Tag Archives: Manningham City Council

Dogs and cats have a friend in Manningham

FRIENDS OF Manningham Dogs and Cats (FOMDAC) held their Dog Activity Centre (DAC) Open Day on Sunday, February 26.
The event, at the centre located at Aranga Reserve, Donvale, marked the 10th Anniversary of the facility.
FOMDAC Secretary Andrew McFarland gave the Diary a potted history of the establishment of the DAC.
For 14 years, FOMDAC worked towards establishing the DAC and gaining a building for our club rooms.
Over the 14 years, many potential sites were visited, but none were found to be suitable for various reasons.
We were fortunate to have a supportive CEO, Lydia Wilson, at Manningham Council, who helped in the process and Councillors who, in 2009, were prepared to put a DAC in the budget.
After yet another possible site was abandoned, Director Teresa Dominik suggested Aranga Reserve.
While it wasn’t as spacious as FOMDAC had hoped, it did have the added advantage of an adjacent disused kindergarten building that could be easily converted to club rooms.
Community consultation followed, and Council resolved to proceed with establishing the DAC and leasing the building, which needed minor conversion, to FOMDAC.
In six months, the Aranga Reserve was fenced, and dog exercise equipment was installed, along with drinking fountains and seats.
The DAC was established, and FOMDAC was granted the lease of the building in 2012.
At this time, having a dedicated and secure, fully fenced off-leash dog park was innovative.
It was an instant success, attracting dogs and their owners from Manningham and beyond.
FOMDAC’s rooms are also much appreciated by the community.
As possibly the only Manningham council building allowing access to dogs, it has been a great success, being used by trainers, dog clubs, and community organisations such as Ambulance Victoria.
In 2020, Council renovated our rooms to a very high standard: lino was laid throughout, a dog bath was installed, and the walls of the small room were removed, making the space much more user-friendly.
FOMDAC appreciates this wonderful facility and thanks the past committee members for their advocacy and for never giving up on our dream.
Long may we continue to service the dog and cat communities and be their advocate.
Heralded as a tail-wagging success, with over 50 people and 35 dogs, including Rough Collie Minka who has famously appeared on Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, FOMDAC thanked all those that attended the day:
“Thank you to all our furry and non-furry friends for making our Open Day such a great success.
“Great to see so many supporters and lovely doggies.
“A special thank-you to our Mayor, Cr Deirdre Diamante, and Keith Wolahan MP for your generous support and kind words (bring that doggie next time, Keith).
“Also, a big thanks to Manningham Councillors Anna Chen, Stephen Mayne and Tomas Lightbody, Kevin Foster from Vets on Parker, Templestowe, Brigitte Hunt of Darling Doggies, and our great supporter Angela Heidy-Tennyson of K9 Nose Fun.
“Also, thanks to the Deputy Mayor of Whitehorse Council, Prue Cutts, for your support.”

Preparing for 24/7 Cat Curfew

On March 27, the centre will host an information session about Manningham’s trial 24/7 Cat Curfew, which is due to come into effect in July.
Secretary Andrew McFarland spoke to the Diary about the group’s upcoming event.
He said during the session, Manningham Council Officers would provide background, purpose, and implementation of the new regulations, take questions and hear concerns about the forthcoming trial.
“The Council are going to be moving softly in the introduction of the curfew; they want to give people the opportunity to set up cat runs and get their cats used to the curfew,” he said.
He said that as a not-for-profit organisation, FOMDAC wants to promote responsible pet ownership, so hosting this information session is a great way to let people have a conversation with Council about how the curfew would impact their family and their cats.
The information session will be held on March 27 at the FOMDAC clubrooms 53-55 Aranga Crescent, Donvale, and entry is free.
Attendees are invited to bring along a cat or dog toy to be donated to Blue Cross Animals Society.
R.S.V.P: fomdacmanningham@gmail.com

Breaking Biases on International Women’s Day

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

Macedon traders unsatisfied

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

Council services impacted by COVID-19

WITH COVID-19 causing many disruptions to daily life, as we all try to “flatten the curve”, local councils still need to provide important services to the community, albeit at arm’s length.

As the doors closed to visitors at Council run facilities, the Diary asked Manningham and Nillumbik for details of how residents continue to interact with them during these restrictions.

Manningham City Council  

Manningham Council CEO Andrew Day said Council has modified operations to continue to provide core services to the community.

“Local government provides many important services and we understand we have a critical role to play in supporting our community at this time.”

He says Council is doing its part to contain the spread of the virus and reduce the risk to the health of the community, including the implementation of crisis management planning, in collaboration with the Victorian Government.

“Our management team is also meeting daily to direct and monitor our response to the situation as it unfolds, and for future planning.”

Mr Day said Council is continuing to provide as many services to the community as possible.

“To do this safely we are continually adapting our service delivery models and following the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services at all times,” Mr Day said.

For example, he said services like Maternal and Child Health visits are now being conducted over the phone or via video link and essential services for our elderly community, like Meals on Wheels, will continue to run with even stricter safe food handling standards.

“Since mid-March, there have been many impacts to Council events, facilities and services and we understand these impacts are being felt deeply by our community.

“At this time we ask that the community stay safe, practice appropriate social distancing, particularly in Manningham’s beautiful open spaces”

Mr Day urged residents to stay connected with family and friends via phone, email, video link or social media.

“We are all in this together, as a community we will support one another, and as a Council we will do what it takes to look after those who are most vulnerable at this time.”

For the most up to date information about COVID-19 and its impacts to Council services, events and facilities please visit:
manningham.vic.gov.au/coronavirus 

Customer service centres closed

To help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community Council’s customer service centres have closed until further notice.

This change was made following further restrictions on non-essential services and the government advice for the community to stay at home where possible.

Council rates, fees and charges 

Mr Day said Manningham Council is acutely aware of the devastating financial impacts the COVID-19 situation is having on the community.

In response, Council is considering a range of options to assist residents and community members during this difficult time.

He said more information will be made available as details are finalised.

“For those in our community who are already impacted, please contact Council to discuss hardship options,” he said.

Customers can contact Council via:

Website:

manningham.vic.gov.au

Email:

manningham@manningham.vic.gov.au 

Phone: 9840 9333

Nillumbik Shire Council

Nillumbik Communications Officer Natalie Town said Nillumbik Shire Council has closed its Customer Service Counter at the Civic Drive offices in Greensborough.

She told the Diary most Council staff are working from home where possible, and while some services have been significantly impacted, it is business as usual for many departments.

Most Council services can be conducted online including payments for pet registrations, rates, parking fines and other infringements.

If residents are experiencing hardship, they should call the rates team on 9433 3285.

If you are having technical trouble making an online payment, call Customer Service on 9433 3111 and they can talk you through the process or provide other information.

Mayor Karen Egan said the health and wellbeing of the community and Council staff was a priority.

“Council is committed to reducing the risk of the coronavirus spreading and we appreciate your patience during this difficult time.

“We urge residents to stay home and follow the recommendations of the State and Federal Governments.

“At the same time, we encourage you to look out for your neighbours, and others in the community, who are struggling.

“We will continue to monitor and update you as the situation changes over coming days and weeks,” she said.

Essential Council services are continuing, and these include:

  • Kerbside landfill, recycling and
    green waste collections as well
    as booked kerbside hard waste
    collections.
  • Food delivery services for older
    and vulnerable residents.
  • Critical Maternal and Child Health
    visits.
  • Essential call out services.

Council’s Economic Development team are offering support for local businesses.

Council’s Visit Nillumbik Facebook page @visitnillumbik is getting behind Nillumbik businesses with a Stay Home, Shop Local campaign.

Customers can contact Council via:

Website: nillumbik.vic.gov.au

Phone: 9433 3111

Swimming pool and spa registrations 

The Victorian Government has not currently advised councils of any changes to the time frame for the requirement to register swimming pools and spas.

