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Restrictions easing earlier

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

Metro Roadmap

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

Regional Roadmap

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

Transformation close to home

Meeting with remarkable trees

REMARKABLE TREES is a monthly reflection on the old, the sacred, the mysterious and the poetic.
Although some of our travel distance restrictions have been lifted, when I first put pen to paper for this month’s tree, my best option was to stay close to home.
While wandering around the garden and contemplating on trees as a reflection of life, I noticed a large one previously very much taken for granted, like something you grew up with that became part of your furniture.
It is a Sweet Pittosporum (pittosporum undulatum).
Local from south-eastern Queensland to north-eastern Victoria, sweet pittosporum is considered a pest species in Manningham and neighbouring LGAs.
Despite this, the fine specimen on my parent’s property has been growing for 50 years now.
Over the years, all its offspring have been removed as they can spread rapidly via the digestive tracts of birds who enjoy its berries.
So what is it about sweet pittosporum that suits this particular time?
Adjusting to “COVID life” during the last two years and being a mindfulness meditation practitioner, there has been endless opportunity to reflect on my thoughts and attitude towards others.
Recently in group discussion, we agreed we have felt challenged by vax versus anti-vax, mask versus no mask, those who appear to throw caution to the wind and consequently initiate yet another lockdown, and more recently, protests spattered with anger and violence.
I am quick to disapprove initially, because like many, I am a bit fed up.
Following up with my friends however, I am startled.
Some of them have charged headlong down the conspiracy road.
Others insist on the dangers of vaccination and produce “evidence” to support this.
Some have been abusive because I chose to vaccinate while others who have well-considered their choices and taken responsibility for them could not have been more respectful of my own.
Certainly, life can deliver surprises.
In pondering with the latter friends, we ruminated on attitudes that seem to be manifesting in the world at large; the polarising divisiveness that omits a certain kind of poison into society that excludes all who differ in belief.
Hence my attention is drawn to sweet pittosporum.
Somewhere in my learning I adopted the belief that pittosporum was poisonous.
I believed it omitted a toxin that prevented other plants from growing. I thought the leaves were poisonous when in water, preventing all pond life from thriving.
In considering this, I realised I could have been wrong all along, and that what mattered was to find recent, well- presented, peer-reviewed research done by qualified people.
In pursuit of this, I find that sweet pittosporum indeed has a substance some other native plants don’t like, but has no more poison than any other tree that absorbs nutrition from soil such that nothing else can easily grow underneath it.
Instead, I find it is the protective shade of its dense, dark green canopy that discourages other plants from taking seed.
As a tree, it presents a conventional, storybook shape of being broader than it is tall.
It’s laurel-like leaves are thick, strong and glossy, and as it expands with the energy of spring, the tips manifest as swirls of bright, enthusiastic freshness.
While in bloom, it expresses a profusion of creamy, bell-shaped flowers that fill the breeze with the sweet, heady perfume.
The bees respond, and beckoned by curiosity, I lean into the hum of honey production and the busyness of the bee world in action.
Later in the month I can expect clusters of bright orange fruits that reveal a sticky red interior with black seeds — a food source for birds and mammals.
Far from being poisonous, it unfolds its benefit to others and proves to be as much a part of the bigger picture as any other tree.
So here is the interesting part.
Some authorities declared it as not noxious in Victoria while others state it is a significant environmental weed, which returns me to opinions that I’m sure most of us have had around all things COVID.
I’m guessing we all have opinions about who or what is noxious or significantly pesky in our society.
But come closer to home.
In asking me to check in, this fine- looking piece of sweet pittosporum garden furniture, makes me consider again and again what my own thoughts and actions create in the world.
In disapproving of those with different ideas, I run the risk of categorising them as a toxic pest and therefore unbeneficial to society.
In resisting them, I mirror the very resistance I disapprove of, thereby becoming complicit in the divisiveness I don’t want.
This supposedly-toxic tree on my home ground presents the challenge of our times; to question fully our opinions and reactions and to act with the utmost integrity, care and skilful means regarding our values and the society we want to create.

Jennah is captivated by the quiet presence of trees and is currently training to facilitate Forest Therapy.
If you have a favourite tree you’d like to share, please email her jennahmrose@outlook.com

Cricket returns to Warrandyte Reserve

CRICKET SEASON is fast approaching and Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) is ready to take to the crease.

Bloods stand ready to take the crease

THE TARGET HAS been set at 80 per cent double vaccination, the scoreboard is ticking over at a solid rate as the supply of shots increase, whatever happens from here, whenever we reach the required rate, Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) will be ready.
We are a long way from going back to sport, and life as we knew it.
But sporting clubs are planning and putting in place the necessary work to ensure that when we finally return to play, it is done correctly.
Speaking to the Diary, Greg Warren from the WCC has outlined the plan for the club moving forward.

“Cricket Victoria are in control of the return date for all the leagues,” said Greg.

