This month marks the 8th anniversary of the fire which destroyed the historical Diggers Rest Hotel.
Since the 2008 fire, the hotel has remained in ruins and despite the desperate community outcry, very little has been done to rehabilitate the site.
In the lead up to the Melton City Council election, some Watts Ward candidates have pledged to tackle the long running issue head on.
This is welcome news for the township of Diggers Rest which is currently experiencing exceptional growth.
The former hotel, now in ruins is situated at the entry of the township and is considered an eyesore by many locals and off putting for prospective home buyers looking to call Diggers Rest their home.
Whilst the community remains divided over the future of the site, the idea that some candidates are prepared to prioritise the hotel as part of their election platform, brings a level of optimism back into the community.
Western suburbs community organisation Community Against Crime (CAC), has developed a program designed to help reduce crime.
The program is an active network which sets out to communicate with residents about local crime related issues, exchanging information and working proactively with police.
In the fight against crime, this idea is an advancement on the traditional “Neighbourhood Watch” concept which has incorporated the use of CCTV and Smartphone technology.
“Help App” is a feature of CAC which uses the Global Positioning System (GPS). During a time of duress, the app systematically sends a 30 second video from your mobile phone to a monitoring station, this provides details of your current location and the monitoring station will attempt to contact authorities in your area to provide assistance.
CAC actively promotes the use of in-car camera systems as well as their purpose built “Hoon Cam Car”. This car is freely available to any community group, organisation or entire street provided the majority of neighbours are fully supportive.
For some time now the organisation has been interested in assisting Diggers Rest residents to establish a CAC network. It’s expected that a representative from CAC will attend the community safety meeting on September 16, 2016.
The Diggers Rest Fire Brigade has recently appointed a new Captain to replace outgoing captain of 7 years, Luke Hynes.
Tim Welshe officially took on the Captaincy role on July 1, 2016. Tim has been part of the Diggers Rest team since 2002, after joining the CFA in March 1997 at Caroline Springs/Sydenham.
Tim’s love of the fire service began at the age of 14 after his family purchased an old fire truck to restore. His passion for restoring vintage fire vehicles and accessories continues, primarily specialising in aviation fire fighting equipment and memorabilia.
Tim admits that he has “big shoes to fill” at Diggers Rest following in the footsteps of previous Captains, Luke Hynes and Robin Bootle.
We wish Tim well in his new role and take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Captain Luke Hynes.
Neighbours Network is a group of neighbours that meet on a monthly basis to help everyone feel connected, safe and supported.
Neighbours Network builds community spirit and formulates strategies to encourage wider participation in building safe and confident community.
Neighbours Network has been instrumental in suggesting, and then putting in place many community events such as Halloween Walking Bus, Easter Parade and more . It has also organised relevant information sessions and talks on Will Making, Emergency Readiness and more with Govt and non Govt bodies such as Vic Police that the wider Diggers Rest Community could be a part of and benefit from.
Neighbours Network welcomes the rich diversity of Diggers Rest and supports community to develop its own identity, create character and build upon the increasing sense of local pride and participation.
Neighbours Network is welcoming more members, if you wish to be a member and become a voice for Diggers Rest please email Inderdeep on Inderdeept@melton.vic.gov.au or call 0439 327 716
Sunbury Blue Light Disco is a not-for-profit organisation, run by police members and valued community volunteers.
The discos are free from alcohol, drugs and violence and allow young people to socialise with their peers in a safe supervised environment, whilst also fostering positive relationships with members of Victoria Police.
The discos are for primary school aged children and are held at the Sunbury Memorial Hall, where they have been held since 1979. The organisation holds six discos per year on a Friday evening from 6-8pm.
Sunbury Blue Light Disco have applied for the Leader Local Grant to assist toward the cost of purchasing music video screens and associated equipment, which would add to the current lighting and music system and greatly enhance the disco experience for the kids!
The grant process is vote based so they are urging the community to support them by registering and voting for their project idea. Voting closes 1st April.
Some occupational health and safety works along with the installation of a water drip system were undertaken at the Cenotaph this weekend.
Lions Club members teamed up to dig trenches, lay pipes and cables hopefully in readiness for the proposed “teaching garden” which is expected to include a lone pine, informational plaques, indigenous plants and possibly student artwork.
The Diggers Rest Primary School is planning an ANZAC ceremony to take place at 11:00am on Friday April 22, 2016 at the Plumpton Road Cenotaph.
All community members are invited to attend and are welcome to lay a wreath or bunch of flowers.