Tag Archives: Ryan Smith

Hats go in the ring for the Warrandyte Byelection

By SUSAN FOREMAN NAMES ARE beginning to emerge for inclusion on the ballot paper in the August 26 Warrandyte Byelection.
Last month, member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith MP, announced he would be retiring from Parliament.
His successor for the Liberal candidacy, Nicole Ta-Ei Werner, was announced following a preselection battle.
Since then, other parties have been weighing up their options.
A source from within the Labor party told Warrandyte Diary that the party has yet to decide on their intentions for the seat.
Victorian Greens have announced that the current Deputy Mayor of Manningham, Cr Tomas Lightbody, would be contesting the seat for the Greens.
Minor parties and independents are beginning to emerge, the Freedom Party’s Greg Cheesman has confirmed he is looking to contest the seat, a group calling themselves the Warrandyte Movement are putting up an independent candidate in Vern Hughes, and Raymond “The Snake Man” Hoser announced he would run as an independent.
There are also a host of other whispers about minor parties, Teal and other independents making plans to run.
Keep an eye on the Warrandyte Diary and Manningham & Nillumbik Bulletin over the coming weeks for the full card of starters.

Passing the Liberal baton

The Liberal Party have already preselected their new candidate, which itself was contested by nine hopefuls, among them Manningham Councillor Andrew Conlon, the former Institute of Public Affairs executive director John Roskam, former Eltham candidate Jason McClintock and KPMG director Sarah Overton.
A 22-year-old law student and champion rower, Antonietta di Cosmo also contested the Liberal ticket alongside former political staffer Jemma Townson.
The victorious contender is Nicole Ta-Ei Werner, a 32-year-old former food relief worker for Empower Australia, the charitable arm of Pentecostal church Planetshakers.

Liberal leader John Pessuto announces Nicole Werner at the Warrandyte Candidate.She was also the Liberal candidate for the seat of Box Hill in last year’s State Election and, since then, has been working in the office of Senator Jane Hume.

