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Newsletter No. 26 - Autumn 2020

Welcome to our Autumn community newsletter


  • Saturday 21 March - Neighbourhood Garage Sale - EVENT CANCELLED
  • Sunday 29 March - Clean Up Junortoun - EVENT CANCELLED
  • Sunday 19 April - O'Keefe Challenge - EVENT CANCELLED

To our community

These are unknown waters that we are entering that will cause us to change our way of life because of the Coronavirus (COVID19) threat. 

As a community we need to look out for one another. This means checking regularly to see if your neighbours are OK especially if they are elderly or disadvantaged. It means acts of kindness and caring such as shopping for them and offering help where possible and safe to do so. It means getting back to becoming a caring and sharing strongly bonded community. Luckily Junortoun has maintained that community spirit and bonding but, in the time ahead, it will be even more important to maintain and develop a stronger community spirit. 

People may have to maintain a period of quarantine if they become sick but that doesn’t mean that they should become cut off. You can leave a note with your phone number in the letter boxes of neighbours so you can check to see that they are OK. Make contact with your neighbours preferably by phone (or using the social distancing guidelines) to develop your own mini communities.
We can use this time to strengthen our Junortoun community so that the Junortoun community becomes even stronger.

JCAG is your voice and advocate so tell us what we can do to assist our community during this period. Please stay healthy and safe over the next few months and develop your own local communities.

Colin Smith - Chair: Junortoun Community Action Group

Community awards presented

At this year's Australia Day ceremony the Junortoun Community Action group were extremely proud to present our first awards recognising outstanding service to the community of Junortoun.

The JCAG committee has resolved to award Distinguished Service Awards to recognise individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the Junortoun Community Action Group or to the community of Junortoun. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest award issued by JCAG.

The first four recipients of the Distinguished Service Award are:

  • Stephen Cushing
  • Ian Ross
  • Robert Jamieson
  • Sam Spence

Each recipient has made a lasting and notable contribution to the community of Junortoun.

Stephen was the inaugural char of the Junortoun Community Action Group, and coordinated the development of the first Junortoun Community Plan. Ian chaired JCAG from 2013-15 and played an important role in the Incorporation of the Association. Bob chaired the Action Group between 2015-2019, and among his many achievements was lead author of the second Junortoun Community Plan. Sam played an invaluable role as JCAG secretary, including establishing the JCAG Facebook presence and producing community newsletters for many years.

It was a pleasure to have Stephen and Sam present on the day to receive their certificates from Mayor Margaret O'Rourke.

The Junortoun Community Action Group also recognised two local organisations with Community Partnership Awards. These awards are presented to organisations in recognition of their ongoing contribution to the community of Junortoun, and to recognise assistance provided to JCAG.

The first two recipients of Community Partner certificates are:

  • Junortoun Fire Brigade
  • Bendigo Baptist Church

The Junortoun Fire Brigade has been an essential part of the community since it was established in 1943. The Brigade has provided invaluable support to JCAG by providing its station as a place for our committee to meet for several years. Its members have assisted JCAG at numerous community events including Welcome to Summer picnics and the Knul-Doorong cultural celebration.

The Bendigo Baptist Church has supported JCAG since the very first community meeting that launched our Action Group. The Church has been a meeting place for JCAG's community activities over many years including formal meetings, markets and sausage sizzles on election day. The support received from the Bendigo Baptist Church helps JCAG to continue its community service role.

Mayor Margaret O'Rourke presented Community Partner certificates to Heath Martin, captain of the Junortoun Fire Brigade, and Pastor Dave Lovell from the Bendigo Baptist Church.

Events in Junortoun

It has been a frustrating few months for the hardworking volunteers of the JCAG Sense of Community Group who organise community-building events in Junortoun.

After our annual Welcome to Summer event in December was cancelled due to wet weather our community then battled a summer of extreme heat and bushfires.

JCAG hosted an Australia Day breakfast and flag-raising in partnership with the Junortoun CFA and this was well attended considering the very hot weather and the ever present concern about fire risk.

Unfortunately our new event the Junortoun Neighbourhood Garage Sale had to be cancelled this month due to restrictions on community gatherings relating to the coronavirus.

This was a great pity as we have over 40 sites registered for this event, and our volunteers had invested a great deal of time and effort coordinating and promoting the sale.

JCAG hopes to organise and conduct the event at a future date when circumstances allow.

Also we were forced to cancel the annual Clean Up Junortoun Day which was to be held on Sunday 29 March. We hope to hold this event in the spring time. For the moment you are encouraged to clean up within and immediately outside your property, or to take a bag with you and collect litter and rubbish if you go for a walk in our streets or bushland. 

