MAV TIAG first meeting for 2008

The MAV Transport and Infrastructure Advisory Group provides policy advice to the MAV board in matters relating to transport and infrastructure.

Today’s meeting focused on discussing the continued efforts for federal funding of public transport, as well as the MAV’s submissions into the Transport and Liveability Inquiry and the Transport Legislative Review. The MAV submissions have focused heavily on the need for stronger integration between planning and transport and for the increased provision of public transport services and infrastructure.

I also had the opportunity of providing an update on the Eastern Transport Coalition’s activities including its priorities over the next year. It is imperative that collaboration continues between the various transport groups to ensure a cohesive approach to the campaign for public transport improvements.

Media Release: The Mikado begins Morning Music for 2008

The Morning Music stage is set to come alive for another year with the opening of the world famous stage show ‘The Mikado’ as part of Maroondah City Council’s Morning Music at the Karralyka Centre on Tuesday 26 February.

Councillor Alex Makin describes this year’s Morning Music program as a superb line up of live music and performances.

“The Karralyka Centre is delighted to be presenting Gilbert & Sullivan’s most popular musical for the residents of Maroondah to enjoy. Performed in full costume on a magnificent set, ‘The Mikado’ is sure to have the audience in fits of laughter.” said Cr Makin.

“It is very exciting to have such an internationally acclaimed show playing at the Karralyka Centre that will provide audience members with a great morning of fun and entertainment,” said Cr Makin.

Performances will be held at the Karralyka Centre, Mines Road, Ringwood East.
Individual tickets are $15.50. For groups of 10 or more tickets are $13.50 per person. Refreshments are included in the ticket price and are served one hour prior to each performance.

For more information or to make a booking contact Karralyka Centre Box Office on 9879, email or visit

Ringwood Bowls Club: Get on the Green Corporate Challenge 2008

The Ringwood Bowls Club, established in 1929, is located at 2-12 Loughnan Road between the Warrandyte Road and Ringwood Street intersections.

Tonight I was invited to the launch of the Get on the Green Corporate Challenge, an eight week program which encourages businesses to participate in a lawn bowls competition and to learn about the sport. Like the inaugural event held last year, this year’s event has continued to receive strong interest from the business community with many companies returning to participate in the challenge.

The Ringwood Bowls Club is becoming renowned for its innovation in encouraging sporting participation and sustainability. The Club is heavily focused on water conservation, with plans to install water tanks and stormwater retention systems to provide for the watering of their lawn greens. The club has been successful in receiving grants from both the Commonwealth government and council to assist in funding these initiatives. It is also hoped that the State Government will provide assistance to ensure that this project is undertaken.

The Ringwood Bowls Club deserves to be congratulated for its initiatives in regard to water sustainability.

The Ringwood Bowls Club is open to people of all ages. For further information please visit

2008 Australia Day Awards and Citizenship

As part of celebrations for Australia Day, Maroondah City Council holds its Australia Day awards and a Citizenship Ceremony at the Karralyka Centre. I would like to welcome these new citizens to Maroondah.

The Australia Day Awards provide an opportunity to recognise committed volunteers and groups within our community. Nominations can be made under three categories; Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year.

All nominees and the many volunteers within Maroondah need to be congratulated for their ongoing interest in our community.

Ringwood Historical Society meeting

The Ringwood Historical Society aims to collect, promote, preserve and document the history of Ringwood, from its early origins in antimony mining and orchards through to its suburban expansion and beyond. As Ringwood undergoes another transformation the importance in documenting its history cannot be underestimated.

The Ringwood Historical Society meets ten times a year at Maroondah Federation Estate on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Meetings often include guest speakers who are available to discuss prominent people, families or events that helped shape the history of Ringwood. Members of the community are encouraged to attend and share any knowledge they have on Ringwood’s history.

For more information on the Ringwood Historical Society please visit

First Eastern Transport Coalition meeting for 2008

Like other committees, the Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC) has returned in january to hold its first meeting for 2008. Today’s meeting discussed the Eastern Transport Coalition’s submission to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) Inquiry into Liveability. This Inquiry was requested by the Victorian Treasurer, John Lenders, amid growing concern over Melbourne’s decline in liveability rankings.

The Eastern Transport Coalition submission will focus heavily on the need for an integrated transport and planning approach, which would curtail the excessive dominance of VicRoads in planning and transport policies. Furthermore the submission will also highlight the need for sustainable transport to assist in the liveability of my communities. For example, public transport improvements would provide an alternative to car dependence meaning that less income would be spent battling rising petrol prices and that less time would be wasted waiting in traffic congestion.