She said she was “humbled and honoured” that the members chose her as the Warrandyte candidate.
The election is said to be a test of the Liberal party leader John Pesutto, who has overseen infighting and internal divisions, most notably over the expulsion from the party room of Moira Deeming after she attended an anti-trans rally also attended by neo-Nazis.
Ryan Smith was one of those who opposed the expulsion motion. Nicole and Ryan sat down with the Diary as they passed the baton.
Ryan said he was pleased they chose a local person as the new candidate.
“I think she’s the right person,” he said. “There were nine people who put their hand up, five weren’t locals, and I would have been disappointed if the party had selected a non-local.
“So, I’m happy that we got one of the four, and I’ve seen Nicole campaign very enthusiastically and really connect, particularly with many of the younger people.
“I think that party had seen what work she had put in over the last election.
“So, I’m hoping to see that again,” he said.
Nicole had an 8.9 per cent swing against her in Box Hill at the 2022 State Election, but she remains optimistic about a different result in Warrandyte.
“It was my first run as a candidate, and I’ve learnt from that.
“There are setbacks in everybody’s career and life, but I’m a fighter, so I’m back to fight — I want to fight for the people of Warrandyte,” she said.
Nicole said her passion for politics goes back to her family’s story.
“My parents moved from Malaysia for a better life for the family — with quite a backstory as well.
“My maternal grandmother is illiterate; she can’t read or write, she was born into poverty in Malaysia, and her family was too poor to send her to school.”
She said her grandmother was an amazing woman.
“She survived WWII by hiding in the jungle as a child, and as the eldest daughter, the family sent all her siblings to school, but not her; she stayed home to do the housework.
“She tells stories of dropping all her younger siblings at school, and she would peer through the window and try to catch bits of learning where she could.
“She worked as hard as possible to send my mum and her other children to school.
“My mum grew up in that environment, with a degree of poverty, and decided at age 22 to move out here.
“And this is so many migrant stories; you move here for a better life, you make a fresh start for your family.
“Mum recently told me the story where she’s a new migrant, first-time mother, she’s been working two jobs just to get ahead and they have just bought a house, and she is pregnant with me the first child, and she put a hand on her belly, and she said that she would say to me, ‘I want you to be a leader and I want you to change the world’.
“I think that’s always been ingrained in me that there is this hunger and desire to make a difference to the community.
“Politics for me is about that more than anything else,” she said.
She said she is from a multicultural, multi-faith family; her father is Buddhist, her mother is agnostic, her brother is atheist, she has Islamic family members, and she and her husband are Pentecostal Christians.
That is what makes Victoria great, it’s a multicultural multi-faith society, and I will always defend the right for people to have the freedom to worship if they choose to or not, and the religion they choose to practise or not,” she said.
Nicole paid tribute to the job that Ryan has done for the electorate over the last 16 years.
She said people told her she had some big shoes to fill.
“Ryan told me they’re not big shoes, we all do things differently, so they’re just different shoes.
“But he leaves an amazing legacy and has been a beloved local member, and so it does for me mean that they are huge shoes to fill because everyone you speak to just adores Ryan.”
Ryan said he had the same issue when he took over from Phil Honeywood in 2006.
“That was 18 years [that Phil had been in office], but you don’t do it the same; you just do it how you think you need to do it.”
Nicole said she would do a lot the same as Ryan in terms of helping the individual constituent.
“The gold standard is ‘Have I helped this person, have I advocated this issue, have I helped this family?’.
“And that is what I want to do, be someone that helps people and fights for people,” she said.
Ryan said the times sometimes force you to act a certain way.
“When Black Saturday happened, bushfire became the overarching focus of the community for several years, we would have meetings at the community church with over 600 people just to get information on what to do, and so bushfire prep became sort of my thing for a while because I knew the community cared about it, I knew how fragile our situation was in regards to fire.
“But then, when I started, the health of the Yarra River was a big deal — there were E.coli levels through the roof, and the runoff from people’s septic tanks was horrible.
“And so, with those different focuses of the community, drives you to act in a certain way which is different to what my predecessor did, in a different way to what my successor will do as well, the times call for a certain type of person, a certain type of action and a certain way of approaching something,” he said.
Nicole said that living in nearby Blackburn and studying in Donvale, she understood the electorate’s needs.
“This is an incredibly diverse electorate in its population demographics and landscape so that I will campaign on local issues pertinent to each area.
“In Doncaster East and Donvale, there are issues like over-development that people are worried about, and then in areas like North Warrandyte, Warrandyte, Park Orchards there is the Green Wedge as far out as Chirnside Park, and that is an important issue to the locals there,” she said.
But she said some issues transcend geography and demographics, such as the cost of living, noting a conversation she has had with a resident in Park Orchards who has to sell their house due to mortgage stress.
“And when I was working in food relief, we saw a rise during the pandemic, and where we were feeding 3,000 people and in 11 months, we gave away a million meals.
“And that for me was such a wake-up call in the sense of how government decisions impact individuals’ lives,” she said.

 

Greens: Tomas Lightbody

As a young person, Tomas Lightbody says he is keenly aware of the impacts of climate change and the need to phase out fossil fuels like coal and gas.
He said he has also seen how the current housing crisis has left countless Victorians forced to choose between food and rent as renters across the state grapple with mounting rent rises.
If elected, he says he would fight to stop new fossil fuel projects like the disastrous “coal-to-hydrogen” project currently being considered by Labor and push for solutions to the housing crisis, including a big build of public and affordable housing and rent controls.
“Having grown up a Donvale local, I understand the preciousness of our local communities and environments in this seat and feel the urgency with which we need to protect them,” he said.
He says he also understands the importance of supporting those doing it tough amidst the rising cost-of-living.
He said he was inspired to put his hand up for Council in 2020 to be a voice for the young, diverse, and queer communities in his electorate.
And now, he’s ready to be that voice in the Victorian Parliament.
“If elected, I’ll push the Victorian Labor Government to go further and faster on climate change and housing affordability so that we can protect our precious environment and look after people doing it tough,” he said.
During his time on Council, Tomas has secured a local community net-zero target of 2035, increased funding for tree planting, and greater protection for trees on public lands.
He has also fought tirelessly for better public transport, including increased bus links between local activity centres, given there are currently no buses between areas like Wonga Park and Park Orchards, and Warrandyte.
In the Victorian Parliament, Tomas plans to fight for proper funding for maintenance and bushfire mitigation efforts in the Warrandyte state forests and increase infrastructure safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
The Victorian State Election last year saw the Greens experience their strongest election results ever, with voters electing Aiv Puglielli as their Upper House MLC for the North-Eastern Metropolitan region, which takes in the seat of Warrandyte.
“Support for the Victorian Liberals is currently in freefall, and with Labor potentially not even standing a candidate at all, this byelection will be incredibly unpredictable.
“Every vote for the Greens this byelection sends a message that people want progressive action and that Labor and the Liberals can’t keep going with business as usual and just expect to keep their seats,” Tomas said.

