Maroondah City Council Staff Achievement and Recognition Function

While Councillors set the direction of a municipality by debating and adopting policies, it is role of staff to implement the decisions made by Council. The Staff Achievement and Milestones Recognition Function provides an opportunity to congratulate staff that have achieved significant milestones at Maroondah.

This evening I joined Maroondah’s CEO in congratulating staff that have worked in the organisation for 10, 20 and 30 years. Longevity of staff is important as it is ensures that knowledge is retained within the organisation and it is great to be able to recognise these accomplishments.

In addition, I also congratulated staff that were recognised for their dedication through the Recognising Exceptional Value (REV) Awards. These awards are provided to staff members that demonstrate exceptional service to the organisation and are recognised through a Letter Under Seal from Council.

Media Release: Council welcomes funding announcement for Croydon Youth Space

Maroondah Mayor, Councillor Alex Makin has welcomed the $265,000 of Federal Government funding through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

“Council welcomes the ongoing partnership with the Federal Government, and the $265,000 will go towards the establishment of a new Youth Space as part of the Croydon Parklands Future Directions Plan.

“Council is currently undergoing extensive community consultation in relation to a new skate park within the Youth Space. The area could also include a half basketball court, stage and shelter and fitness equipment.

“To date we have surveyed young people at secondary schools, at Maroondah Festival, during Youth Week in May, at 3-Ply skateboarding events, we have held workshops with Swinburne students and there is an online survey on Council’s Youth Services website.

“As part of this consultation two locations have been identified – the site of the current skate park in Norton Road or the site of old playground near tennis courts in Croydon Park.

“Council will undergo further consultation with the community before announcing the preferred location.”

Maroondah City Council’s Budget 2010-2011 has allocated $372,000 in 2011-2012 towards the project.

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Media Release: Ensuring a sustainable financial future for Maroondah

Maroondah City Council’s Proposed Council Plan 2010-2014 and Proposed Budget 2010-2011 were formally adopted during Council’s Monday 28 June meeting. The documents highlight the key initiatives which underpin the planning and budget blueprints for the Maroondah community.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin, said the Council Plan set out a broad range of Council activities designed to assist Council and the community move towards the future, as identified in Maroondah 2025: A Community Planning Together.

“The Council Plan clearly details the range of strategies that will be adopted over the coming four years and outlines Council’s commitment to working in partnership with the community to foster quality and sustainable lifestyles,” Cr Makin said.

“There are eight themes within the Council Plan: community; economic development and employment; infrastructure; leisure and culture; natural environment; transport; urban design and development; governance and corporate support,” Cr Makin said.

“The 2010-2011 Budget outlines the provision of financial resources for the coming 12 months, and details how these resources will be applied to delivering the many services Council provides to the community,” Cr Makin said.


“One of the key factors in this year’s Budget is providing the resources to bring forward the operational deficit that has existed in 12 out of the past 14 Council Budgets,” said Cr Makin.

“It is imperative that this Council draws a line in the sand to ensure that ongoing deficits are no longer acceptable. We must move our financial status into surplus as soon as possible to allow Council to be in the position to invest in community facilities and to meet our obligations now and into the future,” said Cr Makin.

“Council has determined that the operational surplus will now be brought forward to the 2012/13 financial year (three years earlier), commencing with the 2010/11 Budget,” said Cr Makin.

“The operating result for the 2010/11 year is planned at a $1.782 million deficit which halves that of the 09/10 Budget,” said Cr Makin.

“It is important to remember that rates and charges provide 63 per cent of Council’s operating revenue, with the remainder sourced from user charges, operating and capital grants and interest,” said Cr Makin.

“The cost of services delivered to the Maroondah community in 2010/2011 is expected to be $91 million, which is an increase of $6.2million over the 2009/2010 Budget,” said Cr Makin.

The Budget is based on a proposed general rate and charges increase of 9.8 per cent.

This increase is made up from:

CPI (taken from the December 2009 quarter)3%
Infrastructure Levy2.5%
New initiatives2.5%
Regional Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Ringwood1.1%
State Government imposed increase in Landfill Levy0.7%

For the average ratepayer living in a median priced house in Maroondah this represents a $98.10 increase in annual rates and charges, or $1.88 extra per week.

“Maroondah remains one of the lowest rating councils in Victoria, with figures released this week by the Municipal Association of Victoria indicating Maroondah has the 7th lowest (per capita) rates and charges of 71 Victorian Councils,” said Cr Makin.

“When further assessing these figures, the six lower rating Councils (per capita) are much larger in population than Maroondah, and therefore benefit from substantial economies of scale as well as other sources of income,” said Cr Makin.

“In addition, at an average rate of $549 per head, Maroondah has the lowest rating of all nine Victorian Councils of similar size (90,000 to 120,000 people),” said Cr Makin.


“Council’s Budget provides the resources to ensure we are able to sustainably provide over 120 services to the 105,000 members of our community, as well as providing resources for a number of new initiatives,” said Cr Makin.

