Below is the submission by a friend of mind whose home is being acquired under the Land acquisition Act for grassland.  I have omitted some contact details for privacy reasons. Now If I had spent many years building what I would have thought was a safe and secure home for my kids I too would be very upset if this happens to me and I would fight the authorities on taking it from me. She is not the only one that is affected by the acquisition by many others as well along that proposed reserve. Planning must have been going on for years but owners were given less than a month to make a submission from what I had read on Melbourne@5Million

In one swift blow they have turned the world around to active community members and a dedicated parent and music teacher. If they can do this to her family they can do it to you at any time. Please join the fight by spreading the word of the poor and shameful manner in which this was handled and give back the land to the people. Help us save the homes of the people that live at Mount Cotterell. Please read on. Thank you.


 13 July 2009

 Growth Areas Authority

PO Box 1166

Carlton, Victoria 3053

 Submission of Mr and Mrs Frank and Michelle Spiteri

 Mount Cotterell 3024


RE: Proposed Grassland Reserves in Mount Cotterell, revision of the UGB, the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road and the designation of land use for development and native grassland reserve.

 This submission STRONGLY opposes the establishment of grassland reserve at Mt. Cotterell and specifically the land at the above mentioned site.

 This submission supports the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road path in its current route.

 Our names are Frank and Michelle Spiteri.  We wish to submit to you our strong objections regarding the proposal to place our family home and 27 acre property in the grasslands reserve at Mount Cotterell.  Our property address is 716 Troups Road South.  Please see the attached map for exact location.  We wish to argue that this proposal is not warranted and that our land has no ecological significance and has no place in a grassland reserve.

 We have owned the property since 1992 and have lived here since 1994, firstly in the existing weather board dwelling that was on the property and then in our new home which was completed in 2001.  In the past 17 years, we have made many capital improvements to our property by way of   

  • a machinery shed built in 1999
  • a new 40 square home completed in 2002
  • significant tree planting on property boundary
  • removal of old existing dwelling in 2003
  • new fencing around property boundary
  • spraying, cultivating, removing rock to stop the spread of tussock
  • in drought free times we have had excellent barley and wheat crops.
  • veranda and outdoor living area.

 As is obvious, our property is far removed from a vacant and unused block of land.  It has been our home and we have taken great pride in maintaining it and improving the value of it.  Please see attached photographs which show the amount of capital improvements mentioned above.    To have this taken away from us for the purpose of a proposed grassland reserve is a gross injustice and warrants high legal contention by us and by land and home owners in a similar situation.

 In the 17 years we have owned the property have we have never had ANY communication, either written or verbal, from a Shire Of Melton, DSE or DPI officer that acknowledges the existence of any significant vegetation on our property.  The Biodiversity Impact Assessment Report names our property as having very low value vegetation.  Both DSE officers that we spoke with at the Melton and Wyndham information sessions also supported the fact that we have no significant vegetation on our properties.  Yet, we are being subject to this unfair and unjust acquisition of our home.  It is interesting to note the 48 hectare Mount Cotterell volcanic cone purchased by the Shire of Melton, ( by its own admittance on the council’s website under sustainability) to protect state and nationally significant grasses is not included in the proposed grasslands reserve and yet ecologically poor land such as our developed property is.  

 It is our understanding these grasslands are at act as an offset to the damage caused to the significant native vegetation caused by the development of land within the new Urban Growth Boundary.   The area designated for the Mount Cotterell grasslands has even less of an environmental value to land included within the UGB.   We argue that our property is an extremely accessible area and sits on the current Urban Growth Boundary. This provides for land that is extremely suitable for urbanisation given its proximity to major infrastructure such as the proposed Outer Metropolitan Ring Road and the Regional Rail Link.   There are many houses built and currently being built on the west side of Troups Road South.  It makes little sense to include these developed properties in a grassland reserve when there is development only a stone’s throw away.  

 If the need to acquire this parcel of land for proposed grassland is so great, we suggest allowing existing home owners such as our selves to have their homes excised from the reserve so that at the very least, we can remain living our own homes.

