‘Trams and disciplined people always reach their destination.’
Mehmet Murat Ildan
Will our destination be a tram for Diamond Creek?
The Victorian State Government is giving schools, community groups, not for profit organisations and other public institutions the opportunity to acquire a retired tram for free. One hundred and thirty four retired trams are being made available to the public under an expression of interest program. The expression of interest will ask groups to explain how they would restore, repurpose and maintain one of the trams, preserving it for future generations.
Two weeks ago, Diamond Creek Rotary was approached by Josh from the Diamond Creek CFA and Leigh from the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed about forming a group to try to obtain one of these trams for Diamond Creek.
Things have moved quickly and last Wednesday Rob and I met with Josh, Leigh and Ben from the Men’s Shed to discuss the potential of this project.
Given that the State Government will pay for the transportation costs and the footings, much of the costs will be covered.
Three purposes for the trams were discussed:
To make it part of a playground
To have it as a ‘pop up’ coffee shop manned on weekends by community groups with the profits going to community groups and
A meeting place for community groups.
Following on quickly from the original meeting, a meeting was organised with Nillumbik Council. On Friday, along with Leigh and Josh, I met with the CEO of Nillumbik Council, Mark Stoermer and Neil, one of the Council Officers to seek their opinion of the project and their support. Their support was overwhelming and they were very impressed by three strong community groups coming together to look at a project such as this. They also suggested that a number of grants would be available to help finance this project. The location suggested is at the front of Coventry Oval, however Council needs to check with the water authority and other groups to ensure that this is possible.
The expression of interest document is released on Monday 28th May.
So the question remains, does this project have the support of Diamond Creek Rotary?