Spring has sprung and there is so much happening in the City of Knox. October sees the launch of the month-long Knox Seniors Festival, showcasing local events, activities and entertainment with this year’s theme being Learn, Love, Live.
October is also Mental Health Month with this year’s theme, ‘We all have a role to play’. For the past six years, Knox residents have reported higher rates of psychological distress than the Victorian average and more than a quarter have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression at some point in life.
At knox.vic.gov.au you can find mental health and wellbeing support services, including crisis support,. You can also download our Mental Health and Wellbeing Support card for community groups and residents.
Finally, October sees the return of the much-loved Stringybark Festival, celebrating home-grown creativity, the environment and sustainability. The free community event features a fun and interactive program with activities for the whole family. I invite everyone to come along and check out what’s on offer, including two stages of local and regional acts, a makers market, cooking demonstrations and heaps of children’s activities. Foodies will be spoilt for choice and food will again be served on reusable plates and bowls provided by Green My Plate.
Stringybark Festival is on Sunday 15 October from 10.00am–4.00pm at the Rowville Community Centre, 40 Fulham Rd, Rowville. Find out more at knox.vic.gov.au/stringybark
Great results from changes to rubbish collection
I am pleased to report that in the first month of the new weekly food and garden bin service, we’ve saved 2,100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by halving the amount of rubbish we sent to landfill.
In July, we sent 1,900 tonnes of food and garden material for processing into compost for our parks, gardens and farms.
Pleasingly, there has been no increase in contamination in recycling or food and garden waste bins and no increase in dumped rubbish or litter in public rubbish bins.
Even small differences made by households are making a real impact on reducing our waste. We know that the changes to our bin service have been challenging and some residents have been discussing ways to adapt to these with Council. We will continue to monitor these impacts and work with the community to help adapt to the changes.
Remember there are special considerations available for people with two children in nappies or high medical waste needs. Keep up the great work for the long-term benefits for our community.
Big changes to kindergartens
There are some big changes coming for kindergarten as part of the state government’s decision to increase hours, make kindergarten free and offer a second year of kindergarten before school. Council has made the difficult decision to stop the direct provision of kindergarten services from
January 2025, except for those within our Children and Family Centres at Bayswater and Wantirna South.
Instead, we’ll make our buildings available to other providers that can come in and continue to provide kindergarten for 3 and 4 year olds in Knox. We’ll work closely with the Department of Education on an expression of interest process which will be open to a range of providers, including not-for-profits who specialise in sessional kindergarten.
This decision has been several years in the making, following a thorough review of our kindergarten services. Importantly, this won’t come into effect until January 2025, so families registered in 2023 and 2024 will still be able to attend Council services.
Kindergarten is one of 100 services we provide to the community, and we have a responsibility to ensure we direct Council funds to deliver the most value to the community.
Council will focus on planning for kindergarten across the municipality, including supporting independent providers to establish and grow their services in the Knox area, providing infrastructure to support services and even considering centralised enrolments.
Cr Marcia Timmers-Leitch
Mayor of Knox Council