Policy Development and collaboration between Central Activities Districts

This afternoon the City of Melbourne hosted a forum on policy development focusing on the Central Activities Districts of Ringwood, Dandenong, Frankston, Box Hill, Broadmeadows and Footscray. The forum, which was an outcome of the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Mayors of Maroondah, Greater Dandenong, Frankston, Whitehorse, Hume, Maribyrnong and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, aimed to strengthen collaboration and exchange knowledge on each of the Central Activities Districts.

Today’s session provided an overview on the changes experienced within the City of Melbourne, including strong residential growth and a strategy of differentiation to attract commercial tenancies to counteract competition from Australia’s other capital cities. Similarly, there is a need for each Central Activities District to identify unique strengths to deliver a diverse range of housing, employment and community opportunities.

Further work and collaboration will be undertaken by each Council to ensure a cohesive approach to Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts and to assist in providing a shared vision between Local, State and Federal Governments.

Media Release: Come and share in the Christmas spirit

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without carol singing, candles and a certain jolly man in a red and white suit.

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin encouraged everyone to grab a picnic rug or chair, a little Christmas cheer, and head for Ainslie Park in Croydon on Sunday 12 December for the Maroondah Carols By Candlelight celebrations.

“Each year Council continues the proud Australian tradition of Carols By Candlelight, with an exciting array of fine local talent leading our community in song,” Cr Makin said.

“Heading the bill this year is Penny Mason the holder of the 2010 Maroondah Singers Memorial Scholarship,” Cr Makin said.

She will be joined on stage by group performances including the Maroondah Singers, students from Croydon West Primary School and Maroondah Secondary College, Croydon Citizens Band, Maroondah Brass and the Connection Community band,” Cr Makin said.

“On top of all this, Santa will arrive, spreading his own special brand of Christmas cheer for young and old alike, and joining in for a song or two with the community,” Cr Makin said.

Bring a picnic hamper, indulge in some sizzling sausages cooked by the Croydon West Guides, or enjoy other tasty treats from the Ainslie Park Cricket Club or Maroondah Secondary College canteens.

“Carols by Candlelight will conclude again this year with a brilliant fireworks display presented by Eastland,” Makin said.

“Council are pleased to have Eastland supporting this wonderful community event once again and we thank them for their involvement,” Cr Makin said.

A reminder to local residents with pets to be aware of the fireworks display, which will commence at approximately 9.15pm. The loud ‘bangs’ can cause dogs to panic and be frightened – due to their acute sense of hearing, so please ensure your dog is secure in your home or back garden during this event.

Carols by Candlelight will be held on Sunday 12 December from 7.30pm at Ainslie Park, Brentnall Road, Croydon next to Maroondah Secondary College. Melways Map 50 F3.

As parking onsite is limited, the community are encouraged to walk to the event where possible.

As an alternate, bus services along Route 670 drop off and pick up on Maroondah Highway, travelling between Ringwood Station and Lilydale Station. For more details on bus timetables contact MetLink on 13 1638 or visit www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au.

Candles and glowsticks will be available to be purchased on the night.

For further information about the Carols By Candlelight celebrations, contact Arts & Cultural Services on 9298 4553.

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Graduation of participants in the National Green Corps Program at Mullum Mullum Creek

The National Green Corps Program is a Federal Government initiative that provides education and employment skills for young people that are unemployed and enjoy working in the outdoors. The City of Maroondah has been involved in the Green Corps Program through re-vegetation work along the Mullum Mullum Creek.

The program is delivered through two rounds and this afternoon I attended the graduation ceremony of the first group of participants who have completed the six month program. Participants within the Green Corps Program gained formal qualifications through Swinburne TAFE, as well as practical employment skills in conservation and land management.

Alex with participants graduating form the National Green Corp Program at the Mullum Mullum Creek.
Alex with participants graduating form the National Green Corp Program at the Mullum Mullum Creek.

The program has been possible through a partnership between education and employment providers, as well community groups and Maroondah City Council. I extend my congratulations to the participants of the program and I look forward to the next round of students who will be participating and improving the biodiversity and amenity of the Mullum Mullum Creek.

Media Release: National Green Jobs Corps graduation

After six months of working to improve the Mullum Mullum Creek area the National Green Jobs Corps crew will graduate from the program today.

National Green Jobs Corps is a Federal Government funded youth development program which offers young people a chance to gain quality experience and training while participating in community based projects of significant environmental and cultural heritage.