The Warrandyte Movement

A group of local people in Warrandyte is fielding an independent candidate.
The group is called The Warrandyte Movement, and their candidate is Vern Hughes.
The movement describes itself as a group of Warrandyte people, active in local community, arts groups, and small businesses, who want to start somewhere in getting a different kind of politics.
Vern has been described as a community leader and social entrepreneur.
He was the founder of the Social Entrepreneurs Network (Australia and New Zealand) and is a former Director of the Co-operative Federation of Victoria.
He has worked in community health, disability, church, and co-operative and social enterprise organisations for 40 years.
He is also a historian who has written extensively on the history of social movements and community organisations in Victoria.
“I have accepted the invitation to stand as a candidate for The Warrandyte Movement because we all need to do what we can to change politics in Victoria.
“In approaching me, the group wants someone who could play a leadership role, if elected, in spreading the movement across Victoria,” he said.
Vern went on to say he was delighted to accept the challenge.
“We don’t need Left or Right — they have created deep division and cynicism in the community.
“We need a new politics that is about local communities, empowerment of people, and deep integrity.”
Vern says Warrandyte has been traditionally held by the Liberal Party, describing the electorate as a diverse bunch of “small c conservatives”.
“That is, they want to conserve their community, their environment, their jobs, and businesses, in financially sustainable ways.
“They want to conserve families as the bedrock social unit and support everyone to find belonging and stability.
“As conservative-minded people, they are wary of Big Business and Big Government.
“They want bureaucracy kept to a minimum, and they want creativity and initiative to flourish.
“In this sense, I will be a Conservative Independent in Warrandyte.
“The Warrandyte Movement is a movement for the renovation of democracy and government for the 21st century,” said Vern.

Snake Man stands

Raymond “The Snake Man” Hoser has announced he will be running for election in the upcoming byelection as an independent.
He said he would be running on a centrist platform of ethics, economics, law and order, and environment.
Having written books on wildlife, wildlife smuggling, government corruption, and police corruption, and is the self-proclaimed “world’s foremost snake expert”.
He said most people in Warrandyte know The Snake Man as the 24/7 snake catcher “who rocks up at all hours to relocate deadly snakes”.
Raymond has been a Melbourne snake catcher for over 30 years and says he has trained dozens of others across Melbourne and Australia.
Raymond says that only with a strong independent elected to the seat will the local area be properly represented.
“We need representation from a person with a proven track record of running a successful business, honesty, ethics, and an environmental protection record that is the best in Australia”.
At the State level, he says he will seek to cut the excessive size of the bloated public service and the culture of cronyism.
Raymond warns of major party stooges nominating as “independents” or what he called “fake independents”, with Liberal or Labor preference flows, with the sole purpose of disrupting the independent vote to ensure a Liberal win.
Raymond says: “I am needed to deal with the snakes in the Victorian parliament”.

Byelection date announced

Mr Smith’s resignation took effect on July 7.
The Victorian Electoral Commission has announced the byelection will be held on Saturday, August 26, with a two-week early voting period expected to kick off Monday, August 14.
Nominations will officially open in the coming week.
The electoral roll will close shortly after, so make sure your enrolment details are up to date.

“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.

Fiveways intersection strikes again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ms Dixon wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering our Anzacs, as a community

This year on Anzac Day, the marching, the bagpipes, the veterans, the crowds and the choir were notably absent from the Warrandyte RSL.

