This evening I walked home from the Council meeting. While this month’s meeting was largely harmonious the walk home demonstrated how much needs to be done.
As I was walking along Maroondah Highway I passed the bus stop near the Mount Dandenong Road and Maroondah Highway intersections. A lady was waiting at the bus stop who asked me if there were any more buses to get her to the station so she could go to Mitcham. I mentioned that bus route 670, which travels along Maroondah Highway, finished service at 9pm and that walking to the station was the only option available to her.
As we were walking towards Ringwood Station, we passed Ringwood Lake and about half a dozen youths involved in a fight along the median strip of Maroondah Highway. While I contacted the Police, it is saddening that despite so many cars driving past only two drivers stopped to contact the authorities. It is a terrible reflection upon our society when so many people will simply choose to ignore a situation than try and assist.
I find it ironic that as a council we talk about the vibrant future of Ringwood, while we have a situation where people are unable to get to their destinations and we have violent fighting occurring in our streets. While Ringwood certainly needs a vision, it is important we do not lose sight of the fact that there is much that needs to be done to immediately improve our amenity.
It’s easy to get caught up in a vision for the future, but a vision begins with practical steps to achieve that outcome. There is much more that needs to be done to improve the amenity of Maroondah and while some of it may be outside the domain of local government we should not be skirting our responsibilities.
Meanwhile, council is preoccupied with trying to overturn the VEC’s decision into changes proposed for Maroondah’s ward structure. Perhaps some of my colleagues would benefit from walking around Ringwood after dark.