Media Release: Lend a hand during Clean Up Australia Day

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin is calling on Maroondah residents to pull on some gloves, grab a bag and help out at one of the Clean Up Australia Day sites located throughout the municipality on Sunday 7 March.

“Council has nominated the Croydon Wetlands in Norton Road as the clean-up site for residents who wish to help make their local environment more attractive on Clean Up Australia Day,” Cr Makin said.

“If you’re able to help, then we will look forward to seeing you between 9.30 and 11.30am,” Cr Makin said.

“Helpers are asked to be safe when participating by wearing sturdy footwear, gloves, sunscreen and a hat, and by bringing refreshments and a rubbish bag or bucket,” Cr Makin said.

The community can meet Council officers in the car park adjacent to Fred Geale Oval, Norton Road, Croydon (Melway reference 50 K5).

“To date there is one other site registered in Maroondah on the Clean Up Australia Day website, at Dandenong Creek, Heathmont,” said Cr Makin. “It’s worth checking the website for the details, and for other sites that may be registered.”

Alternatively, groups can register their own site on the Clean Up Australia website.

“The Maroondah community has always shown strong support for Clean Up Australia Day and we value the many volunteers who keep coming back to help clean up our parks, reserves and roadsides,” Cr Makin said.

“Last year approximately 225 people collected almost two tonnes of rubbish from across 13 sites in Maroondah, in addition to a number of schools participating on the Clean Up School Day,” Cr Makin said.

“It would be great to see new faces this year helping to make our community even more enjoyable to live in. So if you’re able, please come along – you’ll be warmly welcomed,” Cr Makin said.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Clean Up Australia Day, which aims to encourage people to make a difference to their local environment by cleaning up set locations during the event. In 2009, almost 630,000 volunteers helped remove rubbish from about 7000 sites during Clean Up Australia Day.

For further information or to register your involvement visit or phone Clean Up Australia on 1800 282 329, alternatively contact Council’s Strategic Planning and Sustainability Team on 1300 88 22 33.

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Kilsyth Cobras – Singlet Presentation Evening

The Kilysth Cobras compete within the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL), the premiere Winter basketball league and is part of the Kilsyth and Mount District Basketball Association (KMDBA).

The Association has members across the City of Maroondah and the Shire of Yarra Ranges and tonight’s singlet presentation provided an opportunity to welcome players competing for the Cobras in the 2010 SEABL season.

Maroondah Journal: Athletes rejoice at Keystone revamp

The Maroondah Journal has reported on the revamp of Keystone Hall in Croydon, providing facilities for a range of community groups, including the Croydon Little Athletics Centre and Croydon U3A.

The works include an improved courtyard, new office space and toilets, three 3000-litre water tanks, refurbished kitchen and kiosk and upgrades to the hall’s facade and surrounds. They were unveiled last Friday by Mayor Alex Makin and Deakin MP Mike Symon.

The project was made possible due to $150,000 in funding from Maroondah City Council, with matched funding from the Federal Government. In addition, the Town Park Committee of Management contributed $6000.

“These works are the product of a solid partnership between the council, the Federal Government Town Park Committee of Management and Croydon Little Athletics Centre. This is great news for hall users, who I’m sure will enjoy the revamped facilities on offer.”

The revamp of Keystone Hall demonstrates the positive outcomes that can be achieved when multiple levels of government work together with the community.

Lions Club of Croydon – Promoting service clubs within the community

Lion Clubs,a part of an international movement of service organisations, which operate under the motto “we serve”.  Maroondah has two Lions Clubs within the municipality, the Lions Club of Croydon and the Lions Club of Heathmont.

This evening I was invited to speak at an introductory evening for the Lions Club of Croydon, where I discussed the importance of service clubs within the community.  The club held tonight’s information evening to introduce members of the public to the Lions Club of Croydon and to promote service clubs within the community.

The Lions Club of Croydon is involved in a range of community activities with a particular emphasis on social inclusion and community wellbeing.  Projects include leadership development for schoolchildren and assistance for people with disabilities.

The Lions Club of Croydon meets on the first and third Monday of each month at the Dorset Gardens Hotel in Croydon.  For further information please visit

Maroondah Journal: Central planning under fire

One of the core responsibilities of local government is planning, through assessing development applications and defining the desired characteristics of an area through planning schemes and local policies.

Local government, being the closest form of government to people and the community, is best placed to make decisions in regard to planning issues, to ensure a balance between development and amenity.

The State Government is currently proposing radical changes to Victoria’s planning system, with legislation currently before Parliament. These changes will erode the ability of local government to make planning on behalf of the local community.

Mayor Alex Makin said the proposed changes would “disenfranchise local communities”.

