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.
Guest Speakers at March MBCL Meeting
We were fortunate to have two speakers in attendance at this meeting. Bruce Cutts, representing Environment Victoria who is working with Bayside Climate Action group leading up to the Victorian State Election. Their issues are Renewable Energy and loss of green space. EV are considering leasing a vacant shop in Mordialloc to be used by environment groups for their campaigns prior to the election. MBCL members agreed to support this initiative. The second speaker was Jim Walker representing Friends of the Earth who have 15 groups involved in a Forest campaign attempting to reduce logging in the Central Highlands and Strezlecki Ranges, two of the areas under threat. Species in decline are the Baw Baw frogs, Spotted Quolls and Leadbeaters Possum. The Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) lease is coming up for review shortly. The CFMEU supports logging and unfortunately the local Labor member supports the CFMEU on this issue.
The Bay Trail
The Bay Trail has become an election issue with one of the sitting councillors using this for his election campaign with support from noisy opponents of the plan for the Bay Trail approved by Kingston Council, Bicycle Network Victoria and the Labor Government. Environment groups have been long term supporters of this safe, off-road bicycle track part of the State Government’s Round Port Phillip Bay Bike Path, also a long term policy. The next step seems to be VCAT for the noisy minority and if so, it will delay construction of the track. Should there be a change of Government the track will then not go ahead as planned to protect foreshore vegetation.
Mordialloc Creek and surrounding wetlands could be under threat from two developments being planned. The Mordialloc Bypass will cross the creek from Governor Road to Bowen Road (on four at present, possibly six later) elevated traffic lanes. Building this feature will disturb acid sulphate soil and affect the flow of groundwater into wetlands at Woodlands, Braeside Park, Waterways and even Edithvale wetlands. While the wetlands depend on surface water they are also fed by ground water. The Bonbeach and Edithvale rail lines are to be placed in deep trenches as part of the level crossing removal project. Construction of walls and barriers to prevent the rail lines flooding could prevent mature Banksia tree roots receiving the water they require to survive on the foreshore at Bonbeach.“ living in close proximity to the foreshore along the Frankston line, dependent on bore water for gardens, may also lose this supply if water, as at Bonbeach, is diverted to Patterson River.
Well! After all the sturm and drang over over the Pompeii Landing on the bank of the creek is seems that the current occupant will be offered a nine year lease by Council so that work can continue providing a launching ramp for small boat owners. The land is dispute is a small area of Crown Land. The Mordialloc Fishing & Boating Club will also use this site.
Two developments are being planned for Main Street – partial demolition of Mordialloc Hotel and 26 units for the car park went to mediation last month. As did the Grocery Store, a shop with goods too expensive to succeed in Main Street. This shop is to become an up-market cocktail bar. Parking, already a problem in the shopping centre was a concern for objectors.
A meeting was held at Waterways cafe 24 February to learn how migratory birds may be affected when the four lane elevated freeway was built across, not only the Waterways wetlands but also Woodlands and Braeside wetlands. According to the Parsons Brinckerhoff report to VicRoads Lathams Snipe, a migratory bird will be affected. A meeting 6th February heard speakers from RMIT, Dr Ian Woodcock and Crystal Legacy, Traffic Planners describe how freeways are consuming the suburbs, rather than building more public transport. The VicRoads team also spoke at this RAMPF meeting at Dingley as did two speakers from Environment Victoria.
On the 24th January, Council approved completion of the Bay Trail as planned. VicRoads and Bicycle Network Victoria supported the plan, as did Kingston’s five intelligent councillors who have had so much to put up with from noisy minority.
Neighbourhood Character Study for Ormond Street?
Residents are attempting to save some of this small street of original dwellings. In this area, Collacott and Abrkly Street some of the houses had stables for rac horses in the back yard. The last of these in Collacott street was still being used as such in the 1990s when it was considered environmentally harmful to have waste from the stables flowing into drains and ultimately into the creek and Bay.
