There appears to have been some light at the end of the tunnel with the report from Barry Ross, Secretary, defenders of the Green Wedge after a deputation to see the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne. Sustainability Victoria has now acknowledged that the Kingston/Dingley Waste Hub should be located in an industrial area. However the Minister is still considering the Alex Fraser lease application for a further 15 years for the concrete crushing business to remain on Heatherton Road.
Will certainly cause headaches for builders further down the track. Nice new concrete curbing at the Antibes car park will have to be removed when the Bay Trail reaches that point it seems!
Removal of Vegetation on Mordialloc Foreshore
Nina and Mary attended the Council Planning meeting Wednesday 18th February where the issue of the removal of locally indigenous vegetation is to be removed prior to the construction of a large, two storey lifesaving building on the elevated primary dune. Because of the elevated site of the replacement building, it does not seem necessary to remove so much vegetation. MBCL’s position is that, at very least, a stand of six Casuarinas could be retained if a path is realigned. This foreshore vegetation was planted by Mordialloc Council approx 40 years ago and has struggled to survive in the sandy soil and harsh salt wind environment, now when the trees have reached maximum (medium) height they are to be removed to provide large surf boats with a path to the water.
Communities for Nature Funding
In contrast to Kingston foreshore residents who have had inserted into Kingston’s coastal Management Plan that “Council will cease planting the tree species, Coast Banksia and Black She-oak, on the foreshore to reduce any future impact on private bay views” two Somers groups have received funding for a program designed to “support local environmental projects that protect and support native plants and animals.” A display of photos was on display telling the story of five years of hard work undertaken by the Friends restoring the Coastal Banksia Woodland and remnant dune scrub of the Reserve. (Somers Paper Nautilus, Issue 55, Nov 2014 – Jan 2015)
Beaumaris Cliffs and Sea Ledges
The finalised version of the submission requesting Heritage listing of the fossil cliffs and sea ledges was finally dispatched to Heritage Victoria early November only to be told that reference to historic, scientific and/or Aboriginal occupation of an area was not accepted under Heritage Victoria criterion. Apparently Criteria E applies almost entirely to the built environment! However we were invited to reapply on an A4 page, confining the application to the work of the Heidelberg School of painters who worked in the area resulting in the famous painting of the Beaumaris Cliffs, Slumbering Sea by Tom Roberts, now hanging permanently in Victoria’s National Gallery. Dr Tim Flannery and Dr Eric Fitzgerald, Museum of Victoria, are featured in the series Coasts Australia discussing the importance of the fossils found in the sea ledges, which will disappear under tonnes of concrete if the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron is given approval to expand.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
has made submissions objecting to the section of the Kingston Bay Trail which has Council approval to deviate onto the foreshore to provide parking for lifesaving club patrons. PPCC has also objects to the BMYS development. THe PPCC secretary has been invited by a number of school and Unis to present her excellent power point presentation highlighting the important features of Port Phillip and Westernport Bay and the damage to both bays if the Hastings and Bay West port expansion go ahead. Environmental harmful dredging wil be required in both cases.
Some shipping experts are now acknowledging that because Melbourne is at the end of the shipping lanes massive container vessels may bypass Melbourne even if either of these ports were constructed.
Melbourne’s winter has driven some of our members OS – and more are planning to join the exodus during August. Others are temporarily interstate. Some were incapacitated during July so the meeting was abandoned. Never-the-less a careful watch was kept on council activities. One of the councils dubious activities as been the disbanding of the 10 Village Committee system of monthly meetings – operating successfully for 20 years. Originally established by the Commissioners at the time for Council amalgamations the committees were a means of keeping Councillors informed about local issues and for the members of the committees being informed about forthcoming projects by the presiding officer present. Some Councillors saw the Village committees as a threat to their authority, and despite “consultation”, are determined to introduce a system where members are encouraged to join existing groups. This will limit consultation and information to one area only rather than the broad scope of the present system.
Friends of Mordialloc Creek carried out plantings 3rd May on north bank of the creek on the former Living Links site. Grasses, rushes and shrubs were planted thanks to a Melbourne Water grant. On the 28th May Kingston Council, in cooperation with local Aborigines, organised a Heritage walk along the creek banks. Unfortunately there have been two large fires in industrial sites on the north bank of the creek during April and May. The April fire, in the Bolwell factory in Wells Road, involved toxic plastic fumes spreading over south eastern suburbs and water used in extinguishing the fire flowing into the creek across the road from the factory. In May two factories in Canterbury Road, in the industrial area on the north side of the creek, would have also resulted in water from dousing the fire flowing into the creek via Dunlop’s drain.
Beaumaris Cliffs and Sea Ledges
Following a negative result from Canberra for National Heritage Listing for Beaumaris Cliffs it was suggested that an application be made to Victorian Heritage for listing. An on-site meeting with Sue Pennicuik, (Greens) took place wiht a favourable response. A comprehensive report from an RMIT engineering graduate is a valuable resource listing the damage which will be caused to the site if the extension of the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron proceeds with the 120 boat marine, hard stands against the cliffs and a granite wall affecting currents and sand movement.
Beaumaris Yacht Building.
Bayside City Council is seeking community views on a proposal for extra uses of the Beaumaris Yacht Club building. The Council appears to be following a trend emerging around Port Phillip Bay where local Lifesaving Clubs are having new premises built and intend to make provision for ‘extra uses’ such as a Marine Education Science and Community Center. At present, Frankston, Seaford, Carrum (and soon Mordialloc) Lifesaving clubs have grand new buildings all of which are offering ‘Coastal research and education centres.’ As Beaumaris Conservation Society states:
“The narrow foreshore around Port Phillip Bay has not increased in area since it was established in the 19th Century but pressures on the foreshore are increasing as the population increases.” This applies to all yachting and lifesaving clubs on the eastern side of the Bay – also the most vulnerable coastline because of sever gales which continually erode the foreshore. Climate change will bring fresh challenges to infrastructure around the Bay.
Old Wells Road Rain Garden.
Melbourne Water installed a large drain on this site to manage drainage problems in the area. This necessitated the removal of established vegetation along the north bank of Mordialloc Creek- a Natural Resource Area (NRA)- a traditional work area for Kingston Council’s dedicated workers in NRA parks and reserves. It was disappointing therefore to find that when the water garden was constructed by Melbourne Water, it was Kingston’s Parks people who were involved in the selection and planting of vegetation in the rain garden. Instead of continuing the practice of planting species locally indigenous to the creek habitat the Parks team involved used foreshore plants which haven’t survived the 40 degree heat. MBCL are requesting that the NRA knowledgeable team continue to be responsible for revegetation both South and North banks of Mordialloc Creek, and that the pocket parks along the banks be returned to the management of the NRA team rather than the Parks department.