No to safety barriers.

The positioning of the new Diggers Rest Early Learning Centre and Medical Centre has prompted calls from residents demanding the installation of safety barriers along Vineyard Road adjacent to the new complex.

Many residents feel uncomfortable with the possibility that a vehicle could easily leave the road and potentially collide with buildings.

Vineyard Road is a State Arterial Road controlled by VicRoads. Melton Council’s Engineering Services wrote to VicRoads in November regarding this issue.

Council have provided the following response from VicRoads.

“As you may appreciate, VicRoads receives many requests each year for the installation of safety barriers throughout Victoria. All requests are considered and evaluated on a state-wide basis with consideration given to factors such as the number and type of vehicles, number and type of roadside hazards, the historical safety record of the site and the implementation costs.

VicRoads has carried out a detailed investigation of the site, including a site inspection and a review of the crash history in the last five years ending 30 June 2017. It should be noted that safety barriers are primarily designed to protect the vehicle occupants from serious injury in the event of a collision with a hazard. Warrants for the use of safety barriers are based on the premise that they should only be installed if they will reduce the severity of potential crashes. That is, the consequences of an errant vehicle striking the hazard will be more severe than impacting the safety barrier itself. Safety barriers are hazards themselves, and impacts with them will generally result in at least property damage.

VicRoads’ assessment found that there are no significant roadside hazards present at this location, vehicles posed no obvious threat of ‘running’ off the road, and the delineation of the road is considered appropriate. In the context of the above, VicRoads does not consider installing safety barriers at this location at this time.

While VicRoads currently has no improvement proposals for this section of Vineyard Road, it will continue to monitor the safety and operation of the site to determine the need for any future improvements.”

Council’s Engineering Services have reviewed the VicRoads assessment and they have no objections given it aligns with the relevant Austroads guidelines associated with safety barriers.

New scheme for first home help

The Andrews Labor Government today announced a new first home buyers scheme for struggling Victorians.

HomesVic, a share equity scheme will provide Government assistance of up to 25% of the initial home price.

The pilot scheme is open to 400 first home buyers who meet the eligibility criteria.

Areas where demand for housing is high, coupled with good access to employment, public transport and other services will be given priority.

Buyers will need to have 5% deposit and demonstrate yearly incomes of up to $75,000 for singles or up to $95,000 for couples or families.

The scheme is designed to give first home buyers struggling to buy their first home the start they need, enabling them to enter the market earlier by reducing the amount of money required for their home loan.

More information about HomesVic and to express an interest, use the following link:
https://www.vic.gov.au/affordablehousing/buying-a-house-in-victoria/homesvic.html

Join the facebook market place today…

The creation of facebook market place has helped to deliver a new paradigm for those who just love to buy, swap and sell.

Traditionally, avid bargain hunters trawled through the many facebook buy, swap and sell pages and groups looking for that certain something.

Late last year, facebook launched the “Market Place” which is a one stop destination for anyone looking to trade online or just simply have some fun.

The market place is great for communities and the interface allows for localised searching, making it very easy to find stuff for sale in your neighbourhood.

It also saves the task of monitoring a swag of buy, swap and sell groups and pages, keeping feeds and notifications to a minimum.

Use the following link to start discovering the facebook market place for yourself.
http://www.facebook.com/marketplace/

Savvy buyers to do more research

An article published in the Sunbury Leader entitled “Buyers awake to Diggers Rest potential”, (April 18, 2017 – Page 16) raises some concerns about perceptions of Diggers Rest for the future.

It does seem that many new residents are comparing future growth possibilities with those previously seen in areas like Sydenham and Taylors Lakes for example.

Whilst Diggers Rest is within the expanded Sunbury Growth Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and has excellent connections to the Calder freeway, prospective buyers need to understand that any additional growth is limited by the UGB, Green Wedge Zones and Melbourne Airport Environs Overlays.

These constraints have been the main contributor to the township being dormant for so long prior to now.

Talk of developing infrastructure and shopping centres are all population driven and given the limited growth capacity of Diggers Rest, may not deliver the level of services anticipated or consistent with the current increase in real estate prices.

Diggers Rest is well serviced by Sunbury and Watergardens shopping centres, each only one train stop away in either direction.

It may be sometime before the population of Diggers Rest will sustain a full-line supermarket and shopping centre.

In accordance with State Government policy, any additional expansions of the UGB will need to remain sympathetic toward the curfew free operations at Melbourne Airport.

