Ours2share's Blog

Hazelwood and Churchill (Victoria, Australia) local Girl Guide information noticeboard.

In response to alterations proposed for the Hazelwood South Reserve.



Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District dynamics constantly evolve through active participation of the Guiding members and the communities input and evaluations. Throughout all levels within the Guides the Guiding Elements and Fundamentals are challenged, explored, covered and evaluated.   The Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District strongly has a Guiding influenced structure and follows the Guide Lines of the Girl Guide Association. Guiding aim for the Youth members is ‘to make girls into worthwhile citizens’. This aspect of Guiding takes time and is influenced strongly by many factors from world issues right down to family issues that impact on the daily life of the Guiding and family members along with community members. Therefore, utilizing and working with both the service expectations of Guides, as well as building ‘Community Development through interaction and inclusion of the community” is of importance as a stabilizing primary influence. The Hazelwood South Community Hall and adjoining land infrastructure and use is important long term influences on these young members of the community. What are considered negative alterations to the Hazelwood South Reserve have a profound effect on the members of the community? Basically these effects are what the following pages are about. Interactive creative positive ideas offering alternative legitimate queries and suggestion are interspersed among the community responses.
Having a long twenty (20) year plan to a short term plan six (6) month makes good business sense.  The Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District have been developing one since September 2007 when as explained the Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District management restructuring began. Resulting in both community and Guiding ‘inactions’ being acted up and reactivated. These positive developments are seeing the Hazelwood South Community Hall usage by both the community and the Guiding fraternity further developing and becoming reactive, rather than proactive, to community demands.  Under this flexible management system a different attitude towards the Hazelwood South Community Hall, its place in the local community and what it represents is accommodated. The various chosen community management teams involved are reflective of these developments. Thus memberships of all utilizing the Hazelwood South Community Hall facilities’ are increasing.  Including the Hazelwood Girl Guide District – its Youth and Adult membership.
Those now involved with the Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District find security, a sense of identity and belonging  emerging with their participation in the many various wide ranging activities from meetings (main course and stream lined), events, activities, social occasions, service, trainings and leadership components.  Social, community interaction, economic viability and the effectiveness of team support that involves recognitions levels (individual and team cross generational recognitions) have been evolving through what appears a relaxed, flexible management arrangement. 
Now is the time to let it be known that from September 2009 Girl Guides and Girl Scouts of this organisation will be one hundred (100) years old.   Over the last centenary Guiding has helped open people up to making choices [Fifty –two (52) years in then Hazelwood and now Hazelwood and Churchill District]. Moving along with the times informed choices that are offered, promoting independence, the ability to recognise our feminie multi-skilling tendencies, that through the gathering of information open communication channels are developing, networking provides strengths and reliance.  Bullying and standover tactics will not be tolerated nor kept quiet about.
Over the last fifteen (15) years a number of disturbing conversations with members of the public were engaged in and reported to the other Guide Leaders.  Those who are now in a position to act on the information presented were then not in a position to ‘do anything about these’ other than make tentative enquiries and file the responses. Two major things have changed. The first is that as of September 2007 when a new Hazelwood and Churchill District Leader had undergone training. The second – that as from the 1st January 2008 when the Hazelwood and Churchill took over the management of the Hazelwood South Community Hall. Things are now changing for the better. Leaders, members of guiding (Including parents) and members of the community organisations, clubs and bands are able to have a wider degree of autonomy to develop and grow.  Sometimes their needs outgrow what the Hazelwood South Community Hall can provide i.e. there is not a licence to sell alcohol.  There is no smoking on and around the premises as the land is Government land – Department of Sustainability and Environment.  The land out the front of the buildings of both the Hazelwood Rifle Club and the Hazelwood South Community Hall (that is approximately eight (8) meters from the front doors) is the Latrobe City Councils. Currently the users of these facilities park there.
Remember that there has to be a safety area between the Arterial Road (Tramway Road) and the usable car parking space which effectively cuts out more car parks and manoeuvring space.
