Media Release: FloodSafe Week highlights the importance of preparation

The heavy rain falls and subsequent flooding which affected parts of Victoria earlier this year highlighted the importance of being prepared for the unexpected.

Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said the annual State Emergency Services FloodSafe Week, Monday 30 May to Friday 5 June, encouraged people to get involved and learn more about protecting themselves, their homes and their businesses during floods.

“Floods cause more damage in terms of dollars and lives lost, per year, than any other natural hazard in Australia,” Cr Makin said.

“The rain fall which hit Victoria in late 2010 and February 2011, and the flooding which occurred as a result, is a prime example of the importance of ensuring your property is able to cope should we be faced with this level of rain fall again,” Cr Makin said.

“Research that was conducted following the September 2010 floods in Victoria shows that 31 per cent of people living in the affected areas did not know their homes were prone to flooding and 35 per cent said they had not prepared for floods at all,” Cr Makin said.

“However a well prepared community can reduce flood damage by up to 80 per cent, which is why Council is supporting the SES FloodSafe Week and urging residents to take appropriate steps to ensure their property is in the best condition possible to prevent, or at least minimise, the impacts of flooding,” Cr Makin said.

“Council is also doing its bit to ensure that the Municipality’s storm water drainage network is able to cope if the storms continue to worsen,” Cr Makin said.

“In the event of a flood Council’s operations team will conduct initial investigations to determine whether there is a blockage or other issues associated with Council’s stormwater pipes which may have contributed to localised flooding,” Cr Makin said.

“If no issues are found the matter is referred to Council’s engineering and infrastructure team, for further investigation, which will include assessing the capacity of the system,” Cr Makin said.

“Since the recent floods, investigations into Council’s stormwater drainage system has increased and Council is currently reviewing whether or not it needs to change the way the stormwater drainage network is designed and managed,” Cr Makin said.

“Council has a responsibility to property owners to ensure that the Council owned and operated drainage system is clear and functioning so it can capture any stormwater,” Cr Makin said.

“In times of excessive rainfall Council also needs to ensure that designated overland flow paths can handle the excess stormwater and work effectively to prevent properties from being flooded,” Cr Makin said.

“Council’s underground stormwater drainage system has historically been designed to a capacity of a one in five year magnitude storm, which is consistent with the industry standard” Cr Makin said.

“In the event of a storm of greater magnitude, the excess water is generally handled by designated overland flow paths which are created along drainage gullys, creeks or other low land points, during the initial developments stage of housing estates,” Cr Makin said.

“Council’s engineers are currently putting together a program to undertake detailed catchment analysis and flood mapping of the municipality which will help to determine appropriate solutions to stormwater management and may lead to improvements to underground pipe systems and overland flow paths to capture stormwater more effectively,” Cr Makin said.

“Investigations of the stormwater network and the associated improvement works is focussed on areas of land which were severely impacted during the recent flooding, with areas with property inundation taking precedence,” Cr Makin said.

“Council in conjunction with the SES is developing a Maroondah City Council Flood Emergency Plan which will assist in the identification of flooding risks and indicate suitable measure which can be undertaken to reduce and manage the risk of flooding,” Cr Makin said.

“Council working alongside the community to maintain Council-owned infrastructure and residential properties is the best way to ensure we are prepared in the event of heavy rainfall, and hopefully minimise the impacts of major flooding in the future,” Cr Makin said.

The best way to prepare for floods is to:

  • Learn the risk for your home and/or business
  • Prepare an emergency kit
  • Put together a home or business emergency plan
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers near your telephone
  • Check your insurance policy
  • If a flood warning is issued, listen to your emergency broadcaster for advice and check your neighbours are aware of the situation
  • NEVER walk, ride or drive through floodwater. Driving through floodwater is the number one cause of death during floods
  • NEVER allow children to play in floodwater. This is the number one cause of death during floods for children and teenagers

Throughout FloodSafe Week, SES volunteers will be running events in and around Maroondah. For more information or to learn about preparing a home emergency plan or home emergency kit, visit

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Media Release: Funding assisting for flood victims

Maroondah residents damaged in the January and February floods may be eligible for financial support as part of the 2011 Victorian Floods Disaster Relief Fund.

Councillor Alex Makin said the funding was established to assist residents to repair flood-damaged homes and replace household goods.