If you spot an incident that requires the attention of the City of Greater Bendigo, or Coliban Water, or other authorities use Snap Send Solve (see below) to report the issue and keep Junortoun safe, clean and tidy. 

Junortoun Community News

Proposed Catherine McAuley College shared use facility

At the Greater Bendigo Council meeting on 18 March the Council voted to allocate up to $7 million to develop a new shared use sporting and community precinct in Junortoun at the Catherine McAuley College Coolock Campus. 

The proposed development will deliver the following joint use recreation and community facilities:

  • Two junior sports ovals that can be utilised for multiple green field sports
  • Two synthetic cricket pitches
  • Two netball courts
  • Sports lighting for training standard on all sports surfaces
  • Car parking
  • Internal road access
  • Multipurpose community and sporting facilities
    o Social room/community space
    o Kitchen/Kiosk
    o Player and umpire change rooms and amenities
    o Visitor amenities
    o Storage
    o First Aid room
    o Administration hub
    o Storage
    o Accessible WC /Change
    o External viewing areas

This is a very exciting development for Junortoun as the absence of sporting and community facilities has been identified and highlighted by JCAG for many years - since the first Junortoun Community Plan. JCAG welcomes the investment in services and facilities for Junortoun. This is a welcome example of local government and school collaboration that will benefit the community.

Read the Bendigo Advertiser news report here.

Or read the proposal as considered by Council at their meeting.

Regional Roads Victoria traffic monitoring

McIvor Highway development project - Active transport study underway
From Monday 16 March, Regional Roads Victoria commenced counting the number of pedestrians and cyclists in Junortoun, Strathfieldsaye and surrounding areas.

This study is part of the RRV exploration to improve traffic flow, safety and active transport on McIvor Highway from Strathdale to Longlea. The active transport study will assess the typical journeys of pedestrians and cyclists to understand how people are travelling and where they might be going. This will also help us understand where people choose to go in the future if there were paths, crossings and lanes to provide access.

For more information about the study and how the results will be used, visit: McIvor Highway development project.

JCAG has identified that the active transport in this area may have been impacted by the coronoavirus travel restrictions and early start to the school holidays. We will liaise with Regional Roads Victoria to ensure they understand these factors when considering the data they have collected.

Fire Danger Period ends in Greater Bendigo

The Fire Danger Period in Greater Bendigo ended in the early hours of Monday 30 March.

Residents who  wish to conduct burn-offs on their private properties need to follow some basic rules; register your burn-offs first and foremost, check weather conditions and monitor the wind, and follow local council laws and regulations.

Details of City of Greater Bendigo requiremetns can be found here:

Landowners can register their burn-off with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) by calling 1800 668 511 or emailing

Whether registering a burn-off by phone or email, people should be prepared to give some basic information including location, date, expected start and finish times, estimated size, and what they intend to burn.

Keep your burn off safe and legal:

  • Check fire restrictions in your area and always register your burn
  • Check and monitor weather conditions – particularly wind
  • Warn your neighbours beforehand that there will be smoke in the air
  • Stay in attendance the whole time your burn is going
  • Have sufficient equipment and water to stop the fire spreading

Bendigo Baptist Church streams local service

All weekend services at the Bendigo Baptist Church in Junortoun have been postponed due to the coronavirus.

The Church is live streaming its Sunday 10:30am service over the internet. Visit for details of the service and to connect to the live stream.

Farmers Arms Hotel serving takeaway meals

The Farmers Arms Hotel in Junortoun continues to serve the local community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Takeaway meal orders are available from 5-7pm every night. You are recommended to ring in advance (5449 3201) and you can find the menu on the "about" section of  their Facebook page.

The Farmers Arms bottle shop is open from 2-8pm, 

Rob and Jill thank everyone for their support this week. Buying your beer, wine and takeaway meals from them helps to keep local suppliers in business!

Coffee Storm now brewing at the Bendigo Baptist Church car park

Local Junortoun residents Tim and Rhiann operate the COFFEE STORM Coffee Van at events around Bendigo and Junortoun.

Due to the reduction in community events Tim and Rhiann have set up their van in the Bendigo Baptist Church Car Park.

The van will operate as long as restrictions allow from 8am–12:30pm every day.  Check the Coffee Storm Facebook page for any changes.

Daylight saving ends Sunday 5 April

Daylight saving ends this Sunday, 5 April at 3am. 

Turn your clocks back one hour as time returns to Australian Eastern Standard time.

New Victorian Government regulations for swimming pools and spa barriers

The Victorian Government introduced new legislation on December 1, 2019 relating to private swimming pool and spa barriers and fencing.

The legislation requires all Victorian Councils to establish and maintain a register of all private swimming pools and spas. 

Owners of private swimming pools or spas are required to register their pool or spa with their local Council. All pools and spas must be registered by June 1, 2020.

