Have your say – drop in session

The Diggers Rest Recreation Reserve will become an important connection between the established township of Diggers Rest and the developing communities of Bloomdale, St Genevieve and Alexander Park.

Melton City Council has recently undertaken a review of the 2007 Diggers Rest Recreation Reserve Master Plan which has seen a number of opportunities for residents and stakeholders to provide input to the overall revised Master Plan.

The revision will enable Council to identify future opportunities for the reserve, responding to sporting and community needs, improving access and usage of the active space.

Residents are encouraged to drop into the Diggers Rest Community Hall anytime from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday October 5, 2017 for an informal chat regarding the Master Plan.

Feedback regarding the Draft Master Plan Concept will be considered during the preparation of the Final Diggers Rest Recreation Reserve Master Plan inclusive of a prioritised implementation plan, cost estimates, potential funding opportunities and stakeholder responsibilities.

It is anticipated the Diggers Rest Recreation Reserve Master Plan will be finalised in October 2017.

“Keep Clear” welcomed

The Diggers Rest Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) Study conducted in 2013 concluded that modifications to improve the safety and functionality of the Welcome Road and Diggers Rest – Coimadai Road intersection is required.

The permanent closure of Welcome Road to all traffic was identified as the ultimate solution in the coming years. As part of the 2017/18 budget, Melton Council has allocated funds to undertake interim treatment works involving the removal of right turn traffic into Welcome Road, therefore restricting vehicles from queuing back onto the railway crossing during peak times, which is considered a major safety concern.

Melton Council have confirmed that the proposed interim works will not be carried out this financial year. It’s understood that the interim treatment was not supported by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) as it results in changing the current bus service.

Council anticipates that the intersection will be reviewed again once PTV have undertaken a review of the Diggers Rest bus routes. The time frame of any review is unknown.

Meanwhile, Traffic & Transport Coordinator for the City of Melton, Kerry Walton will be seeking another review of the intersection for “Keep Clear” line markings based on the current growth in the surrounding area.

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

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”.

Budgetary funding update

A huge thank you to everyone who supported the section 223 budget submission seeking recurrent funding to assist the Diggers Rest Community Carols event.

In total, 154 votes were recorded during the local online survey, 148 in support of the submission and 6 against. A number of residents took the time out to provide feedback which was used as part of the presentation process at Council.

Whilst we wait for an official decision from Melton City Council, we can be quietly confident that the presentation went well and our elected representatives will respect the wishes of residents and hopefully make the funding available.

Special thank you to Maree Welshe from the Diggers Rest Fire Brigade for assisting with the presentation at Council on Tuesday night.

View online voting results here:
https://www.poll-maker.com/poll1031538x0C4B8986-43

Keep me posted, says Councillor

At the last ordinary meeting of Council, Melton City Councillor, Steve Abboushi urged Council and residents to support the “Keep Me Posted” initiative.

Keep me Posted is a campaign advocating for the right of every Australian to choose, free of charge, how they receive important information.

More and more, business and service providers are restricting access to paper bills and statements.

The campaign is well supported by interest groups, charities, political representatives and businesses who represent Australians disadvantaged by the lack of choice, or who simply do not agree with the status quo.

Many Australians prefer to receive their invoices and bank statements on paper due to reasons such as, lack of internet access, digital abilities, security concerns with online fraud or simply for convenience.

Others prefer email for practical reasons. Either way, it’s important that Australians have the right to choose.

For more information regarding the initiative, please visit the following link:
http://www.keepmeposted.org.au

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.

Council election 2016

Ten candidates have nominated for Watts Ward in the City of Melton 2016 Victorian Local Government elections.

One of our current serving Councillors have nominated for re-election in a different ward.

The township of Diggers Rest within the City of Melton is represented by Watts Ward, whilst the area of Diggers Rest in the City of Hume is represented by Jacksons Creek Ward.

Use the following links to the VEC website if you’d like to learn more about the candidates.

http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/MeltonElection/Candidates/

http://www.vec.vic.gov.au/HumeElection/Candidates/

Don’t worry, you’ll not need to attend a polling place. Most Council elections are achieved through postal ballots.

Mail out of ballot packs are expected to begin on October 4, 2016.

Although the official election day is October 22, 2016, completed ballot papers must be returned no later than Friday October 21, 2016.

Ballot packs will include a 200 word statement from each candidate to help with your voting decision.

Residents and ratepayers are required to vote in Council elections. If you are registered to vote on the electoral roll, then voting is compulsory.

For more information on elections please visit the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).
http://www.vec.vic.gov.au

Free snake removal program, renewed

snake-catchers
Image courtesy: SnakeCatchers.com

At the Ordinary Meeting of Council held last night, Melton City Council voted to extend the trial Snake Removal Program for a further 12 months.

The trial was considered effective and 25% of call-outs resulted in the removal and relocation of a snake.

In most cases, snakes were removed from within the areas of Burnside, Caroline Springs, Hillside and Ravenhall.

Councils decision to extend the trial will enable the program to be accessible over the coming warmer months which are traditionally notorious for snake activity as snakes come out of hibernation.

Although the weather conditions have been cold, some snake sightings close to Diggers Rest have already been reported.

Access to the free removal program is subject to conditions and may not be available to residents living on rural or semi-rural properties. It’s understood that industrial properties are not included in the program.

Residents should be mindful of the types of landscaping and vegetation which typically attract snakes. Use the following link to download a fact sheet produced by Zoos Victoria, entitled “Snakes around the home”
http://www.diggersrest.com/files/pdf/2006/snakes-around-the-home.pdf

Requests for a snake catcher by residents will only be responded to if the snake is clearly visible and the property owner provides authorisation to remove the snake.

For more information, or to report a snake, call Council on 9747 7200.

Call on youth to be heard

Taylors Hill 019

Despite all good intentions, for some time now Melton City Council has not successfully delivered on youth engagement in Diggers Rest.

Unfortunately, many residents aged 12 to 25 are disenfranchised from Council based activities and programs. Most secondary school aged residents living in Diggers Rest attend school outside the Melton municipality. The township of Diggers Rest has no direct transport links to its municipal central business district.

Melton Youth Services offer a range of quality youth specific programs through the Melton Youth Centre, Barries Road, Melton and Taylors Hill Youth and Community Centre, Calder Park Drive, Taylors Hill.

Melton Youth Services are seeking feedback from young people to help shape services and programs to meet the needs of young people in our local community.

An online survey is currently available for young people aged 12 to 25 living within the Melton municipality. This is an ideal opportunity for young people to have a say about what services, programs and events they would like to see on offer.

Use the following link to participate in the survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COMYS

It’s understood the survey will be active until September 6, 2016.