 Furthermore, we are very concerned about the process that government will be undertaking to acquire the land for the grassland reserve.   It is our understanding from the letter sent on June 18 out by Peter Harris, Secretary of the DSE, that land falling within the proposed grasslands reserves, will be subject to the introduction of a Public Acquisition Overlay by the State Government. We further understand that this will be done without invoking the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act until such time that the government is truly ready to acquire the land.  This will “lock-up” and devalue our land and home for potentially many years.  This is unacceptable and if the State Government wants to acquire the land then they must invoke the act immediately.    It is unfair for the government to expect that home owners are to wait in “limbo” until they are ready to act.  Not only do we lose our homes and land but will also be bound by a Public Land Acquisition Overlay that limits us considerably.   As landowners we strongly object to any of this happening.

 In relation to the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road, we have no concerns with its current path even given that a small portion of the south east corner of our property will be affected.  We hope to be able to keep our home and this will mean that we will have excellent access to the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road by way of the on ramp at Riding Boundary Road and at Boundary Road. 

 We trust that you will take our concerns regarding the issues raised seriously and respect the right that we have to protect our home and investment.


 Frank and Michelle Spiteri


People make a Church

Our Church Our Parish – St Catherine of Siena

 In 2004 Mass was said in the school hall of Christ the Priest – Caroline Springs by Fr Karmel Borg (Parish Priest for St Peter Chanel – Deer Park). The mass attendance was modest attended by the growing catholic population of Caroline Springs and comprised of maybe 100 parishioners or so. These parishioners were part of the St Peter Chanel Parish in Deer Park but who had come to live in Caroline Springs. The first ministries were the choir and altar servers.  In those days Mass was said only on Sunday at 10.30 am as Fr Borg also had to say Mass at St. Peter Chanel. Fr Paul Newton an assistant priest took turns with Fr Borg to say Mass.

 For about 2 years Mass was celebrated this way until Jan 18 2006 when the parish of St Catherine of Siena was formed from the growing community. Now we celebrate Mass during the week and on Saturday at 6.00 pm and Sunday at 9.00 am and 10.30 am. Fr. John Tollan is our parish priest.

 The people of St Catherine of Siena Parish make up the church in Caroline Springs and we now have many ministries. Although we still celebrate the Eucharist in the school hall we now have four Choirs including a youth Choir, Altar Servers, an RCIA group, a Baptism team, a Charismatic Prayer Group, Parish Grandma’s, a Wednesday walk chat and coffee  group, and an active Social committee. On every third Sunday we have a morning tea for all who wish to attend and have a chat. Every third Sunday Fr. John also blesses couples whose wedding anniversaries come within that month.

 Sr Denise Hanneberry joined our parish in 2007 and has been actively teaching the community what it means to be a catholic community together with Fr John. Sr Denise conducts the walk and chat group as well as a Prayer and Reflection Group where she  shares her in depth knowledge and life long theology about the bible and teachings of Jesus Christ.

 Our youth have attended the 11th World Youth Day held in July 2008 in Sydney where Pope Benedict delivered a wonderful message of Hope to the world youth. As our parish grew so too did our schools and we now have two schools within our parish, Christ the Priest and St George Preca which began classes this year.

 Our most recent activities include St Catherine of Siena feast day celebrated on Sunday 3 May 2009 (official day is 29 April) where our 10.30 Mass was attended by nearly 600 people. More than 1500 people came to celebrate our feast day that day and many enjoyed Krispy Kremes, sausage sizzles, drinks, scones, popcorn and many rides. Our parent / teacher Band “After school Detention’ performed, as did the schools combined choir, with others performances by students showing off their many talents. It was a glorious success. Other social activities planned each year include Christmas Carols, a parish dinner and many others activities. We hope and pray that we will soon have our own church building in which to celebrate Mass. Regardless of the building we the people make up the church. Recent statistics showed Caroline Springs at 45% Catholic population up from the 39.9% ABS statistics 2006, a growing community indeed.

 All are welcome to come and celebrate the Eucharist with us either on Saturday 6.00, Sunday 9 am and 10.30 am. We are the church and we celebrate together.

 On behalf of the people of St Catherine of Siena Parish  – Caroline Springs

Ronald Moss

Secretary St Catherine of Siena Social Committee

Sunshine Deanery Representative 

Western and Asian approach towards life

I receive this from a friend and found it very interesting and might want to share it. Now if this does not tell us about two different cultures I do not know what does. It is simplistic and to the point and most interesting perspectives about how westerners and Asians see things. Hope you like it. As an Asian living in a western culture I tend to find some of this true. What do you think?

