On the 18th of March I attended the North Ringwood Community House Annual General Meeting. North Ringwood Community House, located at 120 Oban Road, provides a remarkable facility for our community. Sue McDermott is the new coordinator of the house and she spoke extensively about their services into the future.

North Ringwood Community House is in a unique situation where the facility is located on parish land within the Holy Spirit Primary School. The fact that the house does not own either the building or the land they are on curtails their growth and the ability to offer services and courses to Maroondah residents. North Ringwood Community House is a unique community asset and has moved beyond the traditional role of community houses by offering TAFE accredited courses in areas such as Palliative Care and Aged Care. It is it critical that the house is able to secure a solid future within Maroondah.

On the 25th of March I attended one of Enjoying Planned Retirement’s bocce afternoons. Bocce, which is conducted between December and April, is one of the many activities organised by EPR. This afternoon marked a special occasion since it included the unveiling of a new barbecue for the group. This barbecue was donated by a local Croydon resident, who is a Sales Manager for Rinnai after EPR’s original barbecue was stolen on the 12th of February and subsequently featured in a local newspaper. The strength of a community is always demonstrated during negative times and it was great to see our community rallying behind EPR to provide this new barbecue.

On the 4th of April I attended the Scoot Wheel n Move workshop. This workshop provided an opportunity to plan the future of this highly successful group, which is focused on the needs of people with mobility aids, such as wheelchairs and scooters. Scoot Wheel n Move has had a range of achievements over the past few years, including the highly successful recharge program and a number of public forums. With initiatives, such as the redevelopment of Eastland, it is imperative that accessibility is built into these projects and not merely considered as an afterthought. The feedback from the workshop will assist the future direction of Scoot Wheel n Move and ensure that these successes continue into the future.

On the 5th of April I attended a local version of the Rudd Government’s 2020 Summit as the Deputy Chair and Maroondah’s representative of the Eastern Transport Coalition. This event which was held at Monash University in Clayton provided an opportunity to include input for the summit that was held in Canberra. I attended the economic infrastructure, digital economy and future of our cities session, where the need for Federal leadership in regard to urban sustainability and public transport infrastructure was readily agreed upon. In fact, the need for public transport improvements was stressed in a number of different forum topics as it became clear that people require mobility and transport choice in accessing educational, employment and health services.

In fact, the ETC and hence by extension the City of Maroondah’s stance on public transport improvements has garnered respect far and wide, with Kelvin Thomson, the Federal Member for Wills, speaking favourably of the ETC’s approach within Federal Parliament. I will be tabling the extract of the members speech. It is clear that the approach the ETC has taken is generating results, just like when the grouping of seven councils led the successful abolition of zone three.

On the 8th of April I attended the 40th AGM of the Maroondah Citizens Advice Bureau. The Citizens Advice Bureau is another one of Maroondah’s hidden gems who are focused on assisting people in need within Maroondah through providing advice, referral services and emergency relief. Being in existence for 40 years is a testament for any volunteer and community based organisation but it is an even greater achievement for an association that is dedicated to assisting others.

Lastly, on the 15th of April I attended the Know Your Parks function at Lockhart Road Reserve. Lockhart Road Reserve is a park situated in Ringwood North next to a kindergarten and it was great to see such a strong interest in our community with this park. Over 250 people and families enjoyed the festivities and children were able to partake in the jumping castle and face painting. The sausages and balloons were a tremendous success and it was great to be able to enjoy a sunny Autumn afternoon in one of our wonderful parks.

I will be tabling the rest of my report.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au

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