Probus Clubs, which are initiated through the support of a local Rotary club, provides an organisation for retired or semi-retired community members.
The Maroondah Combined Probus Club is one of the largest within the municipality and meets at the Ringwood RSL. The club organises a range of speakers to cater to the diverse interests of its members.
This morning I was invited to speak to the Combined Probus Club members to discuss the vision for Ringwood, as well as the need for public transport improvements.
I discussed the plans for the redevelopment of Eastland, which will result in the creation of a new town square and park, to assist in restoring a sense of community into Ringwood. I also spoke about the current plans for the Ringwood Station and the need for further funding so that the station itself can be redeveloped into an accessible, safe and integrated transport facility.
While work is expected to commence on the station forecourt and bus interchange during the course of next year, there is still need for a State Government commitment to redevelop the station itself. Ringwood Station currently fails disability compliance standards and as a result the station is not accessible and is in fact avoided by many people in our community.
The redevelopment of Eastland is also expected to commence next year and I spoke about the transformation of Ringwood into a vibrant urban centre. While this development will bring positive changes to Ringwood, there is a need to ensure that community facilities are enhanced to meet the growing needs of our municipality.
I have requested that council undertake a management plan for Jubilee Park so that we can develop a vision and strategy for the sporting clubs within the municipality. Likewise, there is a need for similar strategies in regard to community space, cultural facilities and green open space.
The town centre within the middle of Ringwood will be complemented by a park and play equipment in Nelson Street, providing additional open space for the community and catering to the young families that are moving into Ringwood.
Public transport improvements, such as the Ringwood to Frankston SmartBus have enhanced the mobility of our community and I discussed the need for further improvements to provide transport choice for our residents.
More frequent, accessible and readily available public transport services will provide our community with alternatives to car travel and I congratulated the Probus Club for its strong interest in public transport and attendance at the bus review workshops that were held in February.