I would like to begin by thanking the community groups that invited me to their end of year functions. While it may seem like such a long ago it is always good to have an opportunity to reflect on the previous year to ensure the very best for 2007.
As we enter 2007 a number of significant events have already begun and I would like to echo Cr. Gurr’s comments in regard to the success of the the Maroondah Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony.
February often marks the month that meetings officially begin and already I have attended the first meeting of the Eastern Transport Coalition, where I am pleased to say that Cr. Mick van de Vreede has been reappointed as chair of the group by unanimous vote. The Eastern Transport Coalition had considerable success last year, particularly in ensuring the removal of zone three public transport fares, which will take effect from March this year and I am certain that this success will continue throughout 2007.
There are a number of important events this year, including the State Government’s audit of Melbourne 2030 an area of interest to both the Eastern Transport Coalition and The Municipal Association of Victoria’s Urban Reference Planning Group. Strategies involving consolidation and higher urban amenity will only be achieved if the State Government invests in much-needed infrastructure and service improvements, particularly in areas such as public transport. It is hoped that the audit process will provide an honest review of Melbourne 2030 so that we can learn from what has worked and what hasn’t.
2007 will certainly be an interesting and challenging year and I will be tabling the rest of my written report.