These new initiatives include

  • $445,000 to provide ongoing maintenance on new capital works projects, such as the new Ringwood multi-purpose shared sports pavilion and all weather synthetic surface
  • An additional $126,000 in funding to Ringwood and Croydon libraries provides books and computer access for all members of the community, with over 1 million library books borrowed each year
  • An extra $150,000 to be spent on bushland clearance and fire prevention works in our bush reserves
  • Additional $250,000 to ensure powerline clearance of trees throughout the municipality
  • Investment of $50,000 to develop the Heathmont Structure Plan to identify and plan for residential and community needs around this transport hub and shopping precinct
  • Additional $50,000 on striking new signage throughout Maroondah identifying parks, reserves and buildings, includes pedestrian/cycling signage


“The allocation of funding in the 2010-2011 Budget (1.1% of rate increase) will be used to develop the design work and continue the community consultation for the proposed Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Ringwood, which will replace the existing Ringwood Aquatic Centre,” said Cr Makin.

“It is important that Council looks to the future to ensure that we meet the expectations and needs of the Maroondah community. A new regional aquatic and leisure facility is an exciting project that will generate enormous community benefit, and ensure significant leisure and aquatic facilities for the Maroondah community into the next 50 years,” said Cr Makin.

“Maroondah is maintaining its position as a lower rating council in metropolitan Melbourne and returning the budget to surplus allows us to deliver exciting projects like the proposed Regional Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Ringwood,” said Cr Makin.

The 2010-2011 Budget and 2010-2014 Council Plan will be available for viewing on the Maroondah City Council website at

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Media Release: Maroondah paparazzi put on a show

MAROONDAH’S people, places, pastimes and events, as captured by its residents, will be on display at this year’s Maroondah City Council Photo Competition Exhibition at Maroondah Federation Estate.

This year the annual event attracted 121 entrants from 70 amateur photographers.

Maroondah Mayor, Councillor Alex Makin said the quality of this year’s entrants was going to make selecting a winner in all three categories extremely difficult for the judges.

“Our municipality has many fantastic places and people, so it is great to see people out there enjoying what is on offer and capturing that moment in time for others to enjoy,” Cr Makin said.

“Whether it’s the city’s landmarks, people enjoying the parks and gardens or relaxing at home, all of the pictures provide a sneak peek into how people live in and enjoy Maroondah,” Cr Makin said.

“I encourage everyone to come and see the exhibition for themselves and see Maroondah though the eyes of their fellow residents,” Cr Makin said.

A selection of works from the Maroondah City Council Art Collection will also be on display at the gallery during July.

The collection boasts more than 140 paintings, prints and ceramics which includes a number of pieces by artists from the region, as well as showing local landmarks and scenes.

The Maroondah City Council Photographic Competition categories were:

  • Junior category for entrants aged up to 12 years
  • Intermediate category for those aged between 13 and 17 years
  • Open Section for entrants over the age of 18.
  • Mayor’s Award

The awards will be presented at a special ceremony at Maroondah Art Gallery on Thursday July 8.

The Maroondah City Council Photographic Exhibition is sponsored by Croydon Camera House, Hoyts Cinemas Eastland, Maroondah Journal and Eastland Shopping Centre.

The exhibition is open until July 24 at the Maroondah Art Gallery, Maroondah Federation Estate, Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday 12pm – 4pm. Details: 9298 4545.

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Speaking to the Ringwood Heritage Seniors

The Ringwood Heritage Seniors are based at Maroodah Federation Estate and meet on a regular basis, providing a range of activities and speakers.

This afternoon I spoke with the Ringwood Heritage Seniors and discussed Council’s plans for the revitalisation of Ringwood, including the proposed redevelopment of the Ringwood Aquatic Centre.

There is a need for new community facilities to meet the needs of residents within Maroondah. As an example, the Aquatic Centre has reached the end of its functional life and is clearly not meeting the needs of the community, as evidenced by declining patronage.

Modern Aquatic Centres are multi-purpose facilities, with the gym and wellness centre components complementing the water facilities. In addition, the facilities will enhance the sporting precinct in Jubilee Park and offer a range of facilities for the Maroondah community.

Several of the members are frequent users of the existing Ringwood Aquatic Centre and are looking forward to the improvements.

In addition, the members cited concerns over the lack of a State Government commitment towards accessibility improvements at Ringwood Station. The vision for the revitalisation of Ringwood requires cooperation between all levels of government and it is imperative that the State Government supports this shared future through a commitment to fully redevelop Ringwood Station into an accessible, integrated and safe transport interchange.

Maroondah Leader: 13,000 sign petition

The Eastern Transport Coalition consists of Melbourne’s seven outer eastern and launched a petition last year to collectively call on the State Government to provide public transport improvements across Melbourne’s eastern region.  The petition was recently presented to Martin Pakula, as the Minster for Public Transport and calls on all political parties to commit to the following:

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

The Maroondah Leader has reported on the presentation of the petition, including its request for the redevelopment of Ringwood Station:

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin said the minister’s acceptance of the petition acknowledged the gravity of the requests, including the redevelopment of the Ringwood railway station.

The Eastern Transport recognises the importance of the redevelopment of Ringwood Station into an integrated, accessible and safe transport interchange that will benefit not only Maroondah but Melbourne’s entire eastern region and it is imperative that all political recognise the importance of this project.

