Media Release: Time to immunise before flu season hits

As the cold weather closes in, now is the time to book in for an annual influenza immunisation.

Councillor Alex Makin said Maroondah City Council has a highly dedicated immunisation team committed to quality service in the delivery of immunisations to the local community and businesses.

“Council offers free immunisation sessions at various locations in Maroondah each month. The influenza vaccine is available free of charge to people over the age of 65, pregnant woman, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 15 years, and anyone over the age of six months with a medical condition that increases the risk of influenza complications,” Cr Makin said.

“For those who aren’t eligible for a free flu vaccination, Council provides the service for $20 per dose,” Cr Makin said.

“Council also offers a Corporate Immunisation Service which means the Immunisation Team will visit businesses and immunise staff, with the most common being the flu vaccine,” Cr Makin said.

“Research has shown that healthy working adults who have been vaccinated against flu have half the number of doctor’s visits and nearly half the number of sick days,” Cr Makin said.

“So offering staff the opportunity to immunise against the flu could not only prevent the spread of the flu in your workplace, but it will also help to keep your workforce productive and healthy,” Cr Makin said.

If you are interested in protecting your staff please contact the Immunisation Team on 9294 5627 to discuss a program that will best suit your needs.

“The vaccine is most effective when received towards the start of Autumn, with the vaccine taking about two weeks to develop and provide protection,” Cr Makin said.

“Council is committed to providing an exceptional immunisation service that is readily available to everybody, with the immunisation program a vital part of Council’s community health strategy,” Cr Makin said.

“And with the knowledge that Council’s Immunisation Service has full accreditation in compliance with AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 Quality Standards, Maroondah families can be even more confident of receiving a safe, effective immunisation service,” Cr Makin said.

Council also provides a secondary school immunisation program and a pre-school immunisation program for four-year-olds, plus free immunisation information and advice.

Dates and times for the April to June period can be obtained from Council’s Service Centres, Maternal & Child Health Centres, or

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Media Release: Join in the Australia Day festivities

Australia Day in Maroondah is again shaping as a fun-filled affair with a range of activities on offer for the entire family.

The action gets under way at 9.30am at Ringwood Lake Soundshell with a flag raising ceremony to mark the national day.

Councillor Alex Makin suggested residents to head on down and enjoy a free community barbecue and children’s activities including craft workshops, animal farm, jumping castle and face painting.

“There will also be live entertainment on offer with a performance by the Ringwood Folk Band,” Cr Makin said.

Cr Makin said the day also provided an opportunity to recognise some of our community’s most valued citizens.

“Australia Day is an opportunity for all of us to take pride in our citizenship and reflect on the meaning and importance of being Australian,” Cr Makin said.

“It will be a pleasure to recognise the contributions of Maroondah residents to the community during Council’s annual Australia Day awards,” Cr Makin said.

“The annual Australia Day awards will be presented to Maroondah’s Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, and Community Event of the Year,” Cr Makin said.

Cr Makin said the day was about coming together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian.

“It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in Australia. It’s the day for us to recommit to making Australia an even better place for the future,” Cr Makin said.

“Each year Maroondah’s Australia Day celebrations draws a big crowd at Ringwood Lake. Council is again looking forward to welcoming the local community to celebrate what it is that makes them proud to be Australian,” Cr Makin said.

Event details:
9.30am: Flag raising ceremony
9.30am – 10.30am: Maroondah Australia Day Awards presentation and citizenship ceremony.
9.30am – 12.30pm: Family activities
11am – 12.30pm: Ringwood Folk Band perform

Getting there:

  • Via public transport: 10 minute walk from Ringwood Station or via bus route 670 which travels along Maroondah Highway. For further public transport information visit or call 131 638.
  • Limited parking is available at Ringwood Lake, enter via Mt Dandenong Road. Melways 49 K8.
  • Accessible drop off zone on Maroondah Highway.

Conclusion of the 2010 Mayoral Year

This evening Maroondah City Council held its Statutory Meeting, whereby the Mayor is elected for the 2011 Council Year. While I have enjoyed the challenges experienced throughout this year I chose not to seek re-nomination as Mayor and Cr Tony Dib has been unanimously elected as Mayor for the oncoming Council year.

