On Saturday I had the great pleasure of being able to launch Enjoying Planned Retirement’s (EPR) Art and Craft Exhibition. EPR are located in Norwood Park and have over 490 members enjoying life and the opportunities provided to them to the absolute fullest. EPR provides an amazing range of social activities including, but definitely not limited to, dancing, bocce, trivia nights, theatre, art, day trips and drama. EPR had over 500 attendees to their weekend-long exhibition and are continuing strongly with the celebrations of their 30th anniversary.
On Tuesday the 10th of October I was conducting surveys as part of the Eastern Transport Coalition’s campaign for fair public transport fares. The existence of zone three is an oddity that only occurs in the eastern and southeastern suburbs of Melbourne and is due to the experimentation of the now aborted ‘neighbourhood zones’ in the mid 1980s. In fact prior to the introduction of the neighbourhood system back in the mid 80s Ringwood and the outer east was located within zone two, demonstrating that the removal of zone three is both possible and feasible.
I would to take this opportunity to thank everyone that completed the survey and also to thank the two Connex station hosts at Heatherdale Station who were both incredibly supportive and friendly.
The existence of zone three limits the opportunity for outer eastern residents to use public transport due to excessive financial burden that the arbitrary zoning system places on the outer east. It is also limits the opportunity to enhance the amenity of Heatherdale due to the excessive demand of car parks.
Lastly I wish to speak upon Community Safety Week and the Croydon Community School Mosaic, which featured as part of this program. Croydon Community School, which has classes for students in Year 7 through to Year 13, provides an alternative for secondary students that have experienced difficulties in other schools. The Croydon Community School provides an opportunity for such students to learn within a supportive environment and reinforced by apprenticeship programs and career guidance. The mosaic helps increase the understanding and cooperation between traders, students and the wider community and as such demonstrates that everyone has the opportunity to excel.
After the launch of community safety week I took the opportunity to speak to a number of youth at Croydon and unfortunately the opportunities they are able to seize are limited due to poor mobility and this is something I plan to raise at the next Eastern Transport Coalition meeting. Train services beyond Ringwood operate at a half hourly frequency during off-peak times causing a source of frustration of our youth, of which many are trying to use public transport to attend employment and educational opportunities.
Mobility is a key factor in enhancing the opportunities provided for our youth. The people of Croydon deserve more frequent rail services. On weekends the train line operates at a twenty minute frequency and there is no reason why our off-peak services which begin at 10am during the week should operate at a poor half hourly frequency.