While no exact date has been set, Greg says the club and Cricket Victoria are working towards a return to training and competition in November.
Cricket Victoria are aiming for the weekend of November 6/7, which is earmarked as the first weekend after the lockdown ends, assuming the state hits its 80 per cent target.
This would be the best-case scenario, but Greg says that the association have several contingency plans, and the club will comply with any additional guidelines.
WCC need to work with Manningham Council to have a return to play and train plan in place, and Greg says, with regards to compliance “we are advanced as we can be”.

“We have a COVID Plan, and a return to play plan.
“And a hospitality plan so we can use the clubrooms.
“We have the QR codes which are a way of life, we did alot of this last year so this time around it is not as challenging.”

With so much out of the control of the club, the focus turns to making sure those who want to play, can play.
The season, whenever it takes place, is shaping as one with a good player turnout.

“We are confident, as club player registration is going well, at this stage interest is as high as it has ever been.” Greg said.

Just having numbers is not enough for WCC, the goal is to make sure that everyone feels included and everyone can play, regardless of their situation. In what has been a tough time socially and financially, WCC is committed to its players and the community.

“If a player is having trouble with a job, struggling to pay fees, and they want to play cricket, our first priority is to get them playing cricket, the fees come second.
“That’s our investment, the players and the community”.

The biggest struggle this season will be ground space.
With eight senior teams as well as juniors, womens, and veterans, plus a general increase in playing numbers across the competition, having enough grounds to play on will loom as the main 2022 challenge.
It will be important that any ground available is in top condition, and at Warrandyte Reserve, that process is well underway.
The cricket wickets are uncovered and new run-ups with hybrid grass / synthetic are being installed on both the centre wicket and training nets.
Then later in the month a new wicket cover will go on the centre pitch; all in readiness for the season ahead.

Photos: GREG WARREN

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     Growing opportunities for women’s and girls’ cricket

By SUSAN FOREMAN

WOMEN’S CRICKET is growing in popularity across Australia and the world, and Warrandyte is no different.
Girls’ Coordinator, Michelle Heffernan said Warrandyte Cricket Club is excited to be welcoming two Junior Girls’ teams to the club this season.

“After last year’s team success, the girls are looking forward to getting back out onto the field.
“With more girls interested in playing we can provide more opportunities fielding both stage one and stage two teams for the season,” Michelle said.

Girls aged 7–17 will have the opportunity to play and beginners are welcome.
Junior Girls play for free for their first year, so it is a great way to try out a new sport.
WCC Women’s Social team are also looking forward to getting back on the ground and will be fielding a team in the brand new Inner East Social Women’s competition.
This T20 competition is played every second Sunday and, with eight teams registered, is becoming increasingly popular.
Sharon Lyons from Cricket Victoria said they are looking keenly at Victoria’s roadmap to see when play can begin.

“It is looking like being a great competition, we are very excited,” she told the Diary.

Michelle said it is a “fantastic way to have a hit and have some fun on a Sunday”.
It is free to join, thanks to Eastern Cricket Association and Box Hill Reporter League.

“We are always looking for new players in the girls’ and women’s teams and look forward to welcoming you to the Warrandyte Cricket Club,” said Michelle.

For more details or to get in touch head to www.warrandytecc.com or email mheffernan1975@gmail.com

Girls Cricket team 2020/21

Our park gets a Woi Wurrung name

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

Recognising Lions

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

wonguim wilam park, Warrandyte

wonguim wilam park

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

 

A brief history of wonguim wilam

By VALERIE POLLEY
WARRANDYTE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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