Maroondah is truly fortunate to have such a vibrant sense of community and I would like to thank the many community organisations and individuals that I have met throughout this year. While the volume of work undertaken as Mayor is immense it is also incredibly rewarding to meet the many people that are dedicated to their local community.

2010 has marked the year that Council delivered financial sustainability, ensuring that future Councils will be able to invest in community facilities and services. Maroondah City Council has finally reversed over 12 years of annual financial operating deficits to ensure that Council is able to meet future challenges. In addition, partnerships with neighbouring Councils have been strengthened and Maroondah is at the forefront of a newly formed alliance between the six Councils containing Central Activities Districts and the City of Melbourne.

Furthermore, Council has reaffirmed its commitment to Reconciliation through incorporating the Acknowledgement of Country at all Council events and Council meetings. Likewise, reforms to strengthen accountability and governance through encouraging debate and discussion were undertaken, including the rearrangement of the Council Chamber to ensure that Councillors are able to see members of the public present at Council meetings.

Council’s advocacy for an accessible, safe and integrated transit interchange for Ringwood proved successful and I congratulate the incoming State Government for their pledge to overhaul Ringwood Station.

Lastly, I would like to thank my colleagues for their support throughout this year, being Mayor is an incredible experience and I wish Cr Tony Dib all the best of success in the year ahead. I will be continuing as a Councillor for the Mullum Ward and I welcome feedback from residents and the community.

Media Release: Maroondah Festival bigger and better than ever

This year’s Maroondah Festival was a huge success, with seven hours of entertainment enjoyed by the Maroondah community on Sunday 7 November at Town Park in Croydon.

Maroondah Mayor Councillor Alex Makin said the threat of stormy weather wasn’t enough to the keep more than 30,000 people from attending the 21st Maroondah Festival. In fact the sun was shining for most of the day.

“The Maroondah Festival is one of the eastern suburbs’ largest free community events and this is due to the community spirit that brings out all that is good about Maroondah on this wonderful day,” Cr Makin said.

“On behalf of Council and the festival organisers, I would like to thank our sponsors, including major sponsor Ringwood Honda, exhibitors, performers, site holders and Council staff for their commitment and support in making this day such a great success,” Cr Makin said.

“It was very pleasing to see that crowd numbers were very high, with the local community enjoying the many activities and events available all day. This annual free event has become an integral part of Maroondah’s identity. I know many people look forward to this event and I am proud to say that it just keeps getting better every year,” Cr Makin said.

Many of Council’s services and facilities were represented at the festival, including the proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

“The expo gave festival visitors an opportunity to find out more about the proposed facility which includes the proposed state diving centre. The centre would provide Ringwood Diving Club and other diving clubs with a state-of-the-art training facility,” Cr Makin said.

“Leisure experts, representatives from Ringwood Diving Club and Council representatives were on hand at the festival to answer any questions people had about the proposed facility,” Cr Makin said.

“We had hundreds of people through the expo viewing the images and concept plans of the proposed facilities, with many taking the time to fill-out feedback forms on their thoughts of the proposed facility,” Cr Makin said.

“Next to the proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre expo Ringwood Diving Club members had their own interactive display at the festival, complete with divers performing on a portable springboard, mini trampoline and kinder dive activities,” Cr Makin said.

“Four time Olympic diver Jenny Donnet visited both the Ringwood Diving Club and Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre displays during the festival. Jenny, a local Ringwood resident, was extremely supportive of the proposed facility saying diving clubs, elite and developing divers would benefit greatly from having access to the proposed dry diving training facility and the FINA standard 10 metre diving tower and pool,” Cr Makin said.

Jenny also took the time to fill out a feedback form, commenting that the proposed facility would “change the face of diving” in Australia.

“The proposed state diving centre is still subject to significant state and federal government funding, but with state-of-the-art facilities like these we could see more and more Victorian-based divers competing at an international level,” Cr Makin said.

Festival visitors also used the opportunity to sign Council’s petition calling for an upgrade to Ringwood Station in the term of the next government.