The Hazelwood South Reserve incorporates the Churchill Soccer Club fields and facilities which are on the North, East and Southern side of dirt drive way. The field to the North, West and South of the dirt road is what is under discussion. The dirt one way track is known to the Churchill Soccer Club members as Soccer Road to others the dirt road that the soccer people use.
A special meeting was called by Susan Connor, the Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District Leader.  This meeting was run in a forum of open discussion where challenges, choices and conclusions were to be placed ‘on the table’.  Following this meeting community members were approached.  Their ideas and conclusions are also included in this paper.   The following is a paper on what has occurred, been concluded and actions to be taken.


Open forum discussion held at:  Debbie Gallaher’s,
18 Churinga Drive
Churchill.
Date and time: 06/06/08 began at 10.30am to 1.30pm
Present; Chantelle, Nadine, Meagan, Debbie, Susan.
Unable to contact: Sadie.
Approximately six (6) weeks ago whilst at the Latrobe City Council front desk it was found that the Latrobe Valley Soccer Clubs certain proposals have been presented. One was a better place for the adults to train, the second – wind brakes.
A meeting with Paul Buckley (the Latrobe City Councils Executive Officer) was held at the Hazelwood South Reserve. Mentioned was the publication of the combined Latrobe Valley Soccer Clubs proposals. Two of these proposals were discussed include the wish for the Churchill Soccer Club to have the use of better ground facilities, and the need for wind brakes.
Also discussed was
a) where the best place to have a public play area,
b) Bollards from the East of the Hazelwood South Community Hall to the dirt entrance between the Churchill Soccer ground and the reserve field,  then turning in a North – North West direction along this unnamed dirt entrance. Terminating at the fenced in play ground. 
c)  Tan barking the around the edges of the Hazelwood South Reserve from the dirt road down to the area just North – North West of the water pipers running along the front of the Hazelwood South Community Hall.
Where the land on the reserve was its highest (near the current main Soccer Hall but on the Hazelwood Reserve side of the dirt road.) a public play ground could be accommodated.  Thus parents and care givers from the community (whilst walking a dog, running and gaining fitness, riding bikes, and even those who may have an interest in the Soccer Club activities, to Soccer Club Members and to those using the Hazelwood South Community Hall.
Over the past years, up until this weekend, different conversations have items been reported. Cumulating with an emergency meeting on Saturday.  The following have been brought to our attention:
The Soccer Clubs of the Latrobe Valley have a ‘grand master plan’.  Each relevant bit being released -when they are made aware of the appropriate time to push / lobby various Councillors and other relevant authorities.
·         Whispers of this master plan have been about for at least twelve (12) years when other enquires began to surface with regard to the Hazelwood South Reserve. Unfortunately nothing could be located and all was denied.
·         It was just before this time that the appropriate Latrobe Shire officer brought out seedlings for the Girl Guides to plant around the Hazelwood South Reserve – with some left over in case we needed spare, or we could put these around the Hazelwood South Community Hall area.  This planting was done along the front of the reserve ground and down about half way long the reserve. The Latrobe Shire even banged in the wooden pickets indicating where the Girl Guides should plant these seedlings. Over the next few months the seedlings were removed, broken, run over or killed off.  Both members of the public and then members of the Churchill Soccer Club reported that it was encouraged by members of the Soccer Club for the younger members to remove the seedlings as the car park was to go there. 
·         Over the last few years available areas for the Churchill Soccer Club to have available to release and develop for their cars to park have been mulched and planted in native trees.  These areas are to the South of the soccer fields and the West of the old change rooms.
·         Note the area that lies between Tramway Road and the Eastern side of the Soccer oval has ample parking space available. This is where cars used to park when thirteen to fifteen (13 to 15) years ago were playing soccer. The entrance and exits would be along ides each other.  This entrance possibility may be covered up as there are two very badly diseased trees near the current unnamed dirt drive entrance. On the current Exit side (Morwell side of the unnamed dirt drive).  The first twenty (20) meters should have speed bumps to slow speeding vehicles down. This area fenced in as it butts up against the arterial road (Tramway Road) and children safety being paramount trees encourage playing in and running about.  Currently there is no fence along the arterial road.  However there are significant sized sections that enable shade when the planted trees have matured, and parking for family members who want to be near their cars during the game time.
