Friday, 24 January 2014

A Turning Point For Diggers Rest

How good is it? Diggers Rest is making a comeback.

Only a year before, the town looked like it had no future. Along the old Calder Highway: the hotel, historical home, petrol station, factory, general store, and product store were in ruins due to fire and neglect. Nobody would think of starting a retail business along that strip.

Photograph by the Herald Sun - Gary Jamieson renovating the old produce store
All of that changed when the railway was electrified, bringing more regular public transport to town.

The improvements are terrific and finally Victoria is discovering the potential: direct freeway access to Melbourne, bus and rail services, a deep history and a good community.

Population and infrastructure are going ahead. The Bloomdale developments are underway with the first home planned to begin building in February. Population projections that exceed 12,000 residents. There is a  good possibility of joining the sister town, Sunbury, under a combined council. Enormous Bunnings and Masters stores being built along Vineyard road. A new town centre is planned for 2015 with a tavern, supermarket and specialty stores.

The old Calder has already undergone improvements with the new post office, Gary and Lisa's renovation for a cafe, the new train station, and new footpaths. The Melton council is proposing to convert the ugly strip of ruins into a residential zone.

Residents are taking the initiative by establishing a new online newspaper and a historical group.

It is time that the current community to prepare for the population boom. In other suburbs where such expansion occurs, it typically takes only 18 months before the schools and clubs are stretched to accommodate the growth.

Read the associated article at the Herald Sun

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