“We have secured a commitment from the Liberal party and Greens to upgrade Ringwood Station within the term of the next government and Council is now awaiting on a commitment from the Labor Party to the upgrade of Ringwood Station,” Cr Makin said.

“To date Council has collected close to 3000 signatures on the petition. We thank the community for their support and urge those who haven’t yet signed the petition to do so via council’s website or at a Service Centre,” Cr Makin said.

Some of the exciting features of the 2010 Maroondah Festival included:

  • Kids Kingdom was packed with free rides, interactive games and craft activities.
  • Anaconda Fun and Fitness Arena with activities, organised games, interactive workshops and demonstrations presented by local sporting clubs. There was also the 7.3 metre climbing pinnacle, tennis serve radar and Panna Football competition.
  • Bankwest Main stage arena featured a feast of musical performances from some of Melbourne’s finest artists including Electric Empire.
  • The Sustainability Area offered workshops hosted by Channel 31’s garden guru Vasili Kanidiadis.
  • Denso Community Expo showcased the many community groups and service providers in Maroondah. The expo included a community stage which featured performances by local groups.

“Maroondah Festival was a great day out for all the family. Planning is already under way to make sure next year’s event is even bigger and better,” Cr Makin said.

The Maroondah Festival was proudly presented by Maroondah City Council and sponsored by Ringwood Honda.

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2010 Maroondah Festival

The Maroondah Festival is one of the largest community events within Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, attracting approximately 30,000 attendees and featuring dedicated community, business, sustainability, fitness, teenagers and children.

The weather remained largely pleasant throughout the day, providing a contrast to the hot weather experienced in previous years. The new location at Town Park also provides additional shade and ensures that activities are closer together making the festival easier to attend.

As the Mayor I delivered the opening speech for the Maroondah Festival, welcoming community members and highlights the partners that assisted in delivering the event:

Alex at the opening of the 2010 Maroondah Festival.
Alex at the opening of the 2010 Maroondah Festival.

On behalf of the Maroondah City Council I would like to welcome everyone to the 2010 Maroondah Festival.

In the spirit of Reconciliation, we acknowledge that we are meeting on land for which the Wurundjeri people have been custodians for many centuries, and on land which the Indigenous Australians have performed age old ceremonies.

We, Maroondah City Council, accept, respect and have shared with the Wurundjeri people in their customs of welcome.

The Wurundjeri people support the coming together of all people, respecting their individuality to focus on a unified and cohesive nation.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of this wonderful community event and we invite you and your families enjoy the beautiful sunshine and take part in the huge array of activities available here today, including some fresh new initiatives and of course the old favourites.

I would especially like to extend a warm welcome to Ringwood Honda as the principal sponsor of the 2010 Maroondah Festival. Be sure to visit the Ringwood Honda stand next to the Information tent to collect your free Honda merchandise and check out the latest range of Honda vehicles on display. There will also be an opportunity to talk to the friendly staff from Ringwood Honda and enter the draw to win some fantastic prizes including a Honda lawn mower valued at over $800.

At the Festival today, over 150 local groups and businesses have come together to provide information on their networks, goods and services. With their continued support, the Maroondah Festival has grown to become the most well supported community Festival in Melbourne’s east.

I invite everyone to visit the Denso Australia Group – Community Expo today and learn more about the valuable work undertaken by our fantastic local community groups.

We are also fortunate that we have many businesses in our municipality who support the Maroondah Festival. I would like to thank the following businesses for their generous sponsorship at this year’s festival:

  • Ringwood Honda: The principal sponsor of the Maroondah Festival
  • Bankwest – sponsor of the Main Stage
  • Denso Australia Group – sponsor of the Community Expo
  • Maroondah Weekly – our media partner
  • Anaconda – sponsor of the Fun and Fitness Arena
  • Ventura – sponsor of the Park n Ride service
  • Jalna – sponsor of the Fun and Fitness Walk breakfast

An event the size of Maroondah Festival requires a lot of planning and hard work and I would especially like to extend a huge thank you to all of the volunteers and staff assembled here today. In particular I would like to acknowledge the assistance of St John Ambulance and Victoria Police, and I would also like to thank the staff of Maroondah City Council and Fruitbowl Productions.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of the day, visit the Festival Information tent to find out about the huge array of activities on offer and be sure to take advantage of the free sunscreen.