The Maroondah-based team worked in partnership with Council, Mission Australia Employment Solutions, Melbourne Water, Waterwatch Melbourne, Mullum Mullum Creek Bushcare Group, CRISP Community Nursery and Platypus Conservancy.

Maroondah Mayor Councillor Alex Makin, who attended the graduation today, said the participants had gained a lot of experience during the program.

“The program is structured in such a way that the participants receive the right balance of work experience, skill development and accredited training,” Cr Makin said.

“During the course of the program the participants in the Maroondah team assisted in the extension of the Mullum Mullum Cultural Heritage Trail, undertook extensive weed removal and revegetation works, and conducted water monitoring and flora and fauna surveys,” Cr Makin said.

“The new paths around the reserve are looking fantastic and I urge those who haven’t seen the works to head down and experience one of the most tranquil and beautiful areas that Maroondah has to offer,” Cr Makin said.

“It is great to know that the Mullum Mullum area is being preserved and enhanced, given its importance to the biodiversity of the area,” Cr Makin said.

Each of the participants will graduate with a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management from Swinburne TAFE, a Level II First-aid course and herbicide use training.

“So in the six months each of these participants has risen to the challenge and their efforts will be rewarded with nationally recognised qualifications and workplace experience. I wish them all the very best in their future careers,” Cr Makin said.

A second round of National Green Corps participants will now join the program, also working in the Mullum Mullum Creek area.

To be eligible for the National Green Jobs Corps program you have to be aged 17-24, unemployed and receiving the Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment.

– ENDS –

Maroondah Weekly: Artists join Melbourne’s best

The Maroondah Mayoral Art Show is an annual event, which raises funds for the Croydon Branch of Bone Marrow Donor Institute. The Maroondah Weekly has reported on the Art Show, which will be held until the 11th of December:

Maroondah mayor Alex Makin said 25 percent of the sale of the art works would be donated to the Croydon branch of the Bone marrow Institute, which has been a long standing patron of the show.

The art show showcases the breadth of artist talent, with many local artists participating in the event.

Cr Makin said the event was the also an opportunity for local artists’ work to be hung along-side well-known Melbourne artists. “It’s been one of the most diverse years in terms of the breadth of different art and the breadth of different mediums as well.”

In addition to Council’s support, the Mayoral Art Show is also sponsored by the Ringwood East branch of the Bendigo Community Bank, providing a partnership between local businesses, council and the community.

Maroondah Leader: Charity acts to the fore

The Rotary Club of Ringwood has held an annual golf charity day since 2009 to raise funds for worthwhile community causes. This year Rotary Club of Ringwood has chosen to support the installation of security cameras at Ringwood through proceeds raised through the day.

The Maroondah Leader has reported on the partnership formed between the Rotary Club of Ringwood, Eastland and Maroondah Council through supporting the charity golf day.

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin said the efforts of the council, community, Eastland and the government would benefit Ringwood.

The introduction of security cameras will provide improvements to the amenity of Ringwood and Council is supporting this initiative through its sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Ringwood’s charity golf day. The installation of security cameras will provide immediate safety improvements While the Maroondah community awaits a State Government commitment for the redevelopment of Ringwood Station into an accessible, safe and integrated transport interchange.

Maroondah Weekly: Council tightens rules on pets

Maroondah was previously the only Council in Victoria without on-lead and off-lead provisions for dogs within the municipality. As a result this has created confusion for residents and meant that areas of significant biodiversity were unable to be protected.

Following extensive community consultation Council adopted new on-lead provisions at its November Council meeting, providing certainty for residents and clearly defined off-lead and on-lead areas. The Maroondah Weekly has reported on this change:

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin said the changed laws were in response to community concerns over the lack of specific animal controls in the region. “Under the new laws, dogs must be under effective control at all times while in the public. This means they must be on a leash or in a designated off-leash area.”

These changes mean that dogs are required to be on a lead unless in a designated off-lead area. Council has ensured that designated off-lead areas are located throughout Maroondah, while also protecting remnant bush reserves, with twelve being designated no dog areas. In addition, a dusk to dawn curfew has been introduced for cats to ensure that they do not roam at night.

These changes will take effect from the 1st of January 2011 for further information please visit www.maroondah.vic.gov.au.

Central Activities District Mayors and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne sign Memorandum of Understanding

Ringwood is one of six Central Activities Districts across Melbourne, whereby Ringwood was identified as an urban centre that would experience a diverse range of housing, employment and community facilities. Ringwood, like the other identified Central Activities Districts of Frankston, Dandenong, Box Hill, Broadmeadows and Footscray, requires cooperation and a shared vision between all levels of government.

