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The devastating bushfires sweeping across Victoria have affected us all. We know there are many people in our community who wish to help, and Darebin is doing what it can to aid affected communities.

WHAT IS DAREBIN DOING?

Darebin Council will be sending specialist staff to Towong Shire in North East Victoria to help with the response and recovery effort there. Towong Shire is one of Victoria's smallest councils but is dealing with one of the state's biggest fires. At this early stage this will include some of Council's arborists, engineers, bushland crew, environmental health officers, and those with emergency management experience. Depending on the needs of Towong we are also prepared to send equipment, machinery and vehicles to assist in the recovery effort.

 

WHAT CAN I DO?

We know there are many Darebin residents who may also wish to help out by holding their own community fundraising events for specific fire brigades, charities or animal rescue groups. We encourage people to let us know by adding an event to our Community Calendar so that we may share the event on our social media.

To assist with this, Darebin is also offering free venue hire for bushfire related fundraising activities at the following locations:

  • Reservoir Community and Learning Centre
  • Darebin North East Community Hub
  • Intercultural Centre
  • Keon Park Children’s Hub
  • Community rooms and halls
  • Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre
  • Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre

To register your interest in holding fundraiser at one of these spaces, please contact:

Phone: 8470 8110
Email: community.facilities@darebin.vic.gov.au

Another important action everyone can do is to visit the bushfire affected communities once it is safe to do so. Many businesses in these country towns rely heavily on tourist dollars, and visiting these areas can have a positive impact on the local economy.

You may also wish to volunteer to your own time with a charity group or join your local SES, or even make an appointment to donate blood.

 

WHERE CAN I DONATE?

There are many organisations collecting money to be used to help communities and wildlife recover from the bushfires. This is just a select few.

Victorian Bushfire Appeal: The Victorian Government has partnered with Bendigo Bank and The Salvation Army to establish the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. 100 per cent of donated funds will go directly to communities in need. Click here for more information.

CFA: The CFA has two ways for people to donate. The first is for donations to specific firefighting brigades, and the second is for the CFA public fund which goes towards volunteer firefighter training. For more information, please click here.

Wildlife Victoria: Donations to the Wildlife Victoria Bushfire Appeal will ensure money raised will stay in the state and be used to care for Victorian animals affected by the fires. WIRES is another organisation raising money for affected wildlife, but is focused on the recovery efforts in New South Wales. To donate to Wildlife Victoria, please click here.

Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund: The Gippsland Emergency Relief fund has been set up to provide immediate short term financial relief for Gipplsand residents who have been affected by natural disasters. For more information click here

Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities: Yorta Yorta man Neil Morris has established a GoFundMe page to raise money for culturally sensitive direct support for the Fisrt Nations communities of Eastern Australia that have been impacted by the bushfires. Read more here

Zoos Victoria: Zoos Victoria has set up a dedicated Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund which will be used to fund emergency veterinarian care and recovery efforts like supplementary feeding for the animals who have survived, but whose habitats have been destroyed by the bushfires. For more information please click here.

WWF: WWF is raising money to specifically help Australia’s koala population recover after these bushfires. For more information please click here.

Red Cross: The Australian Red Cross has set up a Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. Donations go towards helping victims of the fires, but will also be used for recovery efforts of future natural disasters. Click here for more information.

Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc: The VAEAI in Northcote held a community collection of specific donated goods on January 8 to be taken to fire affected communities. Stay tuned to their website and social media for any further announcements.

Wishing you a safe and happy festive season from the Darebin Councillors and staff. Information about our operating hours and services over the holiday season follows.

Customer Service Opening Hours

Customer Service will be open throughout the Christmas/New Year period from 8:30am – 5:00pm, with the following exceptions:

  • Northcote Customer Service Centre / Northcote Library is closed for renovations from Monday 16 December through Friday 31 January
  • Customer Service at Reservoir Community Learning Centre and Preston Civic Centre will be closing at 1pm on Christmas Eve
  • All Customer Service Centres are closed on Public Holidays

Bin Collections 

Bins will not be collected on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.

If your bin collection usually falls on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, these will be collected one day later between 25 December 2019 and 5 January 2020.

Monday and Tuesday collections remain the same.

 

Date

 

Collection Day

 

Wed 25 December 2019 (Christmas Day)

 

No collections

 

Thu 26 December 2019 (Boxing Day)

 

Wednesday collections

 

Fri 27 December 2019

 

Thursday collections

 

Sat 28 December 2019

 

Friday collections

 

Sun 29 December 2019

 

No collections

 

Mon 30 December 2019

 

Monday collections

 

Tue 31 December 2019 (New Year’s Eve)

 

Tuesday collections

 

Wed 1 January 2020 (New Year’s Day)

 

No collections

 

Thu 2 January 2020

 

Wednesday collections

 

Fri 3 January 2020

 

Thursday collections

 

Sat 4 January 2020

 

Friday collections

 

Sun 5 January 2020

 

No collections

If you are unsure about your collection, please call us on 8470 8888 on the day before your regular collection to check.

