Overhaul to improve bus network

Contracts which run Melbourne’s extensive bus network are set to be overhauled.

Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan (MP) announced last week that the Government will negotiate new contracts with 12 metropolitan bus operators.

The Government claims the current contracts are old and inflexible and in many cases not meeting the changing needs of passengers.

The overhaul is anticipated to pave the way for better services.

In 2009, the local 483 bus service which links Sunbury to Moonee Ponds, was to be reduced, in a similar review process.

At that time, residents rallied to save their service which was expected to be scaled down and redirected via Melbourne Airport.

The 483 route provides services to Niddrie, Essendon and Moonee Ponds. It delivers vital transport options for young people who work at the KFC and McDonald’s restaurants at the Calder Park Service Centres.

According to local opinion, the current service is not very well patronised.

Clean up Australia Day

Anyone wishing to participate in the annual Clean up Australia Day and help to reduce the visible signs of litter in Diggers Rest can register via the following link:
http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au

Local resident Pam Allan will again co-ordinate a team of volunteers to help clean up our township. The event is being supported by the Melton City Council and will commence at 9:30am through to 11:00am. Sunday March 5, 2017.

Pam can be contacted on 9740 0958 or you can register via the official Clean up Australia Day website.

For additional information, please download a flier from the following link:
http://www.diggersrest.com/files/pdf/2017/CAUD_2017A4.pdf

Road closure gets mixed signals

A number of residents have expressed concerns with the lengthy closure of Houdini Drive for the installation of traffic signals.

Following a fatality at the intersection of Houdini Drive and Vineyard Road in October 2015, residents signed an online petition to fast-track the installation of traffic lights at Diggers Rest.

The township has experienced exceptional growth in recent times with the development of the Bloomdale and St Genevieve Estates.

Vineyard Road is recognised as a major connecting thoroughfare, linking Sunbury and Melton which includes Caroline Springs.

BMD Constructions Pty Ltd, issued notification that the intersection upgrade works and the installation of traffic signals will require the intersection to be closed from the start of March 2017 and expected to re-open at the end of June 2017.

Local resident Bruce Francis is frustrated by the potential 4 month closure of the intersection and he has spoken with his elected representatives and he plans to launch a petition.

The proposed detour route diverts traffic movements to a second entry point along Vineyard Road which has less safety design features than the existing Houdini Drive turn off.

An information session regarding the proposed works and traffic disruptions will be held at the Diggers Rest Community Centre on Tuesday February 14, 2017 at 7:00pm.

Santa’s annual visit

Santa stopped for a couple of happy snaps during his visit to Diggers Rest today.

The annual trip around the township is organised by the Diggers Rest Lions Club and supported by the Diggers Rest Fire Brigade.

Local children look forward to the yearly catch up and the gift of lollies as part of Christmas celebrations in Diggers Rest.

We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful group of volunteers who help make this event possible.

Thanks Santa, the Lions Club and the CFA.

Stormwater works, welcomed

Property owners in Welcome Road and Mullock Road will be pleased to know that drainage works have commenced as an ultimate solution to the existing flooding issue in the area.

In the past, a number of property owners have experienced flooding during major storm events.

As part of the St Genevieve residential development, the developers are providing a retarding basin (wetland) at the rear portion of the Norm Raven Reserve.

It’s understood the wetlands will be completed to a high standard and will provide a fantastic open space for current and future residents to enjoy.

Dare to be Diggers

Using the colloquial name ‘Diggers” to describe anything Diggers Rest may soon be a breach of trademark.

A recent trademark application has not been accepted on the basis that it resembles the already registered trademark “Diggers Market”, because both marks contain the word “Diggers” and this may result in confusion among consumers, according to IP Australia.

The trademark “Diggers Market” and the business name “Diggers Rest Market” have been registered for community purpose and form part of a social enterprise model for the Community of Diggers Rest.

Lawyers and Consultants for the applicant have indicated that they will legally challenge the use of the trademark “Diggers Market”, claiming that their client is well known by the associated trademark “Diggers”.

If successful, the application will potentially monopolise the use of the word “Diggers” exclusively within 14 different business categories throughout Australia.

The dictionary word ‘DIGGERS’ is widely used throughout Australia in connection with a diverse mix of applications, including its historical use pertaining to WW1, WW2 and ANZAC veteran soldiers.

Regional cities within Victoria, like Ballarat and Bendigo can demonstrate the usage of the word ‘DIGGERS’ in association with the Victorian Gold Rush days.

