Following a Panel Hearing at Kingston Council the Minister for Planning has approved a stay of vegetation removal on the site until January 2019. Some excellent presentations were made by MBCL members and especially a local resident whose family originally owned the land when he was a boy. He was able to give an account of the original vegetation on the site.
One brave resident was prepared to go to VCAT on his own in an attempt to prevent this Memorial indigenous garden being destroyed to make way for two netball courts. Some MBCL members felt so strongly about this issue that it was decided to give support. VCAT has permitted a number of people to be joined with the original appellant and will be allowed to speak at the forthcoming VCAT Hearing.
Still awaiting the result of the VCAT hearing initiated by opposition parties to the Council approved plan for the bike path.
Bay Trail went to a VCAT Hearing in July. The opposition presentation included a Barrister and an expert witness for vegetation. It was thought that the Council presentation was somewhat lacking in some aspects. Awaiting the result of the Hearing
Bonbeach and Edithvale Level Crossing Removals
Also awaiting the Advisory Committee’s conclusions. Kingston Council’s Drainage expert, Alan West’s excellent report on the drainage work already carried out in Edithvale (drain replacements) was received unfortunately at the conclusion of the Hearing but is a great resource to have on hand.
RAMF continue’s with their campaign. Perhaps with all the rail and road work announced by the Andrew’s Labor Government recently the unnecessary freeway may be considered to be of less importance and drop down the list!
Regent’s Park seems to be heading for a VCAT Hearing. Some support is being organised by a number of objectors who consider that the destruction of a Memorial Garden containing mature trees in memory of a dedicated conservationist, Jack Cuthbertson, shows lack of respect as well as realising that mature trees are a valuable resource as climate change is making its presence felt with climbing temperatures and drought.
A letter received from DELWP re Insurance Arrangements for Incorporated Volunteer Groups offering to indemnify MBCL for public liability claims which may arise as a direct result of volunteering activities. Following discussion it was decided to sign up but with a proviso that “we accept the offer on the basis that any claim made that our organisation is NOT responsible for the excess of any potential forthcoming claim”
Green Wedge Planning Provisions Review
A copy of this review was received and appears to be a comprehensive document with DEWLP seeking answers from strategic planners about uses in the Green Wedge. DELWP required succinct answers to questions such as :- Emerging planning issues in the Kingston Green Wedge and Stakeholders in the Kingston Green Wedge. It is hoped that Green Wedge Planning Provisions will not be weakened as a result of this review.
MORDIALLOC CREEK June Council meeting discussed a Draft Mooring Policy for Mordialloc Creek. Officer Recommendations included the following points:
- Authorise officers to cede management of A section to the Crown.
- Write a letter of support to DELWP advocating for the establishment of a Mordialloc Creek
- Write to Mordialloc Creek Community group advising of points 1&2 of this option as well as offering basic financial administration support.
- Authorise officers to provide basic financial administration support…
- Advocate for the development of a formal agreement with DELWP for the committee to have operational maintenance exclusive of dredging and any structural asset replacement responsibilities.
Although no meeting was held in June members were involved in two major State Government projects of an extremely controversial nature. These are Level Crossing removals for Bonbeach and Edithvale Stations and the Mordialloc four lane. 9 km freeway elevated to cross over Governor Road, Waterways wetlands and Mordialloc Creek before joining Springvale Road. This road will also cross through the south west corner of Braeside Wetlands thus impacting two major wetland habitats frequented by migratory and endangered bird species. Groundwater in this low-lying area, part of the former Carrum Carrum swamp, may be contaminated by construction work at both Mordialloc Creek and at Edithvale Station when the acid sulphate soil is exposed to oxygen and endangering the water quality in the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands. An Environment Effects Statement (EES) was required based on the likely impact that polluted groundwater may have on the Edithvale Seaford wetlands thus making it unsuitable for bird life resulting in a loss of Ramsar listing of the wetlands.
Residents Against Mordialloc Freeway
RAMF consist of residents and concerned environmentalists who are not convinced that a fifth major road is required leading to Mornington Peninsula. There are alternatives such as lanes added to Springvale Road in the grassy paddock opposite Waterways residential estate and Richfield retirement Village – or extending the rail line from Frankston to Mornington. Instead residents will be faced with an elevated four lane ( maybe six lanes in future) freeway built across the open wetlands presently peaceful habitat for birds and a calm retreat for residents.
Level Crossing Removals
This project also kept environment and resident groups busy during June. Although two options are offered to communities it is usually the loudest and largest groups that are heard especially if political advantage is involved in Most residents don’t like the look of the elevated rail line and think it will devalue their property whereas the trench method may create flooding & subsidence problems in these suburbs. Groundwater impact was the most important factor under discussion at the Panel Hearing 4″-1″ June at Patterson River Golf Club. It was fortunate that the Friends of Edithvale Seaford wetlands were able to acquire two excellent expert witnesses:- Scott Seymour, for many years an engineer with Melbourne Water and extremely knowledgeable about groundwater. Supporting Scott was Sean Dooley an expert on bird migratory habits. Big questions remain about the success of the horizontal pipe in a trench method of dealing with flooding and contaminated groundwater.
Some good news for a change! VicRoads didn’t approve of the use of this land for a new SES facility so this organisation will have to look elsewhere to build. Perhaps Council can promote this great little piece of Banksia Woodland for public use.
Planning Scheme Amendment C163 Submission close May 1″ for anyone wanting to encourage Council to use developer’s contributions to purchase this land for open space in an area of Edithvale/Chelsea lacking of passive open space.
Council is proposing to remove to remove native vegetation from this environmentally significant Coastal Banksia Woodland park to make way for two netball courts. There are alternative site for netball courts. A garden created in memory of a great conservationist, Jack Cuthbertson, is also under threat of removal should these netball courts be built in this park.