Maroondah Leader: Councillors enliven proceedings

Maroondah Councillors recently conducted a workshop designed to improve the proceedings of public meetings and improve the transparency of Council.  These changes began at the June Council meeting and will provide debate and insight into the decisions that are being made by Council.

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin said the move was a result of a “collective process” between councillors.  “It is certainly an improvement and clarifies how Councillors make decisions,” Cr Makin said.

It is encouraging that all Councillors agreed on the need to improve the transparency of Maroondah City Council’s public meetings and further changes, including the ability for groups or individuals to formally present as a deputation to Council will be undertaken from July.

Maroondah Journal: Spring Street sees signs

The Eastern Transport Coalition’s Monster Petition, was a sixty metre long list of signatures from residents in Melbourne’s outer east calling for public transport improvements.  The presentation was presented to Martin Pakula, as the Minister for Public Transport and was also accepted by Terry Mulder, the Shadow Minister for Transport and Greg Barber, the Greens spokesperson on Transport.

The Maroondah Journal has reported on the Monster Petition and the Eastern Transport Coalition’s aim to improve public transport:

Maroondah Mayor and former deputy chairman of the ETc, Alex Makin said public transport was an important issue for many people throughout Maroondah and its surrounding areas.

“Maroondah residents want public transport improvements. They are crying out for a solution and for the redevelopment of Ringwood Station into an integrated and accessible transit interchange.”

The inclusion of Ringwood Station on the Monster Petition demonstrates its importance not just within Maroondah but throughout the entire eastern region.  It is incumbent on all political parties to commit to the redevelopment of the

Maroondah City Council adopts 2010/2011 Budget

Unlike other levels of government, local councils are required to place their draft budgets on exhibition to enable comment from the public, prior to the budget being formally considered by Council. This evening Council formally discussed the 2010/2011 Budget, with Councillors resolving to adopt the budget as per the draft that was released last month.

Adopting a budget is never an easy decision and unfortunately Maroondah City Council has been operating with a deficit for twelve out of the past 14 years, including a staggering loss of over $8 million in the 1998/1999 financial year and $1.8 million in the 2004/2005 year. Like any organisation, delivering consecutive losses is not sustainable and diminishes the ability to invest in infrastructure to meet current and future needs.

Maroondah has long required community groups to demonstrate financial sustainability and Council should follow this same advice. As a Council there is a need to deliver operational surpluses to enable investment in community infrastructure and much needed facilities, but this is only possible if Council operates with financial stability.

As a consequence Council had to make the difficult decision of increasing rates by 9.8%, or approximately $1.88 per week, to provide a sustainable foundation for the City of the Maroondah. While this may appear to be large increase in percentage terms, Maroondah has the seventh lowest rates when compared with Victoria’s 79 councils. Furthermore, a review of operations will be undertaken over the 2010/2011 financial year to control cost pressures into the future.

Importantly, the 2010/2011 Budget reverses almost a decade and a half of Council living beyond its means by restoring financial stability, through delivering an operational surplus from the 2012/13 financial year. As a result Council will be in a position to invest in much needed community facilities and will reduce pressures on rates in future years.

The first facility to be improved is the Ringwood Aquatic Centre, which has reached the end of its functional life and as a consequence has faced declining patronage and rising maintenance costs. The 2010/2011 Budget facilitates the construction of a new multi-purpose Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre to be operational by the end of 2013. The Budget supports this vision through the funding of detailed design work and community consultation for the proposed facility, which equates to 1.1% of the overall rating strategy.

The adoption of the 2010/2011 Budget has not been an easy decision and it has been one of the most stressful experiences during my time as Mayor. Ultimately its adoption was the right choice to make, as it ensures a sustainable future for the City of Maroondah by delivering a Council that can live within its means while investing in much needed community infrastructure.. I applaud the five of my Council colleagues who supported the Budget, particularly since it will reduce rating pressures in future years, resulting in lower costs and better facilities for our community.

Ringwood Spiders: Christian Ampt Memorial Trophy Match

The Ringwood Spiders is a football team for people with disabilities and competes within the Football Integrated Development Association (FIDA), where they are fielding two teams for this season.

This morning I attended the Ringwood Spider’s Home  Game at Jubilee Park where they competed against Mazenod for the Christian Ampt Memorial Trophy, in recognition of a former player of the Spiders who battled depression.   The trophy will be played for each year in honour of Christian who had some of his best games against Mazenod. The match coincided with the Spiders Sponsors Day and provided an opportunity for sponsors to see how their support of the Spiders assists the Club and its members.

They gave their all in the second half and kicked away to a four goal buffer. But Mazenod were not done and two late goals tightened things up. It was a jubilant Spiders though that held on and ran out winning by 13 points.

The Ringwood Spiders has a strong community focus and prides itself on community inclusion.  Initiatives such as the junior development squad and cheer squad continue to grow and enable people of all abilities to become involved within the Club and to be a part  of the Ringwood Spiders.

While the match was the Spiders last home game for the season there are additional games throughout the season.  For furhter information on the Ringwood Spiders please visit