End of Year Report
Another busy year for members as Federal and State Governments over turn what we all thought would be rock solid environmental protection of National Parks, Marine Sanctuaries, Native Forests, Agricultural land, Ramsar Wetlands, Green Wedges and the list goes on. Pressure from developers has brought about radical changes to planning regulation under New Residential Zones based on a 2003 discussion paper. Better Decisions Faster is the result of work done by the Whitney Committee. We can expect further loss of tees, gardens and backyards in the middle ring suburbs as neighborhood character and heritage features are trashed to accommodate an unsustainable population increase. Despite this bleak scenario members have worked valiantly, lobbying, writing endless submissions, attending meetings and volunteering in native reserves.
Special mention to Penny who attends every council meeting and somehow remains sane, Bronwen who took on VicRoads at VCAT in an attempt to save signification vegetation from destruction when the Dingley Westall Bypass is built, to Judy who prepared a submission seeking to have the Beaumaris Fossil Cliffs and Sea Ledges replaced on the National Estate Register and to Rosemary who has worked tirelessly to protect the SE Green Wedge. And a big vote of thanks to Tom, out MBCL Webmaster for hit tireless work! Must not forget out Treasure who, despite a heavy work load, cheerfully(?) watches over out finances. Special thanks also to Tony who comes along each month with the Collins report and listens to out whinges. Walter’s valuable lobbying and negotiating skills much appreciated.
Good news- a report that Melbourne Water has agreed to incorporate significant remnant vegetation into the wetland to be built along the north bank of Mordialloc Creek upstream from Wells Road Bridge. Again thanks to Rosemary for her quick action to ensure that this result was possible and thanks to Neil Craigie, MW, for happily agreeing to this solution. In the tentative good news department, the first section of the Bay Trail is to be back-of-kerb from Mundy Street car park to Mentone LSC park.
Green Wedge Issues.
An application for a 24-hour truck storage for 200 trucks in green wedge land in Dingley Village was approved by VCAT. Maureen presented on behalf of objectors. Despite Kingston Council stating categorically, after the Alex Fraser concrete crusher was approved, that there would be no more concrete crushers in Kingston’s Green Wedge, the majority faction in council gave approval for the Delta concrete crusher company to go ahead, 25 November. Delta will also be situated on Kingston/Heatherton Road an across the road are residences and a passion fruit farm. Silica dust can cause severe health problems. it is difficult to see how this facility could be approved given its proximity to a school, farm and housing plus a large number of objections from residents. Sadly the State Government’s NRZ and Plan Melbourne policies don’t allow third party objections to many developments. VCAT have increased fees to such an extent that any community will find it impossible to go to VCAT at a $1000 a day.
Beaumaris Fossil Cliffs and Sea Ledges.
Letter from Canberra Heritage Committee advises that MBCL submission didn’t meet this year’s criteria which was Heritage. This theme wasn’t made clear at the outset. Saving the internationally renowned fossil site is a scientific and environmental issue of some importance surely. Speaking of which Neil Oliver, compere of English Coasts is in Australia to release a series of 10 Australian Coasts. It is said that Beaumaris fossil site is to feature. The series commences Monday night, 2nd December on the History Channel at 7.30pm- if you are luck enough to have history channel.