Throughout this year I have been working with my Mayoral counterparts in Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Whitehorse, Hume and Maribyrnong to ensure a collective voice for the Central Activities Districts to ensure that State and Federal Governments provide an ongoing commitment and implementation plan for each of these centres.

Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne
Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne

While each Central Activities District has its own strengths it is important that we work cooperatively to secure commitments for each urban centre. In this regard, the six Mayors have also involved Robert Doyle, as the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne to ensure that there the role of Melbourne’s CBD is taken into account.

This morning each of the Mayors and the Lord Mayor met at Frankston to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the common objectives for this grouping of Councils. This grouping is unique given that it involves Councils that are facing like issues, rather than traditional alliances with have tended to be focused on geographic areas.

Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne
Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne

One of the most rewarding aspects of being Mayor this year has been the strengthening of partnerships between Maroondah and other Councils. This new grouping of Mayors from the Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne will become pivotal in ensuring that the Central Activities Districts and the visions held by the respective Councils are shared at a State and Federal level.

Media Release: The Lord Mayor joins forces with CAD Mayors to enhance city centres

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed between City of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, and Mayors from the State Government’s six designated Central Activities Districts (CADs) – Frankston, Maroondah, Greater Dandenong, Hume, Maribyrnong and Whitehorse – on Monday 22 November at 9.30am in the Frankston City Council Chambers to officially cement their unanimous commitment to seek State Government support and funding to create the most productive, liveable and sustainable city centres. 

The MOU acknowledges that mutual benefit can be derived by these municipalities through measures of mutual support, collaboration and by providing a united voice and joint approach to lobbying.

Frankston City Council Mayor, Cr Christine Richards said these six metropolitan hubs have been selected to attract people, investment and jobs and it is pivotal they remain supported to achieve the objectives of the State Government’s Melbourne 2030 and Melbourne @ 5 million strategies.

“This is a historical political event – the joining of Mayors to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. The CAD municipalities are ready, willing and able to face the challenges ahead together to make our CADs thriving metropolises. However, we cannot do so without a whole-of-government commitment to CAD planning,” Cr Richards said.

Maroondah City Council Mayor, Cr Alex Makin, said despite the CADs individual differences, synergies do exist between the municipal city centres.

“This alliance means we can work co-operatively to provide a united voice with more weight that will give greater strength to plans and solutions to state-wide issues. We need a State Government supported implementation plan to ensure our city centres can achieve their designated potential,” said Cr Makin.

The Mayors’ will further discuss how to best achieve the objectives set out in the State Government’s Planning Policy Framework. The Mayors’ are unanimous that at a minimum CADs must:  

  • have a functioning transit interchange – to enable comfortable, quick and efficient journeys by buses and trains throughout each municipality – in some CADs substantial infrastructure funding is still required to make this vision a reality
  • create more local jobs – CADs need to expand their base of employers to create a greater range and number of local jobs available to local residents
  • create more affordable housing.

“This Memorandum of Understanding between the Central Activities District Mayors and the Mayor of the City of Melbourne will allow for increased co-operation between our municipalities and allow us to jointly advocate for our key priorities,” Cr Makin said.

“Our main priority at a state level is to secure a long term funding commitment for the CADs. With Melbourne quickly becoming a city of many cities, we want to ensure certainty for the respective CADs, as well as bolstering the opportunity for all levels of governments to provide more services across greater metropolitan Melbourne”, Cr. Makin concluded.

– ENDS –

The first annual general meeting of the Maroondah Interfaith Network

The Maroondah Interfaith Network was formed in November 2009 to promote understanding and social harmony between Maroondah’s faith based communities. The Network, which comprises of representatives from several Maroondah faith organisations, has held a series of events throughout to promote understanding and awareness of Maroondah’s faith communities.

This afternoon I attended the Maroondah Interfaith Network’s first Annual General Meeting, which elected committee members to replace the interim committee and to focus on strengthening and developing the network over the next twelve months. While the Maroondah Interfaith Network is a relatively new organisation, it has already highlighted the diversity of Maroondah’s faith communities through promoting understanding and dialogue between religious faiths.

Congratulations to the many faiths involved in establishing the Maroondah Interfaith Network and for their ongoing involvement. Many of Maroondah’s neighbouring municipalities have had long established Interfaith Networks and it is great that Maroondah now has its own Interfaith Network to promote social inclusion and understanding.