Thank you all for being part of this fantastic event and celebrating our wonderful Maroondah community.

I would now like to welcome to the stage, the Yarra Valley School band.

Media Release: State funding commitment essential for Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin has confirmed Council’s major project for funding at the forthcoming State election.

“The proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure is the number one funding priority for Council as an essential piece of community and Council infrastructure,” said Cr Makin.

“As a State Government designated Central Activities District, Ringwood is enjoying significant investment and development from private enterprise with major commercial and residential growth underway,” said Cr Makin.

“The State Government has committed $39million in funding towards the bus interchange with funding still to come for the Ringwood Railway Station. Both are essential government infrastructure elements for the Central Activities District,” said Cr Makin.

“The significance of the Ringwood Central Activities District has been identified and acknowledged by both the Greens and Liberal parties in the lead up to the State election with their commitment to funding an upgrade to Ringwood Station within the term of the next government,” said Cr Makin.

“Council’s proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure will complement the development taking place in the Ringwood Central Activities District, enabling it to meet the needs of the growing and diverse regional population of more than 400,000 people,” said Cr Makin.

“The proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure is a critical element to the Central Activities District, both in recreational and leisure terms, as well as the economic and employment benefits during construction and operation,” said Cr Makin.

“Council is seeking considerable funding to assist with the development of this project, particularly for the diving facilities which will provide unique dry diving training for the State, as well as a FINA standard 10 metre diving tower and pool,” said Cr Makin.

“Council has met with all state candidates to ensure that they are aware of the needs of the Maroondah community, and will continue to advocate strongly in the lead up to the State election on behalf of our local community,” said Cr Makin.

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Speaking to Grade Three and Four Students at Heathmont East Primary

This morning I was invited to speak to approximately 100 grade three and four students at Heathmont East Primary, located in Louis Street, near Canterbury Road in Heathmont.

One of the roles of being Mayor is to explain how Councils function and to discuss the role of being a Councillor and Mayor. This morning I spoke about the ward structure of Maroondah and helped clarify the responsibilities of local councils, compared to State and Federal governments.

I also spoke about growing up in Heathmont, where I was a student of Marlborough Primary, a school in close proximity to Heathmont East. It was great to see the students taking part in the discussion and asking many questions, ranging from the services Council provides to how decisions are made by Councillors.

Australia’s system of governance, with Local, State and Federal Governments, can seem overtly complex at times and it was great to provide an opportunity to discuss the role of Council and the importance of our local community.

Media Release: Federal election wishlist

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin has confirmed Council’s major project for funding at the forthcoming Federal election.

“The Federal election provides Council with a wonderful opportunity to promote the City of Maroondah to all federal candidates, both sitting and standing, and to ensure they are briefed on the issues and projects that are of concern to the Maroondah community,” said Cr Makin.

“With federal political parties forming a consensus on the need for sustainable population growth, it is timely to note that Maroondah is poised to assist with these concerns, with Ringwood being one of six State Government designated Central Activities Districts,” said Cr Makin.

“Significant investment and development has commenced in Ringwood, with support from the State Government and private enterprise – major commercial and residential growth is already underway,” said Cr Makin.

“Our priority is to ensure that all federal political parties are aware of the proposal for the Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure facility and the importance of the project for the region, both in recreational and leisure terms as well as the economic and employment benefits during construction and operation,” said Cr Makin.

“A particular aspect of Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure is that it will lead the way in terms of Environmentally Sustainable Design – an essential element in any infrastructure planning,” said Cr Makin.

“Council is seeking considerable funding to assist with the development of this project, particularly for the diving facilities which will provide unique dry driving training for the State, as well as FINA standard 10 metre diving tower and pool,” said Cr Makin.

Council has sought a grant of $10 million from the Federal Government towards this vital project.

“Both Diving Victoria and Diving Australia are strongly supporting this initiative. These bodies recognise the need for new training and competition facilities and have the results on the board in terms of past, present and future diving athletes,” said Cr Makin.

“The Delhi Commonwealth Games later this year will have a number of diving competitors who began their careers at the current Ringwood Aquatic Centre, and I’m sure the Maroondah community will watch with some anticipation to see how well they perform,” said Cr Makin.

