Wednesday 7 November

As your Mayor and a previous Portfolio Holder at Council for Open Space as well as a community activist over decades, many people know of my passion for improving open spaces with trees, landscaping and facilities. I still get people asking me about our Greening the Pipeline project. I reckon this is because it’s a creative way to turn a previous Main Outfall Sewer reserve all  along the Federation Trail bike path in the West into parkland to service our growing population. You can find out more by going to http://greeningthepipeline.com.au/  

It’s worth noting too that we recently saw the planting of the 1 milllionth tree for the Greening The West partnership between all Councils in the West, City West Water and the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority. The partnership has also seen planting occur at the Western Water Waste Treatment Plant as well as rural lands within the Werribee and Maribyrnong River Catchments. This planting completes Stage 1 of one of Australia’s largest urban greening projects. I am glad to see the State Government commit to funding Stage 2 of Greening the West. You can find our more by going to their Facebook page or http://greeningthewest.org.au/

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 3 October

Our early childhood years have a huge impact on our lifelong wellbeing. On average, 91 babies are born in Wyndham each week – and it’s our collective duty to help them thrive. So next year in Wyndham Vale, we’ll be opening a new community centre featuring kindergarten rooms and much-needed health and support services for children and families. The centre will also offer community meeting rooms and informal spaces so the local neighbourhood can connect. Construction is well underway, and this week I showed around Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas MP, sharing with him what will make this place special. Along with kindergarten facilities, the centre will also include maternal child health services, as well as consulting rooms for early childhood specialists and family support. Having these under the one roof means local parents will have better access to these services at a critical time in their children’s development. The centre will also feature spaces for events and services for the local Aboriginal community. It’s our hope that this will foster cultural exchange to bring our community even closer. Many thanks to the Victorian Government, who helped make this happen as part of $8 million towards early childhood projects being funded across Wyndham.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 12 September

As we move into Spring, Wyndham City’s free Healthy & Active Expo from 22 September to 14 October is a great way to get out and about, enjoying our city’s parks, sporting facilities and clubs. This year’s program includes more than 80 free ‘come and try’ sessions from local providers, with the opportunity to try something new and improve your health, fitness and wellbeing. There are classes for all ages, interests and abilities. These classes range from low impact activities like lawn bowls, pilates and yoga to high energy sessions including Zumba, bootcamp and even martial arts. There are loads of activities for kids and the Expo is also a great way for adults to reconnect with those team sports you might have enjoyed growing up, with indoor and outdoor social sports including netball, basketball, cricket and soccer. There will also be free family open days at AquaPulse and Eagle Stadium, where you can see all of the equipment, activities and services on offer at these great sporting facilities. Participants who attend the AquaPulse and Eagle Stadium sessions will also go into the draw to win a $500 sports gear voucher.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 5 September

Our free Pet & Animal Expo returns on Sunday 16 September. Held at the Wyndham Civic Centre, this free annual event is a must for animal-lovers. With a huge program of shows, demonstrations and free activities, your furry friends are welcome, so long as they are well-behaved, supervised and kept on a lead. The Expo provides an opportunity for pet owners to pick up tips on caring for pets, check out local pet services and chat to Council’s animal management team, with microchipping also available from The Lost Dogs Home. This year’s event will also celebrate our unique native wildlife, with The Rookeepers Wildlife Show and presentations from the Leigh Valley Hawk & Owl Sanctuary. There’ll be entertainment for the kids, with a live show from The Mik Maks, Farmer Darryl’s Animal Farm, face painting and pet rock making. The Dog Arena is a must see with agility and obedience demonstrations, a working dog show and the Flipping Disc Dogz. In the Cat Hub you’ll be able to admire a range of exotic breeds. There will also be food trucks, dog-wash and grooming services and even a free photo booth for you and your pet! For full program details, visit wyndham.vic.gov.au/petexpo

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 22 August

Council’s Environment and Sustainability Portfolio Councillor Heather Marcus represented Council at Keep Victoria Beautiful’s statewide Sustainable Cities Awards recently. Past award winners include Councils, schools, charities, sporting clubs as well as individuals who make their local environments more beautiful and sustainable. It was great to see our neighbours Melton receive not only the Sustainable Council Award but also the overall Sustainable City Award. This year three of Wyndham’s programs were finalists. The Resource Recovery & Waste Management category included two of our programs – Wyndham’s Reverse Vending Machine initiative and the Wyndham Recycle Right campaign. We also received a highly commended mention as a finalist in the Environmental Sustainability category for our Wyndham Solar City program. This solar program is one of the largest rollouts of commercial-scale rooftop solar on Council buildings across Australia. As a self-confessed waste-tragic, it’s great to see Wyndham hitting above our weight while also providing high quality waste, recycling and environmental programs for our community. A lot of our hard work is done by Council staff and I’d like to acknowledge their work publicly. Wyndham has some environmental jewels and I know many people appreciate the roles Council plays to protect them.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 15 August

