Maroondah Leader: Petition junction

Maroondah City Council has begun its advocacy campaign to secure a commitment for Ringwood Station in the lead up to the State Election. The City of Maroondah is calling on all political parities to commit to providing a safe, accessible and integrated transit interchange for Ringwood.

The Maroondah Leader has reported on the start of this campaign:

Mayor Alex Makin said the continued lack of action made a mockery of the government’s aim to make transport accessible to all.

“Wherever I go in Maroondah I am guaranteed to get a question about the station’s condition,” Cr Makin said. “It is important that the council works with the community to highlight the concerns that we have in regard to the condition of Ringwood Station.

The petition can be completed at Council’s customer service centres or online at

Maroondah Citizenship Ceremony – October 2010

While migration and settlement is a Federal responsibility, Local Government conducts citizenship ceremonies to confirm new Australians and to officially welcome them into the municipality.

The City of Maroondah holds several Citizenship Ceremonies throughout the year, providing opportunities for participants to be declared citizens of Australia. The Mayor officiates the Citizenship Ceremonies and this evening I had the pleasure of welcoming these Citizens into Maroondah.

One aspect I highlight at the Citizenship Ceremonies is the strong community and volunteering spirit that exists within Maroondah and I encourage residents and new citizens to get involved in their local community.

Eastern Regional Mayors and CEOs Forum – discussing regional priorities

The Eastern Regional Mayors and CEOs Forum, includes the Cities of Banyule, Boroondara, Dandenong, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Nilumbik, Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges, meets on a regular basis to advance priorities on behalf of the region.

Today’s meeting was hosted at the City of Maroondah and included sessions with MPs and Candidates from the Government, Opposition and The Greens to discuss six priorities facing the region:

  • Public transport;
  • early years;
  • street lighting;
  • school crossing supervision;
  • libraries;
  • and land use planning

The sessions included detailed presentations on each of these issues with the aim of ensuring that each attendee and Party was aware of the concerns held by the Councils in the region. It was encouraging to see strong representation from each of the parties, including Minsters and Shadow Ministers.

One of the key roles of local government is to advocate on behalf of the needs of its residents and communities and as such dialogue between Councils and Members of State Parliament is a necessity. Today’s forum, which was held at the Karralyka Centre, enabled this discussion to take place so that these members would be fully aware of the priorities and concerns of local government in the eastern region.

Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre Information Expo

While the existing Ringwood Aquatic Centre, located in Greenwood Avenue Ringwood, was converted to an indoor facilities in the mid 1980s, the indoor 50 metre pool and associated infrastructure is approximately 40 years of age and nearing the end of its useful life.

In addition, the Aquatic Centre, due to its age is delivering an increasing loss to Council making it a burden on ratepayers. The Centre lacks gym and fitness facilities that complement modern aquatic centres and has consequently seen declining patronage, in sharp contrast to neighbouring facilities.

Maroondah City Council included detailed design work to consider a replacement of the Ringwood Aquatic Centre, through a modern facility that would expand the unique diving and swimming elements of the facility, as well as including gym, fitness and creche components.

This afternoon Council held an information expo at Eastland to discuss the project with the wider community and to gather community feedback on the proposed designs. Over 200 people attended the session with many discussing the need for the new Centre and the possibilities it provides for Maroondah and Ringwood.

Council has a clear commitment to deliver community infrastructure and it is clear that the community appreciates the need to replace the existing facility, with one that will meet the needs of Maroondah over the next 40 years and beyond.

Council will be holding further information expos, including one at the existing Centre and at the Maroondah Festival.

Media Release: Council launches petition to upgrade Ringwood Station

Maroondah City Council is calling on all state political parties to commit to delivering a safe, accessible and integrated Ringwood Station within the term of the next State Government.

On September 1, Council will launch a petition as the first stage of a community based campaign calling for the Station redevelopment.

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin said Council shares the community’s concern about the station.

“The Maroondah community has waited for far too long for a safe, accessible transit interchange. The current layout of the station fails disability compliance standards meaning it is difficult to access for people with a disability, the elderly and parents with prams,” Cr Makin said.

“The Disability Discrimination Act is about treating people equally and giving people the same opportunities as everyone else as to access public transport. The continued lack of commitment towards the upgrade makes a mockery of delivering sustainable and accessible transport options,” Cr Makin said.

“The Tudor-style brick building which houses the ticket office was built in 1889 and the footbridge linking the platforms was upgraded in the 1960s. Despite the substantial population growth in the region and the importance of public transport, there has been no significant upgrade to the station in more than 50 years,” Cr Makin said.

