Tag Archives: Mannigham

“Why not both?”

Libs to ditch rail plans in favour of health infrastructure

THE VICTORIAN Liberal and National parties  have announced that if they win the November election, the $35 billion first stage of the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) would be shelved, with the funds to be diverted into the health system.
Opposition leader, Matthew Guy said in a press conference on August 17 that Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill stations would be put on hold until Victoria “can afford it”.
This also means an indefinite delay for the remaining stages of the project, including Doncaster station.
Minister for the Suburban Rail Loop and Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said in a statement:

“Victorians voted for this project, that will create thousands of jobs — and Matthew Guy has finally come clean: the Liberals will cut the Suburban Rail Loop.”

Ms Allan said major projects of this scale take time, like with the City Loop — discussions on that project began in 1929 and construction was only completed in 1981.
Ms Allan said our growing city now needs an orbital rail loop to give effect to the vision laid out in Plan Melbourne.
This means that even if the SRL stays on track it will not be ready for decades, but placing it on the back burner will almost guarantee it will not be completed in our lifetime.
M&N Bulletin asked both Mr Guy and Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith, what the Liberal Party would be doing to improve public transport in Manningham, and the associated local jobs, to make up for the loss of the SRL.
Mr Smith told M&N Bulletin the Victorian Liberal-National Party is committed to strengthening public transport options across Victoria — particularly for regional communities — and will have more to say on its “comprehensive plans” over the coming months.

“There is no short to medium term plan by the Andrews Government for public transport improvements in Manningham,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said the Liberal and Nationals’ plan to rebuild Victoria’s health system includes the construction or upgrade of 20 hospitals across Victoria — “delivering thousands of construction jobs and ongoing employment opportunities across these key sectors”.
He said it is “nonsense” to suggest that transport infrastructure jobs will be lost “without acknowledging the jobs created on hospital construction and upgrades, as well as the ongoing and broad-ranging health-related roles.”
He highlighted that the Andrews Government’s own documents indicate that services on the northern section of the planned rail line, from Box Hill to Reservoir, via Doncaster, would not commence until 2043/44, some 21 years away.

“There is currently no funding, no timeline, and no detailed plan for the northern section of the rail loop,” he said. 

Naomi Oakley, Labor Candidate for the Warrandyte electorate in the forthcoming State Election told M&N Bulletin the Andrews Labor Government has released a comprehensive Business and Investment Case and it shows that the SRL project stacks up.

“The SRL East project is underway and people in Warrandyte are incredibly enthusiastic about the overall project and how it will make their lives easier.
“I speak to people every day who love the vision in this project and know what it will bring to our suburbs,” she said.

Legislative Council Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP said he was “very disappointed” to see the Liberal-National Party take this stance. 

“It certainly seems short-sighted.” 

He said Melbourne’s population is continuing to grow, expecting to reach a population of nine million in 2056, the size of London today.
Mr Barton said the SRL is critical to the future liveability of Melbourne, and without it, the outer suburbs will continue to get the short end of the stick.
Mr Barton pointed to Doncaster to illustrate just how important the SRL is. 

“Doncaster is located in the City of Manningham, which is the only metropolitan municipality that is not connected to rail, relying solely on bus services.
This has resulted in overcrowded bus services, forced car ownership, high private vehicle usage, and extensive traffic congestion.
The City of Manningham has been waiting for over 130 years for rail services.
This is despite governments repeatedly proposing and promising rail for Doncaster for decades.
Residents are desperate to be better connected.
The SRL will be critical public transport infrastructure that will change the lives of those along the line, better connecting hospitals, universities, and retail.” 

Mr Barton fears that by not taking action to address connectivity issues now, Melburnians will be restricted to their cars for decades to come. 

“Monash, the biggest university in Australia, would be left without any prospect of a train station.
“We cannot let that happen — the SRL is an opportunity that must not be wasted.
“When I saw this announcement, I thought ‘why not both?’ — Victorians deserve a functioning and effective health care system and accessible public transport,” Mr Barton said. 

Ms Allan said the SRL – to be built in partnership with the Albanese Labor Government — will be a network that connects Victoria’s fastest-growing centres of jobs, tertiary education, a major hospital and research centres and the airport. 

“But it’s not just the Suburban Rail Loop — Matthew Guy also wants to scrap — he has also threatened the Andrews Labor Government’s Big Build Program that currently supports 50,000 workers,” she said.

Ms Allan said Level Crossing removals, road upgrades and train line works would all be at risk under the Liberals.