Are you passionate about how better access to and use of data can improve services or community awareness? Next month computer coders, data analysts, researchers, designers, communicators and other passionate community members will come together here for one of the world’s biggest hackathons, GovHack. This government-led open data competition runs simultaneously across Australia and New Zealand and helps people come up with new ideas, applications and projects using publicly available data. Last year Wyndham City hosted GovHack for the first time, with more than 100 participants. This year’s free event will be held on the weekend of 7–9 September and we can’t wait to see what participants come up with. Teams will work together to develop a project or concept, using the data, with national competition prizes up for grabs. Events like GovHack provide an exciting opportunity to foster collaboration and innovation when it comes to tackling some of the challenges and opportunities in growth areas like ours. Wyndham City is also proud to be part of the new #StartWest initiative providing local residents and entrepreneurs with the chance to participate in the startup economy, with mentoring, meetups, and masterclasses. For more information about GovHack visit our website wyndham.vic.gov.au/govhack

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 8 August

Council recently placed two draft policies ‘on the table’ for feedback with both likely to impact on how residents live and play in Wyndham. Our Neighbourhood Character Strategy 2018 will be forwarded to the Minister for Planning to place on public exhibition inviting further community feedback before Council makes any final decisions about the Strategy. The Strategy identifies the areas where different rates of change (substantial, incremental and limited) should be encouraged and the different neighbourhood character types throughout Wyndham. We’ve also modified some areas to concentrate Substantial Change areas only to a few areas based on their capacity to accommodate higher densities. In most instances their current zoning facilitates this growth capacity. If you’d like to see more detail you can download our meeting agenda papers on our website. Council is also releasing an Issues and Opportunities Paper for a Coastal Management Plan. We are seeking feedback via our online engagement tool - The Loop - for a month on the future planning and development of our coastal areas. Issues include walking and cycling trails, litter and safety, environmental management and community stewardship are covered. If you want to provide feedback, go to https://theloop.wyndham.vic.gov.au/

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 1 August

As a kid I used to love going with my family to car displays across Wyndham. So, if you’re like me and you’re driving past the car park on the corner of Cherry and Kelly Streets in Werribee on the last Sunday of each month between now and the end of November you might also notice lots of people and older cars and bikes there. This is because the Werribee and Districts Collectable Vehicle Club are holding their Monthly Sunday Morning Car and Bike Display there (weather permitting). This free family event also includes a Sausage Sizzle and there will be a Coffee Van onsite to purchase food to sustain you while walking around looking at vehicles on display. Entrants with vehicles of 25 years and older are not required to remain for whole time and can enjoy our event them cruise off to something else. Car Clubs are also invited to attend and display your Club's vehicles, in a central location. No trophies, just people from all walks of life displaying their pride and joy in what continues to be a very Australian tradition. For more information or to register your vehicle, call John on 0407546235 or email info@marksbros.com.au

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 25 July

As Mayor I rarely shop at businesses outside of Wyndham. I want to encourage you to think of someone you know who has a local business. Do you think they’d like to promote their business by becoming an exhibitor at a Wyndham City event? Because we’re one of the fastest growing areas in the state, Wyndham is also home to some of the most vibrant events in the West. Over 35,000 people attend our five major events which are part of a diverse events calendar. Council’s City Events team certainly dedicate themselves to producing unique and engaging events that appeal to the whole community. We therefore welcome all expressions of interest from groups and businesses who wish to get involved with these events. We are currently seeking applications for exhibitors and food vendors for our upcoming Children’s Week Picnic and State Rose & Garden Showevents. We will also soon be seeking applications for Australia Day 2019 and Fromage a Trois Cheese Festival 2019. To see our full list of opportunities and for more information or to apply - go to www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/events-experiences/wyndham-citys-major-events/exhibitor-food-vendor-applications. You can also contact our City Events team on 9742 0902 or events@wyndham.vic.gov.au