The ‘Soccer Club / s’ have approached the four out of the nine local Latrobe City Council members.  The fifth one out of the nine they (the Soccer Clubs) feel they do not need to approach as that ‘council-man’ plays Soccer therefore the Soccer Clubs presume this councillor  will vote for the following anyway. Another, I understand, is a local member of the Churchill Soccer Club. Others have family members benefiting from the soccer games through out the Latrobe Valley.
With two hundred and seventy five members (275) members, sixty six (66) youth being girls and twenty two (22) adult females playing soccer the Soccer Club feels that they have a greater use of the Hazelwood South Reserve as a car park facility than the rest of the greater general public who visit the Soccer ground, the Hazelwood South Reserve or the Hazelwood South Community Hall.
Literally in the next breath the latest person  (a member of the Churchill Soccer Club)  then informed me that “Girl Guides is a sexist organisation and should be meeting in the Scout hall where they belong.”, that we never pay our bills, that the Churchill Soccer Club is going to manage the Hazelwood South Community hall. I take it that the Soccer Club view this hall as an ideal place for their youth members to ‘rest’ whilst the weather is inclement, or their parents are busy with the club activities.
·         A previous District Leader had asked for the Hazelwood South Community Hall keys back that the Churchill Soccer Club had in their position.  When the locks on the Hazelwood South Community Hall were changed (as someone was getting into the hall and ‘playing’, opening doors, etc.) other keys turned up and the Soccer Public had no where to go to defecate and urinate away from an alcohol venue or the change rooms.  The Hazelwood South Community Hall cleaners no longer had to clean up mysterious faecal and urine mess that appeared anywhere.
What really was surprising was the outspoken belief that “the Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District bills are not paid and that the Hazelwood South Community Hall bills are also in arrears”. 
·         To correct this mistaken view.  All bills are paid – there are no outstanding bills that any member of the Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District is aware of.
·         The lease on the Hazelwood South Community Hall is also paid in full – being in fact one (1) year in advance.
·         Two and a half years ago a family left the Hazelwood Girl Guide District (as it was known then) without banking chocolate/ biscuit fun raising monies, belly dancing, camp and sub monies.  This family went to the Churchill Soccer Club and when last known were active participants here.
 That the unnamed dirt road presents a danger as it is only one way and not able to cope with two way traffic flow.
That parking along the side of unnamed dirt road presents a problem. Small people cannot be seen by on coming traffic – either entering or exiting the Soccer ground.  Therefore the native trees along the unnamed dirt road will be cut down to accommodate this expansion. 
Further to this a new entrance way to the unnamed dirt road will be made.  Complete with a turning lane on the approaching side of the left hand side of the arterial road, namely, Tramway Road.
·         Using rough measurements this left turning lane (four (4) meter wide) will beginning from just under the rise of the hill along Tramway Road.  Effectively cutting off the entrance that leads to the Hazelwood South Community Hall and the Hazelwood Small Bore (.22) Rifle Club.  Both of these buildings are not on the Latrobe Council Land.  The Hazelwood South Community Hall and the Hazelwood Small Bore (.22) Rifle Club are both based on the Department of Sustainability and Environment land. 
·         Once the water pipes (see attachment) and main water pipes and the safe distance to park from an arterial Road, complete with separating bank, and safe arterial bank area, have been taken into account the current actual car park area in front of the Hazelwood South Community Hall building is approximately thirteen (13) meters.  In front of the Hazelwood Small Bore (.22) Rifle Club the car park depth is approximately seventeen (17) meters.  The main problem is that a second light pole would have to be taken out so that and moved South West to allow for a new entrance way.  There now are three more problems. The difference between the height of the bank and the south western hill approach.  The new cross road ‘x’ intersection that will adjoin Matta Drive, a private home drive way and the new entrance to the Department of Sustainability and Environment land and buildings. (seer attachment) And of course most of the car parking available out the front of the Department of Sustainability and Environmental building will just be entrance and drive way approach.  Very small amount of parking will be available in front of these buildings.  There will not be enough room for any thing other than emergency vehicle parking, disability parking and mothers with small children parking.  Where will the Hazelwood Small Bore (.22) Rifle Club park their vehicles that have a possibility of having their equipment under lock and key where members can keep a very close eye of vehicles and property ?. When the Radio Club uses the Hazelwood South Reserve Hall where will they be privileged to park.  At the last meeting the cars took up half the current car parks out side the Hazelwood Small Bore (.22) Rifle Club  and along in front of the Hazelwood South Community Hall?
