Three MBCL members met with the Local Member to discuss the potential threat to the Banksia Woodland as a result of the SES being offered use of the site for a replacement depot. The current Scope building is situated on Crown land. Both VicRail and VicRoad own strips of land on either side of this building. It is thought that the building could be reconfigured to accommodate both the Scope building and the SES. There may be a scar three on Groves Reserve.
VCAT was not happy with the extent of vegetation which would be removed if the development of 14 units went ahead on this lovely little piece of bushland at Edithvale – a suburb short of open space. Land is in limbo at present Local residents would like Council to buy the land for open space as has been done where two house blocks were bought for that purpose.
Mordialloc Creek and Waterways
Although there is much angst about the impact that rail under road level crossing removals will have on the RAMSAR listed Edithvale Seaford wetlands, there has not been the same concern about threats to Waterways Residential Estate wetlands. These Wetlands were developed on the Hains property in 2000 in conjunction with Melbourne Water who saw this as a means of improving Mordialloc Creek water quality as it flowed from the creek through the wetland lakes and then back into the Creek. Seventeen years later the wetlands are flourishing with bird life and luxuriant vegetation around the lakes. Sadly the construction of the Mordialloc Bypass, if built, will necessitate a four lane elevated freeway crossing the middle of the wetlands with traffic movement twenty four hours a day. The Waterways wetlands were recently the recipient of an Award for Excellence in Restoration Practice by the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia. These wetlands were also featured on the ABC’s garden program as a successful example of the use of wetlands in restoration of degraded land.
The Mordialloc Bypass Walk
Following the meeting with MBCL in October OSARS (VicRail) invited three of our members to walk along the 9 kilometre freeway route with OSARS in attendance. Two of our people had extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna at risk in the Woodlands Industrial Wetlands, in Braeside Park ephemeral wetlands and Waterways wetlands should the freeway go ahead. Our other member has had experience in negotiating in an earlier life with public officers.
Port Phillip Conservation Council AGM
MBCL members attended an interesting meeting with a speaker from AGL describing the possibility of piping gas from Crib Point to Pakenham for use by Victorians. Some of this gas will be imported from overseas to supplement our own supplies. This speaker discounted, when questioned, piping gas from Western Australia to Victoria as being too expensive. However next morning the AGE reported the possibility of this happening!
It seems that the creek mouth needs dredging again to enable boats to enter and exit safely. Expect a report on the 6th! Also a long awaited plan by Melbourne Water to remove the north bank of Mordialloc Creek upstream from Wells Road bridge is to commence shortly. This will connect these wetlands with a similar treatment to that given to Waterways wetlands. More information will be forthcoming in the meeting the 6th December.
Coast and Creek Booklet
Our Treasurer has been busy with the result that gold coin donations from sale of booklets soared to $95! This is from attendance at a Farmer’s Market recently. Booklets are on display at Kingston Council’s front office were I’m told there is no environmental material on display other than the booklets. When our supply of booklets run out we are now in the position of having more printed thanks to Melbourne Water Grant just received! Than you Melbourne Water!
Beaumaris Fossil Finder
Murray Orr, who is featured in the Coast and Creek booklet, has decided to begin a group dedicated to finding and preserving fossils found in the underwater sea ledges at the foot of the Beaumaris cliffs at low tide. When found the fossils are taken to Melbourne Museum for assessment, care and preservation. New specimens are continually being found and so add to knowledge about that existed 6000 years ago.
End of Year Assessment
This has been an especially busy year. The main achievement has been the revision of the Coast and Creek booklet. Grateful thanks must go to our photographer and graphic artist whose flower and bird life photos were outstanding. Also to the experienced editorial staff who checked text. We are fortunate in adding to our membership a young web master who also keeps an eye on the bird life in Mordialloc Creek and wetlands. Thanks also to the other members who check developments and are prepared to attend VCAT Hearings to protect our village.