Paddling through the Yarra
In a holey old canoe
Hitting rocks below
Whilst fighting off a ‘roo
Tiger snake swims by
Hissing Christmas songs
It’s time for summer holidays
And I’m in my boardies n’ thongs
Oh! Jingle bells, my red bin smells
It wasn’t picked up last week
It’s Christmas time in Warrandyte
40 degrees and my goon-bag’s sprung a leak, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Christmas time is grouse
Oh what fun it is to ride
‘cross the bridge to Nanna’s house
Asphalt’s getting hot
Melts the soles of shoes
An echidna’s getting prickly
He deserves a chilled beer too
All the clan is there
Sitting by the river
Christmas Day the Wazza way
Even Wombats are ruining their liver.
Oh! Jingle bells, my compost smells
The outdoor table is set
It’s Christmas in Warrandyte
And the rain’s on its way I bet, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Kookaburras stole the goose
A dozen ales and a few chilled wines
And Granny’s getting loose
Come the afternoon
The adults have a doze
The prawn heads start going off
And burn the hairs of my nose
The snoring has slowed down
It’s finally time to go
Except Auntie Pain-in-the-arse
Decides we need the annual photo
Oh! Jingle bells, recycling bin smells
The kids have spat the dummy
It’s Christmas in Warrandyte
The ham’s given us an upset tummy, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Christmas time is ace
Oh what fun it is to stagger home
Completely off your face.
Internet’s back on-line
And the bridge is working fine
Despite Santa losing his sleigh
On the round about
It’s the Warrandyte community way
To help the poor fella out
Use my old tin bath for his sleigh
And wrangle a flock of cockies for the flight
Oh! Jingle bells, my septic tank smells
I should have connected the sewer
It’s Christmas night in the ‘Dyte
Where the sunset’s a ripper sight, hey
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Christmas time is worth the fuss
Oh what fun it is to ride
On an uncrowded 906 bus
WITH $400,000 returned to the community this year through grants and sponsorship for a vast array of community projects, Warrandyte Community Bank has now returned a mammoth $3.2million back to the community as it enters its 15th year of operation.
The bank’s commitment to “community” is pretty powerful; its goodness showcased every year via its Community Investment Program which sees up to 80 per cent of the Warrandyte Community Bank’s profit being directed straight to groups within the community in which we live.
As well as the annual grant and sponsorship program, Community Banks across Australia are committed to funding life saving Automatic External Defibrillators which will be installed in Warrandyte and surrounding suburbs in the coming months.
More than 100 guests were hosted at the banks AGM last month for the annual Community Investment Program presentation.
Members from local CFA’s, kinders and schools, sporting, environmental, arts, and community support groups, expressed words of real gratitude, reminding everyone in the room Warrandyte Community Bank is certainly “the better big bank!”.
Projects receiving a share of the $400,000 of community investment included:
Greater Warrandyte CFAs
In line with the bank’s yearly commitment of $50,000 to support the Greater Warrandyte Fire Brigades, this year was no exception.
Warrandyte CFA: Black Start Generator — $39,545
The installation of a Black Start Generator at Warrandyte’s CFA station is considered a vital piece of equipment.
In the event of a power outage the station needs to be operational.
Currently the doors to the station are required to be opened manually (involving the removal of security pins).
They are an occupational health and safety hazard, with potential risk of injury to personnel.
Once installed; in the event of a major emergency in the area, the station would be able to be used as a staging area thanks to the Black Start Generator.
Wonga Park Wizards Junior Football Club: lighting project — $50,000
The objective of the Wizards lighting project is to allow the community to make greater use of facilities all year round.
The Wonga Park Reserve is the sporting and recreation hub for the Wonga Park community.
Lighting on its top oval will allow users to continue to train and keep active during the winter months and will benefit the wider community, as the reserve will be able to be used for night time events.
Project spearhead Annette Felicissimo was thrilled upon hearing the news of the group’s successful application for funding.
“We were so honoured to be the recipients of a major grant and this will make an enormous difference to our community.
“Attending the evening was truly heart lifting, to hear about the projects in the community focused on inclusion and wellbeing,” she said.
Spectrum Journeys Inc (SJI): Warrandyte SJI Outreach — $10,000
Spectrum Journeys aims to equip and empower Carers and Educators as they support children on the autism spectrum, to flourish.
This is achieved via a range of programs and projects including autism carer counselling, mentoring groups, dads groups, workshops and SJI’s very special blessing bag project.
Spectrum Journeys is passionate about seeing carers supported in their local area.
The Warrandyte Outreach programs will help local families with a child on the autism spectrum.
Run out of Warrandyte Community Church, services include an Advocacy and Mentoring program which equips carers with skills to advocate effectively and wisely in the kindergarten and primary school environment, as well as connect carers with peers who experience similar life circumstances.