However, at 10:45am on Saturday, April 25, RSL President David Ryan, begun his Anzac Day service introduction, and dozens of homes in and around Warrandyte heard his words, as the 2020 Warrandyte Anzac Day service was livestreamed for the first time in its history, in a collaboration between Warrandyte RSL, the Warrandyte Diary and 42K Media.

Warrandyte RSL has faced a number of challenges surrounding its Anzac Day service in the past few years.

In 2017, the memorial was vandalised the day before the service, with anti-anarchist graffiti.

In 2018, the RSL balcony, which is usually reserved for wheelchair bound veterans during the service, was condemned and had to be closed for repairs.

On both occasions, the branch, and members of the community pooled their resources and came together to ensure these challenges were merely bumps on the road to “another respectful service”.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions we have all be living with since mid-March threatened Warrandyte’s traditional service.

It became apparent very quickly that the traditional mass march from Whipstick Gully, followed by moving service complete with choir, bugler, bagpipes and sandwiches at the RSL after, would not be possible.

All over the state, country and world, public Anzac Day services were cancelled.

Officially, there was still reduced services at the Shrine of Remembrance and the Australian War Memorial, while Australians everywhere were asked to join in with the Dawn Service and Stand To in their driveways.

In Warrandyte, families stood with lit candles by the roadside, some even played the Last Post on trumpets and bagpipes.

Warrandyte RSL had planned on holding a small, private service at the Warrandyte War Memorial on Saturday 25th, but a chance meeting between Warrandyte branch President David “Rhino” Ryan and Sandra Miller, a former Army Reservist and cofounder of local video production company 42K Media, set in motion an idea which would allow our local community to participate in a local Anzac Day service from their living-rooms.

Using a series of 4G mobile internet routers, 42K Media was able to harness enough bandwidth to successfully stream the full 30-minute service.

On the Friday before Anzac Day, Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith laid a wreath and paid his respects at the cenotaph, and Mullum Mullum Ward Councillor, Andrew Conlon, inadvertently became part of the ceremony when he turned up to lay Manningham Council’s wreath on Saturday morning.

As well as readings by the RSL President, and Community Church Pastor Andrew Fisher, traditional hymns, songs and the Last Post were played from recordings.

The speeches, songs, prayers, wreath-laying and the two minute’s silence were all recorded on camera and between the livestream and the post-produced video, the service has been watched thousands of times.

With services being cancelled everywhere, this Anzac Day was always going to be different, but thanks to some local inspiration, a dose of technological ingenuity, and a pinch of luck (especially with the internet), Warrandyte was able to mark Anzac Day 2020 in its own special way.

You can watch the service on the Warrandyte Diary’s Facebook page, or YouTube Channel: bit.ly/DiaryTV

 

 

Anzac Day

They were all answering the Call of the Dardanelles,

Little did they know, they were entering a living hell.

The brave ANZAC’s, marched up the hill,

With their aim, freedom and to kill.

Fighting for our freedom,

With their families at home, who really, really need them.

At Gallipoli, 10,000 ANZACs lost their lives,

While a small amount of them, only just survive.

As the Reveille played, get them up in the morn’,

As they thought about what would happen after dawn.

They slowly chewed on the Anzac biscuits that their families had made,

As they hid in the trenches, extremely afraid.

For the families whose daddies, brothers and husbands who went to war,

And for those who didn’t come back, their heart is so sore.

The Poppy’s laid over the soldiers, who were laid to rest,

May all of the ANZACS, be well and truly blessed.

At the Anzac Day parade, the soldiers march, strong and tall,

These are the people, who answered the call.

Liam, Our Lady of the Pines Primary School

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Warrandyte runs around the Pound

THE FIRST WEEKEND in March was once again a busy one as over 600 people flocked to Warrandyte Reserve for the eighth iteration of the community running event to either run or volunteer.

A little rain overnight kept the morning temperatures down which was a welcome relief to most who would have been training in the weeks leading up to the run where average temperatures were around the high 20s–low 30s.

This year, the run organisers managed to negotiate a tweak to the existing courses which made the run both easier to manage and a more challenging run.