Particularly worrying is the State Government’s proposal to enable individuals and developers to amend local planning schemes. A planning scheme outlines the preferred character of an area and provides guidelines in terms of amenity and suitable development. Council’s submit amendments to planning schemes after extensive community discussion ensuring a range of views are reflected.

“The significant increase of the involvement of the State Government in local planning matters facilitated by these changes will undermine community and broader industry confidence in the planning system, as the decision-making system becomes potentially more political and uncertain.”

Local government, like all forms of government, has its challenges and while there may be examples of poor planning decisions, Maroondah is a responsible and responsive planning authority. Legislation should not legislate for the lowest common denominator and penalise the community’s ability to provide input.

North Ringwood Community House – Committee of Management meeting

The North Ringwood Community House, located at 120 Oban Road, Ringwood North, is a community owned and managed centre which provides a diverse range of courses and educational opportunities for our community.

One of the strengths of the house is the provision of accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses within a supportive, friendly and nurturing environment. The community house also provides a creche and occasional care.

The Committee of Management oversees the development of the community house and establishes a strategic direction for the facility. I was a member of the committee between 2007 and March 2010, when I resigned due to changes in the Local Government Act, which hampers the ability of Councillors to advocate for organisations when they are a member of a committee.

The main priority for the committee and staff is to find a new location so that the community house can continue to provide a range of courses and services for the local community.

For further information please visit

Eastern Volunteers Board of Management Meeting

Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit organisation that provides volunteer assistance, as well as community transport for the frail aged and people with disabilities. The organisation aims to strengthen volunteering by providing training services and assistance in recruiting and placing volunteers within other community based associations.

Eastern Volunteers is also heavily involved in community transport solutions and provides a range of transport services for home and community care (HACC) eligible clients to assist in enhancing social inclusion and reducing isolation. The organisation is also involved in programs which aim to look at how community transport can augment public transport and taxi services. Eastern Volunteers is planning three major events this year, including its Fun Run in March, a Business Dinner and a Regional Conference in August.

Eastern Volunteers was formed in 1976 and has 14 part-time staff with approximately 100 volunteers to assist in service delivery. A voluntary board of management oversees the policies and strategic direction of the organisation. I have been a member of the board of management since July 2008.

For further details on Eastern Volunteers please visit

Ringwood Cricket Club – Life Members, Past Players, Members and Sponsors Luncheon

The Ringwood Cricket Club is based at Jubilee Park in Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood and has four sides competing in Victorian Premier Cricket, the highest level of competition within the State.

This afternoon I attended the Club’s life members, past players, members and sponsors luncheon.  The luncheon provided an opportunity to acknowledge the many people involved in the Cricket Club, including its committee, sponsors and players.  The luncheon also coincided with Day 2 of the Ringwood’s 1st XI vs Prahran Cricket Club, which was held on the number one oval at Jubilee Park.

Ringwood Cricket Club has a significant emphasis on community development and aims to establish a women’s team for Premier League Cricket.  In addition, they are also looking at incorporating people with disabilities, to provide an inclusive sporting environment.

While it was a closely fought game, Ringwood proved victorious against Prahran, ensuring that the Club is in a strong position for the 2009-2010 Cricket Season.

Re-opening of Keystone Hall

Keystone Hall, located at Town Park in Croydon, is a multi-purpose community facility, which houses a variety of community groups, including athletics and Croydon U3A. The redevelopment of Keystone Hall received joint Federal and Council funding, with the two levels of government committing $150,000 each, in addition to a $6000 from the Town Park Committee of Management.

Alex firing the starter gun for little athletics, as part of the opening of Keystone Hall in Croydon.
Alex firing the starter gun for little athletics, as part of the opening of Keystone Hall in Croydon.

This afternoon I officially opened the improvements to Keystone Hall, which includes disability compliant toilets, a new courtyard and 3000 litre water tanks.

Alex with Mike Symon MP, the Member for Deakin, at the re-opening of Keystone Hall
Alex with Mike Symon MP, the Member for Deakin, at the re-opening of Keystone Hall

A copy of the speech is provided within this post:

Continue reading “Re-opening of Keystone Hall”

February BizConnect Business Breakfast

The BizConnect Maroondah Business Breakfast Series provides networking opportunities for businesses within the municipality and features prominent speakers, who discuss the experiences they have had within their business.

This morning’s speaker was Kristina Karlsson, who formed stationery label kikki.K after identifying a gap in the market for stylish but practical stationery products. Kristina now has 25 retail boutiques within Australia and New Zealand, as well as a prominent online store and web presence.

As the Mayor, I had the pleasure of launching the BizConnect Maroondah Business Breakfast Series, as well as introducing new businesses into Maroondah. Please continue reading to view a copy of the speech delivered during the breakfast:

Continue reading “February BizConnect Business Breakfast”