Ringwood is one of six urban centres identified as a Central Activities District through State and Local Government planning policies. Throughout this year I have worked with my Mayoral counterparts in Greater Dandenong, Frankston, Hume, Maribyrnong and Whitehorse to highlight the need for an ongoing funding and implementation commitment for our respective Central Activities Districts.
Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Dandenong, Footscray, Frankston and Ringwood have all been identified as Central Activities Districts, but yet only Dandenong has received an implementation plan and ongoing investment from the State Government.
The State Government’s ten year funding commitment for Dandenong, which will see $550 million invested into the revitalisation of the urban centre, demonstrates what can be achieved when there is joint commitment between State and Local Governments.
All of Melbourne’s Central Activity Districts deserve a similar commitment and the Maroondah Leader has reported on this regional cooperation, which stretches across Metropolitan Melbourne:
“With the exception of Dandenong, there’s been no long-term funding or planning commitment to the CADs,” Cr Makin said, noting that Greater Dandenong Council was backing the other CAD councils’ call for funding.
Ongoing investment and commitment to Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts will provide amenity improvements and deliver a range of educational, employment and community opportunities throughout Metropolitan Melbourne.
This will provide mini-cities within Melbourne and complement the the role of CBD throughout these urban centres. The City of Melbourne has also been working with the Mayors of the Councils containing Central Activities Districts and it has been fantastic to see an ongoing commitment to this unique alliance.
Unlike Dandenong, where there is a 10-year implementation plan for the investment of about $550 million, just one major project in the Ringwood Central Activities Districts has been allocated money – the $39 million bus interchange.
Cr Makin said plans for other parcels of government-owned land in the area, including the railway station and surrounds remains unclear.
While the Central Activities Districts are dispersed throughout Metropolitan Melbourne there are common issues that unite each of the urban centres, including the need for an ongoing commitment and implementation plan from the State Government.
Cr Makin said government departments have done a lot of work but there hadn’t been the necessary “political buy-in” and leadership was necessary to send a stronger signal to investors.
Each of the Central Activities Districts Councils have identified key projects that would deliver improved facilities and services, with transport interchanges being common across each of the urban centres.
It is clear that public transport improvements, both in regard to interchanges and service frequencies, are critical for the success of each Central Activities District. There is a need for greater level of community facilities with Ringwood Station and the proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre forming Council’s two key priorities.
The formation of regional partnerships has been one of the highlights of my year as Mayor, each of Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts has its own strengths and it is imperative that the State Government support these centres through an ongoing implementation plan and funding certainty.