For the 2.2K runners, this meant they only had to run one lap, instead of two as in previous years but saw them climbing all the way up Everard Drive and Pound Road, alongside the 5, 10 and 15K runners.

For the longer distances the course still looped through the Pound but thanks to the cooperation of Parks Victoria and property owner Jan Day, runners passed through her property after exiting the Tank Track and joined the bushland trail which follows the river between the Ranger Station and the Tunnel carpark.

Despite what was viewed by the run committee as a more trail-like and technically challenging course, and the fact that each lap of the longer runs were around 150 metres longer than five kilometres, the feedback on the finish line and around the event village was extremely positive.

David Dyason, chair of the Run Warrandyte committee spoke to the Diary about the success of the event.

“This year’s course was highly acclaimed by all participants, we have received many compliments and no negative feedback… one participant made us promise not to change the course next year ‘it was so good…’ which we have had to do for various reasons in the past,” he said.

Warrandytian Brynton Ashton placed in the top three of the 15K distance since it was introduced in 2016.

Brynton once again dominated the longer distance finishing 1:25 ahead of 2nd place Alex Tracey and despite the tougher course, only 29 seconds slower than the previous year.

After the race, Brynton spoke with guest commentator and Member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith.

When asked how he was feeling Brynton said his legs were “a bit sore given the new course” but that it was overall an enjoyable run.

The buzz around the event village after the run was great with numerous medal ceremonies taking place, Run Warrandyte also had a number of runners running for charitable causes, both local and afar.

The event’s official fund raising page gave participants the opportunity to raise money for organisations including the Warrandyte Netball Club, Warrandyte Football Club, Warrandyte Junior Football Club, Warrandyte Cricket Club, Warrandyte CFA, STOP One Punch Can Kill, and Rivers Gift(SIDS).

Through the event, runners managed to raise over $2700, cementing Run Warrandyte as a great platform to inspire people to raise money for a good cause.

Mr Dyason went on to talk about the unique opportunity a fun run in Warrandyte presents and praised Parks Victoria for their assistance in making the course run a possibility.

“We think that, for a fun run, our course is truly unique.

“The mix of urban streets, fire trails and State Park single trails, with much of it having Yarra River views we think it’s an awesome treat.

“Parks Victoria are to be commended for working with us and allowing us to use these trails and we feel the responsibility of ensuring this section of Warrandyte bushland is respected and appreciated by our participants — and we think it was.”

If you ran on the day, make sure you visit the event page on GeoSnapShot for official race photographs.

Run Warrandyte will be back in 2019.

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Medals were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in an Under 8, 12-17 and Open categories for most distances, medal winning runners and their official times are listed below.

Spelling of names and official times sourced from Tomato Timing.

15K

Open Male: Brynton Ashton (1:02:50), Alex Tracey (1:04:15), Marcus Boxall (1:06:36)

Open Female: Narelle Cormack (1:08:41), Melissa Hansford (1:11:16), Eloise Thompson (1:13:53)

12–17 Male: Brown Vermeulen (1:18:10), Nicholas Alexander (1:23:22), Brown Vermeulen (1:27:56)

12–17 Female: Alicia Callahan (1:18:46)

10K

Open Male: Aron Class (41:12), Ben McKinnon (44:13), Robert Clark (48:01)

Open Female: Naomi Peters (52:15), Clare Oliveira (52:18), Atsuko Sasaki (52:48)

12–17 Male: Benjamin Reid (43:04), Max Savill-Bentley (43:36), Lucas Todd (1:09:26)

8–11 Male: Cambell Stark (54:33)

5K

Open Male: Nicholas Brooke-Anderson (20:04), Hudson Rostrom (21:42), Michael Cullum (21.49)

Open Female: Sherry Street (22.40), Veronica Bence (24.56), Nicole Lavender (25:35)

12–17 Male: Ben Munks (22:28), Adam Gillard (23:10), Jed Harrowell (23:19)

12–17 Female: Ruby Maher (22:30), Chloe Woollard (24:55), Julia Rooney-Watson (27:43)

8–11 Male: Lenny Reddaway (25:55), Wes Callow (26:36), Michell Harrison (27:23)