Local Councils roll out governance updates

By JAMES POYNER

MARCH 24 was a big day for Local Government.

As well as the finalisation of a new Local Government Act, local councils also debated measures to enable them to be able to effectively govern as the threat of a worsening pandemic continues to dominate our news feeds.

An updated Local Government Act became law on March 24, 2020.

The Act provides the necessary legislative framework to enable local councils to perform their task of administering their municipality.

The Act replaces the Local Government Act 1989 and over the next 16 months, the Divisions of The Act 2020 will gradually replace The Act 1989.

It has been a long five years waiting for the updated Act to come into effect, the Local Government Bill 2018 fell at the last furlong in November 2018, when it lapsed after the Legislative Council failed to pass the bill.

The Local Government Act 2020 includes six key reforms in the areas of simplified franchise, standardising, electoral structure, training, donation reform, improved conduct and community accountability.

In July 2019, councils across Victoria were submitting responses to these areas of reform with many councils requesting The Act does not require all councils to operate as single member wards.

The proposal was generally rejected by most councils, even councils which already operated with a single member ward structure were not overly supportive of the move to simplify the electoral structure.

In their submission to the Local Government Bill 2019 in July 2019, Nillumbik Shire Council wrote:

“Given that Council already operates under a single member ward structure, the impact on Council as a result of this proposed reform will be minimal.

Council however recognises the diverse nature of councils across the state and that a single ward structure may not be appropriate in all instances.

Council would therefore advocate for the electoral structure for each Council be considered on its merits and not on a one structure for all basis.”

To the relief of many municipalities, the Legislative Council passed an amendment to The Act, which allows for a mixed system of single and multi-member representation.

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) has also been watching and waiting for a determination on whether the October 2020 Local Elections will be Postal or Attendance voting.

The Act specifies that the voting system to be used will be determined by the Minister for Local Government and that the Minister must make a decision on the system to be used within two months of that part of The Act coming into effect.

Documentation outlining the transition from The Act 1989 to The Act 2020 indicates this section comes into effect on April 6, 2020, which means Victorians will know how they can vote in the October 2020 local elections by no later than June 6, 2020.

However, it is worth noting — given our current situation — that the Minister has the power to change the date of an election under circumstances such as the declaration of a State of Emergency.

Council’s preparing for the worst

Manningham and Nillumbik Councils also passed motions to expand the Instrument of Delegation at the March 24 Ordinary Council Meeting.

The Instrument of Delegation means the CEO and other Officers can delegate on their behalf.

The responsibility was expanded as Councillors were concerned the current health situation may result in a scenario where not enough Councillors can attend a meeting to form a quorum.

Presently, there is no policy in place to allow councillors to conduct council meetings using teleconferencing software, which means they need to be physically present, a situation which may become difficult if social distancing restrictions become more severe.

While the vote was very cut-and-dry at Manningham, in Nillumbik, there was fierce debate with opposing councillors arguing they should be discussing supporting an initiative by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), which is calling on State Government to give councils the legislative capability to be able to hold Council Meetings online, with Councillor Perkins standing against Councillor Clarke to argue that this is what they should be discussing.

In a statement from MAV, Cr Coral Ross, MAV President and councillor for Boorondara, said:

“Inflexible council meeting requirements under state legislation are a significant concern for local governments across the country as many council chambers do not allow for appropriate social distancing.

“This is an unprecedented situation which requires collaboration and innovative thinking.

“We have been proactively working alongside the Victorian Government to provide solutions which will ensure the health and safety of councillors, council staff and the community.

“With streaming and virtual meetings now widely available, we call on the Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek and the State Government to make this common sense decision and enable one of these options to be implemented as alternative to meeting face to face.”

Efficient operation by Local Government in the coming months will be integral to keeping a semblance of normality to the bureaucracy of everyday life.

The Diary will continue to report on the actions of local councils and the efforts of MAV to enable them to do their job in this climate of increasing restrictions.

 

Manningham declares a climate emergency

MANNINGHAM CITY Council unanimously approved the motion to declare a climate emergency at their January 28 Ordinary Council Meeting (OCM).

This motion brings Manningham Council in line with more than 1,000 councils across the planet, and over 85 councils in Australia who have been declaring climate emergencies since early 2019.

The global political movement to recognise the threat of climate change and take action against it began in April 2019 with Scotland and Wales becoming the first countries to declare a climate emergency.

During the January 28 OCM, Councillor Mike Zafiropoulous tabled Notice of Motion 1/2020 and outlined the need for this action.

“As councillors we have a responsibility, not only to address the local concerns of residents through core issues such as waste collection, planning permits, road maintenance, et cetera — but also broader issues such as the climate emergency we are facing,” he said.

Later, Cr Zafiropoulous went on to talk about the evidence.

“The scientific evidence on this issue is overwhelming and the consequence of no action is catastrophic, not only for Manningham, but for the whole planet.”

Cr Andrew Conlon, who seconded the motion, spoke specifically of the increased impact Warrandyte faces.

“Without climate change, Warrandyte is already in the most prone, most at risk areas in terms of population, terrain and fuel, in the world.

“So it would be ignorant of us to basically put our heads in the sand and not acknowledge that we can do more and that we will do more in the years to come.”

An amended motion, introduced by Cr Sophy Galbally, to add the words “climate emergency” specifically to the clauses of the motion being discussed, triggered a 30-minute debate into the definition of the words “serious” and “emergency”, highlighting concerns surrounding the bureaucratic implications of the use of the word “emergency”.

In his closing remarks, Cr Zafiropoulous spoke about the popularity and symbolic nature of the term “Climate Emergency” and the importance of Council to follow a global trend.

“…to be consistent with other organisations initiating such action, I think it is much better to use the term Climate Emergency in the motion… I think it strengthens the motion if we include it there.”

In attendance at the OCM were representatives of WarrandyteCAN who have been lobbying Manningham Council on the issue since August 2019.

In late September, members of WarrandyteCAN met with the then Mayor, Councillor Paula Piccinini and Mannigham Council CEO Andrew Day to discuss the issue, following the matter up with letters to other councillors in support of a climate emergency declaration and implementation of a structured emergency action plan.

Subsequently, WarrandyteCAN had a meeting with Cr. Zafiropoulos.

“WarrandyteCAN is very grateful for having been given the opportunity to present our case to the Council, and we highly commend the Councillors for passing this landmark resolution,” said WarrandyteCAN President, Jeff Cranston.

The passing of Notice of Motion 1/2020 not only means Mannigham recognises the threat of climate change to the municipality but empowers council to prepare a response in its 2020 Environment Report by including a Climate Emergency Response Plan.

 

Be Fire Ready

Protecting your horses from bushfire

LIVING IN A bushfire prone area means residents need to think ahead before the bushfire season begins.
This includes horse owners living in Warrandyte and surrounds.
On October 20, the South Warrandyte CFA held a Horses and Bushfire Information Session at the South Warrandyte Cricket Club.
Horse owners who attended were treated to a fascinating session about the myths and realities of dealing with horses in a bushfire situation.
The biggest takeaway from the session is how critical it is to prepare and have a plan for their safety before a fire happens.
Many believe horses panic in fires.
We quickly learned from Captain Sharon Merritt, Macclesfield CFA, this is not the case.
Horses are rarely stressed out by fire and can generally look after themselves if they have the right conditions.
Their natural instinct is to move as far from the fire as possible and then quickly seek burnt ground to survive.
If you have a horse in a bushfire prone area, it is imperative to have a designated safe place on your property.
Ideally this safe place would include a paddock that has been eaten out with enough room to gallop and minimal vegetation.
A large sand ménage without buildings or vegetation too close is also suitable.
Animals confined to stables or small yards may panic and hurt themselves trying to escape if the building catches fire.
Fences should be prepared so they can contain your horse even if a fire passes through.
Star pickets and a sight wire can be added to post and rail fencing.
A dam or water in a concrete tank or deep bath should be available so horses can seek relief from the heat and avoid dehydration after the fire has passed.
It is very likely you will not have access to your property for some time after a fire so access to shade and water can make a big difference.
Your property should have a Property Identification Code (PIC).
This is registered with the Department of Agriculture through the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR).
The code shows authorities horses are on your property and DEDJTR may be able to enter after the fire to check on their welfare.
If a Severe, Extreme or Code Red fire danger day is declared, move your horse into the designated safer paddock or area early.
Remove rugs and fly veils as these can burn and cause serious injuries.
If possible plait your horse’s tail polo style to keep it from catching fire.
Run through your plan and check everything is ready.
If your horse is not microchipped, put your phone number on your horse using spray paint or use event crayon so they can be identified.

