Wednesday, November 27, 2013

park and ride the end of the line

Park your car at one of the stations on the Belgrave line and take the train the rest of the way is my message in the lead up to the End of the Line Festival on Saturday 30 November.  

Very limited parking will be available in Belgrave on the day and spaces will fill up quickly, the best way to avoid disappointment is to take the smart option and get on public transport if you can.  

I'm encouraging festival goers to get in the spirit of the festival and take the bus or train to the end of the Belgrave line as an alternative to driving.

There are many stations on the Belgrave line with a number of them having good parking facilities and for residents who live beyond the train line buses are another option.

The festival has an environmentally conscious component and by taking public transport visitors are reducing their carbon footprint as well as avoiding disappointment with the limited parking spaces available in Belgrave.    

The End of the Line Festival is an emerging community arts event that will attract scores of visitors from local areas as well as from broader Melbourne.

The program is amazing, you'll need some serious pre festival studying up to make sure make the most of the line up and get to see what you want to see.

The End of the Line Festival is on Saturday 30 November from 10am till late, for more information head to their website here or facebook.
I'm proud to be able to support the End of the Line Festival through the community ward funds for Lyster.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

yarra ranges well featured in ev awards

I recently attended the Environment Victoria Environment Recognition Awards for 2013. A great night, recognising the efforts of people who work tirelessly to improve our environment across the state.

I was delighted that three of the ten recipients had a direct connection the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Here's the Nannas accepting their award, you can keep
up with the latest on the Knitting Nannas of Toolangi
(KNOT) via their facebook page.
It was terrific to see the Yarra Riverkeepers, Dandenong Ranges Renewable Energy Association and the Knitting Nannas of Toolangi be recognised for their achievements.

The Yarra Riverkeeper Association were awarded for their tireless work in being the voice of the Yarra River and their success in protecting the banks of the Yarra from inappropriate development.

The Dandenong Ranges Renewable Energy Association were awarded for their innovation and ambition to establish the town of Emerald as a showcase of solar energy and energy conservation.
The Nannas were delighted to accept their award.
 The Knitting Nannas of Toolangi were awarded for their commitment and bravery as they peacefully protest against destruction of the beautiful native forests of Toolangi.

To read about all the award recipients click here.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

alp transport plan doesn’t go far enough


                                            Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed the State ALP’s pledge to significantly invest in public transport as outlined in its Project 10,000 document, but disappointed that the plan gives no actual commitment to build Doncaster or Rowville Rail.

ETC chairperson, Cr Samantha Dunn said Melbourne commuters were now faced with two imperfect and incomplete transport plans, despite years of studies and plans, including State 1 of the Rowville Rail Study and Doncaster Rail study completed only this year.

“While the Napthine Government has a clear policy with commitments and timeframes around Metro, Rowville and Doncaster, they don’t intend to deliver these projects until sometime in 2025-2050,’’ Cr Dunn said.

“The ALP says it will speed up the delivery of Melbourne Metro because it will allow for more network expansions, but will only commit ‘in principle’ to Rowville and Doncaster, stating that they will review the priority of these projects.

“Doncaster and Rowville risk being the most well considered and unbuilt rail lines in the city’s history.”

Cr Dunn said the ETC applauded the commitment to urgently remove more level crossings in the outer east and was pleased that this action now had largely bi-partisan support.

“What is concerning is the silence on bus services, which have similarly been the subject of numerous review and recommendations and still not enough action over the decades,’’ she said.

“For many residents in Melbourne east buses are the only public transport available within a reasonable distance of their homes, yet they are forced to deal with overcrowded buses and excessively long journey times, with no commitment for improvement in sight.”

“Both sides of politics need to do better and the ETC will be campaigning for better outcomes across all modes of public transport and for all commuters in the outer east over the next year.”

Cr Dunn encouraged commuters to share their thoughts about the plan via the ETC’s Commuters Count Facebook page or the hash tag #commuterscount on Twitter.

“If residents in Melbourne’s east want to receive more than they have in the past 40 years, now is the time to make your opinions known.’’