East meets West! Do you think this is true?
Please share your thoughts with me.

Western and Asian approach towards life

Blue –> Westerners Red –> Asians
(1) Opinion


Westerners: Talk to the point
Asians: Talk around the circle, especially if opinions are different

(2) Way of Life

Way of Life

Westerners: individualism, think of himself or herself.
Asians: enjoy gathering with family and friends, solving their problems, and know each other’s business.

(3) Punctuality


Westerners: on time.
Asians: in time.

(4) Contacts


Westerners: Contact to related person only .
Asians: Contact everyone everywhere.

(5) Anger


Westerners: S how that I am angry.
Asians: I am angry, but still smiling… (Beware!)

(6) Queue when Waiting

Queue when waiting

Westerners: Queuing in an orderly manner .
Asians (with the exception of the Japanese): Queuing?! What’s that?

(7) Sundays on the Road

Sundays on the road

Westerners: Enjoy weekend relaxing peacefully.
Asians: Enjoy weekend in crowded places, like going to the mall.

(8) Party


Westerners: Only gather with their own group.
Asians: All focus on the one activity that is hosted by the CEO.

(9) In the restaurant

In the Restaurant

Westerners: Talk softly and gently in the restaurant.
Asians: Talk and laugh loudly like they own the restaurant.


(10) Traveling

Westerners: Love sightseeing and enjoy the scenery.
Asians: Taking “picture” is the most important; scenery is just for the background.

(11) Handling of Problems

Handling of Problems

Westerners: Take any steps to solve the problems.
Asians: Try to avoid conflicts, and if possible, don’t leave any trail.

(12) Three meals a day

Three Meals a day

Westerners: Good meal for once a day is sufficed.
Asians: At least 3 good meals a day.

(13) Transportation


Westerners: Drove cars & now cycling for environmental protection.
Asians: Before no money and rode a bike, now got money and drive a car

(14) Elderly in day-to-day life

Elderly in day to day life

Westerners: When o ld, there is snoopy for companionship.
Asians: When old, guarantee will not be lonely, as long as willing to baby-sit grandkids.

(15) Moods and Weather

Moods and weather

Westerners: The logic is : rain is pain.
Asians: More rain, more prosperity

(16) The Boss

The Boss

Westerners: The boss is part of the team.
Asians: The boss is a fierce god.

(17) What’s Trendy

whats Trendy

Westerners: Eat healthy Asian cuisine.
Asians: Eat expensive Western cuisine.

(18) The Child

Westerners: The kid is going to be independent and make his/her own living.
Asians: Slog whole life for the kids, the centr e of your life.

Now that sumarises the difference sin culture. If you have been in a chinese Yum cha restaurant in Melbourne or in Singapore you will know what I mean. Hope you like it.Do let me know.


Security status

Security Status

The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent
terrorist threats in Islamabad and have raised their
security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved."

Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to
"Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Brits have not been
"A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but
ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome"
to a "Bloody Nuisance."

The last time the British issued a
"Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised
its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two
higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender."
The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed
France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the
country’s military capability.

It’s not only the French who are on a heightened level of
alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout
loudly and excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two
more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and
"Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from
"Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing
Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a
Neighbour" and "Lose".

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual,
and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling
out of Brussels .

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines
ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass
bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look
at the old Spanish navy.

Americans meanwhile are carrying out pre-emptive strikes, on
all of their allies, just in case.

And at a local level…

New Zealand has also raised its security levels – from
"baaa" to "BAAAA!". Due to continuing defence cutbacks (the
airforce being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper
aeroplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime
Minister’s bath), New Zealand only has one more level of
escalation, which is "Shut, I hope Austrulia will come end
riscue us".

In the event of invasion, New Zealanders will be
asked to gather together in a strategic defensive position
called "Bondi".

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No
worries" to "She’ll be right, mate". Three more escalation
levels remain, "Crikey!’, "I think we’ll need to cancel the
barbie this weekend" and "The barbie is cancelled". There
has not been a situation yet that has warranted the use of
the final escalation level.