If you have to move your horse

If your property is not safe for your horse to remain during a fire, have a plan to move them to a safer area if a Severe, Extreme or Code Red fire danger day is declared.
It is too late to move your horse if there is fire in the area and risks putting both you and your horse in danger.
Bushfires can travel fast, and traffic management points will be set up, closing roads.
Coming back for your horse during a fire is extremely dangerous.
Do not attempt to move horses that you are not responsible for.
The horse owner may have a fire plan in place and by interfering you could be putting the horse in danger, as well as yourself.
Check if you can move your horse to a neighbour’s property, the local racecourse, pony club or showgrounds.
You should check well in advance if these places are willing to take your horse and you may be required to stay with them.
Alternatively, talk to other horse owners and create a group plan.
If you agist your horse, talk to the agistment owner to find out what the bushfire plan is for their property.
If other horses will be using the same temporary safe area, ensure they are familiar with each other or can be kept safely apart.
After the fire has passed, it may be some time before you can check on your horse.
Check the area is safe, with no fallen power lines or trees likely to fall.
Watch for ash pits where tree roots have burned underground that can cause burns if stepped in.
Make sure fencing is intact and water sources are clean.
Move your horse from hot ground as soon as possible to avoid laminitis.
If you have done your prep work well, your horse is more likely to survive with minimal injuries.
Generally, horses that have been through a bushfire have some facial burns, swollen eyelids and hoof damage.
You might not be able to get a vet to your horse, so it can be useful to have some basic first aid at hand or a plan to get your horse to a vet.
Horses can do well in bushfires if their owners have a plan and prepare early, before a fire starts.

More information can be found at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/horses-and-bushfires

The whys and wherefores of bylaws: Fire preparation and vegetation management

By SANDI MILLER

WITH SUMMER approaching it is time to consider preparing your property for fire season.
The Diary spoke with Manningham and Nillumbik Councils about how to clean up your property but stay within the rules around vegetation management.
Angelo Kourambas, Manningham’s Director City Planning and Community said:
“Council strongly recommends that anyone looking to remove vegetation or trees on their property should contact Council before commencing any removal works”.
Nillumbik Council’s, Senior Communications Officer of Governance and Legal Services, Natalie Town likewise encourages residents “to think carefully about tree and vegetation removal and to contact Planning Services on 9433 3343 before doing so”.
Mr Kourambas said that cleaning up properties should form part of your fire plan.
“In the lead up to bushfire season residents should ensure they have an emergency plan ready and prepare their properties accordingly,” he said.
The CFA website has all the information residents need to prepare their property.
Council is urging all residents to prepare their property now and maintain it throughout summer.
Visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/how-to-prepare-your-property

Managing vegetation on your property 

Nillumbik, as the Green Wedge Shire, is known as the “lungs” of Melbourne.
“Our beautiful open spaces and natural treed environment, together with our friendly villages, add to the lifestyle of the Shire.
“While we like the environment surrounding us, bushfire safety is of paramount importance.
“Striking the right balance is essential,” Ms Town said.
Mr Kourambas said Manningham’s most valued features is the balance of city and country, with a range of urban areas surrounded by vast natural environment.
To protect this, he said residents are generally required to obtain a planning permit before vegetation can be removed.
Planning permits for vegetation removal are particularly important for residents living on a property with an: Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO), Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO), Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO), or Heritage Overlay (HO).
There are some exemptions to allow vegetation removal around a resident’s home and along certain fences without obtaining a permit.
For instance, along the front fence, private landowners can use the exemption on their property but cannot remove vegetation from the roadside as they are not the property owner.
Landowners must check there are no covenants or other legal agreements which are not covered by the exemptions.

Reducing fire risk 

Preparing your property all year round reduces the risk of stockpiled waste.
Fallen tree debris, grass, twigs and excess vegetation can dry out and become very flammable in the event of a bush or grass fire.
For this reason, both Councils recommend residents clear this kind of garden waste before the warm weather hits.
It is also important for residents to clear out their gutters frequently to ensure they’re free from leaves and sticks.
Having clean gutters may offer protection from an ember attack during a fire and greatly reduces risk of water entering a roof space during a storm.
For a detailed guide on landscaping for bushfire prone properties residents can view the CFA’s Landscaping for bushfire guide.

Abiding by the 10/30 or 10/50 rule

Following recommendations from the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission, the Victorian Government has made a number of changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions regarding vegetation removal.
It provides certain exemptions that may allow you to remove vegetation to create a defendable space around buildings used for accommodation, including associated outbuildings and boundary fences, without the need to obtain a planning permit.
Depending on whether your property is covered by the Bushfire Management Overlay planning scheme or not, will determine what you can remove.
When preparing properties for bushfire and considering the removal of vegetation, residents should check which of the 10/30 or 10/50 exemptions apply.
You are covered by the 10/30 rule, if there is no Bushfire Management Overlay on property.
It means you may remove trees up to 10m, or vegetation up to 30m, around existing building without a permit.
If a Bushfire Management Overlay exists on property, it means you are covered by the 10/50.
You may therefore remove trees up to 10m, and vegetation up to 50m, around existing building without a permit.
Buildings must be used for accommodation and have existed before September 2009.
Landowners must check there are no covenants or other legal agreements which are not covered by the exemptions.

How to dispose of green waste

Each year Manningham Council offers residents the option of:

  • Two household hard rubbish (waste) collections, or
  • Two household bundled garden waste (branches) collections, or
  • A combination of one hard rubbish (waste) collections and one bundled branches (garden waste) collection.

In addition to this, residents in bushfire prone areas are eligible for four complimentary green waste vouchers per year to help remove any excess garden waste from their properties.
In Nillumbik, residents can put their green waste in the 120-litre green waste bin which is collected weekly.
Residents can also deliver their green waste to Council’s Recycling and Recovery Centre at 290 Yan Yean Road, Yarrambat.
Property owners receive three green waste vouchers a year as part of their valuation and rates notice.
Property owners can pass these vouchers on to tenants to use.
Residents must bring their original or online rates notice to the Nillumbik Recycling and Recovery Centre.
Green waste vouchers provide flexibility to dispose of larger quantities of green waste at a convenient time.
One voucher is for one cubic metre of green waste, this a slightly heaped 6×4 sized trailer load.
Load size will be assessed by the attendant.
Green waste includes garden clippings, pruning, leaves and grass.
It must be clean and not contain processed wood such as treated pine, fence palings or untreated timber and must not include food waste.
For Manningham residents, green waste can be disposed of at the Manningham Garden Waste Centre at the corner of Websters and Blackburn Road, Templestowe.

The current and future voucher periods for 2019/20 are:

  • Sunday, October 6, 2019 to Sunday, December 22, 2019
  • Sunday, January 12, 2020 to Sunday, March 29, 2020
  • Sunday, April 5, 2020 to Sunday, June 28, 2020

For more information, including maximum trailer load sizes, visit: manningham.vic.gov.au/garden-waste-vouchers
Property owners, landlords and property managers can order new or additional bins for a property.
In Nillumbik, each property can have up to two green waste bins.
There is an upfront cost of $80 for an extra green bin with no additional annual collection charge.
If a tenant wishes to select an alternative option for their bins, they need to contact their landlord or property manager.