The Diggers Rest garden group which is currently known as “Green Diggers” may no longer be able to use that name.

Some clarification has been requested from IP Australia pending an outcome.

Tough talk on crime

tough-talk-on-crime

In September a public meeting was held in Diggers Rest to discuss community safety and the possibility of establishing a neighbourhood crime prevention group.

Melton City Council hosted the event which attracted a number of attendees and guests including Melton City Councillors Lara Carli, Kathy Majdlik and former Councillor Renata Cugliari.

The meeting provided an opportunity for locals to speak directly with law enforcement officers and seek answers to crime related questions during the open forum.

Despite the collection of email addresses and contact details on the night, to date no feedback regarding the outcomes from the meeting have been forthcoming.

Recently the township of Diggers Rest has experienced a level of increased criminal activity which has left many residents feeling uncomfortable and concerned about safety.

The Diggers Rest Pre-School remains closed following an incident involving a stolen vehicle and many residents are out-of-pocket due to a number of vandalised vehicles in the area.

Community Against Crime coordinator Tim Payne has offered to assist with the establishment of a crime prevention and awareness program for Diggers Rest.

Some residents are eager to see security cameras installed around the estate to monitor public areas, similar to the initiative being planned for Lakeside residents in Pakenham.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/32991353/locals-fight-back-as-crime-levels-rise-in-melbourne-s-south-east/#page1

Tim Payne can be contacted on 0418 136 263.

Car wipes out kindergarten

kinder-car-crash

In the early hours of this morning a vehicle ploughed into the Diggers Rest Kindergarten causing extensive damage to the building and fencing.

The vehicle is presumed stolen and the occupants of the vehicle are reported to have fled on foot following the collision.

It’s understood police were quick to respond and remained at the scene for some time after the accident.

Melton City Council are working with families affected by the incident which could have been much worse if the situation had taken place during business hours.

It seems that the facility will remain closed until further notice.

Anyone with additional information is being urged to contact Crime Stoppers
on 1800 333 000.

Shopping centre sits high on agenda

graph2

In a recent online survey 53% of participants preferred to see supermarket chain Coles established in Bloomdale ahead of Aldi and Woolworths.

For many years the growth of Diggers Rest has been uncertain due to Melbourne Airport Environs Overlay, Green Wedge Zones and the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

In 2008, land at 2-40 Old Calder Highway was rezoned to accommodate mixed use like retail, office space and residential.

According to Melton City Council, the future growth of the Diggers Rest Township is confined by the UGB, which in its current form will allow the township to grow to around 14,000 residents.

Using the current estimates, this should take between 12 to 14 years to achieve.

At present, the criteria to sustain a full line supermarket requires an immediate catchment population in excess of 20,000.

Many residents (both new and existing) have invested in this community in the belief that a shopping centre is not too far away.

Meanwhile, the Foodworks neighbourhood supermarket in Glitter Road offers a wide range of basic grocery lines.

We may well start to see smaller lot sizes established to help create the critical mass required to fully sustain a full-line supermarket for Diggers Rest.

However, despite the constraints the developers for Bloomdale remain hopeful of a store opening in 2019 and are doing all they can to try and make that happen.

Use the following link to view the detailed survey results:
https://goo.gl/CcLlDX

Push for “Doggy Park” in Diggers

punjel_park
Local resident Karen Prewer has flagged the idea for the development of an off leash dog park for Diggers Rest.

The concept has got tongues wagging on social media offering suggestions and requesting more information about the proposal.

According to Cr. Lara Carli, “we have two off the lead dog parks in our municipality. One is at Boronia Reserve in Hillside and the other is at Navan Park in Melton”.

The development of Diggers Rest has seen a shift toward smaller block sizes and the need for a purpose built dog park is growing.

A number of residents currently use the fenced off section of the netball courts as a make shift doggy playground when the courts are not in use.

Off leash dog parks are an excellent idea which help to provide a safe and welcoming environment for dogs and their owners.

These types of facilities have proven to encourage responsible pet ownership and provide an opportunity for residents to get to know each other whilst exercising the family pet.

Some well-developed parks offer agility course equipment, dog waste disposal systems, green areas and access to fresh drinking water.

It’s understood at this stage no plans have been finalised and some discussions have taken place sighting the area of land known as “Punjel Park” to develop the K9 playground.

For additional information, contact Amanda Mizzi at Melton City Council 9747 7200
or email amandah@melton.vic.gov.au