Funds to bring Christmas cheer

Last night at the Ordinary Meeting of Council, Melton City Councillors voted to contribute $40,000 toward the Carols by Candlelight event for Caroline Springs.

It’s understood the funding will be made available to INChurch Melbourne who have successfully hosted a Carols by Candlelight event at Caroline Springs for the past 2 years.

This funding is in addition to the $63,900 allocated in the draft budget to deliver the Carols by Candlelight event at Hannah Watts Park in the Melton township.

Each year the Diggers Rest Primary School host a Community Carols Night in Diggers Rest, which was once well supported by Melton Council.

Although Diggers Rest forms part of the Melton Municipality, many residents feel detached from main stream Melton given its geographical location.

Since Council withdrew its support in 2012, the Diggers Rest event has been primarily funded through the generosity of local developers.

Please feel free to provide feedback and respond to our poll using the following link:
https://goo.gl/4kq5hY

SHOPportunity knocks

The vacant land located at 32 Old Calder Highway Diggers Rest has recently been sold and the purchaser intends to develop the land and maximise its full potential.

The area is situated on the eastern side of the Old Calder Highway, approximately 140 metres north of the railway crossing.

In May 2009, the land was rezoned from residential to mixed use.

It’s understood that a full-line supermarket is proposed to be built in the developing Bloomdale Estate.

However, this site offers some exceptional opportunities for Diggers Rest especially given its within close proximity to the railway station.

Some of the possible options for the land could include, a supermarket, speciality retail shops, food services, speciality medical facilities, childcare facilities and residential development.

Development of this site should help to deliver much needed retail and community services to the township.

The mixed use nature of the land may help to incorporate some “small office – home office” style urban dwellings, which could attract some localised employment opportunities for residents.

Hopefully, maximising the potential of the mixed use will contribute toward the overall economic sustainability of the township.

The establishment of Houdini’s Café e Cucina is testament to the ability to attract new business from beyond the 3427 postcode.

Please feel free to contribute to the process via the following facebook link:
http://www.facebook.com/diggersrest/posts/1434508223278343

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.

Gary, gone but not forgotten.

Gary Sunderland was well known in the Australian Aviation Industry as an aeronautical engineer, glider and light aircraft pilot, model aircraft enthusiast and WW1 aviation historian.

As part of the 2010 Houdini Festival of Flight celebrations in Diggers Rest, Gary built a flying scale model of the original biplane flown by famous escapologist Harry Houdini.

Sadly, Gary passed away suddenly on Thursday November 3, 2016 at the age of 82.

At the time of his death, he was doing what he loved, flying model aircraft at the model field in Parwan, near Melton.

The community of Diggers Rest will be forever grateful for his participation and efforts during the Festival of Flight festivities.

His now famous model biplane has been donated to the Diggers Rest History Group and hopefully will soon be a permanent feature at Houdinis Café E Cucina in Diggers Rest.

Gary’s funeral was held yesterday and our thoughts are with his family during this sad time.

Minister says no on toilets.

Despite all promises by the former Brumby Labor Government to provide additional services to Diggers Rest as part of the $270 million upgrade to the Sunbury line, the toilets and waiting rooms will stay locked.

In response to a recent letter from Melton City Council, the Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allen MP, said “I appreciate your continued concerns that the facilities at Diggers Rest Station remain closed. As you are aware, PTV (Public Transport Victoria) advised that the decision to staff a station is based on passenger numbers. PTV confirmed that there are no plans to open the waiting room and toilets at Diggers Rest station or to staff the station, until passenger numbers increase”.

Anecdotal evidence would indicate that patronage at the station continues to grow with the significant number of commuters using the station and Park-n-Ride facilities.

The facilities currently being offered by PTV do not reflect those of a premier “Park-n-Ride” station and are not  in accordance with expectations of residents during the planning phase.

The Minister seems reluctant to provide any further indication to Council with respect to when the waiting room and public toilet facilities will be made available to commuters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MORYfdJBpEY

Buyers jump at Paddock Release

paddock-release

Today, avid property buyers queued to secure their slice of paradise in the growing Diggers Rest Bloomdale Estate.

The early release of Stage 19 had lots starting from $162,900.

Stephen Gochman, new home consultant for Simonds Homes provided prospective buyers with a range of early bird deals, whilst Emma Bailey, sales consultant for Bright Homes Constructions (bhc) was praised for her exceptional one-on-one service.

Carmen and Philip Edwards, are soon to call Diggers Rest home after snapping up their piece of soil in the first come, first served sales frenzy.

Lots in the “Paddock Release” are expected to be titled in May 2017.