Five members of VicRoads attended the October meeting plus two members of the Braeside Park Committee.This commenced at 3pm and was a robust discussion. The 9km stretch of four lane freeway (with provision for two extra lanes later) runs adjacent to the Braeside Park boundary and encroaches on the South West corner of the park before crossing Governor Road and entering the wetlands to an elevated road. There is significant vegetation in this section. Passing in close proximity to the Waterways Residential estate as an elevated roadway will create noise issues requiring sound barriers adding to the visual impact. The elevated road will cross the Mordialloc Creek and passover Aspendale Gardens homes before joining Springvale Road.
The meeting concluded at 4pm. Since then there has been an invitation to walk a section of the route with the VicRoads people at a date still to be decided.
Coast and Creek Booklet
The Coast and Creek booklet has been printed and copies have been placed at the front desk of the Council Chambers with Kingston Council’s approval. It is planned to place some in the Parkdale Library and in some schools if they are interested. There is some concern about the Mornington Peninsula Freeway crossing Mordialloc Creek because of disturbance of acid sulphate soil that will occur during construction work with pollution entering the creek.
Coast and Creek Booklet
The booklet has been printed and is available for perusal! It is Planned ot place some booklets in the local library and with Council. We are indebted to the graphic artist who took some marvellous photos of plants and bird life along the foreshore and Mordialloc Creek. We are also indebted to Melbourne Water whose earlier grants helped to cover the cost of printing.
Bicycle Network have approved the compromise proposal for the Bay Trail. There will be areas where Beach Road lanes will be narrowed to protect significant vegetation. From Mentone Parade to Peter Scullin Reserve, Mordialloc the lanes will be narrowed where there are bus stops or difficult parking problems on the narrow foreshore such as at Parkdale Yacht Club.
Coast and Creek Booklet
The coast and creek booklet may finally be at the printers thanks to the terrific work of Mick and eagle-eyed editors! There was some discussion about asking for a gold coin donation for the booklet. There were differing opinions but on some occasions such as street stalls or community events this might be appropriate.
The new newspaper on the block, the Mordialloc Chronicle, features tree pages of “advertisements” of the disinformation about the next section of the Bay Trail from the Mentone Lifesaving Club to Peter Scullin Reserve. For example the ad claims that Beach Road will be narrowed from Renninson Street to the Scullin Reserve. Not True.
Level Crossing Removal
There will be 8 community sessions to decide on work to remove the rail crossings, Edithvale to Seaford. Seaford residents are angry about the closure of Ell Race Road when it is claimed that there are feasible alternatives to the closure. There is also the threat to groundwater and the wetlands should the trench method be adopted for this section of the Frankston line.
Level Crossing Removal
The Edithvale Wetlands may be at risk according to two consultants reports. Chosen to review the Government’s preferred option in the level crossing removal programme the report states that trenching required for the rail line may cause groundwater to build up. This will have to be disposed of by Melbourne Water pumping water to the Ramsar listed wetlands, or elsewhere, which in turn could alter water levels causing detriment to vegetation used by birds for nesting or if the water becomes acidic or saline this could also harm bird life.
Mordialloc Bypass will not only affect housing in Waterways and Aspendale Gardens but is intruding into and removing a section of Braeside Park. Residents in Dingley are concerned about this development as are Moorabbin residents because of the impact that the proposed freeway will have on the already heavily congested South Road where it enters the Nepean Highway in Moorabbin.
As a result of the Member for Mordialloc’s complaint that there had been insufficient consultation about the trail, two MBCL members had a meeting with the member who could not be convinced that there had been sufficient consultation. Council organised two more drop in meetings about the Bay Trail in May. Meanwhile inflammatory misinformation about lane narrowing was still being disseminated by certain residents.
Latest plans for the Bay Trail were presented at the Public Places and Environment meeting in May and were impressive. The bicycle lane, back of kerb, will only be 2.5m wide, similar to the Bayside Bay Trail. VicRoads have approved narrowing the road lane where necessary such at bus stops.
Kingston Council has prepared Amendment C152 to introduce a policy for developments that deals with stormwater – residential or non-residential. This may be necessary because an article in The AGE 23 May, reports that climate change flood risks has doubled in new modelling which states that “Coastal council are at the forefront of dealing with the impacts especially councils such as Seaford, Carrum, Bonbeach and Aspendale”.