“Following years of lobbying by Council the State Government undertook initial urban design works in 2004,” Cr Makin said.

“In 2007 the State Government spent $4.5million on design works to integrate the public transport interchange with the Eastland redevelopment. In September 2008 the State Government announced $39million for the Bus Interchange and Maroondah Highway Station Plaza project. While this is a positive step, we are still waiting for a funding commitment to upgrade the most important aspect of the Central Activities District – Ringwood Station,” Cr Makin said.

“Council will continue to work in partnership with State Government, and meet with department representatives and ministers to stress the importance of upgrading Ringwood Station to be compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and for safety reasons,” Cr Makin said.

“We will also continue to meet with local members of parliament who are supportive of Council’s campaign and are willing to advocate of our behalf for a funding commitment to this essential project,” Cr Makin said.

“The redevelopment of the Ringwood Station into an accessible, integrated and safe transit interchange is critical to the success of our transition into a sustainable and accessible Central Activities District,” Cr Makin said.

“Council has a critical role in advocating on behalf of our community. The petition is an important way for Council and the community to get that message to the State Government,” Cr Makin said.

“The best way we can do this is generating as much support as possible, so we encourage everyone to sign the petition which will be available online, at Council’s service centres and Ringwood and Croydon libraries,” Cr Makin said.

“The more community support we gain, the stronger our voice in demanding that the funding commitment is made. I urge the community to join this campaign and to get involved” Cr Makin concluded.

To sign the petition and to join the campaign you can:

Go online:
Maroondah Council website –
Maroondah Youth Services website
Maroondah Youth Services MySpace page –

Visit one of Council’s service centres:
City Offices Service Centre
Braeside Avenue, Ringwood

Eastland Service Centre
Level 2, Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood

Croydon Service Centre
Civic Square, Croydon

Visit one of Maroondah’s libraries:

Ringwood Library
4 Ringwood Street Mall, Ringwood
(Adjacent to Eastland Shopping Centre).

Croydon Library
Civic Square, Mount Dandenong Road, Croydon.

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Media Release: Council congratulates MPs on their win

Maroondah City Council congratulates the re-elected Federal Members of Parliament in the seats of Deakin, Casey and Menzies.

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin said Council was looking forward to working with the MPs.

“Council has already established a strong working relationship with the member for Casey Tony Smith, the member for Deakin Mike Symon and the member for Menzies Kevin Andrews over the past three years,” Cr Makin said.

“Council met with most of the candidates prior to the election to ensure they were aware of the issues and projects that were a concern to the Maroondah community,” Cr Makin said.

“With Ringwood being one of six State Government designated Central Activities Districts Maroondah is seeing some significant investment and development from both the State Government and private enterprises,” Cr Makin said.

“We will now continue to work with the Federal MPs to gain their support for some major projects in Maroondah, primarily the proposed $48 million Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre,” Cr Makin said.

“The proposed project would provide enormous community benefit, ensuring significant leisure and aquatic facilities for the Maroondah and regional community for the next 50 years. There would also be a substantial economic and employment benefit to the region during construction and operation of the proposed facility,” Cr Makin said.

“Council is seeking substantial funding from the Federal Government to assist with the development of this project, particularly for the proposed diving facilities which would include a unique dry diving training facilities for the State, as well as a FINA standard 10 metre diving tower and pool,” Cr Makin said.

So far Council has received substantial letters of support for the proposed project from:

  • Diving Australia
  • Diving Victoria
  • Swimming Australia
  • Swimming Victoria
  • Ringwood Diving Club
  • Whitehorse Diving Club
  • Ringwood Swimming Club
  • Victoria Water Polo
  • Ringwood Water Polo Club
  • Ringwood Triathlon Club
  • Knox City Council
  • Eastern Independent Schools Melbourne
  • Aquinas College
  • Tintern Schools
  • Maroondah Secondary College
  • Yarra Valley Grammar
  • Ringwood Secondary College
  • Eastern Access Community Health
  • Scope
  • Ringwood Spiders Football Club
  • Heathmont Football Club
  • North Ringwood Football Club
  • Ringwood Bowls Club
  • East Ringwood Junior Football Club
  • Ringwood Football Club
  • Ringwood Croquet Club
  • Ringwood Professional Athletics Club
  • East Ringwood Tennis Club
  • Croydon Cricket Club

“We are confident that the local MPs will see the significant benefit the proposal would make to the region, and that they are willing to support the proposal and advocate for funding on behalf of their community,” Cr Makin said.