The project has also gained support from:

  • Ringwood Diving Club Inc
  • Whitehorse Diving Club
  • Ringwood Triathalon Club
  • Ringwood Swimming Club
  • Victorian Water Polo

“The Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure facility will complement the developments to take place in the Ringwood Central Activities District enabling it to meet the needs of the growing and diverse regional population of more than 400,000 people,” said Cr Makin.

“I will be endeavouring to meet with all candidates over the coming weeks to ensure that they are aware of the needs of the Maroondah community, and wish them all well as they campaign on behalf of our local community,” said Cr Makin.

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Media Release: Soccer pavilion takes shape

The Ringwood Soccer Reserve’s multipurpose sports pavilion is starting to take shape with the first of the steel beams being lifted into place last week.

In May 2009, the Federal Government provided $2.9million of funding for the project as part of the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

Maroondah Councillor Mayor Alex Makin welcomed Federal Member for Deakin MP Mike Symon and to the site last Wednesday to oversee the continuance of works.

“The old stadium and grandstand have been cleared from the site for some time, so it was amazing to see the crane lifting all of the steel beams into place,” Cr Makin said. “As the pavilion take shapes over the next couple of months the community will be able to start seeing the benefits of the new facility.”

“The redevelopment includes a multi-purpose shared sports pavilion with a boxing gymnasium, office space for the Ringwood District Cricket Association, male and female change facilities, car parking, spectator viewing areas and lighting,” Cr Makin said.

“The facility will also feature many environmentally friendly initiatives including the installation of solar hot water units, bladders will be placed under the building to catch storm water runoff which will be used to flush the toilets, solar panels will be used to generate enough power to light and heat the facility,” Cr Makin said.

The playing field will also be upgraded to an all weather synthetic surface. This project was jointly funded by $650,000 of funding from Maroondah Council and Sport and Recreation Victoria.

The completed venue will be home to the Ringwood City Soccer Club, Ringwood District Cricket Association and the MVC Boxing Club. It will also supplement the other major facilities at Ringwood’s Jubilee Park, including the proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure facility.

The pavilion works are expected to be completed in January next year with car parking sealing to commence in February and the synthetic surface to be installed in March 2011.

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Mullum Mullum Cultural Heritage Trail – National Green Jobs Corps Team

The Mullum Mullum Cultural Heritage Trail is located between Warrandyte Road and Highland Avenue and is part of the Mullum Creek Trail, which provides a remnant bush trail along the Creek, through Ringwood and Croydon.

The Cultural Heritage Trail includes interpretative signage, identifying the remnant bush and the significance the valley had for the Wurunjderi, the first inhabitants of what is now the City of Maroondah. The trail also features carvings of native fauna, as well as garden beds that include some of the native plants used by the Wurundjeri.

Alex speaking with members of the Green Corps Team along the Mullum Mullum Trail
Alex speaking with members of the Green Corps Team along the Mullum Mullum Trail

This afternoon I was invited to be part of the launch of the National Green Jobs Corps for the Mullum Mullum Cultural Heritage Trail. The project involves 16 young people, aged between 17 and 24, for a six-month duration. The participants will undertake revegetation and signange works along the trail, between the Mullum Mullum Reserve and upstream to Oban Road.

The project aims to provide both employment and educational pathways for its participants and is a partnership between several organisations including:

  • Mission Australia,
  • Maroondah City Council,
  • Melbourne Water,
  • Waterwatch Melbourne,
  • Swinburne TAFE,
  • Mullum Mullum Creek Bushcare Group,
  • CRISP Community Nursery
  • and the Platypus Conservancy.
Alex with participants of the Mullum Green Corps Team
Alex with participants of the Mullum Green Corps Team

The work undertaken by the participants will deliver significant benefits to the local community and the Mullum Mullum Cultural Heritage Trail, as well as providing valuable employment skills and training in modules from the Certificate II Conservation and Land Management.

It is fantastic to see so many organisations coming together to improve not only the amenity of our natural bush trails but also to provide new skills and opportunities for younger people that have experienced unemployment.