“The Damage to House and Contents Gift is open to a range of households including owner occupied, tenants, boarders and sole residential asset owners,” Cr Makin said.

“The gift is structured in two stages. Stage one is an initial payment of $1000 to assist with immediate costs facing households with significant damage to their flood-affected houses,” Cr Makin said.

“Stage two is a further payment to assist with the replacement of household contents and towards the repair and restoration of homes which have been more severely damaged. The amount residents will receive for this payment will depend on the number of eligible applicants and the amount available in the fund,” Cr Makin said.

“A single application form is used to determine who is eligible for the payments, as some applicants may only be eligible for one of the payments, depending on their circumstances,” Cr Makin said.

“As well as completing the application form residents will need to provide supporting documentation regarding the extent of damage to their house and contents and sign a statutory declaration,” Cr Makin said.

All applications must be submitted before 1 July 2011.

To determine if you are eligible for funding assistance contact the Floods Disaster Relief Fund on 1800 180 213, email or visit to download the application form and fact sheets.

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Media Release: Change your clock, change your smoke alarm battery

Maroondah City Council would like to remind residents that daylight saving time will end on Sunday 3 April.

Councillor Alex Makin said the end of daylight saving time meant two things – an extra hour of sleep, and remembering to make sure your smoke alarm battery is working properly.

“Checking the health of smoke alarm batteries at the beginning and end of daylight saving has become a bi-annual tradition,” Cr Makin said.

“Even if the alarm is hardwired into the electricity supply, residents still need to check the back-up battery. Quite often when a fire takes hold, the power goes off,” Cr Makin said.

“You should also check smoke detectors are in the right position, usually on the hallway ceiling near bedrooms. This will give them the best opportunity to do their job by detecting smoke before it reaches those who are asleep,” Cr Makin said.

“For only a few dollars, keeping smoke alarms in good working order is the cheapest insurance for families and property,” Cr Makin said.

The end of daylight saving means clocks should be wound back one hour before 2am.

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North Ringwood Community House Annual General Meeting for 2011

North Ringwood Community House is located at 120 Oban Road in Ringwood North and is the only community house in Maroondah that provides accredited training through courses offering Certificate III and Certificate IV accreditation.

North Ringwood Community House is the only community house not located on Council land, hampering the ability to seek grants for extensions and new developments.

Today’s Annual General Meeting provided an update on the relocation of North Ringwood Community House, with Council adopting in December last year to fund a masterplan for Quambee Reserve through the 2011/2012 Council Budget. This masterplan will include extensive consultation with North Ringwood Community House, Quambee Reserve and residents to ensure the best range of facilities for the community.

The guest speaker was Russ Haines the President of the Ringwood Historical Society who discussed the progress of the group’s history of Ringwood North.

I offered to return to the Committee of Management for North Ringwood Community House to assist the House in its activities over the course of this year.

North Ringwood Community House continues to experience strong growth in its courses reinforcing the need for a new home for this community facility.

Media Release: Get to know your Mullum Ward Councillors

People living in Mullum Ward will have an opportunity to mingle with their local councillors during the first Maroondah Picnic in the Park event for 2011.

The event provides an opportunity to have a chat with your friendly Mullum Ward Councillors Ann Fraser, Nora Lamont and Alex Makin at Maroondah Federation Estate on Saturday 26 February.

“The Picnic in the Park is a fantastic concept which allows us, as ward councillors, to meet members of the community face-to-face and discuss all sorts of things,” Cr Fraser said.

“People can come along and have a chat about whatever is on their minds. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with Council matters,” Cr Fraser said.

“We encourage all Mullum residents to come along to the event and share with us their views on the area, and what they love about living in Maroondah,” Cr Makin said.

“An event like this is a perfect opportunity to speak face to face with a councillor and have your questions answered and your concerns addressed,” Cr Makin said.

“These picnics are a good chance for everyone to get to know each other on a different level, and find out more about the services offered by Council,” Cr Lamont said.

“The event coincides with the 10th anniversary celebrations of Maroondah Federation Estate, so residents will also be able to join in the festivities which include demonstrations from community groups, artists talks and fun activities for the kids,” Cr Lamont said.