·         Between the moving of the light, the electrical wires overhead, the main water pipe connections and the left lane digging into the bank along the Tramway Road, repositioning a ‘t’ intersection /drive way facility the ergonomics and safety aspects to the cars that park in the car parking area available out the front of the Hazelwood Small Bore (.22) Rifle Club and the Hazelwood South Community Hall have been eliminated.
·         Changing the Soccer Road entrance will involve moving a street light back from its’ current position accommodating the feed off proposed lane. Closing of the combined entrance into the exit area North East of this car park
That the Churchill Soccer Clubs adults now have practice times in the best soccer fields the Latrobe Valley has to offer.  Namely – those at Monash University. 
·         Monash has loads of next to Soccer Field car parking available over the weekends and after 4pm week days, especially when the home games are played.
·         Shops offering a variety of foods and drinks are equal distance away from this field as from the actual Churchill Soccer Club.
·         Monash University has a cafeteria.
·         Toilets are available in the university complex too, or they can be hired as portable facilities.
·         What Monash University does not have are the toilet and shower facilities (rent portable ones) and a private bar facility for alcohol consumption within seven (7) meters of the actual Soccer Field.
That the actual Churchill Soccer fields are in’ bad’ shape.  They need to be drained and re-seeded- but they are good enough for the juniors to ‘play and hurt themselves’ on.
·         This would be in the long term plan. 
·         Years ago Glendonald Park had drainage problems on the ball games field.  The drainage problems were ‘finally solved’ were finally drained using a herring bone system which finally drained into lots of wide open drains that kids play in, ride their bikes on etc.  Kids being Kids.  After all these years the ground above the herring bone laid out drainage pipes still is ‘soft’ and sinks down creating an uneven top surface during the wet seasons.  Is this okay for the junior Soccer players to practice and play upon once the Soccer Field ground has been drained?
The Tar sealing of the exit / entrance, the Soccer Road, all around the Soccer Ovals.
·         Like the rest of Churchill, Gaskin Park Footy oval has similar drainage problems to the Churchill Soccer Clubs soccer fields. Resulting in problems with Gaskin Parks tar sealed road entrance and around the oval itself constantly needing to be upgraded, fixed and retarred in patches. It is understood that this is only done when financing is available that the resealing has been requested for years and still needs to be overhauled. Churchill Soccer Ground is on a lower topographical map gradient than Gaskin Park.  There is a flood water way about one (100) hundred meters north east of the Churchill Soccer Field. As seen during the 2007 and 1994 to 1996 floods.
·         Any one of the following vehicle flow and parking systems will allow more spectators to watch the game without the old false perception that vehicles travelling slowly past posing no direct danger. By removing the vehicle flow from the actual oval pedestrian and viewer safety would be more easily assured. Staggered seating arrangements would make this viewing easier as with out vehicles present people could easily see the games. While any type of sport is having a winning streak the public will follow, memberships are more easily ‘sold’.  Home grounds are used at a greater level and of course booking for other facilities offered on the grounds more frequently used. Where people are cars are
·         Churchill Soccer Ground has always had too many cars parked on the oval.  Between games the entry and exit of vehicles and people is unsafe.  Even if the oval is fixed further.  People park along side the oval, over the oval and then others try to manoeuvre their vehicle around the people obstacle factors as well. Removing vehicle access to the oval eliminates accidents waiting to happen with pedestrians and prams, inattentive drivers who are ‘rubber necking’ to see the game in progress while trying to control passengers.
