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 Round the Bay Trail is to be back-of-kerb from Mundy Street car park to Mentone LSC park.
Concrete Crusher Application.
Delta have lodged another application for a Materials Recycling Facility in conjunction with a Transfer Station. The Minister refused Delta’s application for a similar facility on the recommendation of a planning panel in 2005. Silica dust from the existing concrete crushing plant, also location on Kingston / Heatherton Road, has already forced a market gardening business, supplying local supermarkets, to close because of dust falling on vegetables. Silica dust can result in silicosis forming. Water is of the utmost importance in the concrete crushing process as a means of suppressing dust emissions. A second concrete crusher, if approved, operating in the same locality, will increase the demand for water supplied by natural run=off, water from disused quarries acting as dams, groundwater and mains water supply during dry periods. The Dandenong Offensive Industrial Zone (now INZ2) was designed to accommodate offensive polluting industries such as concrete crushers. Kingston’s Green Wedge is not an appropriate location for polluting industries harmful to the environment.
National Parks Privatisation
Some of the new members of the Coalition Government have not wasted time in making their plans for commercialisation of parks. Logging of the Tarkine in Tasmania, coal seam gas exploration in sensitive areas of Western Victoria and around the Grampians on the boundary of the national park threatens the survival of special places. Cuts to funding of environment groups will make it difficult to prevent destruction of parks, forests and farmland.
organised a street stall and door knocking in Moridialloc recently as part of their campaign opposing the Napthine Government’s plan to open up national parks to commercial tourism by putting out to tender development of hotel accommodation in parks. EV is also appealing urgently for funds to oppose the State Government’s plan for a massive brown export coal industry with Shanghai Electric Group. Under threat the 90 Mile Beach, Strezlecki Ranges, Gippsland Lakes and Corner Inlet to become a major port for coal exports.
Beaumaris Cliff Fossil Site.
The opportunity presented itself during the Beaumaris Conversation Society’s 60th birthday party recently to seek support from Bayside Mayor, Stephen Hartney, for MBCL’s nomination of the fossil site. MBCL president invited Dr Erich Fitzgerald to the well attended May KCEC meeting to report on his work at the Beaumaris fossil site and sea ledges. The importance of protecting the site to enable research to continue in future was stressed. Attendees found the lecture absorbing and are grateful to Judy for inviting Dr Fitzgerald along. Well done!
Saturday 20th April 2013,
Hon. Dr. Denis Napthine,
Premier of Victoria,
Level 1, 1 Treasury Place,
Melbourne, VIC 3002
Congratulations for supporting the 140-turbine Macarthur wind farm in your electorate. I hope, as the Herald Sun reported last week that you truly believe “those opportunities should be pursued at every opportunity.”
Can you please now support households going solar by improving subsidies but also negotiating better feed-in-tariff terms, which are at the moment so low to be almost negligible. There is also a lot of inequity between those households who are trying to ‘do their bit’ because depending on when you were able to afford solar panels the feed-in tariff varies considerably.
Beaumaris Cliff Fossil Site.
Great news! MBCL’s application requesting that the Beaumaris Fossil Cliffs and Sea Ledge be listed on the National Heritage List has been accepted. Special thanks to Mark Dreyfus QC MP, for assisting our application by appealing to Tony Burke MP., Minister for Sustainability and Environment for his support. Thanks also to Prof. Tim Flannery and Dr Eric Fitzgerald who supported the MBCL application. Dr Fitzgerald has been undertaking research work at Beaumaris. He informed Judy that a Coasts program similar to that seen on SBS, has been filmed at Beaumaris and will be shown at the end of the year. Judy presented the nomination document at the April PPCC meeting and received acclamation from all- including G. Goode no less! Dr. Fitzgerald will be guest speaker at the May meeting of KCEC at Mordialloc Neighbourhood House.
Coast Banksia Blitz
is on again with a resident at Bonbeach complaining about loss of views due to salt bush and tea-trees on the other side of his fence which, fortunately for him, is stabilising the dunes and thereby protecting residential areas from the impact of storm surges. Retention of vegetation along the foreshore has an important function not often mentioned. It is to establish a natural look and feel of foreshore and retain and enhance a sense of separation from the nearby residential areas. The vegetation then is important in that people enjoying a day at the beach are shielded from the sigh of cars, traffic, large houses and buildings.
Chelsea Heights 44 first Avenue
A proposal to permit a subdivision with 25 houses on a floodway zone is being opposed by Kingston Residents Association and a coalition of environment groups – KCEC and MBCL. The development borders the edge of the RAMSAR listed wetlands. The impact on these wetlands includes: disruption of acid sulfate soil and possible contamination of water quality int he wetlands because of the potential for flooding. The proposal is to excise 1.3 hectares from an urban flood zone formerly the Carrum Carrum Swamp which flooded regularly. 1934, 1952, 1969, 1994 etc. Insures are warning that thousands of Australians are facing soaring insurance premiums for flood coverage. Melbourne Water told the 8th Victorian Flood Conference that Melbourne, Port Phillip and the Westernport Region face significant flood challenges. The City of Kingston has 11,000 flood prone properties .. 44 first avenue is one of them.
Submissions have been sent urging the Federal Governemnt to retain control of EPBC environment policy rather than hand this power over to State governments. Nina made submissions re Public Housing Development and support for a dog ban in our National Parks. A submission went to VEAC’s Marine Investigation referring to Rickett’s Point Marine Sanctuary and the Beaumaris fossil site. Judy has done sterling work by contacting a Museum of Victoria involved with research work at the Beaumaris fossil site. This could result in an exciting outcome. Discovery of patches of Plains Grassy Wetland EVC’s at Melbourne Water wetland site on the south bank of Mordialloc Creek and at the Dingley Bypass site. MW have postponed work ont he creek site until further studies have been undertaken. There will be a Preliminary Conference with VicRoads to discuss an optional route for the Bypass at Dingley.