WHS Newsletter December 1982

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

Riverside Rallies

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

Bridging the Yarra

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

Bridge Café

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

Kia-Ora and Taffy Jones residence

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

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

Big Build responds to community concerns

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

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

Fitzsimons Lane

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

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

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

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

Hurstbridge Line Duplication

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

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

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

North East Link

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

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

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

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

Earthquake update

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

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

Locals plea to save Apollo Park

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

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

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

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

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

Sawdust in his veins

RYAN GASKETT HAS spent the last 10 years with the smell of sawdust and two stroke in his nostrils.
The filmmaker has been filming chainsaw artist Leigh Conkie since 2012 for the feature length documentary Leigh, which will have its premiere screening at ACMI in December.
Ryan first met the iconic Eltham artist while at film school.
He said he had always loved looking at the sculptor’s “outdoor gallery”, which is a feature of everyone’s commute along Eltham’s Main Road, so he jumped at the chance to interview him.
“We had to make a short documentary, and I chose to do stories from the neighbourhood, and a friend introduced me to his neighbour, and I interviewed him for two hours and made a 10-minute documentary about him,” he told WD Bulletin.
Ryan said the initial short film could not do the chainsaw artist justice, as there was so much more he wanted to tell about Leigh, so the initial interview was the first of many filming sessions they had over several years.
In late 2014, Ryan filmed Leigh sculpting a female asylum seeker holding a baby.
Then, Ryan said, they did a late-night installation of the work on the lawn of The Age’s then headquarters in Collins Street, Melbourne.
Within hours, security guards had removed the sculpture, but the installation had made its point — raising awareness of refugee issues and generating thousands of “Likes” online.
While Leigh Conkie is known around Eltham for his chainsaw art, Ryan said the film is not really about that, it is about the man behind the artist.
“He’s had a pretty hard life, he was abused as a child, had been in a major car accident, and he was in a pretty down place”.
Ryan said at one stage, Leigh lost the passion for his art and was just producing playground features for the money.
The bulk of the film was recorded between 2014 and 2016, when Leigh made the decision to turn his life around.
“He was going through a pretty low point in his life at the time, and he decided to give himself a goal and go to Japan to climb Mount Fuji,” he said.
Ryan said while that was a pretty “out there” thing to do, anyone who knew Leigh thought it was totally something that he would do.
“I actually have the moment he made the decision to do it on camera, he made his mind up while we were in the middle of an interview,” the filmmaker said.
From then, he stopped drinking and started running and working out and eating healthy — although he wouldn’t give up the cigarettes.
Ryan said it was a big deal for Leigh to attempt something as big as climbing Mt Fuji, because at the time he could barely walk to the local 7Eleven.
But Ryan was there with Leigh every step of the way, documenting the long road to his health and his art.
Originally crowd sourced through Pozible, the filmmaker managed to get a host of local collaboration on the film, including local composer Charly Harrison scoring the documentary, and including music from the Teskey Brothers, and Gotye.
The film was originally due to be premiered in October, but due to COVID, the screening has been moved to December, and has already sold out.
A second ACMI screening in February has just been announced, and if you get in quick, tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

‘Leigh’ – Documentary Trailer from Ava Grace Productions on Vimeo.

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Photos courtesy: RYAN GASKETT

Classic Movies: The Day the Earth Stood Still

A MAN COMES down from the Heavens with a message of peace for all mankind.
He lives amongst us as a simple carpenter.
When the powers that be reject his message, he begins to perform miracles to get their attention.
The authorities become afraid and murder him.
An angel opens up the place where his body lies and on the third day he lives again.
He ascends back to the Heavens, promising to return again when the world is ready to hear his message.
Sound familiar?
That is in a nutshell the story of the Day the Earth Stood Still – perhaps made more relevant to more secular audiences when the visitor (Klaatu – Michael Rennie) comes down from the stars in a spaceship (more believable to some than an immaculate birth) and wants to address the United Nations with his message/warning that the world needs to come together to survive.
While he waits for his answer, he lives in boarding house under the name of John Carpenter (Get it? Lives amongst us as a carpenter?).
He befriends a widow, Helen Benson (Patricia Neal) and her son Bobby (Billy Gray).
His fearsome sidekick, a robot named Gort that speaks in tongues, is his Angel helper and waits on the spaceship until he is needed.
John Carpenter teaches Helen to speak the immortal words “Klaatu berada nikto” and instructs her to give the message to Gort in the event of anything happening to him.
The United Nations rejects his message of Peace and togetherness, so Klaatu warns that he will give them a demonstration of his powers at noon the following day.
And sure enough, right at that time, the power goes off around the world.
Well, that gets everyone’s attention and even the US military become afraid of him.
As he addresses the world, a nervous soldier panics at the sight of his next gift (we will never know) and Klaatu is shot dead and his body stored in a military warehouse.
Mary goes to an offline Gort and utters the message as she was taught.
Gort comes on line immediately, goes to the warehouse and rolls back the doors, emerging with Carpenter’s limp and lifeless body.
He takes him back to the spaceship and Klaatu emerges next day, hale and hearty.
He announces that the world is not yet ready to hear his message and we have all missed our chance, but if we’re good he promises to return one day when we need him most.
Then the spaceship takes off from the Whitehouse lawn and Klaatu ascends back into the Heavens.
This 1951 version of the film is one of the most seminal sci-fi stories of the canon.
The 2008 version starring Keanu Reeves has amazing special effects, but only a fraction of the impact of the low-budget 1951 story.
In fact, when the almighty powers of Klaatu are released in 1951, we are in a lift and see little of the chaos assumed to be going on outside, aside from a few stalled cars.
In 2008 we see it all, plus a raging and angry Klaatu, but somehow, we remain unchanged and disinclined to mend our ways.
Gort, the 1951 robot/angel of the story, has been listed as one of the top five giants of all time.
He is portrayed by Lock Martin, who was actually seven and a half feet tall.
At the time of making the film, the message of Peace was not popular with the government while it was engaged in war with Korea.
Robert Wise, who directed the film, said that it was virtually impossible to obtain any help from the military at that time in the way of tanks, artillery or even uniforms.
So soon after World War Two, peace was already a bad word.
The film begins with Klaatu’s spacecraft circling the earth at unbelievable speeds before landing on a baseball field in Washington, being tracked on WW2-style big table maps with tokens pushed along by long sticks.
With the recent release of the now-famous “tic-tac” UFO footage, the similarities in the accompanying soundtracks are quite marked.
What would happen if a spaceship landed on the lawn in front of Parliament House these days?
Would we immediately assume hostile aliens?
Or would it presage peace on earth?
How many aliens would end up on Manus Island?