8–11 Female: Anni Tatten (27:19), Rose Rostron (29:21), Millie Hurley (30:03)

U8 Male: Hamish Dwyer (28:10), Archie Andrew (28:39), Ethan Sampimon (30:08)

U8 Female: Sophia Marelas (43:51), Jade Trewarn (1:14:29)

2.2K

Open Male: Luke Brewis (8:18), Charles Johnstone (8:55), Martin Baldock (10:32)

Open Female: Alice Van Rijn (11:44), Yvette Harbinson (12:01), Lynda Madams (13:03)

12–17 Male: Samuel Ferguson (9:34), Odin Harbinson (10:05), Dylan Thompson (11:00)

12–17 Female: Amber Louw (8:21), Cassie May (10:50), Stella Thompson (26:17)

8–11 Male: Jacob Close (9:30), Elliot Butcher (9:37), Reve Pearce (10:26)

8–11 Female: Eva Graham (11:26), Jasmine Knowles (11:41), Zara Veal (12:38)

U8 Male: Taylor Aldenhoven (11:24), Hunter Veal (11:38), Marlon Damcher (11:44)

U8 Female: Chole Baldock (10:31), Millah Townshend (14:05), Greta Fitzgibbon (15:07)

U8s Kids Run

Open: Sophie Linden (18.54), Xavier Forsyth (19.38), Austin Stainer (19.59)

North East Link corridor plans released

OFFICIAL PLANS for the four routes under consideration for the North East Link have been released by the North East Link Authority (NELA).

The four possible corridors were determined through geo-technical investigations, traffic modelling, environment studies and discussions with community groups, businesses and local residents.

Premier Andrews made the announcement and said local roads in the north-east have become default freeways.

“North East Link will fix that — carrying 100,000 vehicles a day and creating 5,000 jobs,” he said.

However, Member for Warrandyte and Shadow Minister for Roads and Infrastructure, Ryan Smith told the Diary: “building the North East Link without a plan to build the East West Link will simply channel 100,000 vehicles a day onto an already gridlocked Eastern Freeway”.

Routing options

Of the four routes under consideration, two are set to run to the west of Warrandyte.

The proposed Corridor B would cross the Yarra at Fitzsimons Lane and follow the current powerline reserve with an interchange at the Tindals Road and Reynolds Road intersection and join EastLink at the Ringwood end of the Mullum Mullum Tunnel.

Proposed Corridor C would cross under the Yarra near Crystal Brook Caravan Park and follow the powerlines to the same interchange at Tindals Road.

Both of these options would also incorporate upgrades to Reynolds and Springvale Roads.

Further West, Corridor A is proposed to travel 11 kilometres directly south from Greensborough through the Banyule Flats to connect with the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road; this route would include an upgrade of the Eastern Freeway to accommodate the increased traffic volume.

Corridor D is a sweeping 40-kilometre route which travels through Kangaroo Ground, Bend of Islands, Christmas Hills, Lilydale, Mooroolbark and Bayswater, with connection to Eastlink near the Burwood Highway.

Extensive tunnels are planned to protect the environment and cultural assets: Corridor A will be 50% tunnel, Corridor B is planned to comprise a minimum 70% of tunnels over its 24-kilometre length, while Corridor C will have 55% of its 26-kilometre route underground and around 40% of Corridor D will be tunnelled.

Ryan Smith said that having these four corridor options on the table “with a significant lack of detail, Daniel Andrews has created an extreme level of anxiety amongst residents who will potentially have their homes acquired”.

NELA Communication and Stakeholder Engagement officer, Kim Jordan, who presented the plans to local community groups said that NELA have discussed using the powerline reserves with AusNet and they said that to place the high voltage lines underground would not be feasible with the existing reserve.

“That leaves us putting the road underground and leaving the powerlines where they are,” Ms Jordon said.

She said the project “will be completed with a set of guiding principles”:

• Minimise impacts in communities.

• Minimise impacts on environment and cultural assets.

• Minimise impacts during construction.

• Optimise efficient use of resources.

Residents are invited to attend local information sessions during August or can provide their feedback online.