·         The oval is one way.  So cars come in along entrance, to the west of the Churchill Club rooms, proceed along past the old club rooms (now the change rooms and food selling canteen) around the oval in front and behind parked cars until they bottle neck one hundred and fifty (150) meters (approximately) from the entrance.  At this point the one way road has car bottle necking and this is a further traffic danger. If this exit can be changed so that instead of finishing the oval car can turn left and approach the arterial road before turn the last right hand bend of the oval.  That is remove the mature trees that are diseased and /.or dead. Diverting the flow of traffic out to Tramway Road from here. Also, on the South Eastern side of the oval instead of car proceeding around the second half of the oval why not have a car park in the unplanted area under the North – North Western curve of Tramway road as it heads toward Morwell.
·         Another suggestion is to have both an entrance and an exit off Tramway Road.  The Entrance where it is currently but being divided into
o       A) The road leading along the South West of the Churchill Soccer Oval becoming a ‘no through road’. The Churchill Soccer Club rooms providing facilities for Emergency vehicle parking, loading and unloading area, and bus and taxi pick up and drop offs area, mothers with children parking, and a disabled parking area.
o       B) The second entry road leading directly into the car park between the south side of the oval and Tramway Road. With extended safety road fences, the trees already planted growing and speed humps this car park will be very safe for pedestrians. 
o       There is ample room for a safe North Eastern exit onto the Tramway Road as the approach is flatter from the Churchill Soccer Ground and onto the Road.  Effectively the brow of the hill has been reached before the current turn off onto the unnamed dirt road.  A feeder lane to the North East of the safe entrance leading back towards Morwell and before the turn in a South Eastern direction will assist both oncoming and exiting cars as this approach has clearer vision aspect.
o       Speed limits and signage needs to be displayed.  The Soccer Club members and supporters believe this dirt road is an official road.  Roads recognised by the Road Transport Authority have signs, are on all available maps as a road, have safety aspects built in them.  A very clear example of this are the roads and car parks around Monash University.
o       The mature trees currently ‘growing’ where this entry / exit area would be are either badly diseased or dead.  Necessitating their removal.  The general public has been doing this service free.
·         Why not go between the raised oval on the North West path and lay another road.  Bring the road along the north east area and then directly into the car parking available area between the established south western oval and Tramway Road.
·         The pine trees that are the current wind brake are nearing their cut down date.  Over the years these trees have suffered major damage and some have uprooted with the high wind velocity storms. With care the small trees behind the old change rooms could be replanted as a replacement windbreak between the farm house and the Soccer ground. A car park the length of the oval (two soccer fields deep) and half the Soccer fields breath would be then available and would cater easily for the members and the players of the day.
The proposed Hazelwood South Reserve field, between the dirt road and the Hazelwood South Community Hall, becoming a car park facility for the Churchill Soccer Club members and their supporters. The intonation of the underlying comments was that might is right “after all they (the combined Latrobe Valley Soccer Clubs) have the numbers and the five council men in their pockets”.
·         The Churchill Soccer field would have to be drained, filled and covered.  Again the same problems as happen to other drained areas are the subsiding of the dirt / the braking of the tar seal over the drains. And the subsequent years of maintained and rebuilding upkeep that will be needed.
·         Other reserves are being allocated playgrounds for the general public to come, enjoy and relax within them.  Experience and participate in the outdoors.  Playgrounds need high lying ground.  The slightly higher  area near the dirt road, between the Churchill Soccer Club and the Hazelwood South Community Hall, is  the best facilitated to become a fenced playground.  Both for child watching and safety issues.  Especially if bollards, road humps and low lying tan bark native gardens are in place to cut down the speed of the vehicles utilizing this dirt road.
·         As around other playgrounds a ‘?’ total of only thirty (30) car parks may be present within a certain area. Thirty car park spaces are what is available currently with parallel parking along the western edge of the dirt road, the vertical parking facing the Soccer fields (These cars usually park three in depth here when ever an event is on that includes either the youth games or the Soccer Club Rooms) from the Churchill Soccer Club Rooms along the South of the Oval.