The VCEC Inquiry into traffic congestion clearly stated that the Government must do more to improve public transport. It is imperative that the State Government finally acts on the numerous inquiries it has called and realises that train, tram and bus improvements are urgently required.

Tonight’s meeting also discussed the strategic direction of the Eastern Transport Coalition. This year the ETC will continue to hold the State Government into account, while also pursuing the need for Federal Government investment in public transport infrastructure. Given that Australia is now a signatory to the Kyoto Treaty it is imperative that Federal leadership is provided to curb the rising greenhouse emissions associated with the transport sector. Public transport has the potential to assist in housing affordability by reducing car dependence and in reducing greenhouse emissions.

An action plan is currently being devised and is expected to be adopted at the next meeting.

MAV Transport and Infrastructure Advisory Group meeting

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is the peak body representing local government within the State. To ensure that policies are reflective of the sector, the organisation has established a number of advisory groups to provide policy advice to the MAV board.

I have been a delegate on the MAV Transport and Infrastructure Advisory Group since being elected in November 2005. The group provides strategic advice in regard to transport and other infrastructure issues within Melbourne and Victoria.

The group meets five times a year and is particularly focused on the need for public transport improvements within outer suburban municipalities.

Active Communities = Active Advocacy : Communities for Public Transport featured at the Sustainable Living Festival

Communities for Public Transport is unique in that it places communities first and foremost in its advocacy efforts.

Communities for Public Transport, the public transport advocacy group established to represent and empower local communities, will be featured at Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival on Sunday the 17th of February at 10am.

The Sustainable Living Festival, an annual event held at Federation Square, aims to showcase organisations that inspire and promote sustainable communities.

I have been invited to deliver a presentation on Communities for Public Transport with the aim of providing advice on community advocacy and to highlight the key issues facing the campaign for public transport improvements in Melbourne and Victoria.

The ongoing inaction over public transport is emerging as a key issue within metropolitan Melbourne and now is the time for local communities to speak up and demand much needed public transport improvements. Rising petrol prices are adding severe financial pressures to many households, particularly those living in the outer suburbs where public transport is not readily available.

Public transport is also required to ensure an equitable Melbourne, where people of all abilities are able to participate in society. The State Government must accelerate disability compliance works to ensure that it exceeds the required milestones established under the Federal Government’s Disability Discrimination Act of 1992

The State Government must demonstrate that it is serious about making public transport improvements a priority. Traffic congestion is creating a severe impost on the economy with severe inflationary pressures undermining Melbourne’s productivity. In addition, Victoria’s greenhouse emissions are continuing unabated due to heavy car dependence.

Local communities know the public transport improvements they require and are best placed to advocate for the public transport improvements that will provide for a sustainable future. It is time for local communities to demand action and to find their voice. Melbourne and its outer suburbs must no longer tolerate poor train reliability, infrequent buses, a lack of nearby stations, inaction over tram extensions and an ongoing list of broken promises over rail extensions.

I encourage you to attend the presentation Active Communities = Active Advocacy at 10am in the design tent at the Sustainable Living Festival, Federation Square.

First Maroondah Citizens' Advice Bureau meeting for 2008

The Maroondah Citizens’ Advice Bureau committee meetings have returned for 2008. Today’s meeting discussed and adopted a new business plan to ensure that the organisation maintains the ability to meet community needs into the future.

This year will include a number of challenges for the Maroondah Citizens’ Advice Bureau, including the need to encourage new volunteers and to ensure that a temporary office location is secured within Ringwood. It is expected that the transformation of Ringwood will begin within this year, which will result in the need for the Maroondah Citizens’ Advice Bureau to temporarily relocate from its current location in the Ringwood Library.

While there may be a number of potential challenges over the course of this year the Maroondah Citizens’ Advice Bureau, underpinned by a solid business plan and a robust structure, is in a very solid position to ensure its continued success into the future

Norwood Park Hall Users meeting 2008

The Hall Users Meeting for the Senior Citizens Centre at Norwood Park, situated on Warrandyte Road Ringwood North, provides an opportunity for the three groups that use the hall to discuss issues related to the facility.

There are three groups based in the hall, the North Ringwood Senior Citizens, Ringwood U3A and Enjoying Planned Retirement. The bi-monthly meeting provides a forum for the three groups to discuss their activities and the needs of their groups.

As the ward councillor for Loughnan’s Hill, I have been invited to attend the meetings to ensure that communication exists between the three groups and Maroondah City Council.