Mullum Ward is located on the western side of Maroondah and includes most of Ringwood and Ringwood North, half of Ringwood East, and a small part of Croydon and Heathmont.

Head along to Maroondah Federation Estate on Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood, between 12noon and 4pm on Saturday 26 February to be part of the Picnic in the Park event.

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Maroondah Leader: Half-hearted trips

While there was a definite need for the Department of Transport to undertaken a review of bus services across metropolitan Melbourne, some of the resulting changes have not provided better services.

The Maroondah Leader has reported on changes to bus route 364, which was altered to terminate at Warrandyte Bridge instead of Doncaster Shoppingtown.

Cr Alex Makin said Warranwood and Ringwood North residents were worse
off and that he would raise the issue at the next Eastern Transport
Coalition meeting.

This means that there is no longer a seamless service for Ringwood North or Warranwood residents to get to destinations like Doncaster Shoppingtown making public transport less efficient and more difficult to use.

The review undertaken for bus services need to provide service improvements, specifically more frequent services that connect destinations. Overall implementation of the review has been poor and the new State Government needs to ensure that resources are allocated to provide improvements to bus services.

Media Release: New tobacco laws introduced

Maroondah City Council is reminding residents of new tobacco laws which came into effect on 1 January 2011.

Councillor Alex Makin said only State approved registered tobacconists can display tobacco products or packaging in their store. All other retailers must store tobacco products out of view.

“While outlets are still able to sell tobacco, the new regulations mean that no tobacco products can be visible from anywhere inside or outside the outlet,” Cr Makin said.

“Prior to the law changes tobacco was one of the most visible and widely accessible products on the market, which gives the impression that smoking is more popular than it actually is,” Cr Makin said.

“Reducing the visibility of the product will further protect young people from exposure to tobacco marketing and promotion, and hopefully lead to fewer people adopting the habit,” Cr Makin said.

“It is also hoped that removing the products from display will make it easier for those wanting to quit smoking,” Cr Makin said.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of illness and death in Victoria, claiming around 4000 lives, causing 80 per cent of lung cancer cases and costing Victorians around $5 billion every year.

Retailers are permitted to display an A4 sized prescribed sign which indicates that tobacco products are available, and one prescribed price board.

To become a certified specialist tobacconist, 80 per cent of the retailer’s gross turnover must be made from the sale of tobacco products.

This is not the first change the State Government has made to the tobacco-related laws. Since 1 January 2010 key changes in Victoria have included:

  • Banning smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 years;
  • Banning the sale of tobacco at temporary outlets and providing State Government powers to ban youth-orientated tobacco products and packaging; and
  • Implementing improved services to assist people to quit smoking, with an emphasis on supporting pregnant women and groups with high smoking rates.

Those wanting more information on the changes should contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775, email or visit

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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.

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.

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Media Release: Funding pledge for North Ringwood Community House

Following an extensive study of options, Maroondah City Council has agreed to set aside space at Quambee Reserve as the future location for the North Ringwood Community House, subject to further consultation.

Council will provide $20,000 in the 2011/12 Budget towards the development of a master plan to further investigate a proposed relocation of the House to Quambee Reserve.

Maroondah Mayor Councillor Alex Makin said the community house has outgrown the current premises at the rear of Holy Spirit Parish in Oban Road.

“Council and the Department of Planning and Community Development funded a Relocation Feasibility Study which found that the current premises were aged, undersized, poorly situated, had no disability access and had traffic and parking issues,” Cr Makin said.

“Council investigated several sites in the North Ringwood areas, identifying Quambee Reserve as the most appropriate venue for the House to relocate,” Cr Makin said.

“Council will provide $20,000 in the 2011/12 Budget for the development of a master plan which will include consultation with Community House staff, user groups and local residents as well as traffic and parking assessments, a design scope of the facility requirements and further design works,” Cr Makin said.

“North Ringwood Community House is an important community hub which provides a range of activities for various groups and individuals within the Maroondah community. Council will continue to work with the House’s Committee of Management to ensure that it can continue to meet the changing needs of our community,” Cr Makin said.

North Ringwood Community House Manager Sue McDermott said all those involved with the House were absolutely thrilled with Council’s decision.

“This decision will ensure we will have a future after a long period of uncertainty. I thank the Mayor and Councillors for their support throughout this process,” she said.

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