4
  • 15 per cent of people aged 65+
  • 11 per cent of children aged 5 to 14
  • 10 per cent of men aged 25 to 64
  • 7 per cent of young people aged 15 to 24

Plan to survive

Simple safety measures can make all the difference between a great day out and a tragedy; RLS has a list of tips to help make your day on the river safer.

  • Take a phone with you.
  • Let someone know where you’re going and when you will be back.
  • Check conditions before entering the water.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Do not overestimate your ability and underestimate the dangers in rivers.
  • Actively supervise children around water.
  • Enter the water slowly, feet first.
  • Take care around crumbling riverbeds and slippery edges.
  • Avoid underwater obstacles such as rocks, branches, and rubbish.
  • Take care when walking on unstable or slippery riverbeds.
  • Avoid crossing flooded waterways.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs around water.
  • Wear a lifejacket when boating or using watercraft.
  • Learn first aid and CPR, so you’re prepared if an accident is to happen.

Tree dangers
It is not just in the water that you should be alert.
Recent flooding events followed by dry conditions have seen several trees fall over as their shallow roots let go in the changing soil conditions, often without warning.
A man was airlifted to hospital on January 28 after a falling tree hit him as he picnicked with friends at Normans Reserve.
North Warrandyte CFA and Ambulance Victoria attended the scene in Bradleys Lane, North Warrandyte, and transported the man to a waiting helicopter.
The chopper landed at Warrandyte Reserve around 6pm, interrupting the 1st XIs match against Wonga Park.
Warrandyte 1st XI Captain Ben Taylor told the Diary they were in their 70th over when the helicopter began circling overhead.
“It became pretty obvious it needed to land on the oval, so we pulled up stumps to make way for it,” said Mr Taylor.
Members of Warrandyte CFA were on hand at the oval to support the ambulance crews and facilitate vehicle access to the oval.
While it is wonderful to be out enjoying our State Park, remember the dangers both on the water and on land.
In the case of an incident, phone emergency services on 000 and use the emergency markers along the river to provide an accurate location.
Alternatively, download the emergency plus app on your smartphone for assistance providing your exact location and contacting appropriate help.

Electric Avenue: EV Expo coming to Doncaster Hill

MC2 BECOMES Electric Avenue this October with the Future Vehicle Expo.
Two years in the making, due to the pandemic, the combined Rotary clubs of Doncaster, Manningham, and Templestowe, with support from Manningham Council, will present an electric wonderland with display cars, seminars, vendor stands, and even an electric bike test track, managed by local electric bicycle businesses REV Bikes.
The Diary sat with expo coordinator David Rosenwax of the Rotary Club of Doncaster to discuss their forthcoming expo.
“We are asking the public, is now the right time to buy electric cars?
“We want people to be more conscious about the world and how green we can make it.
“I think we need to start looking at being greener and modifying our ways and we know there are a lot of challenges in people’s minds.
“So we are hoping the seminar speakers can talk the general public through that,” he said.
Three seminars will be chaired and panelled by industry experts throughout the day:

  • Electric Vehicle Technology and Charging
  • Sustainable Travel Options and Technology for In-Car Safety and Travel Information
  • Automated and Driverless Vehicles and Trials, are we there yet?

Alongside the seminars will be a range of electric and vintage cars on display, including a petrol DeLorean – similar to the one used in the Back to the Future film franchise.
“We’ve got Doncaster and Warrandyte Scouts attending and they are going to run the DeLorean stand.
“I bought a Doc Emmett costume so hopefully they can make a few bob out of that by taking photos of people standing next to him and the car.”
With a range of other community groups also attending, it is hoped these groups can use the opportunity to raise awareness, and maybe vital funds, for their organisations.
One of the biggest topics of discussion surrounding electric vehicles, especially in Australia, is range, especially when electric vehicle incentives are compared to places like Europe and Scandinavia.
David said countries like Finland are only two years away from phasing out petrol vehicles, but the vast distances in Australia make the uptake of electric vehicles challenging.
“Finland is a small compact country – and Sweden and all those places – they’re great, they can do it, but they don’t have roads that go from here to Perth with only three cars on the road for the next 500 kilometres.
“We’re a large country with a population of around 25 million and maybe only eight to 12 million people own a car.
“It’s very different.”
David went on to talk about the type of infrastructure you see in more densely populated countries, of expansive service stations with banks and banks of charging booths and a fully serviced restaurant, which some argue is not practical in Australia at this time.
“There are all sorts of issues to be resolved here, but I think there’s a lot of negativity around it and I’m hoping this event might help negate some of that negativity.”
Batteries and electric cars are evolving systems and while range has greatly improved, and – in theory – Melbourne to Sydney would be possible on the same number of recharges as the equivalent tanks of fuel, access to charging points appears to be the biggest hurdle, outside of the current supply chain issues impacting many industries.
So, Mr Rosenwax suggests that maybe we skew our thinking to consider electric as an urban solution.
EV Automotive is a Queensland-based electric vehicle company specialising in electric vans; their EC-11 electric van will also be on display at the expo.
“It’s an electric one-ton van and it can do 400km [per charge] – you wouldn’t drive around the city in any one day and do that many kilometres.
“So, I am thrilled they are coming because that shows the world you can drive around the city, it seems to be a bit of an urban thing,” he said.
With everything from electric bicycles and scooters to electric cars and even solar-powered vehicles alongside some vintage petrol cars for lovers of historic vehicles, there is likely something for everyone.
For more information and to book tickets for the free seminars visit futurevehicleexpo.com.au.