A day of healing and remembrance for the Stolen Generations

Aboriginal people of the Stolen Generations gathered with the community to commemorate the 11th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations at Preston Shire Hall on Wednesday 13 February.

The event was filled with personal and moving reflections on the pain, suffering and lifelong search for family, home and country that members of the Stolen Generations face.

Connecting Home Chairperson Ian Hamm spoke of the struggle this brings for him and other members of the Stolen Generations.

“It’s a journey that will not stop until the day you die,” Mr Hamm told the gathering.

“It just keeps going. It gets better, it gets worse.”

He also reflected on the Anniversary as a chance to remember the special bond members of the Stolen Generations share, and on the healing the Apology brought to so many members of the Aboriginal community and to the nation.

“It reminds me of the best of humanity, when Kevin Rudd said 'Sorry'. That day brought out the best of us.”

VACCA Deputy Chairperson Jason King said it was also a call to action to keep working for truth, justice and reconciliation.

“To understand why it happened and how it’s not going to happen in the future. And about making sure the impacts today are recognised.”

Darebin Mayor Susan Rennie said Council recognised the need to address past wrongs in the spirit of recognition, respect, justice and reconciliation.

"This is why, four years ago on 26 May 2015, Council launched the Stolen Generations Marker in front of our municipal offices, sharing this important chapter of Australian history with Darebin residents.

"To the Stolen Generation Elders and your families here this morning, our Council wishes to express how privileged and humbled we feel to be hosting such an important gathering.

"We recognise the need to address past wrongs, to allow for healing and hope through truth telling and to work together in helping build a fair future for all."

About 200 people filled the Preston Shire Hall to attend the commemoration, which was organised by Link-Up Victoria, VACCA, Connecting Home and Darebin Council. The gathering received a heartfelt Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony from Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Elder Aunty Di Kerr OAM and a didgeridoo performance from Stolen Generations member Andrew Travis.

Following closing reflections from Stolen Generations members, MC Eva Jo Edwards and singer-songwriter Brian Morley, the crowd made their way to the commemoration marker, the 'empty coolamon', outside Council offices on High Street, to each place a flower there, along with candles, to reflect and honour Stolen Generations members.

Read more about Aboriginal Victoria.

 

We’re taking action to reduce the harm, waste and pollution caused by single-use plastic items. We are also encouraging everyone in the community, including our residents and businesses, to make a commitment to eliminating single-use plastics.

Council endorsed a new policy on 26 February 2018 to eliminate the single-use plastic products at festivals and events located at Council venues and properties. The policy, which applies to all council owned buildings and venues, aims to reduce the alarming damage single-use plastic products are causing. 

Single-use plastic products have serious environmental, social and economic impacts. Eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in freshwater and marine environments every year and this plastic breaks down into tiny pieces which are increasingly being found in food consumed by humans and animals.

We also need to work hard to reduce our use of single-use plastics as recent overseas import bans on certain recycled products means that we need to address the waste in our own backyard.

The policy is committed to:

  • Eliminate single-use plastic bags
  • Eliminate single-use plastic plates, bowls, cups, straws, cutlery and take away food - containers
  • Eliminate bottled water, and provide alternative, free access to water
  • Avoid plastic packaging
  • Eliminate balloons at events
  • Reuse event materials where possible
  • Educate and guide event staff and audience on single-use plastic free practices
See Plastic Free Darebin for further details.

Free public WiFi is now available in our major shopping strips. Next time you’re out and about you will be able to browse social media, webpages, search for local businesses and read your emails.

Free Wi-Fi is now fully operational in the following shopping centres:

  • High Street, Preston
  • Station Street, Fairfield
  • Broadway, Reservoir
  • High Street, Northcote and Westgarth
  • Edwardes Street, Reservoir
  • Spring Street, Reservoir

For more detail on coverage areas please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

How do I access the Free Wi-Fi service?

  • Turn on Wi-Fi
  • Select “Free Darebin Wi-Fi” (in Preston, Fairfield and Reservoir) or “Darebin Free Wi-Fi” (in Northcote and Westgarth) and connect
  • Click on your internet browser from your menu page and select “sign in to Wi-Fi” when prompted
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Enjoy free Wi-Fi!

Problems?

If you have problems accessing the service and need help, there are service technicians available, at portal@infrastructurelogic.net.au or by calling:

  • Ph: 1300 765 543 for Preston, Reservoir, Fairfield
  • Ph: 1300 135 249 for Northcote and Westgarth

This free Wi-Fi service has been made available to you by Darebin City Council with the assistance of business owners and operators in the coverage areas and with the assistance of our industry partners Infrastructure Logic and Easyweb Digital.

Opportunities for Business

Businesses in Preston, Reservoir and Fairfield will be able to list and promote their businesses on a marketing portal (coming soon), this is already available in Northcote and Westgarth. 

If you would like to know how you can use the services to market your business products and services, please contact us.

Business Development

Ph: 8470 8344