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Run Warrandyte: Runners take your mark

GET YOUR diaries out and dust off your runners.
The team at Run Warrandyte have been busy as bees preparing for next year’s event and we are super proud to announce that Run Warrandyte 2022 will be held on Sunday, March 6.
All your favourite running events will be back in 2022, including the 2.5km, 5km, 10km, 15km and we will also see the return of the kid’s sprint — let’s get real, who doesn’t love a lolly bag.
We can honestly say that there is an event for everyone, whatever your age or your fitness level and with such a fabulous response to our newest event, we are thrilled to announce that the “tough as old boots” 21km will be back, catering for the hard-core runners and the daredevils in our community.
2022 will see the return of the Runner’s Village featuring sponsors, local businesses, entertainment and a selection of food and beverage options.
We sadly missed the Village in 2021 due to Coronavirus restrictions, but we are ever hopeful that 2022 will see a brighter outcome for community events, not to mention we love seeing your smiling, hot, sweaty, faces enjoying the post-run vibe and reliving how many times you ran up the Pound Road hill.
We will be reaching out for interest as the year progresses, so keep an eye on our socials if you would like to be involved in the Village.
Warrandyte Tips and Trails articles and our RW22 Runners Profile will also be a feature on social media this year, so we encourage the community to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and also sign up for newsletters via our webpage for all your Run Warrandyte information.
Lastly, we can’t run this event without the amazing sponsorship of community business and the brilliant donations we receive every year, so again we sincerely thank you guys for your support.
Our 2021 amazing sponsors included:
The Grand Hotel, Quinton’s IGA, Ringwood Warrandyte Osteo, Swift Caravans, Charlie Bins, Johnson Reimer, Long Life Health Care, Just Water, Oxygen8 and of course our major sponsor the Community Bank Warrandyte.
We are always looking for sponsorship, so if your business would like to come on board, we would love to have you.
Registration will open in September, so stay tuned.

To find out more, find Run Warrandyte on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website runwarrandyte.com

Writers set sights on the Nillumbik Prize

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

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

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

Judges

Alan Marshall Short Story Prize:

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

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

Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Writing – Poetry:

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

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

Its 17th year

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

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

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

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

Doggie doo and cat curfews

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

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

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

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

10 issues of community concern have been highlighted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiveways intersection strikes again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ms Dixon wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Woi-wurrung name for our park

THE UPGRADED park and land along the Yarra River in Warrandyte, locally known as Lions Park, will be given an official Woi-wurrung name to reflect the language, culture and heritage of the local Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people.
Once endorsed by Council at its September meeting, the park will be officially named wonguim wilam.
Following earlier consultation with key stakeholders, Manningham Council met with the Warrandyte Lions Club and Masterplan Community Reference Group, who showed support to adopt a Woi-wurrung name for the park.
Council has worked with Aunty Doreen and the Wurundjeri Woi- wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, who has provided the park name of “wonguim wilam” [pronounced “won-goom willum”], which means “boomerang place”.
Manningham Mayor Cr Andrew Conlon said Council’s commitment to reconciliation is underpinned by respect for the rich and complex nature of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung culture and heritage and thanked the Warrandyte Lions Club for taking up this important opportunity in reconciliation.

“While Council has committed to creating equity, equality and building relationships, and is close to finalising our Reconciliation Action Plan, reconciliation requires a commitment from the whole community,” he said.
“The Lions Club has shown their willingness to be a community leader by supporting this name change.”

In the coming weeks the precinct will officially adopt the Woi-wurrung name approved by the Wurundjeri Woi- wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, honouring the original owners of the land.

“We would like to thank past and present members of the Warrandyte Lions Club of the last 40-plus years for maintaining the park and the tennis courts, as well as contributing $45,000 towards the latest exercise equipment,” Cr Conlon said.

Warrandyte Lions Club President David Englefield said it was an honour to look after the park and provide a much loved gathering space for the community over the last four decades.

“The Lions Club has always been looking to make a difference and improve the lives of the Warrandyte people and others in our community,” he said.
“Reconciliation is important and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Council and with due consultation, provide leadership in honouring First Nations communities.”

Works on the playspace upgrade are anticipated to begin early next year and completed by mid-2022.
The completed upgrade of the park will feature significant signage taking visitors on a journey through its history and the involvement of the Warrandyte Lions Club.
Manningham will continue to work with the Warrandyte Lions Club on recognising their contributions on a plaque and interpretive signage.
Manningham will continue to work with the Warrandyte Lions Club, Warrandyte Historical Society and the Warrandyte Community Association on the maintenance of the park to ensure it honours its past and present custodians.
An official naming ceremony is planned to be held when COVID restrictions allow.

