Tonight the Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition (RTCCC) held its second public event our Planning and Participation Community Workshop to create an atmosphere of discussion and debate, which is currently sorely lacking within the Ringwood Transit City Project.
Our keynote speaker for the evening was Kym Irvine, the Principal Accessibility Auditor for Road Safety Audits Pty Ltd. Kym has a wealth of government experience within the areas of planning and accessibility and provided a valuable insight in the process including areas of community involvement.
Open debate and discussion followed Kym’s speech, including an examination of the current level of discussion and community input into plans for both Ringwood and Croydon. Maroondah Council’s reliance on ‘in camera’ (confidential meetings excluded from public scrutiny) sessions in relation to planning issues in the Ringwood Transit City was questioned.
Concerns were raised in regard to the operation of the Ringwood Transit City Community Reference Group particularly in the usage of confidential documents which limit the scope for discussion and debate.
There is a need for developers and planning experts to become educated about the needs of the community, through active engagement and participation beginning at the design and early planning stages. Without such involvement it is simply erroneous to assume that the views of the community are always expressed. Ideas must be presented and a level of discussion must be created with feedback being not only sought but also encouraged.
The Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition (RTCCC) has resolved to engage experts within the fields of planning, sociology and urban design to further the level of community debate within the Ringwood Transit City. Ultimately the community knows what is required to make Ringwood a vibrant suburb within the Outer East and as such both local and State Governments must start listening to the community rather than dictating and assuming community needs.
The community workshop Planning and Participation has fulfilled the commitment made at our March forum to regularly hold public events. Further public events are being planned as we continue to create discussion and exchange ideas to ensure the future success of Ringwood.
On behalf of the Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition (RTCCC) I would like to thank everyone who attended our public workshop Planning and Participation.