Media Release: Recycle right this summer

There’s a lot to like about Christmas, but sleigh loads of festive season rubbish aren’t among them.

Mayor of Maroondah, Cr Alex Makin, said tonnes of plastic wrappers, cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and disposable plates ended up in landfill each year rather than in recycling centres.

“Christmas is traditionally a time for giving and a by-product of this is mountains of recyclable waste in the form of wrapping paper, boxes and other packaging materials,” Cr Makin said.

“Sometimes this waste ends up in landfill rather than a recycling centre, which is not only a great waste of resources, it also means our transfer stations fill up more rapidly,” Cr Makin said.

“Recycling is one of the simplest things we can do to reduce our impact on the environment. So if you’re planning on a post-festive season clean-out, please make an effort to recycle all appropriate material,” Cr Makin said.

“Now is also a good time to start or build on your compost supply with those post-Christmas left-overs,” Cr Makin said.

“Fruit and vegetable peelings, newspapers, tea leaves, coffee grounds and egg shells are all great fuel for your home compost project,” Cr Makin said.

Tips for recycling right this summer

  • Never dispose of plastic bags in your recycling bin as they can jam machinery used in the recycling process.
  • Remove food scraps and/or give containers a light wash before placing in your recycling bin.
  • Remove tops and lids from all bottles and jars. This makes them easier to compact in your bin and assists in the separation process at recycling centres.
  • You can recycle food scraps at home by using a compost bin or worm farm.

For more information on recycling right, visit

Ringwood Cricket Club – Cricket Victoria and the Boxing Day Test

The Ringwood Cricket Club, based at Jubilee Park in Ringwood, participates in the Ringwood and District Association and has four sides in Victorian Premier Cricket, where they won back-to-back premierships in 2008 and 2009.

Today I was invited to day two of the Boxing Day Test as a guest of the Ringwood Cricket Club. The event included a function hosted by Cricket Victoria, which administers Victorian Premier Cricket and provides a pathway for outstanding players to represent Victoria.

Cricket Victoria and the Ringwood District Club have an emphasis on increasing participation in sport and in particular encouraging women’s cricket. Ringwood Cricket Club is currently in discussions with Council over the facilities required to initiate a Premier women’s cricket side for Ringwood and the region.

Australia declaring its first innings at 5-454 part way through day two with Pakistan trailing at 4-109.

Tour of Eastern FM’s studios and Interview

Eastern FM is a community radio station based at Wyreena Community Arts Centre in Croydon.  The station broadcasts on 98.1 FM and has coverage throughout Maroondah, Knox and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Eastern FM broadcasts to over 600,000 people in region and approximately 200,000 listeners.  This afternoon I was invited to a tour of the station’s studios and facilities, along with Wyreena Ward Councillors, Michael Macdonald and Rob Steane.

Eastern FM began full-time broadcasting on the 23rd of February 1991 from its studios at Wyreena and outside broadcasts at community events. Like many other community organisations, Eastern FM has plans to grow and continue meeting the needs of the municipality and the region. In particular the station is keen to develop additional studio space and further expand its outside broadcast program.

After the tour I joined Michael and Rob for an interview with Peter McArthur, a presenter at Eastern FM on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings. The interview discussed the year ahead and looked back on 2009.

A recording of the interview was kindly provided by Eastern FM and is available from this website:

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Maroondah Journal: bid to restore cottage

The Ringwood Miner’s Cottage, a reminder of Ringwood’s history with antimony mining, was tragically destroyed by arsonists on the 20th of November.

The Maroondah Journal has reported on the aftermath of the cottage’s destruction and council’s efforts to date:

Mayor Alex Makin said discussions between the council and the historical society would take place early next year.

Maroondah Council will be considering options to restore the cottage in consultation with the Ringwood and Croydon Historical Societies. This will ensure that any replacement to the cottage is relevant to Ringwood’s history, as well as being prominent and accessible to the wider community.

“These discussions will also consider the location of the building to ensure it has greater viability and accessibility. Unfortunately there’s little that remains of Ringwood’s history and it’s therefore critical that we have some ability to recollect and remember the past.”

It is imperative that Ringwood’s history is accessible to the wider community so that we can appreciate our local history.

“The destruction of the miner’s cottage demonstrates the need for our community to assess the values we hold and to demonstrate that unacceptable and destructive behaviour will not be tolerated.”

We have the right to expect that our history will be valued by everyone within our community. Discussions need to be started around civic pride so that we can demonstrate that such behaviour is not acceptable within our community.

Rotary Club of Croydon – Raffle Draw

The Rotary Club of Croydon is one of two Rotary clubs based in Maroondah and meets on a weekly basis each Tuesday evening. Rotary Clubs, while being part of Rotary International, are largely autonomous and able to devote time and funds to local community based projects.