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Get out on the green

LAWN BOWLS has seen a resurgence over recent times and the sport is growing in popularity around the world as people of all ages see the benefits of getting out on the green. And in Manningham it is no different.
With multiple clubs across the municipality, residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a green close to them.
Each club offers something slightly different, with everything from barefoot bowls to Pennant competitions, there really is something for everyone.
Greg Hodson from Templestowe Bowling Club said members enjoy a club atmosphere and ethic that values sporting participation.

“It is a club that demonstrates community spirit, honesty and friendship, good sportsmanship but most importantly promotes having a good time,” he said.

The club offers Saturday and midweek Pennant Competition in the summer season.

“Interclub challenge matches and Intraclub Tournaments are also eagerly anticipated and highly enjoyable events,” Greg said.

Recreational and casual bowling is made available, and Saturday social games are played outside of the summer season, and Wednesday social games are played all year round.
He said Barefoot Bowling is scheduled every Sunday or upon request.
Donvale Bowls Club’s Robert Fairweather said his club has a vision for its future, developing a strong administration, member participation, and importantly, coaching and encouragement, expressed as “Donvale a vibrant, growing and successful club”.
He said the club has overcome some hard times, but has been successfully embarking on a determined and assertive recruitment program, a program designed to attract and retain new bowlers.
The Club’s membership has grown in the last five years to 242 members and continues to grow.

“With 13 affiliated and qualified coaches, a coaching and development program in place, we are ensuring all our members, receive ample opportunities to achieve their potential as bowlers, coaches, umpires, committee members or selectors,” he said.

Rob said many new bowlers who join, are initially only interested in social bowling, have fun, enjoy the fellowship a club such as Donvale provides, lots of opportunities to keep them involved.
However, he said for those with a competitive spirit, Pennant sides provide an opportunity for all abilities. Donvale has both grass and synthetic greens, enabling members to play or roll up all year.
Rob said the club is indeed fortunate enlisting the services of current senior and highly credentialed playing Coach Scott Rees.
He said Scott has played an active and integral role in the success story associated with the Donvale Bowls Club. “Scott, our current Club Champion, continued on to win the coveted Champion of Champions — indeed a mighty effort,” Rob said.
Last season, Donvale had a remarkable Pennant season with eight teams qualifying and playing finals, including a promotion to Division 1.
New members are always welcome, and both the Templestowe and Donvale Bowls Clubs encourage anyone interested to get in touch.
No matter where you live, once play resumes after lockdown, there is a club ready to welcome you on to the green.

feature image: pixabay

A butterfly flaps its wings

in response to Derailed by the butterfly effect, (WD Bulletin, July 2021)

MANY IN MONTMORENCY welcomed the announcement of the Hurstbridge Line Duplication (HLD) project at the 2018 election.
In 2019, when the project was confirmed to start in 2021, the Montmorency community was promised an “upgrade” to our small, unmanned station following a community consultation period.
No information on planned design or footprint was given to the community during the consultation period from late 2019 until October 2020.
Montmorency locals were aware of investigative works taking place throughout 2019 and 2020, including environmental assessments as mandated by the Banyule Council Planning Scheme for any works in a declared Vegetation Protection Overlay 1 (VPO1) where native species are protected.
In January 2020, feedback was sought for Amendment GC155 to the Banyule Planning Scheme.
This was then superseded by clause 52.03 Level Crossing Removal Project of the Victorian Planning Scheme, passed in late January 2020.
Clause 52.03 gives the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXPR) wide-ranging scope to bypass all local planning schemes in order to facilitate any project undertaken by LXRP.
Only minimal consultation with councils or communities is required, and all reports and assessments can be carried out only “to the satisfaction of the Minister for Planning”, with no other checks and balances for compliance or responsibility.
The Environmental Management Framework (EMF) required by Clause 52.03 was not made available to the public, despite repeated requests directly to LXRP, until late June 2021 via Banyule Council.
The released EMF, dated March 29, 2021, is Revision 2 of the EMF.
We have been unable to obtain previous versions of this document to date.
The current EMF version does mention the discovery of the Eltham Copper Butterfly (ECB) in January 2021 and the actions taken to ensure the protection of its habitat since confirmation of its presence.
Environmentalists in Montmorency and beyond were extremely thankful to the local resident who recognised the endangered butterfly and reported its sighting to the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.
As WD Bulletin’s July article comprehensively related, the conditions for a colony of ECB to thrive are very particular and require a three-way symbiotic relationship between a native bush, Bursaria Spinosa, a specific species of ant, Notoncus genus, and the ECB.
We take issue however with Sonja Terpstra’s claims that the ECB “before this year, was not previously known to be in Montmorency” and “has never before been seen in Montmorency”.
According to a report Butterfly changes in a peri-urban landscape published in Austral Entomology, the colony was first detected in 1977, on a property on Looker Road.

“The Montmorency site was monitored for over 10 years (from 1977 to 1988) but was subsequently reduced in extent by housing development in 1985, and then the colony subsequently collapsed sometime during the late 1990s-early 2000s.”

According to a letter from the Hon. Jacinta Allan dated July 12, 2021:

“Since 2017, the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) has been conducting detailed ecological assessments to make sure the project would not threaten the ECB and its habitat.”

Yet these same ecological assessors failed to find any evidence of the presence of the ECB in an area where at least two of the three required species are present and would have been for a while, and close to where the ECB was recorded and monitored until the early 2000s.
The area around the rail cutting, currently fenced as an Environment Protection No-Go Zone, is also well-known to be a very significant example of pre-occupation remnant bushland where native species thrive.
It is not a stretch to assume that ecological assessments, carried out over almost four years, should have been actively looking for the ECB since it is part of the list of seven protected species potentially found in the project area as per the EMF.
Environmental and community groups are rightly worried that this fairly cavalier attitude to protecting areas of significant vegetation and wildlife is carrying through to other areas of the project.
This worry is borne out by the experience of members of the Banyule Sugar Glider Project and the Montmorency Community Group, who have been trying to work with LXRP to secure assurances that the Montmorency sugar glider colony would be shielded from impacts of the construction works as much as possible.
The Banyule Sugar Glider Project was awarded a $64,000 grant in 2019 as part of this State Government’s Pick My Project, a participatory budgeting community grants initiative carried out in 2018.
This same State Government’s LXRP has now destroyed a large part of the sugar gliders’ habitat in Montmorency and Greensborough.
The hard work of community volunteers, who nurtured and secured a thriving colony of over 70 sugar gliders in the area, was wiped out when LXRP removed most of the mature canopy trees found along the rail corridor between the Plenty River and the Diamond Creek, mostly for site access, car parks and a project whose scope is sorely lacking in foresight and benefits.
This rail corridor is also in a VPO1 zone and is recognised by local environmentalists and community groups as a thriving wildlife corridor supporting many native species of our precious and declining fauna.
LXRP’s consultation process with community groups has been tokenistic at best, and manipulated to fit their narrative at worst.
Many community members are feeling dejected and betrayed, having been used as pawns by the government’s spinning machine, to pay lip service to sham consultation processes.
As quoted in Derailed by the butterfly effect, LXPR downgraded its delivery expectations in light of the ECB habitat protection with peak services “on average every seven minutes from Greensborough, every 10 minutes from Montmorency and Eltham, and every 20 minutes from Diamond Creek, Wattle Glen and Hurstbridge, and will be delivered by the end of 2022”.
Montmorency is bearing the brunt of the environmental impacts of the project, yet it appears that there is no integrated plan to improve services and amenities along the Hurstbridge line as part of this $530m project, nor any political will to ensure a lasting legacy for the communities along the train line.
The revised design has deleted 950m of duplicated tracks and a brand-new bridge at Mountain View Road, yet we are told there have been no significant savings and that the extra services can now be achieved through signalling works. Calculations, based on the current PTV timetable, have found that the current morning peak services already meet the promised average of trains every seven minutes from Greensborough, 10 minutes from Eltham and 20 minutes from Hurstbridge.
Afternoon service peaks would require eight additional services to Greensborough, six to Eltham, and two to Hurstbridge to deliver the promised benefits.
LXRP has confirmed that only two additional services in the morning peak will be delivered at the end of 2022.
Once again, we question the extent of the construction impacts on the environment and the community for only two additional services in the morning and no change to afternoon services.
Many communities around Melbourne are seeing their precious green environment devastated and irreversibly changed for the worse, for the benefit of major infrastructure projects that are being imposed on them with no meaningful consultation, and with no regard for local planning and environmental safeguards.
Locals are being disempowered and silenced by large government agencies dedicated to spinning and selling major works on behalf of a state government without an integrated transport plan.
This is devastating for our local environment and far- reaching across our city.

Information session

LXRP had planned to host some information sessions to outline the changes to the project following the discovery of the Eltham Copper Butterfly (ECB) in Montmorency.
In a statement from Member of Eltham, Vicki Ward, it was announced that the current lockdown has made it clear that face-to-face sessions will not be able to be run. “I have asked LXRP to host an online information session regarding the changes to the project, to replace the sessions scheduled for last month,” she said.

An online information session will now be held at 4pm on Friday, August 27.