Get it done

Inspections will soon be conducted across both municipalities by Municipal Fire Prevention Officers to identify properties that may constitute a fire hazard.
If the property is not well maintained the owner will receive a Fire Prevention Notice requiring them to undertake works.
It is an offence to fail to comply with a Fire Prevention Notice.

Vacant land

To protect your neighbours, owners of vacant land are required to maintain the vegetation on their property during bushfire season by:

  • Removing any fallen and dead vegetation
  • Removing any fine fuels (anything less than 6mm in diameter e.g. twigs)
  • Creating separation between vegetation, buildings and fences by mowing and pruning vegetation.

If someone is concerned about a property with an excessive volume of fuel, they should contact Council.

Burning off 

Burning off in the open air is prohibited unless you have a valid permit issued by your Council.
In Manningham, residents who own, reside in, or manage a property greater in size than 2,500 square metres are eligible to apply for a permit to burn off green waste on their property.
Before applying for a permit to burn off green waste residents should know:

  • It is illegal to burn off during the fire danger period without a special permit.
  • Outside of the fire danger period it is illegal to burn off when the fire danger rating is very high or above.

Residents can apply for a permit via the Councils websites, either www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au or Manningham go to www.manningham.vic.gov.au/burning-off

In Nillumbik, burning off can occur from October 1 until the Fire Danger Period is declared by the CFA.
A permit is required to burn off in Nillumbik if your property is less than 1 acre (0.4 hectares) OR If you wish to burn off a large heap, a pile that occupies an area greater than 10 square metres or more than 25 cubic metres in volume.
If shade temperature exceeds 32 degrees Celsius or the wind speed exceeds 15kph, do not burn off.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to check the fire danger rating before they intend to burn.
Any burn off must be registered with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) on 1800 668 511 prior to commencement.
Further conditions apply to all permits and will be provided on approval of a permit.
Residents must read and be aware of all conditions prior to open air burning.
Residents may also contact the CFA to burn off their property for them.
For additional information on burning off residents can visit the CFA’s website: cfa.vic.gov.au/plan- prepare/burning-off

Fire danger period 

The Country Fire Authority is responsible for declaring the Fire Danger Period for each municipality at different times in the lead up to the fire season.
It depends on the amount of rain, grassland curing rate and other local conditions.
No fire danger period has been declared for Nillumbik yet but check with the CFA for updates.
www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/restrictions-during-the-fire-danger-period

Renters in fire prone areas 

Whether a person owns their property or rents, it is just as important to know their risks and have an emergency plan.
In regard to clearing vegetation, renters must adhere to Council conditions in the same way a property owner must.
If a person renting has concerns about the state of vegetation on their property, they should contact their real estate agent or landlord to discuss the matter directly.

 

Meet the Brigade at the Research CFA Open Day

By JOHN HUF

RESEARCH Fire Brigade will open its doors to the public on Saturday, November 30, 2019 as part of the 2019 CFA Open Day program.
Brigade members will be on hand on the day with a range of fire safety information and advice.
Fire Brigade Captain Neville Stewart said CFA Open Days were the perfect opportunity for brigades to show the community what they do to keep everyone safe and to deliver valuable fire safety messages.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our local community to meet the men and women who work hard to keep them safe from fire and help out in times of emergency,” he said.
“Anyone interested in joining CFA, whether as a firefighter or in a support role is also welcome to come along for a look and a chat.”
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said the open days are a great opportunity for people to find out how to best protect themselves, their family and property from fire this summer.
“A strong relationship between the community and emergency services is a crucial component in boosting community safety and greatly assists our members in their critical role of the protection of life and property.
“Now is the time to prepare your family and home in the lead up to summer and we’re here to help — members will be on hand to provide a range of fire safety information.”
Brigades throughout the state have opened their stations to their local communities as part of the CFA Open Day program since it started in 2011.
The day is an opportunity for all Victorians to learn more about what brigades do for the local community in a relaxed and friendly environment.
The Research Brigade Open Day will be held on Saturday, November 30 at the fire station in Research-Warrandyte Road from 10am to 12pm.

For information on this event and other events being held by brigades around Victoria, see cfa.vic.gov.au/whatson

 

“Are YOU Ready?” Bushfire Scenario

By DICK DAVIES

The Warrandyte Community Association’s ‘Be Ready Warrandyte’ campaign will be hosting a bushfire scenario on  Wednesday, November 27, from 7:00-9:00pm at the North Warrandyte Family Centre in Research Road, and all Warrandyte residents are urged to attend.
The emphasis is on the “Are YOU Ready?” with special attention to new neighbours and pets.
Community Emergency Management leaders will be on hand to answer questions about school shutdown, police activity, potential road closures etc. and the Bendigo Bank will provide advice on insurance.
The focus will be on North Warrandyte and Warrandyte, with Emergency Management Risk assessment and updates and a realistic scenario.
The last two bushfire forums were  information sessions at the Community Church which attracted about 250 people each time, but our feedback forms suggested that there was a perception that it was too Manningham oriented.
Consequently we are holding this one in the North Warrandyte Family Centre on Research Road.
It is however, a smaller venue and we plan to cater for an overflow in the North Warrandyte Fire Station with live projector and speaker feeds.
Parking is also limited so we advocate participants arrive early, car-share and utilise overflow parking in an adjacent paddock.
We plan to have a mini bus for those who don’t want to walk!
We urge everyone in the Warrandyte community to attend, especially new residents and those with pets.

Event Details:
“Are YOU Ready?”, Bushfire Scenario
Wednesday 27th November, 7:00–9:00pm
North Warrandyte Family Centre in Research Road.
RSVP info@warrandyte.org.au

Organised by the Warrandyte Community Association’s “Be Ready Warrandyte” campaign with the CFA, Nillumbik and Manningham Councils and local Emergency Services and supported by the Bendigo Bank Warrandyte Community Financial Services Limited.

The whys and wherefores of bylaws: Pets

Photo: Anthony Edge

HAVING A PET is a privilege and a responsibility.
There are rules around pet ownership that must be adhered to.
These rules ensure that both your pets and other members of the community are able to live together.
These rules are administered by our local councils, and while they differ slightly across all municipalities across Victoria, they all follow State Law, largely the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Manningham’s Acting Director City Planning and Community, Niall Sheehy and Nillumbik CEO, Carl Cowie gave the Diary the lowdown about pet ownership in their municipalities.

Getting a pet

What some people may not be aware of, is that from July,1 2019, any person or business who is advertising to sell or give away a dog, cat, puppy or kitten will need to be enrolled on the Pet Exchange Register.
“The dog or cat must be advertised with the animal’s microchip number and source number, which has been generated by the Pet Exchange Register,” said Mr Sheehy.
The Pet Exchange Register allocates this unique source number to animals which ensures sellers are transparent about where an animal comes from.Sellers must ensure animals are microchipped before they change owners and animals must be microchipped before 12 weeks of age.
Once someone takes ownership of a new pet, they  should contact Council to register their animal as soon as possible.
Pet registrations are due to be renewed each year on April 10, but all puppies and kittens must be registered by three months of age — this is not the same as microchip registration.
The registration fee gives you more than just a lost and found service for your pet.
It is also funds:

  • facilities such as dog parks, dog poo bins and pounds/shelters
  • animal management staff to attend to nuisance complaints, investigate dog attacks, patrol parks/beaches/streets, and collect and return stray animals to owners
  • events such as pet expos and discount microchipping days
  • information such as responsible pet ownership publications, websites, and online courses
  • domestic animal business audits (e.g. to check animal welfare standards in pet shops, breeding facilities, boarding kennels etc)
  • management of dangerous and restricted breed dogs
  • dog bite prevention education programs for kindergarten and primary school children
  • emergency animal welfare preparedness
  • research into a range of dog and cat welfare issues

