Month: November 2018

Support for elderly, disabled centre in Bayswater

Coming soon: Mandi Hyland outside the organisation’s future home in Cullis Parade, Bayswater. Picture: Lucy Di PaoloWHAT DO YOU THINK? SCROLL TO BELOW THIS STORY TO POST A COMMENT.
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AN organisation for the elderly and disabled expects no community opposition to its plan to move into a disused property in Bayswater.

The not-for-profit group Bridges Connecting Communities is intending to buy 13 Cullis Parade – the former home of Eastern Palliative Care – from Knox Council for $450,000. Earlier bids to redevelop the site have failed due to a perceived resistance from the local community.

Mental health support group Halcyon planned to relocate from Ferntree Gully to the site in 2009 but cancelled the move because it feared a backlash from the street’s residents.

The council’s plan in 2010 to sell the land for affordable or social housing also caused anger.

Bridges chief executive officer Mandi Hyland said her organisation had been looking at buying the site for some time.

“We’ve had a residents’ meeting and we understand they’re very happy with our application. We’ve been very transparent about what we’re going to do and about how much traffic will be around the site.”

Cullis Parade residents’ group spokesman Derek Thomson said the proposed centre for social groups and activities was perfect for the street.

“That’s great, that’s the kind of thing we want. I’ve spoken to everyone in the street, and they’re all delighted. We’re going to help them, too. We’ve been cutting the grass, and I’ve been the nightwatchman.”

Ms Hyland said Bridges had five sites across Knox and the organisation was looking to consolidate into one place. The Cullis Parade site has been vacant for about seven years.

Ms Hyland said refitting the building would cost $100,000 and could be finished by Christmas. “There’ll be lots of renovations, lots of working bees and hopefully the community will be involved in helping out.”

A council committee will hear submissions on the sale on May 8.

The Basin Music Festival variety music to their ears

Ready to rock: The Basin Music Festival committee members Anthony Osborne, John Mortimore and Ray Smith (aka Rusty Strings), are looking forward to the event this weekend. Picture: Lucy Di PaoloTHE Basin will come alive with the sound of music this weekend as the “musos’ festival” hits town.
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Festival president John Mortimer said more than 200 musicians would gather for the eighth annual The Basin Music Festival.

The fun begins on Friday evening with a swing dance at The Basin Progress Hall and concludes on the Sunday with a family fun day.

Cr Mortimore said while there would be music for everyone at the festival, there would also be woodworkers, stalls, displays, food and entertainment for the whole family on the final day.

Festival program director Ray Smith – known as eclectic country-jazz-folk singer Rusty Strings – has performed every year and believes it is the “best and friendliest festival in the world”.

“It’s also really affordable, so everyone can attend something. It’s a festival for musos by musos.”

Strings said The Basin Music Festival played a key part in raising the profile of local musicians. “It showcases how many talented acts we’ve got on our doorstep right across the hills.”

He will be performing at the Thai Square restaurant and promises the audience a “mixed bag of lollies” from his tongue-in-cheek repertoire at the show.

Performances throughout the weekend will take place at a variety of venues around The Basin, with free shows at the parks and paid gigs at cafes and restaurants.

Cr Mortimore said the event brought life to The Basin community. “It allows them to have a sense of identity and it brings the locals to the village, instead of driving elsewhere.”

It also brought out the generosity in people, with about the same number of volunteers as musicians.

For more information, go to thebasinmusicfestival南京夜网.au.

Knox’s leafy image in doubt due to clearing laws

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VEGETATION-clearing laws to prevent bushfires could cause Knox’s biodiversity and ‘green’ image to suffer, say environment groups and Knox Council.

New state planning regulations about what trees and shrubs can be cleared around homes apply to about 1800 homes in Knox, particularly properties in The Basin, Upper Ferntree Gully, Ferntree Gully, Boronia, Sassafras, Lysterfield and Rowville.

Known as the 10/50 rule, it means that residents do not need a planning permit to clear any vegetation within 10 metres of a building and any vegetation except trees within 50 metres.