To register, please visit:

hurstbridge-line-duplication.eventbrite.com.au

Community representatives are calling on greater consultation on landscaping, colour scheme, and artwork of the Montmorency station upgrade, to allow the community to take ownership of the project.
Local activist Cécile Ménard said:

“Monty and its surrounding area is teeming with passionate environmentalists, artists and community-minded people who would love to put their mark on the heart of their village for the better”.
She urged the local member to call on LXRP to “revisit their token Landscaping Working Group, Stakeholder Liaison Group and 2021 Consultation Report (conducted when the community had no information on the design) and turn them into forces for good — there is still time.”

feature image supplied

Lockdown extended and tightened

Updated August 23

Pandemic of complacency

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

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

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

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

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

VCE Changes

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

Getting tested and vaccinated

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

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

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

The Warrandyte Pentathlon

MUCH ADO

By KATRINA BENNETT

2021 WAS PROVING to be a rollercoaster ride to rival the Tower of Terror or Arkham Asylum. Superheroes no longer had to live in Batcaves or steer clear of kryptonite. Nor was Hollywood necessarily on the Gold Coast. Those Hemsworth boys had made sure that Byron Bay was taking that dubious title, attracting micro-influencers like mice plagues to a grain silo. No longer were billionaires content to stand at the urinal together and swing their little fingers. No, they had to fly into space in crafts shaped like their underpaid and overworked minimum wage employees got together and said “Let’s design a ship that truly represents what we think of our boss”. Some people were lucky enough to escape the icy clutches of Melbourne’s winter and head north during the school holidays. They were awarded an extra 14 days off, isolated in their house with boutique bottle of gin, their mates Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime and Disney+ passwords, and a few bonus Covid tests for their efforts. The snow lovers weren’t neglected either. After missing the entire 2020 ski season, 80 per cent of Warrandyte’s population threw on their roof racks, dragged out the rusty snow chains and added alpine diesel to the fuel tank. Then they remembered they had bought a new petrol car, with different size wheels and a wider roof. The kids had grown, the adults hadn’t lost their iso-gut and the Warrandyte Secondhand Facebook page broke the internet as ski gear was traded with the same ferocity and lack of understanding as BitCoin. I still have 15 pairs of skis, 19 pairs of boots, 38 ski jackets, 29 pairs of pants and 29,000 non-matching pairs of mittens if anyone is still interested.
Victoria entered Lockdown 5.0. Muscle memory kicked in. No need to panic buy, no need to exercise more than two hours a day, we could ignore soaring petrol prices; we weren’t going more than five kilometres from home. This lockdown had an entertainment bonus that the previous four didn’t. The Olympics. Who doesn’t love an opening ceremony that at best is three hours too long and at its very best is full of weird interpretive dancing and disturbingly bewildering characters? It was my time to shine. I could dazzle my disinterested offspring with my encyclopaedic knowledge of absolutely nothing. Eyes went blurry from uninterrupted screen-time, thumbs blistered from incessant googling and I acquired a strange mottled hue to my skin as I slowly morphed into an unwashed coach potato. Turns out quad skulls is a rowing race not a Russian drinking game and the Coxless fours isn’t just a boat without any males in it. But the real revelation was the kayaking and canoeing. What a sport, there had to be more steel in their abs than in the reinforced concrete of the course. As I gaze out at the murky waters of the Yarra River, I briefly consider that this could be the sport for me. I mean, sure it would take a bit of work to transform from a mouldy couch potato to a well-oiled French Fry, I’m scared of water and by the time I’d got my act together I’d be eligible for the aged pension. Not impossible but I reckon I’d be more likely to win a Tattslotto draw that I never bought a ticket in. Lucky I’ve got the Modern Warrandyte Pentathlon to fall back on. A collection of five events that require the cunning of a fox near a henhouse, the speed of a kookaburra at a barbie and the patience of a horse at an anti-lockdown rally.
Event 1: The Duck Race
Twelve ducklings whose parents have left them unattended in your pool, need to be rescued and returned one-by-one to the negligent Mum and Dad. Time penalties are given for any ducklings lost to a circling wedge-tailed eagle or if contact is made by the attacking Drake, who hasn’t worked out you’re actually trying to help.
Event 2: The NBN Modem reset
When the power goes out it’s a race against time to reset the modem and get the wi-fi up and running before any teenagers emerge from their caves complaining the live gaming stream has dropped out. This a sport that requires precision timing. Too quick and you blow a fuse in the box and you’ll get lost in a telco call centre queue never to be heard from again. Too slow and hell hath no fury like an internet-less teenager, they can move lightening quick when they want to.
Event 3: The Skatepark Challenge
The quickest to run over to the fish and chip shop, order and take delivery of your minimum chips, six fried dim sims and a bottle of Gatorade. Run back to skatepark, consume, drop all rubbish on the ground and run for the bus stop. Time penalties incurred for being yelled at by an adult before getting on the 906 and disqualified if called out by an outraged member of the Warrandyte Community and Business Facebook page.
Event 4: The Mountain Bike slalom
The course runs along the river from Stiggants Reserve to the Stonehouse. Obstacles include dogs off lead, toddlers released from their pram and irregular groupings of baby boomers who drift like brown’s cows when you startle them. Bonus points for dog poo-less tyres at the finish line.
Event 5: The Double Scull
Simple — a pot and shot at the Grand Hotel. There are no rules and everyone’s a winner. The perfect end to a gruelling Modern Warrandyte Pentathlon.
But now Lockdown 5.0 is over; the roller-coaster ride continues with 6.0. The Gold Coast may still not be Hollywood, but it is now the home of the 2032 Olympics, the games that no one else wanted. And you can’t