In Manningham and Nillumbik there are limits to the number of pets and/or livestock per household can have.
Residents can have two cats and two dogs per household without needing a permit.
There are also limits on other animals that can be kept.
In Nillumbik, without a permit a person must not keep more than:

  • 5 reptiles* or rodents
  • 10 large birds
  • 25 small birds
  • 1 rooster
  • 24 poultry

on any land throughout the municipality.
Keeping some animals may require additional licences.
*You are able to have up to five reptiles without a permit, however, you may need to obtain a licence from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to keep most species of reptiles in captivity.
In Manningham, the numbers vary slightly:

  • 13 domestic birds
  • 8 mice
  • 4 rabbits
  • 8 guinea pigs
  • 4 chickens, ducks, geese or pigeons

If you wish to exceed these limits, you may apply for an excess animal permit.
In Manningham, a permit is required to keep any emu, ostrich, goat, sheep, cow, pig, bull, or horse in an area less than two acres (8000 sqm).
And in either municipality, a person must not keep any livestock on any land in a residential zone or any land of an area less than 4000sqm.
A pet pig, for example, is considered livestock, so depending on the land zoning and size, a permit may be required.
Mr Cowie told the Diary if residents are seeking to keep animals outside these categories there is a vast array of laws that impact on having exotic or native animals as pets.
“In general, Agriculture Victoria is responsible for the legislation, regulations and standards that governs ownership of these pet types,” he said.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 protects the welfare of all animals, including amphibians.
Council is responsible for any issues that relate to breaches of containment, cleanliness, smell or noise nuisance that may come from exotic and native pets.
If you want to keep a native animal, for example a dingo, possum, or kangaroo, a private wildlife licence would be required.
These can be obtained through DELWP.

Dog laws

There are several areas of conflict where dog owners come into conflict with other community members.
One is persistent barking.
If a dog in a neighbouring property is too noisy and unreasonably disturbs you, the first step is to make contact with the dog owner to alert them that their dog is causing a nuisance.
If the barking persists and is deemed to be unreasonable, you can contact council to intervene.
The other area of conflict is dog waste.
Mr Sheehy told the Diary that for the enjoyment of the whole community dog owners need to carry a waste bag and pick up after their dog in public.
“Failure to do so could result in a $200 fine,” he said.
He said Manningham Council provide free poo pouches to dog owners.
“These pouches are often handed out by Council Rangers at our parks and reserves”.
Mr Cowie said Nillumbik Shire Council’s Amenity Local Law, states that a person in charge of a dog in a public place must have dog poo bags (or another receptacle to pick up their dog’s excrement) with them.
“They must ensure their dog’s excrement is collected and disposed of appropriately.
“Additionally, if requested by an authorised officer, the owner must present the bags (or other receptacle) they have with them to collect their pet’s waste,” Mr Cowie said.
There are many places to take dogs to run off-leash.
Manningham has 81 off-lead dog areas, including 28 sporting grounds and the popular Warrandyte River Reserve.
Nillumbik have 13 off-lead areas, including two dedicated off-lead dog parks.
One is in Diamond Creek and the other in Hurstbridge.Mr Cowie said off-lead areas throughout the municipality can be located on the Nillumbik website.
However, there are no Council-managed off-lead areas located in North Warrandyte.
Off-lead does not mean a dog can run amok.
Every off-lead dog area has its own signage and guidelines that must be adhered to and they all require off-lead dogs to be under effective control,” said Mr Sheehy.
Effective control by command means the dog must be:

  • Within 25 metres of the owner.
  • The owner is able to see the dog at all times.
  • The owner can recall the dog immediately when needed.

There are further guidelines that help people to act as responsible dog owners and avoid causing concern to other users of a park.
Guidelines include:

  • A dog is at least 15 metres away from permanent barbecue facilities, children’s play equipment, organised sporting events, approved functions or public meetings.
  • A dog’s owner has a leash on hand at all times.
  • A dog is not threatening of worrying any other user of the park.
  • A dog’s owner brings their dog under immediate control if any aggressive behaviour or threat is displayed to another person or animal.
  • A dog’s owner stays alert and focused on the dog at all times.
  • A dog’s owner brings a maximum of two dogs to the park at one time.

There are rules around some breeds of dog which require special registration and cannot be imported or bred.
These include pure or cross bred American Pit Bull Terriers (or Pit Bull Terriers), Perro de Presa Canarios, Dogo Argentinos, Japanese Tosas, and Fila Brasileiros.
Rules have been removed for owners of greyhounds.
As of January 1, 2019, all pet greyhounds are no longer legally required to wear a muzzle in public, including retired racing greyhounds.
A greyhound adopted through Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Greyhound Adoption Program must always be on lead in any public place, but like other dogs, all greyhounds still need to be under effective control by their owner.

Cat owner responsibilities

There is no cat curfew in Manningham.
However, Council recommends that cats be confined to their owner’s properties.
Nillumbik Shire Council has an order requiring cats to be confined during the specified hours of 7:30pm to 6am and restricts the presence of cats in certain public areas (e.g. parks or reserves).
The curfew time remains the same all year round — including during daylight saving time.
Mr Sheehy said as per Victorian state law, cat owners are responsible for ensuring their cats do not wander onto a private property at any time.
“Stray cats may be seized, notices of objection may be served and further non-compliance may result in penalties being issued,” he said.

Vaccinating pet rabbits

Having pet rabbits can require additional precautions when kept in close proximity to feral rabbit populations.
A new strain of rabbit calicivirus, RHDV1 K5 (also known as K5); was released in Victoria in March to help land-owners control pest rabbits.
Anyone who owns pet rabbits should make sure that their vaccinations are up-to-date to protect against the virus.
Domestic pet rabbit owners can take the following extra precautions to protect pet rabbits from K5 infection:

  • Prevent contact between pet and pest rabbits.
  • Don’t cut grass from areas where pest rabbits may be foraging and feed it to pet rabbits.
  • Wash hands with warm soapy water between handling rabbits.
  • Insect-proof the hutch with fly and mosquito proof wire or keep pet rabbits indoors.

Choosing the right pet

No matter what pet you choose, the most responsible choice is one that fits in with your lifestyle.
Remember that puppies and kittens won’t be small and cute forever, so don’t get a puppy if you don’t want a dog.
They are a commitment for up to twenty years.
Ask yourself:

  • What type or breed will you choose?
  • What size dog?
  • How much time do you have for grooming and training?
  • What is your financial position?
  • Will it be kept inside, outside or both?
  • Why do you want a pet?
  • Where you are going to buy it?

Both male and female dogs and cats can be de-sexed at three months of age.
By de-sexing your pet you are promoting responsible pet ownership by preventing unwanted litters.
Council provides a discounted registration fee for dogs and cats what have been de-sexed.
When choosing the type of pet to suit your needs, consider the amount of time the animal will be alone, the time you can commit to grooming and care.
When considering a cat, think about whether there are native birds and animals in your area and whether you will have an enclosure for your cat.
In general, fine-boned oriental cat breeds are very active companions while the larger heavy-boned breeds tend to be more sedate and less inclined to hunt and wander.
And when considering a dog, remember that a cute pup is going to grow up — six months down the track your dog could grow to be much larger than expected.
Consider going to a rescue shelter when looking to adopt a new member of your family, there are many older dogs who deserve a second chance.

For more information, see your relevant council’s website, DELWP, or the Department of Agriculture, or get down to the Nillumbik Pet Expo in Diamond Creek on Sunday, October 20 and talk to Council officers about responsible pet ownership.

