Tuesday, December 17, 2013

samantha in the press

Taking firm grip on ivy
Mail Newspapers
15 Dec 2013

Maccas are in the frame
Mail Newspapers
by Rebecca Bills
13 Dec 2013

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

preselected for eastern metro

I'm delighted to announce that I have been preselected to run for the Greens as the lead upper house candidate for the Eastern Metropolitan region.

Samantha Dunn with Greens Leader for Victoria,
Greg Barber MLC.
I am humbled and honoured to be preselected as we head towards the state election in 2014. I am encouraged by the faith the members across Eastern Metropolitan have shown in my capacity to run a strong campaign and to ultimately represent them in the Victorian Parliament.

I would never have thought that my quest to save a council run childcare centre back in 2005 would lead me on this journey. Holding public office has been a very rewarding experience. It’s a great privilege and I am very committed to working on behalf of the community.

I will lead a strong and enthusiastic campaign, I’m proud to be representing the Greens as the lead candidate for Eastern Metropolitan. In the weeks to come I will be developing an alternate online presence for campaigning with my blog continuing to highlight my activities as Lyster Ward councillor for the Yarra Ranges Shire Council.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

grants for community set

report from the roundtable - 10 dec

It's always great to see the full range of applications for funding across Yarra Ranges, it's a diverse and active Shire and there's many events, programs and activities on the calendar.

Yarra Ranges Council provides funding towards three different streams, Community Development, Arts & Heritage Development and Festivals & Events. This year's funding saw a record number of applications but sadly not all of them can be funded. I'll be pushing for an increase in the pool of funding available in our next budget to try and get more capacity to fund more applications.

I'm delighted to announce that the following local applications received funding.
  • Belgrave Farmers Market for feasibility $4,000
  • Women's Federation for World Peace Bridge of Peace Sisterhood Project $1,000
  • 3MDR Community Radio for Community Outlook, broadcasting local community stories and info $3,000
  • Sherbrooke Art Society for the Australia Wild Project $4,000
  • Monbulk Care Network for the Art class and show $3,000
  • Tiffaney Bishop Collective for tbC coLAB 2014 $10,000
  • Dandenong Ranges Music Council for Musical Theatre with Attitude $7,000
  • Ruccis Circus for the Circus Festival $5,000
  • Belgrave South Community House for Celebrating International Day for People with a Disability $2,500
  • Upwey Billy Cart Races $3,000
  • BCAP for the End of the Line Festival $7,500
  • Selbyfest $7,500
  • Dandenong Ranges Tourism for Autumn Authors $5,000
  • BCAP for the Belgrave Lantern Parade $10,000
  • (note Belgrave Survival Day 2014 has already been funded as part of the funding review transitionary arrangements)
Congratulations to all the recipients, looks like it's going to be another great year of community activities and festivals.

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Monday, December 09, 2013

public transport commitment needed in budget

Public transport commitment needed in Budget
The priority and funding allocated to public transport projects in the next state Budget will be the true indicator of the State Government’s commitment in this area, Eastern Transport Coalition chairperson, Cr Samantha Dunn said today.

Cr Dunn said there was a backlog of public transport projects across the eastern region, identified through studies, plans and audits over decades.

She said the ETC supported the Victorian Government’s plan for expanding and improving the rail network but wanted it delivered quicker.

“The million residents of the eastern suburbs can’t wait until 2028 for the generational improvements needed for rail. By that time it will be a generation since they were promised and that’s too long,” Cr Dunn said.

“The current debate about road versus rail ignores the real need of commuters and businesses alike – we need better transport infrastructure, not choices between modes.

“Residents in Melbourne’s east have had enough of public transport plans and studies that don’t produce results because they are unfunded or pushed so far into the future that they are continually relegated the bottom of the list by other plans and projects.”

As the next State Budget is prepared, the ETC has asked the government to include in its short term priorities: funding the Melbourne Metro project, funding for stage two of the Doncaster Rail Feasibility Study, an upgrade of bus services, an increased program of grade separations, a move towards high capacity signalling along the rail network and improved cycling opportunities.
The key medium-term public transport priority for the region is improved rail services, specifically building the Doncaster and Rowville Rail lines.

Cr Dunn said the government had identified the Monash and Dandenong South National Employment Clusters as critical drivers of economic growth in the eastern region.

However this potential will only be realised with the delivery of key transport projects, namely the Melbourne Metro and subsequent Rowville and Dandenong rail projects.

"Political parties on both sides have agreed that Melbourne Metro is critical to the delivery of future development around Melbourne. Now is the time to put those words into action and provide funding to start this project in the short term,’’ Cr Dunn said.
  Cr Dunn said the ETC acknowledged that the rail projects would take time to complete and for that reason, bus services in the region must be improved and expanded in the short term.

“Melbourne’s bus services have been the subject of numerous review and recommendations, including a Metropolitan Bus Service Review, completed in 2010. Unfortunately, less than 10 per cent of the recommendations from that review have been funded and realised,” she said.

“Funding needs to be provided to ensure that there are enough buses to meet demand and that travel times are improved to make it a viable option to car travel.”

Cr Dunn encouraged commuters to share their views and hopes for the coming State Budget via the ETC’s Commuters Count Facebook page or the hash tag #commuterscount on Twitter.

“As the State election draws closer, the ETC will be campaigning for better outcomes across all modes of public transport and for all commuters in the outer east,’’ Cr Dunn said.

“Now is the time for residents in Melbourne’s east to speak up and tell the government that they deserve more than they have been given in the past 40 years.”

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Sunday, December 08, 2013

deck the town with boughs of ivy

Today saw the last of the activities planned as part of Wacky Weed Month, with the judging of the Ivy Plait competition.
Oscar from Friends of Heathfield Creek receives
a certificate for their 29.4 metre long ivy plait.
The entries were impressive with locals and those further afield participating.

The entries all got measured, the coil of ivy plait in
the foreground was a whopping 361.4 metres long,
which means more than 1 kilometer of ivy was used
to create this amazing plait.
The competition was open to individuals, schools and community groups with cash prizes for the winners. The idea was to enter a continuous plait of ivy as a way to weed out one of our most pesky weeds and be a little bit creative at the same time.

Everyone who participated got some free plants (from the Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery) and a certificate of thanks with the winning plaits displayed on the high side fence in Belgrave.

Passers by weren't sure if the ivy plaits were Christmas decorations or not, but they received a great reception. They'll stay up for a short while to raise awareness about weeds in the environment.

The winners were:
Individual - Sue from Belgrave South with an impressive 361.4 metre long plait. Sue is a basketweaver and the competition inspired her to remove all the ivy from her embankment, all up it took her 23 hours to weave her plait. Well done Sue, you've certainly set a high benchmark for next year's competition.
Community Group - Upwey Girl Guides, their plait totaled 62.3 metres.
SchoolSassafras Primary School, their plait was 40.4 metres long.

It's terrific to know that there's now a whole lot less ivy in our environment. Ivy is ranked our number 2 worst environmental weed in Yarra Ranges. It's highly invasive and aggressive weed in the Dandenongs, if left to climb up trees, its sheer weight can topple them. You can read about how to control and remove ivy here. You can also read up on other Yarra Ranges Environmental weeds and their removal here.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

samantha in the press

Opponents celebrate Macca's failure
Mail Newspapers
2 Dec 2013

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