Cricket gets set for 2021/22 season

PREPARATION IS WELL underway at the Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) for the upcoming season. Despite the disruption and impacts last season due to Coronavirus, the Club heads into 2021/22 in great shape. At the recent AGM, re-appointed President Bill Stubbs detailed how — despite COVID-19 — the club increased participation levels and community involvement last season. For 2020/21, WCC had its highest ever number of members, teams, and sponsors.
“It’s a great reflection of how in uncertain times, that importance of sport and the sense of community is vital.”
He then went on to talk about how the club plans to build on this success and strengthen community bonds.
“WCC is committed to providing a safe and friendly environment where all members can join in and participate, regardless of age, gender, or ability”, said Stubbs.
WCC will provide participation from Junior Blast for the littlest cricketers (5–8 year-old), Juniors from Under 10s to Under 18s, Junior Girls team, Women’s Social program, Senior teams, and Veterans teams including Over 40s, 50s, 60s and for the first time ever an Over 70s team.
The club also announced some key leadership roles for 2021/22. Matt Whitbread has taken on the role of High Performance Coach and will be implementing focused coaching, directed towards the club’s best young cricketers.
Ben Taylor, a mainstay of the 1st XI for many years, has been appointed Firsts’ Captain. He brings a wealth of experience and leadership ability to the role and says he is looking forward to having an impact on the playing group.
“It’s incredibly exciting for me to lead the team.
“With so much young talent, I can’t wait for the season to start, and to work with our younger players in helping them become great first eleven cricketers.”
Martin Rakuscek will again lead the WCC Junior Program supported by a great group of Team Coaches.
Michelle Heffernan will continue to lead the Girls and Women’s Program and build on the great success of last season.
Mick Spence will coordinate all the activity for the Veterans, keeping the spirit of cricket going regardless of age.
Pre-season training has commenced and will run through August/ September at Saxon Sport in Croydon (Juniors, Girls, and Women on Saturday afternoons at 2pm and Seniors on Sunday mornings at 10am) Anyone interested in getting involved and joining the Warrandyte Cricket Club in any way, as a player, social member, volunteer or sponsor, please make contact via the website: www.warrandytecc.com.

Lions Park “Taffy’s Green” set to stay

CONSTRUCTION IS set to commence on the Lions Park upgrade along the Warrandyte River Reserve, following Manningham Council being awarded a $300,000 grant as part of the Victorian State Government’s Local Parks Program. Manningham Mayor Cr Andrew Conlon said Manningham was successful in securing the maximum value of the grant per project from the Government’s $10 million program, and works are anticipated to begin early next year. At the end of 2020, Manningham consulted with the community on the concept plan for a new play space as part of the park’s upgrades. When the completed Stage 1 works were unveiled at the start of 2021, there were many that attended the highly successful Year of Wonders exhibition at the site who asked Council to retain the grassy area adjacent to Taffy’s Hut and happily, this has now been incorporated in the amended plans. Council said results showed there was a good level of support for the new play space, designed to connect children with nature and offer play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities.
“Thank you to everyone who provided feedback. “We’ve reviewed these and have adjusted the final plan,” Cr Conlon said. Overall, the community were in favour of the concept’s direction, including the natural look and feel of the space. However, Cr Conlon said there was large support for the existing grass space to remain, which required planners to reduce the size of the play space.
Changes to the final design include:
• retention of the open grass space
• reduced number of picnic tables
• smaller footprint on the main structure
• one less spinner.
The stage two upgrade includes:
• full play space design and upgrade
• new shelter, drinking fountain,
BBQ, picnic area to accompany the play space
• new art piece with an indigenous focus and community art piece.
“The successful grant application will enable us to make the necessary amendments and carry out the works, improving the amenity of the park,” said Cr Conlon. Works on the upgrade of the play space are anticipated to begin early 2022 and to be completed by June 2022. The existing play space will be completely removed for the duration of works. Council says the new upgrades will expand the existing play-space and aims to further connect the community with the natural habitat of Warrandyte. The play space is inspired by the animal crossing structure completed in Stage 1, and gives children the impression of moving among the trees like native animals. It will feature play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities. In addition, the ceramic leaves produced at the Warrandyte Pottery Expo have now been installed along the Warrandyte River Reserve. During the 2021 Warrandyte Pottery Expo, Warrandyte ceramic artist Jane Annois and Clay Talk at Montsalvat led a children’s art activity in creating these colourful “leaves” representing leaves from the local area. Landscaper, Crafted Landscape has now installed the new art element along the path edging by the new shelter under the bridge. Stage 2 works are anticipated to be completed in mid-2022.
The final plan is now available on: yoursay.manningham.vic.gov.au/lions-park.