 

Community spirit burns bright in Warrandyte

WARRANDYTE’s locals have once again demonstrated this community’s generous spirit and dedication to giving back, as tickets for the 2018 Mayoral Fireball have sold out, ahead of the celebration later this month.
Manningham Council Mayor Cr Andrew Conlon has been overwhelmed by the community support for this year’s event, which will honour the selfless work of the CFA’s
volunteers.
“Warrandyte is a really great community and they always unite around events like this” Cr Conlon said.
“There’s been so much support, it’s been great.”
As a cause close to his heart, Cr Conlon selected Fireball as his chosen charity for the 2018 Mayoral Fireball, after almost losing his family home in a devastating bushfire in 2014.
On February 9, 2014 a bushfire sparked by high-voltage powerlines blazed through parts of Warrandyte, destroying the homes of some of Cr Conlon’s neighbours.
“A huge fireball literally came over the hill,” he said.
“Ours was the first house hit by that fire.”
Cr Conlon said his son was home alone when the fire began to burn through the neighbourhood.
“He heard this noise and turned around to see the whole ridge was on fire,” he said.
“In a panic, he ran up the driveway in bare feet, which we think may have also been on fire.
“He rang us and said, ‘Dad, I’m not sure but I think the house might have burned down’.”
Fortunately, the CFA arrived just in time to contain the blaze before it could spread.
“If it wasn’t for the CFA being there, that fire would’ve taken off,” he said.
“That could’ve been catastrophic for a number of people.”
Following the fire, Cr Conlon and his family were left to pick up the pieces.
“That took us a long time to get over,” he said.
However, Cr Conlon refused to sit back and wait, and was able to turn the tragedy into an opportunity to make a difference in the local community.
“I thought more could be done in terms of collaboration and making sure the risk is reduced and people know what to do in a bushfire situation,” he said.
“That’s why I ran for council.”
Four years on and Cr Conlon is hard at work with the Fireball Committee to organise this year’s event, which he hopes will show the CFA’s volunteers just how much the community values
them.
“They don’t do it for the appreciation, but it’s really great when they are acknowledged for what they do.”
This year’s event will aim to raise enough funds to purchase a Forward Control Vehicle for the South Warrandyte Brigade.
“It’s basically not asking the volunteers to spend time fundraising, when they already give away a lot of their time to train and then put their lives on the line when there is a fire,” Cr Conlon said.
Cr Conlon said he also hopes the event will help spread the important messages of the CFA.
“It’s also about raising awareness for the need for other elements of fire safety such as fire plans, and the need for new volunteers” he said.
“It would be great if we could achieve that.”
Warrandyte’s residents have always shown an enthusiastic willingness to support those who continue to risk their lives to help others, which Cr Conlon attributes to their strong sense of community.
Community spirit burns bright in Warrandyte Our CFA Captains are grateful for the support of Fireball in preparation for the dry season ahead.
“There is a sense of unity when you go to an event like this,” he said.
“Everyone is supporting the same cause.
“We’re a very unique community.”
Locals are also eager to show their appreciation, because they know how important the work of the CFA is to the community.
“Everyone living here understands some of the risks,” he said.
“We live in this beautiful environment with trees everywhere,
but that comes with a higher risk in terms of bushfires.”
For the Firies themselves, the community support provided through
Fireball has not gone unnoticed, and continues to have positive impacts upon their experiences as volunteers.
Wonga Park Captain Aaron Farr said the work of Fireball has provided valuable relief from the stress of fundraising.
“By donating to Fireball or supporting us in one way or another, it means we’ve got more time to allocate to emergencies, training and community safety,” Aaron said.
“We can focus on what we do best.” South Warrandyte Community
Safety Officer Bree Cross said Fireball was also crucial to spreading important
CFA messages.
“Although you don’t think of Fireball from an educational perspective, there’s still a lot of education provided through it,” Bree said.
“Now, there is more transparency in what we do, and why we do it.
“I can’t thank them enough really, it’s incredible.”
Chair of the Wonga Park Brigade, Damien Bale said he couldn’t put a value on the community’s effort in supporting Fireball.
“The philosophy is fantastic,” Damien said.
“Having the community effort spearheaded by Fireball, in terms of time and effort, it’s invaluable.”
Warrandyte Brigade’s first lieutenant Will Hodgson said he feels “very proud” to attend Fireball.
“These people are putting their hands in their pockets to support us as volunteers,” Will said.
“To see an event like that put together, where the community comes together, I see it as a celebration.”
Despite juggling family life, Will and his wife Bec, who serves as Warrandyte’s fifth lieutenant, are Fireball veterans, who are keen to make an appearance at this year’s event.
“It’s absolutely amazing, it’s such a great initiative,” Bec said.
“Something that I hope continues into the future and that the community continues to support.”
Cr Conlon also wished to thank the Fireball Committee for their ongoing vision, as well as the event’s many sponsors whose generosity has brought the event to life.
Although tickets have sold out, there are still opportunities for locals to show their support to the cause, such as the Fireball’s online auction.
The auction will begin on October 17 and close on the evening of the Fireball itself.
Those who register will be able to bid on about 100 items over the auction’s 10-day duration.

Go to www.fireball.org.au

Bridgeworks finally commence

THE LONG-AWAITED works to upgrade Warrandyte Bridge finally commenced on January 15.

Major traffic disruption is expected over two full weekends in March when the Warrandyte Bridge will be completely closed to traffic on the Saturday and Sunday.

There may also be another full weekend closure in July.

Although VicRoads has not yet decided which two weekends in March are designated for the closures, they have confirmed that the bridge will remain open for the Festival weekend of March 17–18.

Whisper around the traps is that they may avoid the Labour Day long weekend of March 10–12, which leaves the possibility of March 3–4 and March 24–25, although the actual dates will be confirmed in February.

Residents planning trips during March weekends may need to reschedule their activities or plan for extra time as crossing the river during those two weekends will involve a 25km long diversion through Templestowe, Eltham and Research.

VicRoads has also confirmed that these bridge closures will be postponed if the Fire Danger Rating for Central District reaches Severe or above, or on days of Total Fire Ban.

CFA captains Trent Burris of North Warrandyte and Adrian Mullens of Warrandyte have advised the Diary that the emergency services have been fully consulted and they are both happy with the arrangements.

In the event of fire callouts during these closures, supporting brigades will be called from the same side of the river as the incident.

Now that it has officially started, the works which subcontractors VEC Civil Engineering Pty. Ltd. will be undertaking involve:

• Increasing the number of traffic lanes on the bridge from two to three, with two lanes southbound.

• New footpaths, including a shared user path for cyclists and pedestrians on the west side of the bridge.

• A wider intersection on the north side with traffic lights at the intersection of Research-Warrandyte Road and Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road.

• A new left-turn slip lane on Yarra Street eastbound for traffic turning left onto the bridge.

The worksite is at the Lions’ tennis courts on the southwest side of the bridge, and already some of the fencing has been demolished and contractors’ sheds and amenities installed.

Lions Club of Warrandyte president Jenni Dean told the Diary, “The tennis courts have not been well used recently and are a burden to maintain and run.

“We have been in discussions with Manningham Council and VicRoads and have agreed that the courts can be used as the worksite for the duration of the works, after which they will be turned into an outdoor fitness and recreation area.”

A spokesperson for Manningham Council’s Landscape and Leisure department, told the Diary that once the works were completed it was intended to completely demolish the worksite, tennis courts and fencing and turn the area into beautiful landscaped public open space with unrestricted access from the car park down to the Yarra.

Works undertaken on the weekend of January 20–21 saw the bridge taken down to one lane and an overnight power outage, works included:

• Removing light poles.

• Removing three trees on the south side.

• Removing sections of the road surface in preparation for a new surface

• Installing barriers and temporary yellow lane markings on the bridge, with restricted lane widths.

• Removing the pedestrian traffic island on the north side of the roundabout – much later a zebra crossing will be installed.

• Renewing the 22kV bundled electrical cable which spans the Yarra to the west of the bridge and relocating poles so as to be out of the way of the upcoming works.

Over the next few weeks, works will include installing scaffolding around the bridge and the temporary removal of the Queen of the Shire.