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 18 July

I was pleased to see recent media reports of both the Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Cities talking up their funding for public transport projects that link new employment and residential hubs away from Australia’s capital cities. Council continues to talk up our own public transport needs as well as the strategic location of East Werribee and Wyndham as a future satellite city. Many local residents I speak to acknowledge Council’s job to advocate for local needs is not an easy one. I share local frustrations about funding and infrastructure shortfalls, and yet I appreciate that many locals understand this can’t be fixed overnight. People know we are forced to compete with other growing communities across Australia. All of this means Council’s advocacy has to be more than just whingeing. I think we’re turning a critical corner with evidence that Council’s visions for more positive economic and social roles we can play in Melbourne’s future are striking a chord with other governments. A large part of our future advocacy work will be to increasingly involve local residents and organisations as genuine partners in more positive evidence-based campaigns we run. I’m excited about the opportunities to work together to address local needs.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 11 July

Council recently voted for me to write to the Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs advocating that they reverse funding cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service that affect the basic living allowance, casework support and access to torture and trauma counselling for approved asylum seekers. I intend to highlight the impacts on Wyndham residents and re-assert our support for a fair go for people who need a hand up while they get on their feet. We will join an alliance of 100 community organisations and other Councils who’ve all rallied around this issue. With 300 locals from asylum seeker backgrounds living here, Council’s fear is that the impacts on families and friends will be harsh. Anything that erodes our local diversity and humanity cannot be ignored, as turning a blind eye makes our community less safe and connected. While we spend most of our lot of time delivering much needed infrastructure and services, Council also has an obligation to advocate for local residents in need because it’s what leaders do and it’s a core Local Government Act responsibility. This is an important issue and so I’m pleased to lend Council’s voice to  stop funding cuts for people in need.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 4 July

What an eye opener it was to attend the official launch of the Wyndham Tech School last week. The $10 million facility located at Victoria University’s Werribee Campus will provide opportunity for students from Wyndham’s secondary colleges to immerse themselves in a high-tech facility that offers project work utilising 3D printers, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality and much more. As we transition to a knowledge economy it is forecast that 75% of future jobs will require a high level of proficiency in STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Tech School will enhance programs that schools provide to help students prepare for future jobs. A critical element of the Tech School offer will be engaging with industry with the aim of students working on real projects as well as providing opportunities for our local small and medium businesses to access technical equipment they could not otherwise afford to purchase. With this in mind I encourage Wyndham’s proud and passionate business community to familiarise themselves with what the 21st century Tech School has to offer as well as encouraging all students and parents to embrace this state of the art facility as it enriches STEM learning across Wyndham.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 27 June

Last week I was joined in Canberra by fellow Councillors Henry Barlow and Mia Shaw to attend the national meeting of all Australian Councils. This year’s gathering was very important given it will be the last time Councils can join together to decide what advocacy we will be taking to the imminent Federal Election. Councillors and staff also had a number of very high level meetings with MP’s and Ministers from both sides of politics to advocate for Wyndham’s needs. We successfully had motions passed by all Australian Councils to support permanent commitments from the Federal Government to fund their share of 15 hours of kindergarten; recognition of growth cities like Wyndham and the need for funding and programs to recognise the unique role we play; advocating for a national response to road and rail freight problems and opportunities. We also supported other motions that impact on the quality of life of local communities – particularly those of us living in Australia’s interface communities. We also met with the Minister for Environment, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and many others while in Canberra as part of a very busy meeting schedule. If you want to know more, go to www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/advocacy

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 11 June

Last week I joined a number of Mayors and senior staff of 10 Interface Councils from Melbourne’s outer suburbs for Interface Week at Parliament. We attended meetings with Ministers and MPs from all parties, pointing out that just 10 Councils have accommodated 49% of Melbourne’s growth over the past four years, generating around 18% of all property taxes that have gone to State coffers. The focus for the week was also on pointing out unrealised economic, social and environmental opportunities present in our communities. I like to think our willingness to suggest solutions kept the week’s focus on how investing in our communities now means future State Governments can avoid much of the estimated $40 billion costs of congestion in our areas. It’s a hard slog asking for more money, so it was also a good opportunity for us to launch a refresh of important evidence in the form our landmark report - One Melbourne or Two? You can find out more about this evidence and some of the advocacy we’re undertaking to speak up not only for Wyndham residents but all of the 1.6 million residents living in Melbourne's outer suburbs by visiting www.interfacecouncils.com.au