Also on offer, will be a Parent Connect program, which works alongside mums who have a child newly diagnosed on the autism apectrum and to navigate mental health challenges, new routines, accessing support and self-care.
Part of Outreach will be accessible and heavily subsidized workshops for carers and educators with leading professionals including Hannah Gamble, a Paediatric Occupational Therapist who lives and practices in the Warrandyte area.
These workshops are a wonderful way to equip many people with strength based strategies for the home and classroom.
Both carer support and education are pillars of this project and are core services at Spectrum Journeys workshops.
Friends of Warrandyte State Park Inc.: Protection of FOWSP nursery — $3,549
The Friends of Warrandyte State Park (FOWSP) plant nursery, located at the Warrandyte State Park is dependent on one old cement tank and water from the Yarra River to irrigate 60,000 plants a year, most of which are planted out from Warrandyte State Park to the Kinglake Conservation Link.
Water from the Yarra is pumped up to a concrete tank.
The 30 year old pump continually requires maintenance and when it breaks down it can take two to three days to repair, leaving the nursery without water.
This grant will enable the group to replace its old tank and fit a shade sail over the propagation area, providing a more congenial environment for volunteers all year round.
Following the presentations, Chairman Aaron Farr spoke of his pleasure on hearing about, the almost 60 different projects, benefitting members of a very diverse range of community groups.
“This year we are returning $400,000 in community contributions, representing 80 per cent of our profit.
“Our full suite of banking products are very competitive, imagine what could be achieved if more locals took them up,” he said.
Thanks to the support of its shareholders, branch staff, company board and most importantly its customers, the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank, Australia’s 5th largest bank, has been able to grow to be one of the biggest sources of community funding in the local area.
Drop into the branch at 144 Yarra St, to find out more.
COMMUNITY GRANTS. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION. THE BETTER BIG BANK!
AFTER almost a year of disruption, and occasional chaos, the bridgeworks are now heading towards completion.
Night works and single lane closures, scheduled for December 1 to 4, to allow the construction team to seal the bridge surface, complete the lane markings and remove the remaining barriers were postposed due to bad weather and have not yet been rescheduled.
A further night of single-lane working on December 8 installed street lighting.
The work is looking very eye-pleasing, with colourful bollards and local stone cairns — sensitively designed echoes of stone end walls — at each of the abutments to the bridge.
Fitting of the green railings each side of the roadway and removal of most of the scaffolding from under the bridge was recently completed.
The further remedial work on the high voltage power cable over the Yarra associated with the bridgework was finally completed in the early hours of Sunday December 9 with a power outage affecting 446 residents.
Further works to be completed include finishing new shared use paths, finalising asphalting and line marking on the bridge, removing all remaining temporary barriers, installing the remaining street lighting, providing power and communications to the traffic lights, further strengthening works underneath the bridge, reinstatement of the Queen of the Shire and landscaping works.
The new bus stop works are being delivered by VicRoads on behalf of Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to extend the bus stop, allowing room for articulated buses on the road.
Traffic light troubles
The traffic lights at the corner of Research-Warrandyte Road and Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road became operational on November 20.
Fatima Mohamed, VicRoads Director Metropolitan Assets, tells us “These new traffic lights have improved traffic flow and boosted safety at the intersection of Research-Warrandyte Road and Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Road and we appreciate the community’s patience during these important works.”
Although the traffic lights have been operational since November 20 there has been no power or communications laid on to the site, and the traffic lights are running off a generator.
Digital road rage
Last month, the community and road users continued to vent their frustrations on social media, this time directed at the newly activated traffic lights.
Complaints on social media indicated there was too much priority to traffic on Research Road and motorists stuck in traffic on Kangaroo Ground Road were falling back on old habits and speeding along the Blooms Road rat-run.
But it is the evening traffic that caused the most complaints, with the lights stopping northbound traffic across the bridge, and bridge traffic from Ringwood locking out traffic from the village.
Residents and commuters who have taken their complaints directly to VicRoads have told the Diary they are being advised “VicRoads is currently liaising with Telstra to get the permanent network connection installed which will allow real time adjustment of the signals and we anticipate that there will be tweaks to the signal timings based on traffic volumes once they are fully operational.”
Some adjustment must already be taking place as there has been a substantial improvement in traffic flow during the last week.
Despite criticism of the peak hour queues though Warrandyte, it must be remembered that the primary objective of the upgrade is in relation to bushfire evacuation, and to that extent the recent Bushfire Insurance Forum (see Page 7) was told that the emergency services have welcomed the works and believe that the bridge upgrade has greatly improved the situation in an emergency.
“Whilst the emergency services believe that the bridge upgrade has improved the situation, it is not a panacea and there will still be huge problems on the roads if an evacuation is required.”
The CFA message has always been to leave early and even with two southbound lanes, this message is more important than ever.
