One of my first acts as the Mayor of Maroondah was to refuse the mayoral car.

I have been undertaking my council duties utilising a range of transport options, including public transport and walking. I believe it is imperative that we continue to encourage the use of sustainable forms of transport.

The Maroondah Leader has reported the decision to refuse the mayoral car:

Maroondah’s new mayor has vowed to ditch the mayoral car and use public transport instead.

“I’ll be taking the train and the bus and we’re going to have the mayoral Metcard, or the mayoral Myki depending as to when they introduce it.” Cr Makin said. “Given that I am a resident in the centre an area where we are encouraging people to use sustainable forms of transport, I want to lead by example.”

The usage and provision of public transport is vital to transformation of Ringwood into a vibrant, accessible and sustainable urban centre. The usage of public transport must be encouraged to enhance the mobility of Maroondah, through mitigating traffic congestion and improving social inclusiveness.

Cr Makin said he had not driven for years but got around his ward and performed his council duties successfully using public transport and walking.

While the centres of Ringwood and Croydon are relatively well-served by public transport, there is a need for further improvements to bus services to provide an alternative to driving to stations, as well as more frequent rail services during off-peak times.

Maroondah’s first Generation X mayor, aged 29, said he would focus on the environment and social inclusion. He invited constituents to contact him on Twitter, Facebook, his website or the phone.

As a council it is imperative that we are open to input and provide a range of methods to encourage discussion with our community. The Internet provides new methods of encouraging community participation and we should be at the forefront of using these tools to encourage dialogue and discussion.

As the mayor I will be continuing to regularly update my blog, as well as posting updates on Facebook and Twitter. I encourage members of the community to contact me so that we can continue making a difference in Maroondah.

In his inaugural speech on December 2, Cr Makin said the recent burning of the Ringwood Miners’ Cottage should prompt a public discussion on values to create “a civic pride that collectively demonstrates that such malicious destruction will not be tolerated”.

As a municipality it is imperative that we discuss the values shared by our community and work to reduce apathy and encourage civic participation. Acts like the destruction of the Miners Cottage should not be tolerated or accepted by our community and we need to create pride within our community to prevent such acts from occurring.

Cr Makin named priorities as the central Ringwood redevelopment, more venues for community organisations and access for people with disabilities.

The redevelopment of Ringwood provides a once in a generational opportunity to ensure that we get things right for Ringwood and to create an inclusive, accessible and sustainable urban centre. Pivotal to this will be the creation of community space where we can ensure that organisations can meet the needs of our community.

I hope that over the course of the next year I and my council colleagues will be able to achieve these goals.

Please continue visiting my website or follow me on Facebook and Twitter to discuss your visions for the City of Maroondah.

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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