There will be an information session on August 19 at Warrandyte Primary school where residents can give feedback to NELA about the proposed routes.

The Diary will supply publish the NELA technical report on this website when it is made available, in the mean time, more details on the corridor options can be found here.

The Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) says that it is actively preparing for the short feedback period.

Convenor for the WCA’s North East Link subcommittee, Carli Lange-Boutle, says “the WCA is collaborating with other associations along the Greensborough-Eltham-Park Orchards-Donvale-Ringwood Route corridor to identify the potential benefits and impacts of the options.

“This consortium of local associations forms a study group, calling itself the North East Link Forum (NELF), which facilitates an understanding of priority concerns of each district, while also being a means to share information and ideas.”

Ms Lange-Boutle advises that each association continues to work to their individual objectives and priorities.

“The WCA’s priority is to help defend our village character, our natural Yarra River valley bush setting and the surrounding Green Wedge buffers”, she continued.

“The Park Orchards and Donvale communities are worried about potential impact on the Mullum Mullum Creek corridor and about traffic issues.

“The WCA has respectfully identified concerns regarding increased traffic pressure on Yarra Street from a possible ramp system at the intersection of Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road as a key issue.”

Ms Lange-Boutle said “We are devoting considerable effort into encouraging Manningham Council and residents that now is the time to get involved.

“Now is when we all need to communicate our core issues to NELA in response to the route option discussion paper.”

Ms Lange-Boutle said the WCA hoped “Warrandyte residents would take an active interest in this issue”.

These sessions continue the community consultation which commenced last month.

NELA received 7000 responses to their online survey and found the community’s three main issues were: protection of the environment, public transport and urban design.

Last month, residents of Nillumbik were given the opportunity to attend a series of pop-up meetings held by NELA, which were initiated by Nillumbik Council Officers and councillors Karen Egan and Jane Ashton.

Residents asked many questions of the NELA community engagement team with many of the question raised during the first pop-up meeting in Eltham concerned primarily with the routes plan to run through Warrandyte and Kangaroo Ground.

Narelle Campbell has attended several of the pop-up meetings as a concerned resident of the Green Wedge.

She told the Diary that NELA appeared receptive and welcoming of discussions.

“The NELA and Nillumbik Council pop-up sessions give us the opportunity to talk to NELA with our issues face to face,” she said.

Ms Campbell said that Nillumbik residents have been “turning up to these sessions to make sure NELA acknowledges and can articulate all of the reasons why a rural Nillumbik Green Wedge option is a bad idea in its own right and achieves a poor project outcome when compared to other North East Link options”.

Ms Campbell gave the Diary her impression of the reality faced by the North East Link Authority.

“The reality is that all North East Link Project options impact on people, homes, the environment, and create engineering challenges — there is no ‘easy’ build option, completing the Link now is about identifying the ‘least worst’ project option to achieve project benefits,” she said.

As reported in the May edition of the Diary, The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) have been advocating for a wholly aboveground option.

“Tunnels are expensive to build, prolong construction timelines, and cannot accommodate dangerous goods vehicles, which forces them onto other roads, impacting community amenity,” VTA CEO Peter Anderson said earlier this year.

However, Ms Jordon said the VTA’s preferred route through Chirnside Park would require some tunnelling, and that only around 1% of trucks carry dangerous goods.

Ryan Smith said the proposed North East link routes are an unprecedented attack on the Green Wedge.

“Daniel Andrews seems not to know or care about the impact this project will have on the local environment, Mr Smith said.

A final decision on the final route will be announced by the end of the year, with the Premier saying contracts would be signed in 2019 and construction commencing in 2020.

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What will CFA changes mean for Warrandyte?

THE VICTORIAN Government has announced sweeping changes to the fire services which will split the CFA, and while it fundamentally will have no impact on the business of putting out fires, there will be a big change in the way CFA brigades operate behind the scenes.

A joint statement issued by Premier Daniel Andrews and Emergency Services Minister, James Merlino,  said Victoria has some of the best firefighters in the world, however they currently operate under systems and structures that have not changed since the 1950s.

“These important changes will deliver more modern fire services for a growing Victoria, making our state even safer”, said Mr Merlino.

