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Ferntree F e Gully

Belgrave

Mail Covering the Dandenongs in the Yarra Ranges & Cardinia Shires

5 Tuesday, 7 February, 2017

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4

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A Mail News Group publication

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Top talent showcased The artwork of talented hills teenagers will soon be on show, as part of council’s VCE Creative Showcase exhibition opening. The showcase will feature the work from 2016 students’ VCE art and studio art classes in two exhibitions, at Mooroolbark Community Centre’s Red Earth Gallery and Upwey’s Burrinja Cultural Centre. The Upwey exhibition, which will run from 18 February to 19 March, will have work from Belgrave Heights Christian School, Emerald Secondary College, Mater Christi College, Monbulk College, Mountain District Christian School, Sherbrooke Community School, St Joseph’s College and Upwey High School. See full story on page 7. Pictured from left with some of the pieces are local students Rebecca Andre, Rebecca Wilson, Josh Starick, Sam Sharam and Belinda Schroder. 164404 Picture: JESSE GRAHAM

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organised orienteering group would never have caused such destruction. In correspondence with the ‘Mail’, Carl Stemp from Emerald said orienteering groups were essentially ‘greenies’ and set high environmental standards. “Each of our controls is in the form of an orange-and-white marker, which is recovered after every event,” he said. “ ... we don’t leave anything behind us, especially graffiti. “We have established permanent courses in a number of parks over several years (not Birdsland) with the approval of the relevant authorities.”

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Pamela King from Boronia agreed with this sentiment, saying it’s unlikely an orienteering group was responsible. “Orienteering is navigating using a map, compass and your brain,” she said. “Having routes pre-marked, such as arrows showing the way to go, would defeat the whole purpose of this activity.” The Birdsland reserve has a rich history, and was once in the hands of local farmers, the Bird family. Although, Betty Marsden (OAM), from the Save the Dandenongs League, told the ‘Mail’ the Birdsland reserve

was not donated to council, rather the Shire of Sherbrooke purchased the land before amalgamation. Presently, Yarra Ranges Council and Melbourne Water share management of different sections of Birdsland. Ms Marsden recalls the purchase in the early 1980s was a hugely controversial decision at the time, but passed a council vote 6-5. She said some on council had questioned whether council had the capacity to look after the area. Ms Marsden said, ultimately, the decision fulfilled the aim of impeding urban development.

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The popular Birdsland reserve is now free of the yellow arrows that had tainted its natural beauty. At least, the arrows are much less conspicuous, after efforts to either remove them or paint over them with grey paint. Hundreds of the yellow arrows had appeared along the popular walking trail at Belgrave South, including on trees, rocks and fences. Nearby residents, as well as regular walkers of the trail, aired their frustrations over the vandalism of

the natural landscape. Melbourne Water acting manager Regional Services (South East), Alanna Wright, said clean-up crews had attended the reserve. “Melbourne Water was made aware of spray-painted arrows at Birdsland reserve on Thursday 19 January and promptly sent local crew members to assess and remove the paint from Melbourne Water-managed land,” she said. Meanwhile, the suggestion the damage had been caused by an orienteering group has caused some anguish within the community. Representatives have insisted an

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By Peter Douglas


Mail - Ferntree Gully Mail - 07th February 2017