Photo: Stephen Reynolds – The Scrims, Warrandyte Festival 2018
THE WARRANDYTE Festival is the annual celebration that gives families and friends the opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Warrandyte’s unique community.
Impressively, volunteers have staged this beloved event for 43 continuous years!
One of the best things about Warrandyte’s biggest weekend is its “home-grown” attitude, which gives local talent the chance to shine.
Artists may dance or play music on stage; enter the Film Feast; hang their art in Friday night’s Rotary Art Show or sell hand-made crafts at market stalls.
Some perform in events like the Grand Read, which features Warrandyte’s literary best.
“Stars of Warrandyte” is the theme for Festival ’19, which runs from March 22 – 24.
Warrandyte schools, sports clubs and community associations are just a few groups who will kick off the fun-filled weekend, when they march in colourful costume in Saturday morning’s Grand Parade.
Organisers tell the Diary there are plans to expand several festival events.
The iconic Battle of the Bands, which gives local youth bands the chance to battle for the prize of spending a day in a recording studio, will move to centre stage from 4pm on Saturday March 23.
“Previously, the Battle of the Bands has been staged on a Friday night but the committee decided to bring the event into Saturday’s music programme to expose the local youth music scene to a wider audience,” says festival committee president Jamie Ferguson.
“We will be approaching local schools before Christmas to try and unearth as many of Warrandyte’s emerging acts as possible.
“We’d love to hear from any young performers keen to be involved.”
As usual, Main Stage performances begin after the 12pm Opening Ceremony.
Sunday’s Main Stage programme will start before 11am and continue a little later, finishing around 10pm.
All the good times return: billycart racing; barrelling down the Scouts’ giant waterslide; duck racing and dog showing.
Warrandyte Film Feast expects to grow substantially in 2019, because what’s not to love about short flicks, a good brew — beer, wine or coffee — and perfect pizza?
The past two events sold out fast and those who lucked in have spread the word, so, co-ordinators are hitching the event to a larger marquee.
The Lounge will start buzzing from 6pm with live music, before the first film screens at 8pm.
Organisers are receiving interest from the filmmaking community already and will put out a formal call to filmmakers over the next few months.
If you want to get your film fix on, Warrandyte Film Feast happens outdoors on the banks of the Yarra on Friday March 22, 2019.
Tickets go online early next year.
Be sure and grab some for your mates if you don’t want them to miss out.
Keep up to date with festival news by visiting Warrandyte Festival Facebook page.
Further festival details in Warrandyte Diary from February 2019.
Battle of the Bands: If you would like to take part in the Battle of the Bands email:
Film Feast: submission guidelines will be available on the Festival website at a later date, but filmmakers can send links to their films or request more info by emailing: email@example.com
Art and craft market: Stall holder applications close December 14.
Forms can be found on the Festival website.
Volunteer: An inspired group of people of all ages puts Warrandyte Festival together.
If you like the thought of planning a big party or have a cracking festival idea please email:
THERE WAS a small field for the coveted position of Member for Warrandyte in the recently held State Election.
Voters turned out in force in the two weeks’ prior to the November 24 poll with early voting numbers reported by the VEC to be almost double the 2014 pre-poll turnout.
The seat of Warrandyte has been a comfortable Liberal seat for over 30 years, with incumbent Ryan Smith having held the seat for 12 years.
Smith, having spent the last four years in opposition was keen to see a change of government as he fought hard on the Liberal platform of law and order.
It was always going to be a difficult fight for control of the Spring Street government benches, but no one expected the massive swings across the state that strengthened Labor’s hold on power.
Labor put in an out-of-towner in Elizabeth McGrath, clearly not expecting her to make inroads into the Blue Ribbon Liberal seat.
However, despite Smith’s personal popularity in the electorate, he was not immune to the tsunami of sentiment away from the conservatives.
His 11 per cent margin was eroded to see him sitting on a frustrating 49.8 per cent, meaning without an absolute majority, a preference distribution was required.
Preferences swung the way of the incumbent, meaning that Ryan Smith was elected for the fourth term as Member of Warrandyte.
The Liberal member’s Two Party Preferred majority now sits at around three per cent.
Elizabeth McGrath attracted 35 per cent of the vote first preference for Labor, while Ben Ramcharan garnered a creditable 10 per cent for the Greens, with the Animal Justice Party’s Lachlan McGill taking four per cent of first preference votes.
To the North of Warrandyte, the electorate of Eildon, which takes in Kangaroo Ground, Christmas Hills and a large swathe of the Nillumbik Green Wedge, Liberal incumbent also went to preferences to claim victory in the seat.
In an almost carbon copy of the 2014 election result, Sally Brennan took a 35 per cent stake, while The Greens’ Ken Deacon took around 10 per cent of first preference votes and Independent Michelle Dunscombe retained her deposit with a five per cent share of the votes.