But a report on the planning scheme changes discussed by the council last week stated the rule may result in the extinction of indigenous species and have a long-term impact on Knox’s “green and leafy” image.

Knox Environment Society president Darren Wallace said he accepted that vegetation needed to be cleared to reduce bushfire risk but the previous 10/30 rule was sufficient.

“We believe some people will make use of the rule not necessarily because of fire protection but because they don’t want native vegetation. This is the terrible irony – everyone says they live in Knox because they like the green areas and they like trees, but they want the trees in someone else’s backyard.”

Last week, the council voted to request a priority review of how the bushfire management overlay applied to Knox.

Cr Mick Van de Vreede said the 50 metres that could be cleared potentially contained the most biodiversity.

“We have a role to play to protect biodiversity levels. There are a plethora of weed issues on private and public land, a lot of which have come about through clearing of natural vegetation and then not managing it properly.”

The review will be carried out in association with the Country Fire Authority and the state government in the next few months.

Rowvillerail link: Government urged to act

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THE state government needs to act now to secure land for any future Rowville rail link, say the authors of a feasibility report into the project.

More than 80 people attended a meeting in Rowville on Monday night to hear consultants from Sinclair Knight Merz present the draft stage one report.

SKM principal consultant William McDougall said despite a Rowville rail line being considered since 1969, no land had ever been gazetted or formal studies produced.

Asked how long the line would take to complete, Mr McDougall said construction was expected to take four years but could only start after all planning was completed and funding sourced and allocated.

He compared it to the Regional Rail Link project, which was fast tracked but still took four years to reach construction stage.

Mr McDougall warned that any delays in approval or funding would result in a decade-long wait for the project’s completion, and that it needed to be pursued now by the state government.

The report– which will be submitted to the government by mid-year – will not include a cost-benefit analysis for the line or a clear timetable for its construction.

However, SKM’s endorsement of the project won approval from the meeting.

Knox councillor and Public Transport Consultative Committee member Mick Van de Vreede said he was pleased SKM had agreed with the need to pursue the rail line.

He said it was imperative the government avoided all delays in the process to build the line.

People can make comments on the draft report until April 27. Comments can be made in writing via [email protected]南京夜网.au or at rowvillerailstudy南京夜网.au. SKM will have another presentation at Monash University tomorrow (Thursday) at 6.30pm in the South 1 lecture theatre, building 64, Wellington Road, Clayton.

Crusade from the heart

Eastern Football League club Silvan is backing a call for defibrillators. Picture: Sam Stiglec Andrew White and Sue Buckman, who are running a statewide campaign for defibrillators at all football clubs. They’ve donated 600 units, at the cost of about $1.3 million. Picture: Matthew Furneaux
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Football is about to kick off and clubs are dreaming of premierships. But there is a siren call to think about adding defibrillators – simple devices that can avert tragedy – to the first aid kit. Cameron Lucadou-Wells reports.

FOOTY isn’t for the faint-hearted. But regardless of the courage required to compete, no one expects a player to die on the field.

It had never happened at Silvan Cats Football Club until last year.

On March 7, the ground was packed for a pre-season family day when, during an intra-club practice match, 22-year-old Silvan gun Vincent ‘Boris’ Bonanno collapsed.

Two players worked to revive him, a registered nurse and two police officers at the ground performed CPR and, after what seemed like an eternity, a medical helicopter and ambulance arrived.

The medics performed CPR for 45 minutes but in vain.

President Chris Maclagan said Vincent, seemingly fit and with no previous signs of heart trouble, had an aneurysm that burst a huge artery near his heart. Nothing could have saved the charismatic, popular clubman.

There was counselling and a club wake soon afterwards. Training stopped for two weeks as the tight-knit club pulled together, banding around Vincent’s brother and under-19 coach Johnny, his cousin and reserves coach Steve Musico and father and life member Frank.

Twelve months on, Maclagan says it’s something he doesn’t think he’ll ever totally understand.

“It affected the club even more than I thought it would. It really affected our young players – you don’t think about death at that age.

The club has since named a rising star award, for the club’s best player 22 years and under, after Vincent.