All swimming pools and spas that fall within the requirements of the Act must have a compliant barrier in place. Pools must be inspected by a Building Inspector or Building Surveyor, and lodge a proof of compliance certificate resulting from that inspection with their Council within the required time frame. These inspections will be required every four years.

Do any of our nest boxes need help?

Our nest box project along the O'Keefe Rail Trail has been a great success with boxes used by sugar gliders, rosellas, owlet nightjars and more. Unfortunately these valuable boxes sometimes also get used by feral bees, or suffer from decay or damage due to storms, branch falls or other causes.

If you spot a nest box that needs some maintenance or help, including ones that are infested with bees please contact JCAG at:

Strathfieldsaye Town Centre Urban Design Framework

Following authorisation from the Minister for Planning the City of Greater Bendigo has formally adopted the Strathfieldsaye Town Centre Urban Design Framework. 

An Urban Design Framework (UDF) sets the direction and coordination for the development of an area. The development involved the generation of ideas and the preparation of realistic design concepts based on extensive community engagement, research and analysis.

The Strathfieldsaye UDF focuses on the town centre of Strathfieldsaye and the area along Wellington Street/Strathfieldsaye Road.

JCAG believes the information in the UDF may be of interest to Junortoun residents so we are sharing this information with you. You can visit the COGB website to read more about the framework and the process, or download a copy of the document 

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Honeyeater Reserve

Over the past few months a draft Honeyeater Reserve Management Plan has been produced by local volunteer Karen Stuart. 

This draft management plan will be considered by the local advisory committee, and its contents will inform the future plans that JCAG has as Committee of Management for this site.

Keep Junortoun clean, tidy and safe
Use Snap Send Solve to notify authorities

Snap Send Solve is the easy and efficient way to notify local councils, utilities or other authorities of issues that need addressing in your community.

Snap Send Solve is an application that can be installed on your mobile phone. If you spot something that needs fixing you can take a photo of the problem, add a brief description and the incident is sent to the appropriate authority, along with GPS coordinates to precisely identify where the problem exists.

Junortoun Interest Groups
First Tuesday of the month

Garden Club

Recently our club visited the Canterbury Gardens in Eaglehawk to coincide with the flowering of the dahlias planted in this beautiful, historic setting.
Congratulations to the staff of Bendigo’s Parks and Gardens Department for the magnificent presentation of all parks and gardens across Bendigo.

Due to the Coronavirus epidemic, we have had to make the hard decision to suspend all Garden Club activities until further notice. Our planned visit to Mica Grange will be at a later date.
In the meantime, stay well, and enjoy your garden.

If you would like to know more about garden club, and be kept informed about when activities resume please email:

Every Thursday at 9:00am

Walking group

The Junortoun walking group has 11 regular walkers and each week's typically involve 5-6 walkers. Over the past few months the group has walked the O'Keefe Rail Trail, Kennington Reservoir, Bendigo Bushland Trail, and the McIvor Forest track to Strathfieldsaye. Most walks conclude with coffee. 

The coronavirus-related restrictions on outside gatherings mean that walking club activities may also be restricted. For the latest information contact the walking group by email at

Last Tuesday of the month at 6:00pm

Book Club

We regret to advise that the book club is also currently in recess due to the restriction in place to minimise coronavirus transmission.

To contact the book club coordinator and be first to know when book club resumes please email:

Volunteer opportunities

Junortoun is your community, and JCAG is your voice for the community. We are entirely run by local volunteers, and we always welcome assistance from community members. From helping to organise events, being part of our campaigns, helping with the administration of the group or even just cooking some sausages at a BBQ, there is a role for everyone within JCAG.

Can you help with any of the following areas?

Event assistance

JCAG requires occasional volunteers to assist with the running of community events. This can include preparing and serving food, or set up or pack up activities.

Your involvement could be just for an hour or two according to your availability.

Volunteer to help at events

Event organisation

The JCAG "Sense of Community" group works together to plan, organise and promote community events in Junortoun such as BBQs, picnics, ceremonies, markets and fundraisers.

Perhaps you have a great idea for a community event. The Sense of Community group would love to hear from you, and would welcome your assistance. They meet once a month, generally on a Thursday evening.

Volunteer to help organise future events
Connect with JCAG

Post: PO Box 5, Junortoun Vic 3551


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Content policy and advertising
This newsletter is a community project, we publish items of genuine community news at no charge. We also offer a range of low-cost advertising packages to local businesses, with revenue returned to Junortoun community projects.
if you would like to contribute to the newsletter, or discuss advertising, please email us at

Junortoun Community Action Group Inc.

PO Box 5, Junortoun 3551
Victoria, Australia

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