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Thursday, 27 May 2010
Page: 4471


Mr SYMON (9:33 AM) —Today I would like to inform the House of yet another great project that is being delivered by the Rudd government for the benefit of the citizens of Maroondah, one of two local government areas that are covered by my electorate of Deakin. The Ringwood Central Community Centre at Bedford Park is a collection of buildings of various shapes, sizes and ages, used by all types of community groups such as childcare groups and pensioners associations. Even the Air League uses the buildings. It has a varied mix of uses and a lot of people use it each week. Parts of the complex were very old and run down, some even unfit for use—in fact condemned. In 2007, in the election campaign, the ALP made a $200,000 commitment to upgrade the Ringwood Central Community Centre at Bedford Park and the shadow Treasurer at the time, Wayne Swan, made that announcement. So it was very fitting to have the Treasurer come back to the community centre last Thursday, 20 May to officially open the upgrading of the centre. Also in attendance was the Mayor of the City of Maroondah, Alex Makin, along with councillors and Pam Philpot, the coordinator of the community centre.

The former boxing gym has been upgraded and is now being put to another use. It was literally a dungeon with one set of doors, a very low ceiling and an uneven floor and it was so dim you could barely see your hand in front of your face. It has now been transformed; it is now a bright, airy room with brand new surfaces and a lower floor. It is well lit, with open access to the outside and it is able to be used by all sorts of community groups. Whereas once upon a time there was only one group that could use it—barely—now the whole centre has access to it. Along with that was an upgrade to the toilets so there is disabled access. There is air conditioning now so people do not freeze in winter. There is also a kitchenette and baby change facilities, which ties in very well with the childcare centre which is run in the same complex just across the hallway.

That was not all: there was also upstairs, where the main hall was repainted and the floor was sanded back and revarnished. Again, that is of great use to all those groups who use these important community facilities. Other uses for a centre like this are things like council immunisations, so there are quite often long queues of mothers with babies, with lots of noise, waiting to get their kids done. If that is a more comfortable experience for them then hopefully we will get more people through the doors and more programs like that. The boxing club that was formerly there will be relocated to the new multipurpose pavilion being built at Jubilee Park in Ringwood. Again, this is another Rudd government program. It is a fantastic result, not only for the citizens of Ringwood but also for the wider Maroondah community who use the centre every day.