Making a bee-friendly garden

I HAVE ALWAYS had a love of bees.
My dear old dad used to call me “Bees Knees”, I assume because I had skinny legs and knobbly knees – but maybe because he thought I was.
Bee emblems, embossing, and art are scattered around my home.
My absolute favourite bee is the good old English Bumble Bee.
I have beautiful memories of them in the gardens of Giverny and Versailles on trips.
Giant, slow-moving bumble bees that bounce off you if they run into you. Home in Warrandyte, we have our beautiful Blue-banded Bee.
I had always wanted to learn beekeeping and wear the groovy gear, but of course, time was always short, and it always seemed such a huge endeavour.
I contacted the Victorian Apiarist Society and tracked down a local beekeeper who would come and set up his hives on my acreage and maintain them for me.
I get the gorgeous bee chit-chat from my “Dietmar” and jars of honey from my bees.
I thought that when Dietmar came to assess my property, I would be able to prettily point over there to a pretty spot in the garden for the hives to look pretty, but no.
The hive position decision on the property was a long and complicated process based on wind, flowering gums and shrubs, and access to water.
So, the hives are in a position that is not “pretty” and not somewhere I would have chosen at all, but the bees are happy and content and very industrious and produce beautiful Yellow Box honey.
Now I try to fill my garden with as many varied flowering shrubs as possible, so I always have something flowering at all times of the year.
Water is always a concern for them, especially over the summer months, and I often sit for an hour just watching the coming and going of the bees from flower to flower and from water bowl to water bowl.
Four hives in winter, two in summer. If you don’t have time or room or are wary of bees in general, you can get some great bee hotels that will encourage native bees into the garden.
Kids will love being involved in setting your hotel in position.
Not only do the bees love all the shrubs I am planting (currently, they love the salvias, camellias and the Erysimum or native wallflowers), but they also love herbs.
Herbs are a great addition to the garden, intermingled with other trees and shrubs, in the vegetable garden, in pots or even in cane baskets (which you should never throw away).
They will eventually rot down, but they look beautiful, planted with herbs or bulbs.
I currently have big cane washing baskets full of daffodils, and I will soon plant the bearded irises.
No rest for the wicked.
Most herbs need a good supply of sunshine, and often in the right area in the garden, they will tend to grow like weeds.
If you don’t cut off the seed heads, you will find new ones popping up to replace the old ones.
And the bees won’t want you to deadhead them either.
If you feel the need to deadhead, only deadhead half of them. I have borage popping up everywhere at the moment.
Beautiful pale blue flowers will soon appear, though I just have the serrated fuzzy borage leaves at the moment.
Bees love borage, and so do I.
I have pink borage seeds to sow soon – something new I picked up somewhere, or did someone gift them to me?
Basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, lavender, coriander, chives, lemon balm, and mint. Bees love them all; so plant them all.
They even love onion weed, dandelions, thistles and nettles, so there is always a reason for you to have a couple of weedy plants somewhere in the garden.
“Oh, they are for the bees”, not “I can’t keep on top of the weeding”.
Most plants that flower are brilliant for pollinators.
Grasses, flaxes, and foliage plants are brilliant in the garden but make sure that you add plenty of flowering shrubs for the bees.
My grevilleas at the moment are a smorgasbord for bees and birds.
They are alive with activity.
Also, if you have bees or are trying to attract them to your garden, try only using natural methods for pest eradication.
There are plenty of natural products and recipes online to get rid of caterpillars and aphids from the garden, but sometimes you just need to pop on some gardening gloves and pluck them off.
It is quite therapeutic.
If you do this and you have chickens, you will be the most popular person in the hen house, as the chooks will love their little insect treats.
My go-to cheap aphid spray is a squirt bottle with a teaspoon full of crushed garlic (I buy the cheap no-name jar of it), a squirt of dishwashing detergent and fill to the top with water.
Give it a good shake, strain and then pop it back into the bottle.
Spray on the roses in particular.
It seems to work for me.
It is meant to deter possums too.
Also, I was looking online and found that you can buy boxes of ladybirds to combat the aphid problems in your garden.
What a gorgeous gift for someone.
There are four common garden species of ladybird in Australia.
The common spotted ladybird is bright orange with black dots on its back.
They are a predator of aphids, scale insects and mites.
An adult ladybird can eat up to 2,500 aphids during their lifetime.
The fungus-eating ladybird has very bold black and yellow colouration.
Both adults and larvae feed on mildew fungus, a common problem in gardens in September.
Have a gorgeous September in the garden. Plant up herbs, and throw around seeds with gay abandon.
Enjoy the first days of spring.
Bee Happy.