Local Groups Form United Transit City Community Coalition

Media Release – Monday, 17 January 2005

Local Groups Form United Transit City Community Coalition

Local groups have announced the formation of the The Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition (RTCCC) to demand meaningful representation for the Ringwood Transit City Project.

“Community groups have continued to express outrage and disappointment over the lack of consultation in regard to the Ringwood Transit City Project”, PTUA Outer East Branch Convener, Alex Makin said. “Community groups and residents have a right to demand input into the future of Ringwood and have the right to expect a fair and open advisory process.”

The PTUA in conjunction with the Croydon Conservation Society, Victorian Disability Advocacy Network, formed the Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition to provide residents and traders the ability to discuss issues arising from the Ringwood Transit City project.

“Is it disgraceful that Mary Delahunty and the Bracks Government which claimed to ‘govern for all Victorians’ has blatantly disregarded the opinions of the Maroondah Community”, VDAN member Ms. Stevens said. “The broad base of support this coalition has received has clearly demonstrated the need for direct community consultation. Without meaningful community consultation the very future of Ringwood, including the potential for significant business investment would be jeopardised”.

In 2002 Maroondah Council released the ‘Croydon Civic Precinct Masterplan’ without adequate community consultation. The Masterplan was later derided by community groups due to the proposed closure of the Croydon Memorial Pool and for recommending substantial development within Croydon Park. As a direct result plans to revitalise Croydon stalled and affected potential business investment.

“Maroondah Council and the State Government should have learned from the failed Croydon Civic Precinct Masterplan about the dangers caused by a lack of community consultation” Ms. Stevens said. “The very lack of community consultation which threatened business investment and revitalisation in Croydon must not be repeated in Ringwood”.

“We appreciate the support received by Mr. Andrew Olexander, Silvan Province MP and Mr. Phil Honeywood, the MP for Warrandyte in demanding wider representation on the Ringwood Transit City Advisory Committee”, Mr. Makin said. “Unfortunately the Premier denied this request demonstrating absolute contempt for his vision of providing an ‘open and accountable’ government. We are profoundly disappointed at the attitude of local MPs, who have either remained silent or endorsed the denial of direct representation for community groups.”

“Given that Maroondah City Council is the only local representation on the advisory committee it is crucial that the council develop a fair, open and meaningful process for community consultation. We are appealing directly to the new mayor, Mr. Paul Denham, to ensure that such a process is developed immediately and provided for approval by our community associations and the people of Ringwood”, Mr. Makin concluded.

About the Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition:

The Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition was formed in early 2005 as a direct response to the lack of community consultation in the Ringwood Transit City project. The Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition aims to provide a conduit for community group, resident and trader concerns to ensure community consultation within the Transit City project.