·         If this area of running, jumping, hiding and general play is eliminated unsupervised behaviour will occur again.  Children will keep playing where the trees and no vehicles are.  Bearing this in mind there are two places currently that this play will be happening.  The pine tree area on the North Western side of the soccer field. And on the South Eastern side of the soccer field.  Between the oval and the unfenced arterial road (Tramway Road)
With the proposed car park (South Western side of the unnamed dirt road) what will the dividing area between the Hazelwood South Community Hall and the proposed car park be? Threes that cause foundation problems, have flammable oils and easily have braches falling, or bark shedding (i.e. gum trees) will not be appreciated will not be appreciated.
What has been proposed is to have a ‘time away’ or ‘time out’ play area encouraged.  Made available and aesthetically pleasing in a safe environment to the public in general.  Small scrubs surrounding the boundaries of the ‘time out’ park. An area where ‘kids can have kids fun’. Parents and care givers can have fixed seating arrangements while supervising their charges.  The area would be tan barked and bollard off.  Using native trees like the Callistemon (known to be more absorbent of water than even the English Willow trees) environmentally friendly drainage facilities and carbon emission reducing / oxygen producing facilities being available for all to enjoy.
·         It was pointed out that Reserve land is crown land looked after by local Council for all the public to enjoy.  As such Reserve land should be protected. Having large slabs of car parking available is not an aesthetically pleasing when there are still other options available.
That the cars [especially the four wheel drives] when turning off the road should be able to cut across the Hazelwood South Reserve (whilst speeding) and park anywhere they want.  When told that those who meet at the Hazelwood South Hall use the car park and the Reserve The Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District has a primary interest in both the development and the participation of community and personal development.  As such the following either currently meet at the Hazelwood South Community hall are have tentative interests in doing so.
o       Sunday          Day                 Band Practice.
o       Monday          Night               Car Club        (tentative inquiry)
o       Tuesday  Afternoon             Girl Guide meeting (11 to 14 years)
o       Tuesday evening                 Girl guides meeting (7 to 11 years)
o       Wednesday Afternoon         Girl guides meeting  (5 to 8 years)
o       Thursday day                        Craft Club
o       Thursday       Evening                    Radio Club
o       Friday                         Small groups Available for Hire – Not permanent
o       Saturday                                Available for Hire- Not permanent
·         Other meetings and activities that occur at the Hazelwood South Community Hall when necessary are:
o       Trefoil Guild meetings.
o       Gipps Guides meetings.
o       Overnight camps.
o       Training days – both adult and youth within Guiding, or open to public training days
o       Family BBQ’s                        (Once a term)
o       Presentation evenings        (Once a term)
o       Art                               (For healing, work shops,  expos and other related areas)
o       Community garden group to form at a later date.
o       Car boot markets (in planning)
o       Those who hire the hall are asked to once a year open their doors to the public. Usually occurring over a weekend.
Under the auspices of, and as members of ‘Girl Guides Australia,’ it is expected that we live by, and include the Promise and Laws in our daily lives. With these standards as benchmarks hearing a members of the predominant clubs abusing their public and fans perceptions of either themselves, other members or their club as individuals or the organisation / club as a whole, is a disappointment.
In conclusion the people who use the Hazelwood South Community Hall are not agreeable to the changes that have been put before the Latrobe Council.  The one sided proposals, as they stand, can be foreseen to have long term major problems that will be unresolved for all the general public to have prolonged continued benefit.
Susan Connor
District Leader
Written by : Susan Connor
Post Graduate Certificate : Rural and Community Development.
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March 2, 2010 - Posted by | Churchill Soccer, Crown land, Hazelwood Small Bore Rifle Club, Hoons, Latrobe City Council, management, Parking, plans, Reserve, Use, vegetation

1 Comment »

  1. […] Were they taken out by people unknown. ???? given the history what would have been our response to every thing been and gone and our further responses. Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment […]

    Pingback by The story behind improvements at the Hazelwood South Hall. « Ours2share's Blog | May 8, 2010 | Reply


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