Alex with members of the Rotary Club of Croydon
Alex with members of the Rotary Club of Croydon

This afternoon I was invited to conduct the raffle draw for the club to determine winners of its Christmas Hamper and other prizes. The winners were most appreciative of their prizes and it was great to see the strong number of participants in the raffle.

Announicng the winner from the Rotary Club of Croydon Raffle Draw

Proceeds will be donated to worthwhile community projects, ensuring that Rotary is serving our local community.  Maroondah is fortunate to have two strong and active Rotary Clubs within our municipality.  Both clubs are part of district 9810 and have worked together on a number of projects on behalf of the Maroondah community.

Probus Club of Ringwood – outlining a vision as Mayor

The Probus Club of Ringwood meets on a monthly basis and provides regular speakers and outings for Maroondah’s seniors.

This morning I was invited to speak to the Probus Club of Ringwood to discuss my vision for the oncoming year and my term as Mayor. As part of this discussion I spoke about the need for the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, an issue shared by the attendees, many of whom avoid the station due to the steepness of the ramps.

I also discussed the shortage of accommodation for community organisations and the need for council to identify these shortfalls and a plan for action.

The redevelopment of Eastland provides an opportunity to incorporate community space within the centre of Ringwood and likewise the proposed redevelopment of North Ringwood Community House can deliver a similar opportunity.

As a council we must ensure that people within our municipality are able to partake in community organisations and causes and this will be one of my priorities during the oncoming year.

Raffle Draw for the Lions Club of Croydon

The Lions Club of Croydon is a service club that meets on a fortnightly basis at Club Ringwood on the corner of Maroondah Highway and Oban Road.

This afternoon I was invited to draw the winner for the Lions Club of Croydon raffle, which was based at Croydon Centro Shopping Centre. The raffle attracted strong interest in not just the prize but also in the Club itself.

The Lions Club of Croydon plans to hold a public meeting in February 2010 to encourage new members into the Club. Service clubs provide an opportunity to undertake projects that assist members of our community and organisations.

I encourage community members to attend this forum to learn about the Lions Club and the work they undertake.

Eastern Volunteers – End of Year Luncheon

Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit community based organisation that provides volunteer recruitment and transport services for the frail aged and people with disabilities.

Like many not-for-profit organisations Eastern Volunteers has a number of part-time staff and volunteers who all work different hours and days during the week. This afternoon Eastern Volunteers organised a lunch for the staff and volunteers that work on Fridays to celebrate the end of the year.

The lunch provided an opportunity to discuss the organisation’s plans over the next twelve months including the annual conference in August, a proposed business dinner in April and a Multicultural Food Festival for October.

Eastern Volunteers is able to deliver these events, as well as its regular services through the dedication of its staff and volunteers. Many of these events are expected to be finalised early in the new year meaning that 2010 will be an exciting year for Eastern Volunteers.

Eastern Transport Coalition – Final Meeting as Maroondah’s delegate

The Eastern Transport Coalition (ETC) is a Council based advocacy group seeking to improve public transport within the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Member councils include the City of Maroondah, the City of Greater Dandenong, City of Knox, City of Manningham, City of Monash, City of Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Each year councils determine the Councillor representation on committees. While I had been Maroondah’s representative on the ETC since being elected in 2006, I felt it was now time to provide another Councillor with the opportunity to represent Maroondah on this committee to expand the knowledge and expertise on public transport issues within Council.

As a result, I’m pleased to announce that Cr. Michael Macdonald will now be Maroondah’s representative on the Eastern Transport Coalition. Michael has expressed an interest in public transport issues and it is great to see that the need for public transport improvements is recognised within Council.

I attended tonight’s meeting to assist with introducing Michael to the group and to provide some background on the priorities of the Eastern Transport Coalition. I am confident that Michael will be a great asset to the ETC and public transport advocacy.

Despite no longer being on the Eastern Transport Coalition I will continue to advocate for public transport improvements. As Mayor I have refused the mayoral car and will be continuing to use public transport to attend council and community commitments. Furthermore I will continue advocating for improvements to bus and train services as well as the much needed redevelopment of Ringwood Station.

2010 promises to be an exciting year for the Eastern Transport Coalition and I look forward to Michael’s involvement in the committee, as well as Maroondah’s continued advocacy for public transport improvements.

Croydon Stroke Support Group 2009 Luncheon

The Croydon Stroke Support Group is a community organisation that provides support for people that have experienced stroke and their carers. The group provides a range of activities for its members, including an art therapy program and social outings, as well as producing information guides on stroke and its effects.

This afternoon I was invited to the Croydon Stroke Support Group’s end of year luncheon. The group has had an extremely active year, including the production of a guide for people with stroke and their carers. This guide provides information on the services that are available for people with stroke, as well as their carers, and aims to provide a source of information that can be easily found and utilised.

The group aims to establish a choir and is continuing its art therapy program to provide peer support for its members and help rebuild confidence after experiencing stroke.

In addition, the Croydon Stroke Support Group will be resuming its weekly meetings in the new year.