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 4 June

The State Government has allocated $30 million in their recent Budget for a ‘Pick My Project’ - a Victorian first community grants initiative where you can come up with a local project idea, vote for your favourites, and make Wyndham an even better place to live. I welcome communities having more say in State Government projects and I’d love to see any future funding rounds focus on collaborations between them, Council and local residents. Projects that are included in Council’s 2018/19 Budget are not eligible. Collaboration with community groups, schools and other partners is strongly encouraged, and applicants can be any resident in Victoria. Projects must be not-for-profit and cost between $20-$200,000 (including GST). They must be open or available to the wider community so if they’re behind locked gates they’re not eligible. Projects must be completed within 12 months from signing a funding agreement and receiving any necessary approvals and permissions. Examples of eligible projects include cultural events and festivals; playground upgrades; skillshare programs; walking and cycling trails; neighbourhood and community markets and gardens, as well as public art. Applications close on June 24, so go to www.pickmyproject.vic.gov.au for information, to apply or to vote for your favourites.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 30 May

If you’ve read this column before, you’d know I am a big fan of the incredible work local volunteers do. I often mention their achievements, during Council meetings and at public events. Their contributions help make our community a more vibrant, inclusive and welcoming place for all. Volunteers do what they do not for themselves but for the benefit of people in our community. I’ve been posting and tweeting to promote our 2018 Wyndham Community Volunteer Awards because their efforts often go unheralded. So this is our way of saying thanks to them on behalf of the community. Awards will be presented to winners of seven different categories. The honour of Citizen of the Year will be awarded to one of the individual category winners who has made a particularly outstanding contribution over the last year. Now I’m asking for your help before nominations close on Sunday 24 June to help us identify these people. If you need help with the nomination contact us at volunteers@wyndham.vic.gov.au or call 9742 8182. Translating and Interpreting Services are also available by calling 131 450 and asking to be connected to Wyndham City on 9742 0777. Please visit www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/cvawards for more information including nomination forms.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 23 May

Advanced European countries are light years ahead of Victoria. They’re recovering materials and generating energy from their waste. Without proper policy settings and investments here, I fear many will continue to think landfills are cheap and sustainable long term options. These attitudes need to shift. We’ve seen some amazing things on our waste education tour. There are lots of options available. The best one for Wyndham will depend on our objectives, regulations, how much it will cost and how much customers are prepared to pay.

There are real alternatives out there, so it’s been invaluable to see them in action on our tour.  Europe’s high population density and demand for electricity and heating has changed waste management there, and our mindset needs to change here too. We need to find our own reasons to stop burying our waste and losing the untapped resources within it. I’m optimistic that together with our community, Wyndham can lead but others must follow if we’re going to get real solutions across Victoria. Stay tuned for more community reports about the local implications of our trip and you can find out more about it here - https://www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/wyndhamwastedisposaleducationtour

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 16 May

The waste and recycling tour I mentioned last week continues. Our recent tour of the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility was inspiring. Their emissions are mainly water and the rest of the gases and ash from incineration are captured and treated. Even the bottom ash from the incinerator is used for road building. I was also given a tour by a Councillor of the North Yorkshire County Council of the Allerton Waste Recovery Park - one of the UK’s newest and most advanced waste treatment facilities. 

It combines a range of technologies to reduce household waste to landfill by 90% and generates enough energy to power 40,000 homes. Unlike the other sites visited so far, the Ecoparque de Toledo in Spain does not send residual waste to thermal treatment. It is placed in the adjacent landfill after recovery of materials, reducing waste to landfill by 60%. The landfill produces 4MW of electricity. In a pilot process they’re undertaking, 3,000 tonnes of film plastic is being used to create an alternative fuel. This trip is uncovering some of the honest truths about alternatives for waste and landfills. I’m confident residents will benefit from the information we’re gathering.

Wednesday 2 May

Over the last year Council has been working on even more ways residents and businesses can interact with us. As we continue to improve our online customer experience, we also know that providing the choice and convenience of local, face-to-face customer service is important. This is why we’ve invested in major upgrades to the Manor Lakes, Point Cook and Tarneit Community Learning Centres to enable payments, applications, permits and other regular services to be done close to where people live. I’m also excited that Manor Lakes works are nearing completion, with a new youth space, upgrades to common areas and changes to office areas. You’ll now be able meet with experts in town planning and the building approvals process or make an appointment with the Economic Development team to help grow your business, with an initial trial time of Tuesdays from 8am–12pm. To celebrate the completion of construction works, Council will be hosting Celebrate @ Manor Lakes,– a free youth festival and family open night on Friday 11 May between 3pm and 8pm. So come down after school or after work to enjoy the free entertainment, grab some dinner and enjoy a relaxed Friday night in your local neighbourhood.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 25 April

