Maroondah 2009 Photography Competition

The Maroondah Photography Competition is an annual event with the photographs being displayed as an exhibition within the Maroondah Art Gallery at Maroondah Federation Estate.

The event is an annual competition providing an opportunity for local residents to showcase their photographic skills and to take photos of Maroondah events, landmarks or scenery.

Prizes are awarded to the winning photographs with prizes being sponsored by Croydon Camera House, Eastland Shopping Centre and Eastland Hoyts and I would like to congratulate each of the entrants who submitting their photographs into the competition.

The photographs will be on exhibition until the 15th of July at the Maroondah Art Gallery.

Maroondah Journal: Drive is on for major boost to trains, buses

The Eastern Transport Coalition’s “monster petition” was launched this morning at Monash University. The petition has six key requests calling the State Government to improve public transport infrastructure across the region:

  1. A full and public feasibility study for a heavy rail line to Rowville,
  2. A full and public feasibility study for a heavy rail line to Doncaster,
  3. A greater commitment to the extension of the Metro rail tunnel from Domain to Caulfield,
  4. A full and public feasibility study for an increase in capacity on the Belgrave/Lilydale and Glen Waverley lines,
  5. Improved facilities for passengers, particularly at interchanges located in central activity districts – Ringwood, Dandenong and Box Hill,
  6. Fully accessible public transport facilities and vehicles

Maroondah Council’s representative on the coalition, Cr Alex Makin, called on the Government to finish the Ringwood Station upgrade.

These requests include the much needed upgrade of Ringwood Station to ensure that Ringwood is provided with a safe, accessible and easy to access transport interchange.

“The State Government through its budget has committed $39million towards an upgrade of the Ringwood central activities district but that funding excludes the physical station itself.

While the State Government has committed funding for the Ringwood bus interchange and station forecourt, works to the station itself are currently not part of this project scope.

“Ringwood railway station currently fails disability compliance standards because its ramps are narrow and very hard to access. It’s also difficult to access for mums with prams and students with heavy backpacks.”

The Monster Petition will be spending a month at each member council and will visit Maroondah during November.

Maroondah Citizens Advice Bureau Policy Adoption

Policies and good governance help ensure a sustainable future for a non-profit organisation, through outlining acceptable behaviour and providing clarity and certainty for staff, volunteers and the committee of management.

This afternoon the Maroondah Citizens Advice Bureau committee of management formally adopted polices covering several areas of the organisation, including volunteer recruitment, the committee of management and dispute resolution.

These policies will assist in clarifying roles and responsibilities and outline the requirements for volunteers and staff within the organisation.

Several workshops were held to ensure that the policies reflected the organisation and to gain feedback from staff, volunteers and the committee of management.

Copies of the adopted policies will be available at both the Croydon and Ringwood Office and new volunteers will be provided with a copy.

Further policies are now being developed to further enhance the governance of an organisation.

To ensure that the policies remain relevant they will be reviewed every three years and checked on annual basis.

Ringwood Spiders – Displaying commitment and good sportsmanship

The Ringwood Spiders is a football team for people with disabilities and competes within the Football Development Integration Association (FIDA) league.

The Ringwood Spiders are based at Jubilee Park in Ringwood and share facilities and clubrooms with the Ringwood Redbacks. While the Ringwood Spiders were keen to play another round of football, today’s match was cancelled due to poor sportsmanship from the opposing team.

Like all levels of football there is a need for good sportsmanship during the game and while the Spiders were disappointed by the cancellation, it is was great to see that the Spiders did not resort to the tactics that were being used by the opposition.

The Ringwood Spiders were winning the match when it was cancelled and with the other team being required to the forfeit, the Spiders have continued their winning streak.

Enjoying Planned Retirement's Hidden Talents in July

Enjoying Planned Retirement is a seniors based group located at the North Ringwood Senior Citizens Hall in Warrandyte Road, Ringwood North.

Enjoying Planned Retirement has approximately 400 members and provides a wide range of activities catering for a diverse range of interests.

This afternoon Enjoying Planned Retirement held its Hidden Talents Concert, which included a range of musical, theatrical and comedy acts developed and performed by the group’s members.

Like all of EPR’s events, Hidden Talents was an entertaining afternoon complete with amazing talent from the many performers that were part of the show.

A second Hidden Talents Concert is scheduled for November.

Rotary Club of Ringwood – Unveiling the Club's Website

Each year Rotary International sets a central theme to provide a core focus and guidance for the many individual Rotary Clubs that exist throughout the world.

This year’s theme is The Future of Rotary Is In Your Hands and reflects the ongoing need for the organisation to remain relevant and committed to its goals of community service.

At a local level the theme resonates within the Rotary Club of Ringwood as we explore new ways to engage the community and recruit members. As part of this focus I unveiled the Rotary Club of Ringwood website at tonight’s meeting to discuss the importance of using the Internet to engage our community and promote the Rotary cause.

The Rotary Club of Ringwood’s website provides a flexible platform to promote the Club and enables authorised members to maintain and add content to the site.

This makes it easier to keep the site up-to-date and ensures a sense of ownership meaning that members are actively involved with the website and its content.

Organisations that utilise the Internet will only find it useful if they have a relevant and timely web presence. A website needs to be consistent with other promotional and marketing tools used by an organisation so that they are clear about the aims of the group and what it offers to prospective members.

The website will enable the Club to receive enquiries from prospective members and community organisations and will include information on upcoming events and fundraising activities.

The Rotary Club of Ringwood website is available at

Media Release: Road Management Plan adopted

Maroondah’s amended Road Management Plan (RMP) was adopted at the Council meeting of Monday 20 July.