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Monday, November 18, 2013

samantha in the press

Yarra Ranges Council asks public to comment on plans for dog off-lead areas and cat curfew 
Free Press Leader
by Therese Allaoui
18 Nov 2013

Pet rules face review
Mail Newspapers
by Kath Gannaway
18 Nov 2013

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Friday, November 15, 2013

samantha in the press

Residents left to get rid of weeds as critical point reached in Yarra Ranges 
Free Press Leader
by Therese Allaoui
14 Nov 2013

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

wacky weed month is here

Wacky Weed month has kicked off and is a month of weed awareness raising activities, including the Longest Ivy Plait competition.  

The Longest Ivy Plait competition aims to educate schools, community groups and residents on the damage that Ivy does and just how widespread it is in the Yarra Ranges.

Prize money on offer for the longest Community Group Entry will be $500, School Entry $300 and Individual Entry $200
Ivy is a highly invasive and aggressive
weed in the Dandenongs, if left to climb
up trees it's sheer weight can topple them.
You can read more about ivy here.

The challenge will be to remove large intact ivy strands and plait three together. The strands may be joined to made them longer however only by using ivy to bind them. Judging will occur on the 6th December for schools and on the 8th December for Community Groups and Individuals from 10am – 12pm, Hayes Carpark, Burwood Highway, Belgrave

The first 50 entries to arrive on the day will receive a coffee voucher for a local Belgrave Café.  All children attending on the day will receive a token gift and free face painting will be available. Ivy Plaits will be hung from the footpath fence along Belgrave Main Street for passing traffic to awe at the volume.

More events planned for Wacky Wipe Out Weeds Month include:

Saturday 16th Nov 9am-3pm  - Weed Blitz – Free environmental weed tipping day (skips at Kallista Community House)

Saturday 23rd Nov 3pm – 8pm - Upwey Grassroots Market - Ruccus junior circus troope performing 'weeds'

Sunday 1st Dec 10:30 to 2pm - Landcare for Singles - Do you plant here often? at Birdsland

Saturday 7th December - Kallista MarketSouthern Dandenong Landcare  Group weed info display and guest appearance from “The Connies”

Saturday 8th December - the ivy plait competition (see above for more info)
Look out for static weed information displays at our Community Links, Libraries and Community Houses in the Dandenongs.
Wandering Trad, another weed nasty, was the weed
of choice at our last Kallista Weed Blitz event.
It's ranked number 10 in terms of worst weed in
Yarra Ranges, you can find out more about it here.
Wacky Weed month is sponsored and supported by the Urban Fringe Weed Management Initiative – Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Ranges Council and the Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs as well as our marvelous and dedicated network of environmental volunteers.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

tis the agm season, tonight tvag

At mid November we're well and truly in the middle of AGM season, tonight's AGM was for TVAG, the Tecoma Village Action Group. That's one township group that has had an enormous workload over the past year with much focus on McDonalds in Tecoma. Other issues have also been progressed with ongoing involvement in the Shire's Graffiti Working Group and the Township Network Group.

I was delighted to accept an invitation to preside over TVAG's elections for the 2013/14 year at the Upwey RSL.

I'm pleased to report the following members were elected:
President: Nicole
Vice President: Anita
Secretary/Public Officer: Anne
Treasurer: Barbara
General members: Erica and Steve.

Congratulations and thank you, you've all worked immensely hard and have been dedicated to fulfilling your volunteer role as a township group, it's quite a credit to your commitment to Tecoma. 

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Monday, November 11, 2013

new ambulance branch - consultation this wednesday

Ambulance Victoria have purchased land at 1 Rocksleigh Avenue, Tecoma with a view to building a new ambulance branch to service Belgrave and surrounds.

In order to share information about the project and what's envisaged Ambulance Victoria are holding a community consultation drop in session.

The drop in will be held this Wednesday 13th Nov from 5pm to 7pm and will be held at 1 Rocksleigh Avenue, Tecoma (the site).

Some community members have voiced concerns about the short notice and/or the extent of notification of this meeting. I have asked Ambulance Victoria if they would consider a second meeting to enable greater community participation. I'll keep you posted with further outcomes.