Until the work nears completion, there will be no access for pedestrians on the north side of Yarra Street to cross Kangaroo Ground road at the bridge roundabout.

Pedestrians will need to cross to the south side at the roundabout, walk past the bus stop, and cross back again on the other side, or use the river path under the bridge.

Manningham Council to review and develop budget on stormwater drains

THE TOPOGRAPHY of Manningham and the noticeably wetter weather we are experiencing means flooding is becoming a real and regular issue for residents. In a move to combat this, Manningham Council passed a supplementary motion to improve, prioritise and ultimately increase maintenance, development and budget of Manningham’s drainage network at their council meeting on September 26.

Earlier in the proceedings, Council passed a motion to continue to proceed the Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) and Special Building Overlay Schedule 1 (SBO1) to Panel but abandon SBO2 and SBO3. LSIO and SBO overlays are already part of Manningham’s planning process but Amendment C109 is designed to “introduce and/or review the application….in relation to 10,300 properties in Manningham” which have been identified by Melbourne Water and Council as at risk of flooding if a 1–in-100-year storm occurs.

The three new SBO schedules are designed to identify who the responsible authority is and if the flooding is likely to be above or below 100mm.

The motion put forward is to continue to take LSIO and SBO1 to Panel, these overlays will be applied to properties which are built on a natural floodplain or who are at risk of flooding due to “Melbourne Water assets”.

SBO2 and SBO3, which have been abandoned for the moment were to be applied to properties which are subject to flooding due to Manningham Council assets and where stormwater is likely to flood above 100mm (SBO2) or up to 100mm (SBO3).

As a result of this alternate motion being passed, Cr Mcleish put forward a supplementary motion which will use the information collected and the current budget allowance of $10.8M to “prepare a plan to increase that investment for the next budget”.

At the meeting, Cr McLeish said: “Our community hasn’t been aware of the moves we have been making because they are lost in the detail of a budget and lost in the details of our planning processes for that budget; that’s what happens when you are running a business that is $120M and you are making subtle changes to improve fundamental investment.”

Ideally, a council decision which allowed for SBO2 and SBO3 to continue to Panel would equip the council and landowners with the information needed to better protect their properties and future developments from flooding, but the supplement motion to use the information the C109 consultation process has gathered to make our drainage system more efficient is, at least, a step towards a drier solution for our community on the Manningham side of the river.

New operator being sought for Warrandyte Community Market

MANNINGHAM council is seeking applications from not for profit community groups based in Manningham to operate the Warrandyte Community Market from April 2016.

The Warrandyte Community Market is held in the Warrandyte River Reserve on the first Saturday of each month (excluding January) with a second market held in on the third Saturday in December each year.

The decision to seek a new operator for the market has been made to resolve management issues at the market and follows extensive liaison between council and the existing Warrandyte Community Market Committee over the past two years.

In the interim, a working group has been set up to operate the market until a successful market operator has been selected. This interim group, comprising representatives from the Warrandyte Lions Club, Warrandyte Donvale Rotary Club, North Warrandyte CFA, Community Church and Be Ready Warrandyte, will operate the February and March 2016 markets.

Prospective market operators must demonstrate that they have the capacity, capability and skills to manage the community market, including effective governance through a properly constituted committee.

The successful operator will enter into a licence agreement with council for a term of three years, and will commence operation from the April 2016 market (Saturday 2 April).

Applications are required by at 11am on Wednesday 17 February 2016 and must be received by this time.

For more information, visit www.tendersearch.com.au/manningham or call Paul Goodison, Council’s Co-ordinator Landscape and Leisure on 9840 9460.

Full report to follow in the next edition of the Diary, February 8.

Down the drain

WARRANDYTE’S Melbourne Hill Road catchment residents say they are “outraged”, “devastated” and “extremely disappointed” with Manningham City Council’s decision to vote for a scheme that a 97% majority of affected residents didn’t want and also say they feel “abandoned” by two of our Mullum Mullum ward councillors, Meg Downie and Paul McLeish.

And our third Mullum Mullum ward councillor Sophy Galbally has entered the fray and blasted her two fellow councillors Downie and McLeish and the decision, which effectively means homeowners will be forced to pay a large sum from their own pockets to help x council drains.

Only 3% of the 125 affected residents in Melbourne Hill Rd supported the idea of paying for Manning- ham Council’s $2.2 million scheme to prevent what it describes as a “significant flooding problem”.

Homeowners where the drainage work takes place will be hit with varying amounts to help pay for the costs.

In a document lodged with the Ombudsman, there is an extract from the Manningham Drainage Strategy 2004-2014 published on the council website http://www.manningham.vic.gov.au/drains that reads “Council’s current policy requires 75% support of all properties within a contributory scheme”, yet council still advises that MHRC residents will incur a Special Charge Scheme at a cost to be determined.

Cr Galbally told the Diary: “Why did Cr Mcleish and Cr Downie support the officer recommendation? Beats me, I was under the impression we were trying to find a sustainable flood mitigation option. Yes, I am disappointed in both ward councillors. If the Melbourne Hill Road catchment area residents had their support we would have been successful in rejecting Scheme 1, the of officers’ preferred option.

“Considering that all along we understood the scheme’s aim was primarily ‘flood mitigation’, why would council approve one that causes more disruption to residents, clear 170 mature trees which will change the landscape in an area which has an environmental significant overlay?

“And for that, residents and all ratepayers are paying $2.2 million plus. On the other hand, the alternative, less invasive option would have cost $1.3 million … and it was reported by the consultants as providing the equal level of flood mitigation.

“The reason why the resident preferred option, Scheme 2.1 modified, lost is it didn’t provide a drainage outlet to all properties … it wasn’t about flood mitigation but about future development!”

Cr Galbally didn’t stop there, saying the damage to the Melbourne Hill Road Catchment streetscape with the removal of some trees that are more than 50 years old was clearly something the residents did not support.

“The residents of Melbourne Hill Rd will have many of their front gardens destroyed and pay for their own landscaping after they pay for the pipe connection from the roadside to their homes,” she said.

“These costs will be above what they will be liable for under the special rates and charges … all for the benefit of having something 100% of the residents didn’t want.”

In fairness to all parties, the Diary has given residents of Melbourne Hill Road Catchment, Manningham City Council, and councillors the chance to respond on pages 10 and 11.

The author of the article no longer resides in Melbourne Hill Rd.

Cr Yang is new mayor of Manningham

Koonung Ward Councillor Jennifer Yang has been elected mayor of Manningham for 2015-16 and her fellow Ward councillor Dot Haynes as deputy mayor at the annual meeting of council.

It will be Cr Yang’s second term as Manningham mayor having held the position in 2012/13.

“I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by my fellow councillors to be the mayor of Manningham for a second time. It is a rare honour and I am absolutely delighted to again have been given the opportunity to represent the residents of Manningham,” Cr Yang told the Diary.

Cr Yang believes her role is to build on the exceptional work of previous councils while keeping an eye on future opportunities.

“Manningham is an outstanding city and we have been left with a wonderful legacy and I am determined to work with everyone in the community to ensure Manningham remains one of the most liveable, prosperous and inclusive communities in Australia,” she said.  “Local government is facing challenging times and it is my hope that this term of council is not only a time of consolidation, but also a time for innovation and new thought to help us move into the future with confidence.”

Multi-use stadium permit submitted

MANNINGHAM City Council has applied for a planning permit for the proposed $17.9 million multi-use stadium at Mullum Mullum Reserve.

The stadium plans include five multi-use sports courts, seating for up to 500 spectators, amenities and a café. The facility will cater for a range of sports such as basketball, netball, badminton and volleyball. The facility will be critical to addressing the shortage of court space throughout the area.