Pick up this week's edition of Wyndham Star Weekly to read my Mayoral Column: Works on some of our busiest roads across Wyndham will be beginning in the coming weeks. Dubbed the Western Roads Upgrade, we’ve been in discussions with VicRoads and Netflow – the consortium completing the construction – to gain a better understanding of the disruption the works may cause. VicRoads has been working with Council officers to ensure our residents and local businesses are kept up to date on what is happening. While these upgrades aren’t Council projects, we’ll be working closely with VicRoads to ensure the works are completed in a smooth process, minimising disruption as best we can. The Western Roads Upgrade is a $1.8 billion program of road upgrades and maintenance across the outer west – which will no doubt result in less congested, safer roads for our community. To keep up to date on the project, search “western roads upgrade” at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.While we’re on the topic of roads, I’d like to encourage you all to check out our Proposed Budget and Integrated Plan for the 2018/19 financial year. As Wyndham City’s Growth and Transport Portfolio Holder, I’m very happy that up to $37 million has been allocated to local roads. For more information on our budget, head to www.theloop.wyndham.vic.gov.au It’s also worth following the Wyndham City Living page on Facebook to keep up to date on all these projects. Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 18 April

An amazing volunteer group in our own back yard and in my Iramoo Ward is the B24 Liberator Restoration Australia. The only remaining Liberator in the Southern Hemisphere, the Liberator is a long-range heavy bomber active in the South West Pacific area during World War. It’s also one of only eight remaining in the world. This group is restoring the Liberator in one of the impressive World War II hangars at the old Werribee airfield.

A new show coming to the Wyndham Cultural Centre on Friday 27 April is supported by B24 Liberator Australia and Regional Arts Victoria. Flak, as featured in last week’s Star Weekly, stars one of my favourite comedians and actors Michael Veitch of D-Generation and Fast Forward fame. Michael has written and will perform stories from bomber pilots, fighter aces, rear gunners and others about death and fear, and tales of humour and comradeship. Tickets are certain to be snapped up quickly. Council’s Arts and Heritage Portfolio Holder Councillor Tony Hooper tells me Michael has unearthed extraordinary stories of ordinary men living and fighting in extraordinary times. Suitable for all ages, you can book online at www.wyncc.com.au/ or in person at the Wyndham Cultural Centre or call 8734 6000.

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 11 April

In a few weeks’ time I will be doing a 5.5km fun run at Werribee Mansion and Werribee Park and I wanted to promote the event and invite you to join me. The MyPhysio Werribee Mansion Run starts and finishes on the lawns of the our iconic Werribee Mansion and it is accessible to all levels of fitness and ages with a two lap half marathon and 10km runs for the experiences runner, 5.5km Run/walk event for the less experienced. There is also a 1.2km kids dash. It’s hard to think of a more spectacular backdrop to the run. Even better is that the event will support the Leukemia foundation and the great work they do to support people with Leukemia and families. I’ve known a number of family friends who have had Leukemia, and while some have been cured many others have lived with the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, constant infections and serious pain. The practical services provided by the foundation are really valued and need wider community support. So, if you’re interested in joining me and others on Sunday April 22, you can register and even make an additional donation through the registration process at www.pbevents.com.au/event-calendar/werribee-mansion-run/

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 28 March

Last week Wyndham City CEO, Kelly Grigsby and I met with Victorian Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy, in Tarneit. Matthew visited the Tarneit Community Learning Centre to get a better understanding of the issues we are dealing with in Wyndham. I feel like I’ve been saying it ad nauseam lately, but as one of Australia’s fastest growing municipalities, which has officially outgrown Greater Geelong and will eventually surpass Canberra, we cannot afford to sit idly by and wait for someone else to take action.
We are in desperate need of more education infrastructure, with 25 kindergartens, 20 primary schools and six high schools needed in Wyndham by 2036, just to keep up with our population boom. If we were to build five new schools tomorrow, they would be full by the end of the day. This was something I made perfectly clear to Matthew in our meeting and I’m glad he took the opportunity to listen to us. We need a commitment from whoever wins the next election that we will receive ongoing funding in this area.
It’s no secret that we also need an incredible amount of investment in new and existing roads in Wyndham. The State Government’s $1.8 billion project to build and maintain roads mainly in Wyndham is very welcome, but it really only scratches the surface of what we need. 
Until the politicians get sick of me and start blocking my calls, we’ll continue to meet with people from both side of the aisle to speak up for our community and advocate for real results.
Regards, Cr Peter Maynard. 

Wednesday 21 March

There has never been a better time to get out and work on improving your fitness in Wyndham.

The Cancer Council’s Wyndham Relay for Life is on this weekend, which will see hundreds of local residents lace up their runners for a good cause. I’ll be participating this year and I’m sure together we will all raise lots of money for cancer research, prevention and support services.

Aside from that, Premier’s Active April is also just around the corner. The free and fun initiative encourages people to commit to 30 minutes of physical activity every day for the month of April. You can check out their website at www. activeapril.vic.gov.au and even download an app that will allow you to compete with your friends and see what local events and activities are happening.

The newly redeveloped Chirnside Park Hub is also set to open very soon. This extremely impressive facility will not only be home to the Werribee Football Club and the Werribee Cricket Club and support grassroots sport, it will also be able to host finals and major sporting events, while the North Melbourne Football Club’s community engagement project, The Huddle, will also be run out of it. Community groups will even have the opportunity to hire spaces within the new pavilion. I encourage all of you to head down check it out and maybe do a couple of laps of the oval. With so many opportunities to dust off the cobwebs over the next month, I hope to see some of you out and about, getting fit and healthy in our great City.

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 14 March

Last week Council launched The Loop – our online community engagement platform. The Loop is where Council and the community come together to discuss important topics, share, communicate, and contribute to the future of Wyndham. You can click through all available topics for more information and to start shaping Wyndham's future. The Loop is more than just an online feedback form. It’s a two-way, open conversation that provides a range of tools to engage and consult (from surveys to interactive mapping tools and face-to-face consultations). It also provides a great platform for reporting results and keeping everyone informed from the start to the finish of projects.  

As well as finding out more about our I Love Kinder Campaign where we are creatively campaigning for the Federal Government ongoing commitment to 15 hours of kindergarten for pre-schoolers, there’s already lots of other projects to engage with. We’re seeking your feedback about a Coastal Management Plan to explore a broad range of environmental, recreation, economic and development issues relating to our coast.We’re also wanting your feedback on our Gambling Harm Minimisation Policy and our Wyndham Family Friendly Charter. So head to The Loop to help shape Wyndham’s future at https://theloop.wyndham.vic.gov.au/

Wednesday 7 March

Hot on the heels of attending the Manor Lakes, Wyndham Rotary Fun Run/Walk alongside fellow Councillors Mia Shaw, Josh Gilligan and Henry Barlow, I want to promote the upcoming Premier’s Active April to help Victorians join in the fun of increased physical activity. All you have to do to is 30 minutes of physical activity (in one or a number of short bursts) throughout each day. You can log your daily activity using a mobile or web app to chart your progress. You can also create and join teams, track the progress of team members, discover events, offers and facilities that are available across Victoria. If you are motivated by incentives to participate, there are amazing free passes and free lessons as well as 2-for-1 offers to leisure and tourism spots across Victoria, if you track your activity throughout the month. Go to www.activeapril.vic.gov.au to register.

One local activity I’ve participated in and mentioned in this column before is part of the month again - the Wyndham Vale Park Run every Saturday morning in Presidents Park. I hope to see you out and about either at this event or just walking around Wyndham during the month.

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 28 February

I’ve had lots of feedback about my column last week, including support for keeping the pressure up on other governments to fund much-needed infrastructure. I’ve also been reminded that strengthening community life locally is not just up to governments. It’s also something thousands of local volunteers do, often unheralded. Being a Councillor and Mayor exposes you to important volunteering projects that go on behind the scenes to improve the social, economic and recreational lives of so many. It’s not a surprise then that the level of volunteering is often used to measure the overall health of a community.

I’d like to take this opportunity to plug something that might interest you if you’d like to volunteer or you know of groups that need volunteers. The Wyndham Volunteer Expo will be held at the Tarneit Community Learning Centre on Thursday 8 March between 12pm-7pm. Run by Volunteer West, the expo is calling for stallholders and participants. If you’re interested you can contact them at events@volunteerwest.org.au. Being at the centre of advocating to and with governments, it’s good to be reminded of the fact that we also have a critical partnership with the community, and the thousands of volunteers who contribute.

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 21 February

You may have heard recently that Wyndham’s population has overtaken Greater Geelong’s, surpassing 250,000 for the first time ever. This may be a major milestone, but it is an equally major challenge. As most Wyndham residents know, many of our roads are congested and our public transport is far from adequate. But we also need many more schools and kindergartens to keep up with the growth we’re experiencing. We’ve called on the State Government to fund the early planning and land acquisition for seven new primary schools, one specialist school and two secondary schools. We’ve also called for the construction of a senior secondary college, two primary schools and five early years or family learning centres.

We can’t tackle our growing pains alone, which is why we need to cooperate with Geelong and plan alongside them so we can grow better together and attract investment that’s good for us both. That’s why we you may have seen me advocating for Wyndham, Avalon and Geelong to be recognised as a region in its own right. We want to drive State and Federal Government investment in this area and we need to show them that they cannot afford to waste time on this issue. Over the coming weeks and months I’ll be meeting with any and every politician that will listen to me in order to sell the potential of our great City and let them know why they should be looking towards us for the future.

Wednesday 14 February

This week we witnessed a special moment in Wyndham’s history as the Queen’s Baton Relay passed through our municipality on its way to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

On 13 March 2017, Queen Elizabeth II herself sent the baton off on a 388-day journey through all nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

I, along with hundreds of other local residents, was extremely pleased to be in the Werribee City Centre to see the baton arrive at Chirnside Park for a special community celebration.

It was great to see so many people of all different ages and from all different backgrounds come together to take part in this unique occasion.

Events like this and the Pop Up Park in Station Place have brought out thousands of people to the heart of our great City. They are excellent reminders of everything that Wyndham has to offer and of the things that unite us all.

Now the baton will continue on its way to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April, but we will always remember the day it spent in Wyndham.

Wednesday 7 February

Several Councillors and senior staff joined me at the announcement that our nearby Avalon Airport is set to become Victoria’s second international airport with regular services by Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur by the end of 2018. This announcement gives us strong reasons for optimism. As well as unlocking the greater Geelong and Great Ocean Road areas, it should not be forgotten that one of the most popular day trips for overseas tourists sees thousands literally come off the plane or from their hotels to the Werribee Tourism precinct, including the Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee Mansion and other nearby tourist attractions. As Wyndham plans to become a smart city with a more diverse range of future jobs, the fact Avalon will improve our links to the world is also something to be very excited about. Councillors and staff are working hard to position Wyndham alongside Avalon to be part of future rail, freight and other improvements for our corridor so you can definitely watch this space over the coming year. You can be confident that we will be working hard to make sure the benefits are realised for locals as well as for the Victorian and Australian economies.

Wednesday 31 January

I spent Australia Day with thousands of locals who either joined me for our Citizenship Ceremony or to enjoy celebrations in the Werribee City Centre in Watton Street. It was also good to acknowledge the importance of the location near the Werribee River, which for over 60,000 years has been a significant place for the diversity of Aboriginal people to build communities and connect with each other in different languages. It was good to hear people’s impressions of coming together to acknowledge and celebrate our diversity and the contribution that everyone makes to our community. You may have heard me say before that our harmony and strength is in large part due to our diversity and multiculturalism. These were definitely the most common sentiments I heard from locals on the day. Entertainment included a personal favourite of mine which is the music of one of Australia’s most successful rock bands, INXS as performed by INXSIVE. Don’t miss the great entertainment seen by thousands of locals attending our Pop Up Park in Station Place in Watton Street.

The park will run every day until end of February, with special events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

You can find out more by visiting www.wyndham.vic.gov.au

Regards, Peter Maynard

Wednesday 24 January

Over the past two years, Wyndham City has been fortunate to work with a group of committed and dedicated residents who put up their hands to become members of Wyndham’s first District Advisory Committees. These District Advisory Committees were formed to enable community members to continue to drive future implementation of the Wyndham 2040 Community Vision and to oversee the progress of District Plans in their local areas. They also bring community members together to explore not only what’s important to residents in their districts but also to actively seek ways Council and residents can work together to build on the existing strengths of our communities and local areas.

As the two-year term of the District Advisory Committees comes to an end, we are seeking people from across Wyndham with a diverse range of skills, abilities and backgrounds who are keen to step into this community leadership role for 2018 to 2019. To express your interest or to learn more about our District Advisory Committees please go to www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/wyndham2040 and click on the District Advisory Committees tab.

If you’ve got any questions about these positions you can contact Council’s Neighbourhood Hubs team via community.development@wyndham.vic.gov.au or 9742 0777.

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 17 January

This summer we’ve got a fantastic program of free events, music, movies and exhibitions. Our Pop Up Park in the Werribee City Centre opens this weekend. From 19-25 February, the Pop Up Park will be open every day as a green city outdoor space. You can relax, catch up with friends and enjoy free lawn games – a perfect way to break up the working week and cure school holiday boredom. Each weekend brings an exciting line-up of free live music, an outdoor cinema and street food, including performances by Anthony Callea, Lior and Mental as Anything.

On Friday 26 January our Australia Day program will feature free family entertainment in the heart of the city including live music, kids’ activities from 5pm and fireworks to close the night at 9.35pm. The free entertainment continues into February, with our Midsumma event, Park Lounge on 3 February in Kelly Park and the Queen’s Baton Relay making its way through Werribee on 13 February ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. So make a date, get your family and friends together and enjoy all the city has to offer this summer. More information can be found on our website at www.wyndham.vic.gov.au

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 10 January

Recent media coverage of damage to the privately-owned Ecoville Park has unfortunately not contained all the facts. I am not underplaying recent events or the fear these and other incidents cause, but it’s important to get all the facts out. Firstly, Council neither accepts nor tolerates this behaviour. Although Council is limited in actions we can take as Ecoville is privately owned, we have acted.

Council has issued formal notices to the Owners Corporation to clean up the site and we are working directly with Police and the Owners Corporation to take steps to have the site secured as a priority. We have also been working closely with local police and other agencies to make Wyndham safer and to engage young people in meaningful activities. 

Council met this week with the Minister for Police, Acting Premier Tim Pallas and Senior Victoria Police members to discuss steps being taken to deal with recent events as these are ultimately Policing issues. I’m pleased to note that 27 new uniformed police will be deployed to Wyndham in coming months. We are looking forward to the arrival of these additional resources and working closely with Police and Government to improve safety in Wyndham.

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 20 December

For most of us this time of the year is a joyous time with family and friends as we celebrate Christmas and other important cultural and faith events. It can also be a challenging time for some. So I’d make a request that you look after those close to you and, if you can, reach out to others who might need some support as well.

There’s plenty of things happening in Wyndham, and you can find ‘Events & Experiences’ on our website. For the more active you can enjoy Twilight Bowls each Wednesday during daylight saving at The Hive in Chirnside Park, or you could take part in the weekly Saturday morning 5 kilometre run or walk at the Wyndham Vale Parkrun. There’s also lots of arts and culture offerings, including our Pop-Up Park in the Werribee City Centre.

I want to thank my fellow dedicated Councillors and Council Staff for the hard work and teamwork we’ve shared this year to make Wyndham a better place to live, work and play. We return early in January to plan our year ahead including a key focus on getting the most we can for Wyndham during the State and Federal Election campaign period.

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 13 December

This week I joined the Minister for Local Government, Marlene Kairouz for the welcome funding announcement of four local projects through the 2017-19 Growing Suburbs Fund at the Williams Landing Boulevard Reserve. The Minister and I were joined by Councillors An, Barlow, Gilligan, Khan and Villagonzalo as well as our CEO Kelly Grigsby and other staff.

Given the launch venue, it was fitting that the Williams Landing Integrated Sports and Community Hub was given $1,905,000. Other project funding included $1,085,850 for the Tarneit Community Learning Centre Transformation, $1,215,000 for the Truganina East Integrated Family Learning Centre, as well as $200,000 for the Saltwater Outdoor Youth Space. Locals who are aware of my time on Council since 2012 know I am constantly advocating for more State and Federal Government funding for local projects.

Many also know about my personal passion for sport and recreation projects. So it was easy for me to warmly support this State Government funding commitment for these local projects. Council has invested over $4 million in these projects to give them a kick start, and with this funding from the State Government, we can ensure these projects will be delivered when the community needs them.

Regards,

Peter Maynard

Wednesday 29 November

I’m honoured to be elected Mayor and I’ve slipped straight into the role following our previous Mayor Henry Barlow. At this special time, it’s wonderful to see our community, local artists, schools and businesses getting ready for festive celebrations and playful public art in the Werribee City Centre. This December, our Christmas Tree in Station Place will host craft activities and Santa visits on Saturdays.

You can also send Santa a letter (and borrow Christmas books) at the Werribee Library and admire hand-painted Christmas Trees by local primary students in the Wedge Street Piazza. Wyndham City has teamed up with RedWest to present RED|redux, a free program of playful installations, interactive artworks and pop-up performances in the Werribee City Centre, inspired by the colour red. Local businesses are adding festive red additions to shop windows – another reason to shop local and get out and enjoy your city this Christmas.

On behalf of all Councillors, please enjoy these free community celebrations and soak up the buzz of the city at this time of year. Please join us on opening night this Friday 1 December from 6pm in Station Place for the lighting of our Christmas tree and unveiling of RED|redux.

Mayor Peter Maynard

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