The plan outlines a maintenance service standard and integrated management system for the inspection, maintenance and repair of Council’s roads and road-related infrastructure assets.

Councillor Alex Makin said the main aim of the review underpinning the RMP’s amendment was to assess the levels of service provided, taking into account what was considered reasonable, affordable and achievable.

“The Road Management Plan is an important document outlining Council’s intended levels of service for maintenance of the municipality’s roads and road-related assets,” Cr Makin said.

“The amendments recommended in Council’s review of the Road Management Plan will result in a clearer definition of Council’s responsibilities in relation to road maintenance, the inclusion of an updated map of the municipality reflecting the new three-ward structure, and other minor updates,” Cr Makin said.

The Road Management Plan was on public exhibition in June and July. No submissions were received.

– ENDS –

Maroondah Leader: full house seeks options

The Maroondah Leader has reported on North Ringwood Community House’s successful grant application to identify a new preferred location for the facility.

Councillor Alex Makin said the feasibility study would provide a “clear sense of direction” for the centre.

The State Government must be congratulated for contributing $25,000 towards the study, which combined with Council’s $5,000 contribution will enable the house to identify a preferred location for a new community centre.

A steering committee, involving the Community House and Council will appoint a consultant to undertake the feasibility study and to report back on potential options.

The study is expected to be completed by the end of this year and will include potential funding options and the preferred site for a new Community Centre in Ringwood North.

Maroondah Leader: New local law causes conflict

While it is critical that there is accountability and transparency within Local Government recent changes in the Local Government Act have had the unintended result of potentially restricting councillor involvement within community organisations.

The Maroondah Leader has reported on these changes and their repercussions.

Cr Alex Makin said he resigned from the Croydon Conservation Society committee after five years so that he could continue to vote on council environmental policy.

The changes to the Local Government Act now mean that a Councillor is stated to have a conflict of interest if they are a committee member of an organisation that makes a formal submission or request to Council.

He said he would otherwise have been excluded from debating or voting on motions where the society had made a submission.

Previously Councillors were still able to partake in discussing these items, even if they were precluded from voting due to a potential conflict of interest.

As a result this often means that the Councillor who is most aware of the issues brought forward is now eliminated from being able to formally discuss these matters within council.

This meant I had to resign as Treasurer of the Croydon Conservation Society so I could continue to debate and represent environmental concerns within Council unhindered by this legislation.

While I can certainly appreciate the State Government’s intent with the Legislation changes and I genuinely applaud measures that increase the transparency of local government, these changes have had unintended consequences.

Cr Alex Makin called on the State Government to review the laws and distinguish between commercial interests and community organisations. He proposed instead a public register of community groups councillors represented.

The community rightfully expects Councillors to take an interest in the community and work towards towards a better municipality. Likewise many community organisations welcome the involvement of a Councillor to assist them in achieving their aims.

Unfortunately these legislative changes make it difficult for councillors to remain involved within these organisations. A public register would improve transparency while ensuring that councillors can remain involved within the community.

Delegates' Report: Advocating for public transport improvements and an update on the Ringwood Spiders

On the 18th of June and the 16th of July I attended the Eastern Transport Coalition, as Maroondah’s delegate to the committee. The Eastern Transport Coalition is a regional body, that consists of Melbourne’s seven outer eastern councils and this includes the City of Maroondah.

One of the priorities for the group is to engage with the wider community and provide advocacy for the needed public transport improvements within the region. As part of this program, the Eastern Transport Coalition will be launching a regional petition, which will be circulated throughout the member councils and the wider community.

The Petition will be launched tomorrow and I would like to thank our Mayor for confirming his attendance at this important event.

The petition is calling for much needed public transport infrastructure improvements and has six key requests including several which are relevant to Maroondah:

  • A full and public feasibility study for an increase in capacity on the Belgrave/Lilydale and Glen Waverley lines,
  • Improved facilities for passengers, particularly at interchanges located in central activity districts – Ringwood, Dandenong and Box Hill,
  • Fully accessible public transport facilities and vehicles

Among those requests is the need for the redevelopment of Ringwood Station into a safe, accessible and integrated transport interchange, recognising the regional importance of Ringwood to Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs.

On the 22nd of June I attended the second series of workshops for the review of Maroondah’s bus network. These workshops are an initiative of the State Government and aim to make recommendations to improve the configuration of bus routes, their frequencies and service spans.

It is encouraging that the network recommended for Maroondah consists of largely positive proposals, including the need for more direct and frequent services. While the final report still needs to be prepared, it was somewhat disappointing that details were vague in regard to the implementation of the recommendations.

This is an issue the Eastern Transport Coalition will be following in coming months to call on the Government to commit to the timely implementation of the bus route reviews, particularly since parts of the reviews conducted in other regions of Melbourne have already received commitments.

On the 28th of June I attended the Ringwood Spiders Home Game against Parkside. The Ringwood Spiders are a football club for people with disabilities and is supported by the Ringwood Football Club at Jubilee Park. The game coincided with the Ringwood Spiders Sponsorship Day Afternoon and it was great to see the team playing some of its best football all year.

The Spiders had a tremendous victory against their competition and the development of the team over the season was clearly evident. What is always amazing about the Spiders is their focus on providing a sense of community and opportunities. This was reinforced by the player who was awarded the Best Player of the Match and who spoke about what the Spiders meant to him and how it helped him realise his potential.

The Ringwood Spiders now sit at the top of the division ladder and are playing their next home game on Sunday the 26th of July from 11am at Jubilee Park in Ringwood.