I encourage you to go along to the consultation, it's an opportunity to learn about how an ambulance branch operates, what the building will look like, what landscaping's proposed and if there's likely to be any amenity impacts and how these might be mitigated. This is your chance to let Ambulance Victoria know about the things that matter to you. 

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Friday, November 08, 2013

tecoma maccas and the easement

Council has received a few emails querying access arrangements to the easement running along the rear of the Tecoma McDonalds construction site.

Below is an extract of council’s response to these emails:

“….Under the provisions of the Building Act 1993, a Private Building Surveyor (PBS) may issue building permits and has significant statutory powers and responsibilities regarding compliance with his or her permits and safety issues on the building sites to which those permits relate (for example, pursuant to regulation 604[1]).  Whilst some of those powers and responsibilities are concurrent with those of the Municipal Building Surveyor (MBS), an MBS will generally not interfere with a PBS’ discretion unless there is a powerful reason to do so.

The PBS for the construction works at the subject site (and not Council or the MBS) has seen fit to require hoardings on the title boundaries of the land at 1527 and 1533 Burwood Highway Tecoma.  For the reasons that follow, and as things currently stand, neither Council nor the MBS see any reason to question the PBS’ decision.

Prior to the current development, an easement in Council’s favour included the land at 1527 and 1535 Burwood Highway, Tecoma but did not include the land at 1533 Burwood Highway.  It was a condition of the current planning permit for the current development that an easement be granted in Council’s favour which includes the land at 1527, 1533 and 1535 Burwood Highway, Tecoma. 

The easement is in Council’s favour, not the public’s favour.  It is a matter for Council whether or not it enforces its right to the easement.  Council sees no need to do so during construction works and, in particular, when the PBS has seen fit to require hoardings.

The entirety of the subject site is a building site until the current building work is completed and the PBS issues a Certificate of Occupancy.....It is safe to assume that in requiring the hoardings the PBS was mindful of the protection of the safety and health of the public (as required by section 4 of the Building Act 1993).  It is self-evident that serious risks exist if persons without the appropriate training and approval in relation to occupational health and safety issues enter any building site.  Those risks continue until construction works are completed and a site ceases to be a building site.....”

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

local greens results

Now the dust has well and truly settled thought I'd have a look at how the Greens primary vote fared in the local area.

This time round I can report that Kallista had the highest Greens vote, at the last state election it was Selby. Has there been a shift, did the Kallista Market play a role in terms of where people cast their vote? The next test between Selby and Kallista, next year's state election!

Here's the results of the Greens primary vote in the top 20 polling booths across the federal electorates of Casey and Latrobe.

37.81% Kallista (LaTrobe)
34.08% Kallista (Casey)
31.25% Warburton
26.18% Mt Dandenong (Casey)
24.93% Belgrave
24.92% The Patch
23.48% Selby
22.25% Ferny Creek
21.94% Mt Dandenong (LaTrobe)
21.54% Tecoma
20.70% Sassafras
19.49% Belgrave South
18.42% Olinda
17.42% Upwey
16.99% Upper Ferntree Gully
16.90% Don Valley
16.51% Healesville Central
16.38% Healesville
16.30% East Warburton
16.06% Menzies Creek

Congratulations to Adam Bandt, re-elected to Melbourne and to Janet Rice, the second Greens Senator for Victoria, great results for the Greens in Victoria.

Adam Bandt and Janet Rice say thumbs down to
McDonalds in Tecoma.

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Friday, November 01, 2013

downhill festival coming up

Great news for longboarders, slalom, slide and jammers. The Yarra Ranges Downhill Festival is on again. Held at the Baynes Park Rerserve in Monbulk using Baynes Park Road as the course, it's a great chance to skateboard legally and show off your skills.

Everyone's welcome to attend the all day, all age, drug and alcohol free event to race or watch as riders reach speeds of up to 75kmh, all competing to win skate gear.

Musical entertainment will be provided by local bands and DJ's on the Yarra Ranges Youth Services stage who will also be providing a free BBQ. There will also be a mini market with clothing and skate gear.

If you want to know more click here.

Some of the action from last year's Downhill Festival,
it made for great spectating.

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