Let there be lights

Many residents are extremely pleased to see the newly installed traffic lights at the intersection of Houdini Drive and Vineyard Road in Diggers Rest.

The lights are part of the infrastructure upgrades associated with the development of the Bloomdale housing estate.

Following a fatal collision at the intersection in October 2015, the developers worked to fast track the installation after local resident Jayleen Joury created an online petition.

According to Tom Lay, Traffic Engineer for the City of Melton, the new traffic signals are under the management of VicRoads.

It’s understood that Jemena is responsible for establishing power to the new lights, which may still take a couple of months to activate.

VicRoads design and compliance project manager for metro north west has confirmed that the main hold up is establishing power at the signal from Jemena.

“Once power and meter is connected by the power retail, VicRoads can safely install the controller box and switch on the signal”.

Meanwhile, Melton Council has advised that the intersection is still operating under traffic management and in the same fashion prior to the lights, under a reduced traffic speed.

Temporary street lighting is also in place to ensure the intersection is safe for drivers travelling through the area.

Jemena were contacted, however are yet to respond.

Trivia night fever

It’s on again!

The annual Diggers Rest Primary School Trivia Night will be held at the School Library on Saturday September 16, 2017.

An essential fundraising night for the school, the event has for the past few years, also helped to deliver ongoing social connections within our growing community.

Trivia rounds, raffle prizes and both silent and live auctions make for a fun packed “adults only” evening.

This year, it’s hoped that families will take advantage of the “Kids Night In” babysitting service.

Places are filling fast and booking is essential and tickets must be purchased by September 8, unless sold out.

Tickets are available by calling the school on 9740 1391 during business hours and costs $15.00 per person, maximum 10 per table, babysitting extra.

BYO drinks and snacks, hot food platters available for pre-order (see school office).

Some limited snacks will be offered for purchase on the night.

Doors open at 6:30pm for 7:00pm start.

No rest for home prices

Astute property buyers looking to secure a stake in our growing community are firmly focused on the forthcoming property auction scheduled for this coming Saturday.
http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-vic-diggers+rest-125932554

Property prices in the established Fordville Estate in Diggers Rest have continued to flourish on the back of the Bloomdale and St Genevieve housing developments.

Despite the recent measures taken by the Victorian State Government to relax the pressure on the local housing market by investors, it seems that property prices remain strong.

With the Reserve Bank keeping interest rates to an all-time low, coupled with first home buyers taking advantage of the new stamp duty savings, home prices are expected to continue their upward trend.

Diggers Rest is fast becoming a sought after location offering the benefits of rural style living in an urban environment, close to thriving shopping facilities and community services.

Older style established homes with generous block sizes are still within the reach of those looking call Diggers Rest home.

This beautifully maintained home situated within walking distance to the train station, shops and near to the proposed town centre recently sold privately for $465,000.
http://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-vic-diggers+rest-125717862

Home security, Big Brother style

Residents in Tea Tree Street in the new estate of Bloomdale at Diggers Rest are concerned about increasing crime in their local area.

With the help of not for profit group Community Against Crime, these residents have come together to create what they term as “Australia’s safest Street”.

The concept was introduced at a community safety forum held in Diggers Rest late last year.

For many years, residents have not been comfortable with the level of police presence in their town.

According to a recent A Current Affair report, 18 cameras have been fitted to 5 properties along the street providing 24 hour continuous surveillance.

Although Diggers Rest has seen its fair share of crime related problems, overall it’s a quiet town with a well-connected and observant community.

The Tea Tree Street residents seem primarily concerned about the potential threat of home invasions and the violence associated with that type of crime.

It’s understood that each household pays an upfront sum of $400.00 to become a member of the network this provides 24 hour access to every camera on the street, an additional $150.00 is payable annually.

Melton City Council were keen to learn more about what a CCTV initiative for Diggers Rest would appear like. However, Council recognises that many questions remain unanswered around privately owned CCTV systems capturing the movement of residents through public open spaces and street scapes.

Use the following link for additional information:
http://communityagainstcrime.org/

De-sexing of cats

Currently 97 percent of cats registered in the City of Melton are de-sexed. The continuation of mandatory de-sexing of cats this will eventually reduce the impact cats have on our wildlife, the number of stray and feral cats in the wild, as well as lower euthanizing rates of cats.

As such, at the June ordinary meeting of Council, Melton City Council resolved not to register or renew the registration of any cat unless it has been de-sexed.

However, some special circumstances exist where cat owners may be exempt.

a. A cat that was registered prior to the 11 December 2011 and has continued to be registered with this Council

b. A cat that is owned by a person or body that conducts a Registered Domestic Animal Business, under which cats are breed and the cat is used for breeding purposes in connection with the business

c. A cat that is owned by a person who is a current member of an Applicable
Organisation, and the cat is registered with that organisation

d. A cat that is subject of written veterinary advise, which states that the health of the cat is liable to be significantly prejudiced if it is de-sexed.