Manningham chief executive officer Joe Carbone said the stadium development was a key feature of the Mullum Mullum Reserve Management Plan. The plan also proposes additional improvements at the reserve including upgrades to the existing sporting facilities, improvements to landscaping and the construction of better pedestrian and cycling links throughout the reserve.

“Manningham has a growing demand for court space for a range of sports including basketball, netball, gymnastics, badminton and table tennis, so the stadium development will play a pivotal role in freeing up valuable space at our other highball stadiums,” Mr Carbone said.

The planning permit application for the construction of the stadium is on public exhibition from Wednesday August 19 until Wednesday September 9. Submissions should be made during that time, however council can consider all submissions up until the day a decision is made on the application.

As part of the exhibition and planning permit application process, a community drop-in session will be held at the Donvale Hockey and Bowls Pavilion at the Mullum Mullum Reserve, at the corner of Reynolds and Springvale Roads, between 2pm and 4pm, and 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday August 26.

Members of the community are invited to attend the community drop-in session to speak to the project architects, specialist technical consultants and council officers.Following the public exhibition period, a report will be prepared for Council to make a formal decision on the planning permit application. Subject to planning approval, construction of the stadium would commence in late 2016, with the facility expected to be open to the public by the middle of 2018.

For more information on the planning permit application:

  • Visit yoursaymanningham.com.au/MullumMullumReserveManagementPlan to view a copy of the application and plans, acoustic report, traffic report and sustainability report
  • View a hard copy of the application and plans at the Manningham Civic Centre, 699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster, between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday
  • Call Council’s Statutory Planning Unit on 9840 9333.

Submissions must be made in writing and include the submitter’s name and address. To make a submission, either:

Drop your written submission in to the Manningham Civic Centre, 699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster.

Warrandyte residents petition Manningham council to oppose petrol station at VCAT

WARRANDYTE residents turned out in force to petition Manningham City Council in opposition to the construction of the proposed petrol station near the roundabout in Yarra Street.

The submitters meeting at council offices was attended by the three Mullum Mullum ward councillors, mayor Cr Paul McLeish, Cr Meg Downie and Cr Sophie Galbally, and Cr Dot Haynes.

Dick Davies presented on behalf of the WCA, and Grant Waldram and Maurice Burley on behalf of the Warrandyte Character Protection Group. Several residents also presented a case against what they believe to be “inappropriate development”.

davies

WCA president Mr Davies

Residents made a case suggesting the development would be a first in what is supposed to be a Neighbourhood Residential Zone, that it would completely marr the ‘Gateway to Warrandyte’ aspect at the roundabout, that it could not be considered part of the West End complex, that disturbance as a result of all night access would be a problem, that bushfire and water contamination risks were exacerbated and many other concerns. WCA called on council to strongly oppose the appeal to VCAT with legal counsel and expert witnesses.

The developer declined to attend the submitters meeting and has appealed directly to VCAT.

The VCAT hearing is on October 19 and will last five days. At the request of the WCA, VCAT has ordered the proponent to produce new plans by August 14 allowing all parties two months to review the new plans before the hearing.

The WCA submission reads:

WCA Submission to the MCC submitters hearing

Officers report on 1,3,5 yarra street (pl13/023819)

The Warrandyte Community Association has a mandate from its membership to:

  • Promote all aspects of community life in Warrandyte
  • Defend the character and heritage of the Township, and
  • Protect the environment and encourage restoration and regeneration of native flora and fauna.

Our feedback over the years is that any new development should preserve this character and feel of Warrandyte.

Consequently, WCA has adopted the view that any large development, such as a fuel outlet, must blend in with the heritage character and environmental aspects of the Township. It is our view that the current proposal for a petrol station at 1,3,5 Yarra Street does not meet these criteria. While some might want a service station in Warrandyte, it is impossible to drive more than 10 minutes without finding one – some of which operate 7 x 24.

The WCA is one of 68 local objectors to this proposal. We oppose the current plan on the grounds of Traffic management, Visual amenity, Heritage streetscape, Loss of roadside vegetation and Environmental concerns.

Specifically these are:

  • As detailed in the Council Officers’ report, the proposal is inconsistent with Council’s planning scheme and neighbourhood character provisions. The scale and intensity of the proposal is an overdevelopment of the site from many perspectives.
  • By any reasonable judgement, the proposal fails to satisfy Clause 52.15 of the planning scheme, which states that: “The amenity of the locality must not be adversely affected by activity on site, the appearance of any building, works, or materials, emissions from the premises or in any other way.” There is no way that the proposal can come close to meeting this criterion.
  • Neighbourhood Residential Zone is the most restrictive of the Government’s three residential zones. There are no service stations in other NRZ. This would be the first , making a mockery of the purpose of the NRZ, which is —“to manage and ensure that development respects identified neighbourhood character, heritage, environmental or landscape characteristics”.
  • The Design and Development Overlay 3 (DDO3) adds another layer to the NRZ. The proposal appears to be in direct contravention of the objectives of the overlay.

(which seeks to ensure that:

  1. development responds to the area’s environmental characteristics;
  2. development recognises the existing infrastructure capacities and does not generate demand for extensive upgrades of infrastructure, including the standard of roads and drainage;
  3. development responds to the area’s environmental characteristics, including topography, soils and vegetation;
  4. development is sympathetic to the existing built form and style and retains the predominance of single detached housing and discourages other forms of works.)
  • No other businesses operate 24 x 7 in Warrandyte. The lights, traffic noise and disturbance would be unreasonable in a residential zone. The presence of a 7 x 24 convenience store (that could easily morph into a fast food outlet) would significantly change the character and ‘Country Town’ feel.
  • Furthermore, there is the potential for contamination in the flood zone.
  • Also there will be additional traffic impacts on an area already suffering significant congestion.
  • Removal of six large mature yellow box gumtrees contradicts the objectives and guidelines in the planning scheme for this area.

We note that the applicant has decided to bypass appropriate Council procedures with a direct appeal to VCAT, with changes that may appeal to the referral authorities, rather than amend the application to address the issues raised by Council Officers. At the request of the WCA, VCAT has ordered the proponent to produce new plans by August 14th allowing two months to review the new plans before the hearing.

We support the Manningham Council Officers Report (PL 13/023819) which proposes that Council oppose the application to VCAT. We urge Council to vigorously oppose this application and dedicate significant resources to fight it, including, but not limited to:

  • An experienced planning lawyer with a track record of defeating inappropriate developments at VCAT, and
  • Expert witnesses as recommended by the planning solicitor.

If this proposal were to be built, the character of Warrandyte, a resource not just for the residents but all of Melbourne, would be significantly and detrimentally affected.

We thank you for your time in consideration of this matter.

Dick Davies, President, Warrandyte Community Association Inc.

 

Olivigna applies for helipad in Warrandyte

AN application for a proposed helipad at Olivigna in South Warrandyte is being considered by Manningham council.

The helipad will enable emergency services to have easier and more immediate access to the estate’s surrounding area.

Olivigna property manager John Di Pietro said the threat of bushfires prompted the business to apply for the helipad permit.

“During the height of a particularly hot and threatening summer we thought about our estate and its positioning and realised that if local emergency services could fly in and out of here it would really help them, which is essentially protect and help our community,” Mr Di Pietro said.

Although the proposal has been welcomed by emergency services, including the police and the local CFAs, it has received about 60 objections. Nonetheless, Olivigna management maintain that the helipad will not be used often and, when it is, will create minimal disturbance.

The number of flights will be limited to two arrivals and two departures per month and the size and type of helicopter will be restricted according to the acoustic report. As per Clause 52.15 of the Manningham Planning Scheme, flights will not take place before 7am (8am on weekends or holidays) or after sunset on weekdays.

Mr Di Pietro said that two acoustic reports indicate that the noise generated by the helicopters is well below the Environment Protection Authority 1254 Noise Control Guidelines. He also reiterated that the proposed flight path will not impact on the neighbourhood as the helicopters will only cross the Olivigna properties.