Vincent’s No. 29 jumper was retired and now the club has on hand a potentially life-saving defibrillator labelled ‘Gift from Boris 2011’.

The defibrillator, which can electrically revive a person under cardiac arrest, would not have saved Vincent but may save the life of a spectator, official or player in the future, Maclagan says.

Defibrillators, which cost upwards of $2000, give simple instructions and can be used by almost anyone to revive a heart attack victim. They are becoming more common in airports, stations, workplaces, shopping centres and other public spaces.

The units are being regarded as life-savers because time is of the essence in cardiac arrests. For every minute that passes, a victim’s survival chances drop by 10 per cent. By the time paramedics arrive, it can be too late.

Maclagan is part of a growing number of defibrillator converts, who believe the units should be vital equipment at football clubs – which often share their rooms with other sports clubs and community groups.

He believes the price tag, considered too high by many grassroots clubs, should be met by the AFL or the state government.

But that benevolent role has been taken by a MICA paramedic Andrew White and bereaved mother Sue Buckman, who were hit hard by the death of Sue’s son Stephen during football practice in 2010.

The pair have led a ‘Defib your club, for life’ campaign that in about a year has raised $1.3 million and donated 600 defibrillators to football clubs in Victoria.

They have far exceeded the state government’s efforts, which funded 86 units by August last year.

The pair’s ultimate goal was to donate 750 defibrillators – enough to supply every football club in the state.

The catalyst was Stephen Buckman’s death from cardiac arrest at Rupertswood Football Club. White, off-duty at the time, put his paramedic training to work but, without a defibrillator, was unable to revive him. He says as a paramedic he’s seen cases when a defibrillator would have saved a life.

Shattered by Stephen’s death, he’s worked long hours and used up his annual and long-service leave to spread the word and save lives. “We’ve sustained the effort because of the passion. The passion just stays there; it stays vivid in your mind and drives it,’’ White says.

“When we started the campaign it was really devastating to hear of two other deaths [like Vincent’s] at other venues. They drove us more.’’

A number of leagues and businesses have got on board. Eastern Football League, which includes Silvan Cats, is providing grants to clubs to buy defibrillators.

Bendigo Community Bank has donated 150 defibrillators to the cause. AFL Victoria is backing a “lap-a-thon” fund-raiser at all its Auskick clinics in May, which should raise enough for the remaining 150 defibrillators to meet White’s goal.

“It’s become a large part of my life now. I don’t think I can stop at 750 defibrillators. I’m now getting inquiries from clubs around the country.’’

Media commentator and former Melbourne AFL player David Schwarz has been a strong supporter, spruiking the cause on his SEN radio show.

“Andrew’s a champion. He’s one person who’s got off his arse and put in so much time and effort,” Schwarz says.

He calls on big sports bodies like the AFL, Cricket Australia and Basketball Australia to ensure the units are at all venues.

“For the sake of $2000, how would you like to see your son or daughter not living because a defibrillator isn’t there?”

Another passionate backer is Paul Wright, president of Narre North Foxes Junior Football Club. His 13-year-old son Troy collapsed with cardiac arrest at training last year.

Paramedics were there within minutes and revived his son, who later had a stent to open up a compressed aorta.

His club last year received a belated defibrillator from Defib your Club and Wright and his son became passionate advocates for defibrillators.

Last week they were part of an announcement by their league, South East Juniors, offering defibrillators to 17 clubs.

“Andrew and I are mates now. I just try to support the campaign whenever I can. If the ambulance didn’t come in time, we would have had to have used a defibrillator.’’

He’s happy but nervous that Troy has resumed football training.

“He’s struggling with his fitness because he hasn’t done anything for six months. But besides that, he has a new energy. He says he’s never felt better.’’

Watching his club’s charges train on the turf on which Vincent died, Maclagan tells the Weekly that defibrillators should be essential at football clubs, no matter the cost.

“We have up to 300 people at a home game. Anyone can collapse – an old spectator, a player or official. A debrillator will give us peace of mind.’’

To donate or register for a defibrillator, go to Defib Your Club, For Life or the ‘defibyourclubforlife’ Facebook page.