For additional information, contact Melton City Council
http://www.melton.vic.gov.au

Discovery tour fundraiser

Sunbury Historical Tours provide guided walking tours of the historic Victoria University site on Jacksons Hill in Sunbury, which was also the former Lunatic Asylum.

This magnificent complex was established in 1864 and had functioned as an industrial school for children. However, in 1879 the facility began operating as a Lunatic Asylum and eventually became well known as “The Hill”.

Today the buildings remain decommissioned and the walking tours offer an exclusive insight for those wishing to learn more about what once was.

Tours run for approximately two hours and usually only weekends.

Julie Mills from Sunbury Historical Tours has kindly offered to host a guided tour on Sunday July 30, 2017 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm with all proceeds being donated to the Diggers Rest Primary School.

The cost is $30.00 per person, so be quick, places are limited and booking is essential.

This is an exceptional opportunity which promises to be a ‘fascinating journey’ back through time exploring significant periods of the Institution’s history.

Use the following link to download a flyer regarding the tour:
http://www.diggersrest.com.au/files/pdf/2017/HistoricalTour.pdf

To learn more about Sunbury Historical Tours, use the following link to their website:
http://www.sunburyhistoricaltours.com

Green light for bottle shop

Melton City Council will issue a notice of decision to grant a permit for a packaged liquor license associated with a retail premises at 29 Cradle Road, Diggers Rest.

Councillors accepted the Officers recommendation which will allow the sale of packaged liquor between 10am to 10pm, Sunday to Saturday and 12pm to 10pm, ANZAC Day.

According to the report, Council received a number of objections against the proposal which are summarised as follows:

  • Adequacy of on-site car parking.
  • Sufficient number of liquor outlets in the surrounding area.
  • Location inappropriate for the sale of packaged liquor particularly in a centre where there is a limited sense of ownership, pride and identity.
  • Use of nearby public park for alcohol consumption.
  • Safety of staff and adequacy of site supervision.
  • Amenity concerns (ie. deliveries, rubbish, noise and broken empty bottles).

Council considers the proposal acceptable given the type of licence being requested, the location of the site and the nature of uses in the commercial strip.

The approval is subject to the installation of mirrors and CCTV cameras to improve general safety in the commercial area.

Another sold

Properties offered for sale in the established township of Diggers Rest are not on the market for too long, some only lasting a matter of days.

Prices have steadily increased over the past 12 months with a record auction price achieved recently for a 3 bedroom brick veneer residence in Eureka Road.

It’s expected that a number of homes will hit the market in the coming weeks with vendors hoping to cash in on the current trend and the abundance of prospective buyers looking to purchase.

Local real estate agent Adrian Sacco said that he had a large number of buyers looking to invest in Diggers Rest.

He also said that auction is the best method of sale.

Council to assist schools

Great news for the community of Diggers Rest.

As part of the Community Grants Program Review, Melton City Councillors unanimously agreed to engage and assist schools that are experiencing difficulties in achieving grant applications to identify appropriate partner organisations.

Each year many grant opportunities are missed and the assistance from Council should help to widen the scope and help to identify possible partners.

Diggers Rest is a small community and the new initiative may work toward delivering some worthwhile projects.

According to Watts Ward Councillor Michelle Mendes, there are many basic programs available like autism programs, school breakfast programs and gardening programs. There are also programs which have helped children reach their social potential and emotional development.

Cr. Mendes said “some of those programs are not funded by the State Government”, “if schools don’t have the assistance to get those grants by the City of Melton, they’re going to become disadvantaged”.

School to celebrate 135 years

This month the Diggers Rest Primary School will celebrate 135 years.

Although the current Plumpton Road site was officially opened in December 1991, the school was established on June 19, 1882 with the number 2479.

The school began in a portable building and the first head teacher was Mr. William Best.

Over the years the school has experienced a colourful past which has seen it temporarily closed between 1903 to 1906 due to declining attendance, destroyed by fire in March 1915 and severely damaged by a cyclone.

Despite these setbacks, many residents have fond memories of attending our local school which has now become an integral part of our growing community.

The birthday celebrations will include a welcome speech from the principal Mrs Hedger and followed by a number of guest speakers including members from the student Leadership team who will talk about why the school is special to them. Some former students will talk about what the school was like when they attended. A cake cutting ceremony, finishing with afternoon tea and memorabilia displays.

The event will be held in the School courtyard on June 16, 2017
from 2:00pm through to 3:00pm.