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Ringwood Historical Society – Early Jewish Settlers in the Colony of Victoria

The Ringwood Historical Society meets on a monthly basis with guest speakers discussing aspects of history.

Tonight’s guest speaker discussed the growing cultural diversity in the early days of the Colony of Victoria through Jewish migration into the settlement. Victoria and Melbourne have a long tradition of cultural diversity and in its early Colonial history Jewish communities were also evident in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Shepparton.

The guest speaker also discussed the difficulties in tracing family histories, particularly due to name changes and a lack of complete records. Fortunately resources exist to assist members in tracing their family histories and to piece together some of the missing pieces.

The Ringwood Historical Society meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 8pm at Maroondah Federation Estate. For details please visit

Celebrating NAIDOC Week Initiatives at Marlborough Primary

NAIDOC week, which is held in the first full week of July each year celebrates Indigenous culture and has a strong educational focus during the week.

This afternoon I was invited to Marlborough Primary School, located in Heathmont, to attend the presentation of awards to two students who celebrated Indigenous culture through art. The students, in grades six and one, were selected from over 112,000 entries and represents the strong interest and respect Marlborough places on Indigenous culture.

As a former student of Marlborough it was great to be back at the school and congratulate these students on their achievements.

Media Release: Change to local law encourages debate and interaction at Meetings

To ensure that Council meetings are more interactive and engaging, Maroondah City Council has formally adopted a change to a Local Law at its meeting on Monday 16 August.

Local Law 9 will now replace Local Law 7 that regulates meeting procedures at Council Meetings.

“The changes demonstrate Council’s overwhelming support for accessible and accountable Local Government, and will permit the community to hear and see more than ever before,” said Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin

“An example of some of the changes includes the opportunity for the public to hear Council presentations to further explain agenda items. Councillors will also present Ward reports to keep the community up to date with new developments and projects,” said Cr Makin.

The proposed amendment had been on public exhibition at Braeside Avenue as well as at Council Service Centres and on the website, and the public was encouraged to make submissions.

The submissions received all had the same theme -the addition of Acknowledgement of Country to the Order of Business for Council meetings.

“Following the public submissions, Council is proud to incorporate an Acknowledgement of Country as part of the Order of Business at both Ordinary and special meetings of Council,” Cr Makin said.

The Acknowledgement of Country forms part of Council’s Reconciliation Policy Statement which reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation and the desire to build strong partnerships with the local Indigenous community.

“Another significant change to meeting procedures is that Question Time can be extended by an additional 10 minutes if required to complement the aim of increased participation and interaction from the community,” said Cr Makin.

As well as changes to process, the Council Chamber has also experienced a change to layout.

“New ramp access will improve accessibility to the chamber floor. Plus, the change to the seating arrangements means that Councillors will no longer sit with their backs to the public gallery, thereby promoting a feeling of inclusiveness,” Cr Makin said.

Council meets on the third Monday of each month and meetings are open to the public. Meeting dates may change if the meeting falls on a public holiday. Council is generally in recess in January.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7.30pm on Monday 20 September at Council Chambers, Braeside Avenue Ringwood.

Media Release: Maroondah celebrates National Meals on Wheels Day

Maroondah City Council will be recognising the local heroes of its Meals on Wheels service on Wednesday 25 August as part of National Meals on Wheels Day.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin, and Councillor Nora Lamont will be joining volunteers to deliver the delicious meals to clients in and around Maroondah.

“It’s a pleasure working with a team of dedicated volunteers to ensure the Meals on Wheels service continues to offer nutritious meals while allowing clients to retain their independence,” Cr Makin said.

“There are approximately 190 Meals on Wheels volunteers in Maroondah delivering up to 1200 meals to 300 clients each week. Each volunteer is a valuable asset to Council and the community,” Cr Makin said.

“As well as enjoying a delicious meal, clients also receive the benefit of having a friendly volunteer checking on their well being and making sure they are alright,” Cr Makin said.

“On average 60,000 meals are made and delivered each year. Piping hot and fresh from the kitchen at Karralyka, the meals are delivered to those in our community who are having difficulty in preparing and cooking their own meals,” Cr Makin said.

Meals on Wheels menus offer a choice of three hot meals 5 days per week, chilled meals are also available and frozen meals are provided for weekends and public holidays.

Menus are developed with dietary guidelines in mind and some medical conditions, such as diabetes and coeliac disease may be catered for.

Meals on Wheels is a Council-run Home and Community Care service. To find out more about the service in Maroondah, phone Council on 1300 88 22 33 or visit

For more information on volunteering contact Aged and Disability Services Volunteer Coordinator Trish Matthes on 9298 4569.

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