“He’s walking away from the transport connections that these projects deliver, the jobs they offer, and the wages that support Victorian families,” she said. 

Ms Allan said SRL East and SRL North will take around 606,000 car trips and 2.2 million vehicle kilometres off our roads every single day by 2056.
She said this will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other environmental benefits.
By 2056 it is anticipated there will be more than 230,000 daily extra public transport trips across Melbourne, and an additional 2.4 million walking or cycling trips each day.
Government figures suggest the SRL will deliver up to $58.7 billion in benefits to Victoria and will return up to $1.70 to the economy for every dollar spent.
On August 18, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), commissioned by Mr Guy, produced a report that estimated by 2053 costs for the completed rail project, Cheltenham to Werribee, could end up being more than double the initial government estimate of $50 billion.
But Premier Daniel Andrews  said “one sure way to make sure the SRL would cost more would be to scrap it, delay it, shelve it”.

Council calls for better services in Manningham 

Manningham Mayor Michelle Kleinert told M&N Bulletin, Council has always worked with the government of the day to improve public transport options for the Manningham community. 

“For years, we have advocated for a station in Doncaster and were incredibly disappointed that Doncaster was left out of Phase 1 of the Suburban Rail Loop.”

She said with Phase 2 of the SRL 30 years away, Council will continue to advocate for better public transport options to allow residents to travel to the CBD and major employment, health, education, and retail centres throughout Melbourne.

“Limited public transport options exacerbate Manningham’s lack of health services and tertiary education options — our young people and people needing to access health services deserve better,” Cr Kleinert said. 

With no rail option in sight, she said Council’s Transport Action Plan and draft advocacy priorities include several bus options, including an express bus route that mirrors the SRL alignment.

 Health Plan

Part of the Liberal National plan is to introduce an Infectious Diseases Response Centre.
Mr Smith said the centre would benefit Victorians across the state, including those in Manningham. “It will provide acute care to those in need and be a nation-leading training and research facility to protect communities from future infectious diseases.”
He said in the lead up to the November election, the Victorian Liberals and Nationals will be making further significant announcements about plans to fix the health crisis and ensure all Victorians can get the care they deserve. 

“We will build or upgrade at least 20 hospitals across Victoria — including hospitals in Melbourne’s east — and will have more to say over coming weeks and months,” he said. 

Mr Smith said to support and encourage greater public transport utilisation and as an important measure to attract, retain and reward of the healthcare workforce, the Victorian Liberals and Nationals will provide free public transport for more than 260,000 Victorian healthcare workers.

The Wonga Park Community Cottage 40th anniversary

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

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New Mayor elected for Manningham

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

Cr Diedre Diamante was elected Deputy Mayor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Council then acknowledge the outgoing Mayor, Cr Conlon.

Former Deputy Mayor, Anna Chen said:

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

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

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

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

Small actions make a big difference

SEPTEMBER is Dementia Awareness Month.

More than 400,000 people are living with dementia in Australia and an estimated 70% of those people are actively living in the community.

Manningham Council is encouraging residents to
get involved in Dementia Awareness Month this September to help improve the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers.

Council are encouraging residents to learn a little more about how we can better support family, neighbours, friends and people in our networks impacted by dementia.

It is an important step to help reduce stigma and dispel some of the common myths about dementia.

Dementia is not a natural part of ageing.

Some of the risk factors associated with dementia can be managed through lifestyle changes or appropriate medical treatments.

Many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia.

Early and correct diagnosis can be helpful to ensure
that the correct advice and strategies are provided to manage the condition.

Manningham Mayor 
Cr Andrew Conlon said Manningham would be highlighting the small actions our community could take to create a big difference for people living with dementia.

“We’re inviting the community to show their support by becoming a Dementia Friend to increase understanding about the condition,” he said.

A dementia-friendly community recognises that a person with dementia needs to continue to participate in the community; this can include employment, volunteering or social activities.

Manningham Council
is running a number of workshops and resources for people and families impacted by dementia, as well as the wider community.

Cr Conlon said through increased awareness and support, Manningham hoped to make a positive difference to the lives of people living with dementia.

“We aim to transform the way we, as a community, think, act and talk about dementia,” he said.

Manningham will also be releasing a pocket-sized set of information cards with up-to-date information about dementia; this includes a list of reputable organisations the community can contact for further support.

Council, in partnership with Dementia Australia will be holding an interactive seminar for Dementia Month: Worried About Your Memory on Tuesday, September 18 at Manningham Civic Centre.