MBCL 50th Anniversary
MBCL 50th anniversary was attended by 30 former and current members. It was great to see some of the original members who had established MBCL in 1969 and later Port Phillip Conservation Council with a view to protecting the foreshore around Port Phillip Bay and the creeks that flow into it. When some of the original meeting reports were checked for display it was found that in a 1972 report the EPA was concerned about pollution in Mordialloc Creek and debated whether the creek banks should be concrete lined. When the Dandenong Valley Authority decided to do just that MBCL president, Dr Len Warren and secretary,Mara Hayler where able to convince Mordialloc Council to oppose that option. The Metropolitan Board of Works then stepped in, retained the earthern banks, phragmitie reeds to clean the water and the indigenous Maleluccas on the creek banks banks. This area has become a popular bird habitat.
While it was interesting to re-read the 1972 Environment Protection Authority (EPA) report on the creek it is concerning that there is still pollution problems with drains flowing into the creek. For instance PFAS has been found in Dunlop Drain. This drain flows close to the Moorabbin airport which would have this highly polluting substance stored on hand since it is used for fighting fires. Expanding industrial businesses at Braeside have been found responsible for, and fined, for depositing plastic in either Heatherton or Settlement Drain which flows into the creek.
This is the last remaining block of remnant coastal vegetation in Chelsea . The proposal to develop will cause the removal of most of the vegetation and thus destroy the ecological value of the site. This lovely green space will be lost when only 23 trees out of 203 existing trees will be retained if the development proceeds. Development is causing the loss of trees and gardens throughout Kingston. It is claimed that all metropolitan suburbs should have at least 30% tree coverage to ameliorate climate crisis however the City of Kingston has only 14% coverage and continues to lose more trees through level crossing removals…30 lovely red flowering gums along the rail line between Mentone and Parkdale stations were removed to provide car parking spaces.
A tour of the route of the proposed freeway was organised for the Member of the Victorian State Government Upper House. Clifford Hayas his personal adviser.Kelvin Thompson and two members of the anti Freeway Committee in August. Susan Ley, Federal Environment Minister, will present the decision of the EPBC when it is available. This will be the deciding factor for the approval of the freeway.
Tragically 30 red flowering gums along side the rail line between Mentone and Parkdale stations have been removed and replaced with concrete. This is to provide parking for vehicles that can no longer be accommodated at the Mentone car park due to work on the removal of the rail crossing.
Affordable housing is badly needed in Mordialloc. Evidence of people sleeping on the bank of the creek near the pedestrian bridge was noted earlier this month. People were moved on but piles of plastic and other bits and pieces were left for Council to remove.
National Tree Planting Day
Three planting on National Tree Planting Day was successfully carried out by the NRA team and over a 100 volunteers at the George Woods Reserve. 1800 plants were installed near the pedestrian bridge and the boat ramp. It is pleasing to note how well trees are now growing along the Heatherton Drain outlet and further along the creek. A Nankeen Night Heron was noted perched on a tall tree with Cormorants nearby
Letter sent to the Queensland Premier regarding Adani’s prolifigate use of water from the Great Artesian Basin. As yet no response. However we now learn that Origin Energy has been given approval by the Northern Territory Government to commence fracking on Aboriginal land without seeking this communitie’s approval. The Chairman of Origin Energy concedes that the company cannot guarantee that fracking won’t destroy water aquifers in the Northern Territory.
86 Albert Street Mordialloc
Concern that this development, being close to a school, may be dangerous for students as a result of road widening.
Committee of Management for Mordialloc Creek
A meeting of the COM was attended by MBCL reps, DEWLP, Melbourne Water and Kingston Council officers, small boat owners and Pompei representatives. Boat moorings, dredging the mouth of the creek and around the island were on the agenda. Since the Pompei site has been sold the future of the big boat building shed is under discussion as a possible local heritage listed site. However a consultant has stated that the creek, from the mouth to the rail bridge at least, is worthy of nomination for heritage listing due to Aboriginal, and later European association with the creek as a gateway to the Mornington Peninsula and commencement of fishing and boat building industries.
Following a Panel Hearing at Kingston Council the Minister for Planning has approved a stay of vegetation removal on the site until January 2019. Some excellent presentations were made by MBCL members and especially a local resident whose family originally owned the land when he was a boy. He was able to give an account of the original vegetation on the site.
One brave resident was prepared to go to VCAT on his own in an attempt to prevent this Memorial indigenous garden being destroyed to make way for two netball courts. Some MBCL members felt so strongly about this issue that it was decided to give support. VCAT has permitted a number of people to be joined with the original appellant and will be allowed to speak at the forthcoming VCAT Hearing.
Still awaiting the result of the VCAT hearing initiated by opposition parties to the Council approved plan for the bike path.
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.