Okay, for shared pathway

Josh Bull (MP), member for Sunbury announced yesterday that the Victorian Government would fund the long awaited shared pathway joining Diggers Rest and Sunbury.

The $1.1 million dollar project will be funded through the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution Program (GAIC).

Diggers Rest is currently experiencing rapid growth and the need to provide safe connections for pedestrians and cyclists is paramount.

Hector Bugeja, a member of the Sunbury and Diggers Rest Bicycle Users Group, initiated the campaign for the shared path following the death of a cyclist at the location in 2015.

His efforts received strong support from the Bloomdale Estate Developers, the Cities of Melton and Hume, Josh Bull (MP) and the Community of Diggers Rest.

It’s expected that the pathway will be completed by late 2018.

Mr Bugeja praised the Bloomdale developers for their “innovative design approach for improving safety”.

He acknowledged their forward thinking to provide separated pathways for cyclists and pedestrians.

The new pathway should help encourage more residents to cycle or walk around their community.

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:

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.

Push for “Doggy Park” in Diggers

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

Hotel rebuild needs a plan.


Last month was the 8th anniversary of the fire which destroyed the historical Diggers Rest Hotel, one of the few Mount Alexander Road gold rush wayside hotels known to survive.

Unfortunately, due to a series of issues the hotel cannot be re-developed by the current owners and may never be rebuilt without some level of community involvement.

The hotel site is subject to a Heritage Overlay control and under the current zoning of the land, the use of the land for a hotel is prohibited. However, the presence of a Heritage Overlay control on the site would allow Council to consider an application for a rebuild of a hotel, bistro and bottle shop, subject to a permit.

The hotel is listed for sale and the asking price is $1.6m. It is estimated that an additional $1.5m would be required to fully rebuild the hotel in accordance with the expectations of Council, taking into account the conservation of the heritage place.

Some preliminary discussions with the owners and Council have taken place this past week with the idea of fast tracking the prospect of a re-development plan.

At present the hotel is not economically attractive from an investment viewpoint, nor is it physically attractive to locals and visitors to Diggers Rest.

The existence of a blueprint for the hotel would help encourage potential investors, reducing the risk of uncertainty and pave the way to re-developing the site.

If you’re keen to be part of this project, then please give me, David O’Connor a call on 0417 300 707 or join the facebook group via the following link:

Community workshop summary


Melton City Council hosted a Community Building Workshop in April which was well attended and helped to identify some key projects, potential activities and future aspirations for Diggers Rest.

The Workshop provided an opportunity for residents to make an evaluation of community resources homing in on existing community attributes with the view of better utilising these resources.

Some of these have been summarised to include assets of organisations, associations and individual contributions. All of these too numerous to expand upon.

Community strengthening was the primary focus which highlighted the main themes as infrastructure and services, economic development, beautification, planning and development and community-based activities.

“More for Youth” was a common topic for discussion which featured strongly across the main themes.

Along with a series of community-based activities, beautification of the township was a focal point and recognised as an effective means to improvements.

As part of the 2015/16 municipal budget, Council approved a funding submission for landscaping works at the Bulla – Diggers Rest Road Interchange.

Preliminary discussions have commenced in an effort to incorporate the landscaping works into a start-up project engaging the community.

The next follow-up meeting to the Community Building Workshop will be held at the Family Services Centre, Plumpton Road Diggers Rest at 6:30pm Friday May 27, 2016.

Everyone is welcome.

RSVP – Inderdeep on 0439 327 716

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Just another pair of socks


Congratulations to the Melton Family History Group on the launch of the “Just Another Pair Of Socks” Melton District ANZACS Website.

The official unveiling was held at the Melton Library and Learning Hub on November 16, 2015. Amongst the distinguished guests were Melton RSL President Ian Lawrey, Secretary Kevin Murray, Brendan O’Connor (MP), Federal Member for Gorton, Don Nardella (MP) State Member for Melton, Melton City Council Mayor, Councillor Kathy Madjlik and fellow Councillors Sophie Ramsey, Lara Carli and Nola Dunn. Other attendees included, district history and genealogical groups, school representatives, and descendants of the World War 1 veterans represented on the cenotaph.

The website was made possible through the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.

Additional information is available via the following link:

Diggers at rest to be honoured

Diggers Rest Memorial
At the March Ordinary Meeting of the Melton City Council, it’s expected that Councillors will endorse the use of land at the Diggers Rest Recreational Reserve for the proposed Diggers Rest War Memorial.

The establishment of a war memorial at Diggers Rest is a joint initiative between the Diggers Rest Lions Club and the Diggers Rest Primary School.

A war memorial for Diggers Rest will help to commemorate Diggers Rest residents who died in wars in which Australia has fought.

It is anticipated that the project will include a “teaching garden” to enable the ANZAC tradition to form part of the school curriculum in a more significant way.

Additional information about the project can be found via the following link:

Connecting the nation through aviation heritage


Australia’s aviation heritage is set to connect the nation in a joint venture between Airservices Australia and the University of Canberra.

The project called “Connecting the Nation: Australia’s Aviation Heritage” is anticipated to draw together the dispersed sources of aviation history into a digital portal which aims to improve public access and contribute to its conservation.

Diggers Rest has a strong connection to Australia’s aviation history. At dawn on March 18, 1910 famous American escapologist Harry Houdini made Australia’s first powered, controlled, sustained flight at Diggers Rest, marking the beginning of modern aviation in Australia.

In 2010, the community of Diggers Rest with the support of the Melton City Council, worked together to celebrate the centenary of flight in Australia. The celebrations included an Airshow, a Commemoration Ceremony and a Community Festival.

A series of legacy items were created as part of the 2010 celebrations which now remain for future generations to enjoy. These include the Houdini monument and the informative  history panels located at the Stan Payne Reserve in Diggers Rest.

Local Melton resident Ian Satur, hand crafted a one third scale model of the French Voisin bi-plane. A replica of which was flown by Harry Houdini at Diggers Rest.

It is important that Diggers Rest is recognised as part of Australia’s Aviation Heritage through this amazing project.

Additional information can be found via the following link: