Letter: Environmental Effects Statement for Mordialloc Bypass

Letter to:

Hon Richard,
Minster for Planning,
Parliament House,
Spring Street,
Melbourne.

Dear Minster,

We write to respectfully request that an Environmental Effects Statement be required before the 9 kilometre arterial road linking the end of Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Springvale Road in Aspendale Gardens is approved. This six lane elevated freeway will impact disastrously on the most sensitive wetland section of the Braeside Park.

As an environmental group established in Mordialloc in 1969 we became keenly involved when the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1978 began to plan for Braeside land to become one of the seven metropolitan parks being developed and managed by the MMBW around Melbourne. These parks are strategically located in the metropolitan area to provide recreation and educational opportunities within easy reach of most people. However the primary objective of the metropolitan parks system includes protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural and man-made features of these parks.

The main feature of Braeside Park is the south-western corner, the wetland unit which is subject to seasonal inundation and so is primary suitable for conservation of wetland related flora and fauna, and interpretation and education activities. Remnant red gums, a small swamp paper bark community and wetland complex of related aquatic vegetation is considered to be of high conservation significance. The wetlands support around 150 different bird species such as Latham’s Snipe and short-tailed san pipers. The many dead trees scattered throughout the park provide important habitat for a range of native animals.

“The rural and semi-rural character of Braeside provides mainly open views across the flat to gently sloping paddocks and woodland. This flatness and openness requires that any development much be carefully considered to avoid undue human intrusion if the park’s semi-natural character is to be retained.”1 This is commendable, however the proposed six lane freeway abutting the south west corner of the park means that the most valuable conservation and educational segment, the wetland, will be destroyed. The attractive landscaping that the MMBW sought to protect will also be lost furthermore the constant background traffic noise from the elevated six-lane freeway will be an intrusive disruption to the enjoyment of this environmentally significant feature of Braeside Park.

For the reasons listed above we therefore ask that an Environmental Effects Statement be required in order to protect Braeside Park present and future generations and that the available alternatives for the freeway be adopted.

Mary Rimington,
Order of Australia,
Secretary MBCL

  1. Braeside Metropolitan Park. Master Plan Report. Waterways & Parks Division 1987

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