Emergency Services commissioner, Craig Lapsley spoke to the Diary to reassure local residents and CFA volunteers the change for the community would be seamless.

“We have 1220 CFA stations now, and we will have 1220 when this is implemented,” he said.

CFA staff such as those at South Warrandyte will combine with MFB firefighters to form the newly created Fire Rescue Victoria, while CFA volunteers will remain with the CFA, which will return to being a volunteer focused organisation.

“It will still be local people going to local incidents… the same vehicles will be in the same stations, it is just that the signs out the front will be different” he said.

South Warrandyte Station as an integrated station will remain the same, but will have two signs, one representing the FRV staff and the other representing the CFA volunteers.

The situation for other roles within CFA — such as regional managers and staff, community education, trainers, mechanics, fire investigators — is a slightly more complicated issue.

“Operational staff at a Regional level will be employed by FRV but will be tasked to the CFA, however certain administration and technical staff will remain covered by the CFA’s [Professional Technical & Administrative] PTA employment agreement,” Mr Laspley said.

The Commissioner assured the Diary the boundaries between metropolitan and country areas will remain the same, however the Andrews Government has flagged the establishment of a Fire District Review Panel which will conduct future reviews of the boundary between fire services, based on population growth, urban development and the volume of Triple Zero calls.

When the Diary asked about the rumours generated by a photograph published in the Herald Sun showing Warrandyte was being considered for inclusion in FRV, Commissioner Lapsley said there were “no immediate plans to put staff into Warrandyte”.

He said that the position paid fire fighters in South Warrandyte, Eltham and Templestowe gave enough coverage to support the retention of a volunteer-only station at Warrandyte.

“South Warrandyte are getting into Yarra Street in 8-10 minutes”, he said.

Commissioner Lapsley said one of the most important consideration is to ensure surge capacity in times of major incident is protected, and that means ensuring we retain the State’s 50,000 volunteers.

Local member for Warrandyte, Ryan Smith is not so optimistic, and said volunteer retention at integrated stations may not be so easy.

“Sooner or later if you have 20 or so career firefighters there, volunteers aren’t going to get there for a call out and it’ll get to the point that they don’t want to be there to wash the trucks once a week”, Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith is concerned that if volunteers are not given respect they will not be there in times of calamity to provide the needed surge capacity.

“I can’t see anyone but the die-hard volunteers committing to the training just for the sake of three or four callouts a year in those extreme circumstances.”

Peter De Maria, a career firefighter at South Warrandyte, said the feeling at the station was positive and the change was little more than a change of badge.

“It’s no different — really it is not going to change, we will still train with [the volunteers], it is just modernising the service for career staff… but for the community it is a win because they will get a better service,” he said.

Captain at North Warrandyte CFA, Mick Keating hopes the CFA will continue to support volunteer training and skills development.

“As long as they don’t make us a second rate service and say ‘you don’t need these courses, these trucks, this equipment’, we still have houses and big buildings to look after, we still have road accidents, none of that is going to change I just hope there is no change to any of the the training regime or the opportunities that are available to volunteers,” he said.

Captain of the Warrandyte brigade, Adrian Mullens said it was still too early to comment and would like to wait until the dust had settled on the announcement, but wanted to reassure the community that it would be “business as usual”.

“We are still going to service the community as we have for the last 79 years,” Mr Mullens said.

These reforms are currently before Parliament, and if passed, are expected to take two years to be fully implemented.

Ryan Smith is not convinced that the reforms have the community’s interests at heart.

“If it was driven for efficiencies or driven because the system was broken or to save money or whatever you could argue it was good for the community, but what you are going to be doing is basically breaking a community organisation that everyone rallies around…this is just a fix because every other way they wanted to support the UFU was blocked for various reasons — is it a win for the community? No – I think we will just end up missing something that we had,” he said.

The government has confirmed that, until June 2019, the funding for the changes will not impact on the Fire Services Property Levy, which is charged to property owners via council rates.

With this comes a promise that the existing Metropolitan Fire District Boundary will remain in place for the next two years — for the purpose of determining whether Metropolitan or CFA levy rates apply.