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.
Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting
Travis reports on the number of plastic bottles found in the creek as well polystyrene which is a problem because it breaks into little pieces. Clare refers to a kit available to log rubbish and identify its source as it flows from drains into the creek and Bay
Clare reported that a developer wants to build 9 units on this site which will mean if the development proceeds only 20 trees will remain on the site where there are now approx 180 trees. The developer will need a permit to cut down 180 trees.
Greening Kingston with urban forests is one of Kingston Council’s policies. Unfortunately as more suburban houses and gardens are destroyed to make way for development trees are. A wonderful Eucalypt in Chelsea Heights growing in the nature strip is likely to be cut down because residents are afraid branches may fall although it is a healthy tree.
Banksia Boulevarde Beach Road Mordialloc
Still some indecision concerning what sort of tree to plant along Beach Road after the Bay Trail is completed. Vic Roads is not happy about Banksias and a small number of Beach Road residents noisily claim that they want views and not trees.
Mordialloc Masonic Hall
Mordialloc Masonic Hall has been approved for youth services on the ground floor while the upper level may be used for Ward meetings or other Council activities Unfortunately the hat will not be available for community use.
New Policy for Meetings
Council has stipulated that meetings such the Faith group and others must have 21 members per meeting. Each member will be paid $250 a year. However the Public Spaces and Environment Committee (PEAC) normally had a regular attendance with 12 members and is scheduled to meet 30th May. Will this be its swan song.?
Council Motion on Poker Machines
Pleasing to note that Cr Staikos had proposed a motion concerning the addictive nature of poker machines and harm that is done to society. Kingston is one of the ten suburbs in the metropolitan area with the highest number of machines and monetary losses. It was moved that MBCL write to Cr Staikos congratulating him on his motion.
Local member. Tim Richardson, is organising joint funding to purchase the whole of the land to compensate for lack of open space in the Chelsea/ Edithvale area. It is intended to emphasise former Aboriginal occupation. food and hunting activity on the land pre-European occupation.
Letter to Clifford Hayes, MP Member for South East Legislative Council, in response to the MP’s request to learn of important issues in his electorate. Money for Dent’s Reserve was one issue mentioned. The MP is a member of Sustainable Population Australia.
A meeting on site with a Council Office, a MBCL member and a qualified gardener discussed means of saving Banksia seedlings from the Jack Cuthbertson Memorial Garden before it is destroyed to make way for two netball courts. The seedlings would be propagated and distributed to the community. The Council is no longer spraying the site.
Rossdale Golf Course
Rossdale golf course is reported to be up for sale again for housing. This will mean more loss of open space. Golfers will have to ply on the Capital Golf course adjacent to the Moorabbin Airport. 2500 acres will come back to Council from the sale of the golf course.
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.
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.
Although no meeting was held in June members were involved in two major State Government projects of an extremely controversial nature. These are Level Crossing removals for Bonbeach and Edithvale Stations and the Mordialloc four lane. 9 km freeway elevated to cross over Governor Road, Waterways wetlands and Mordialloc Creek before joining Springvale Road. This road will also cross through the south west corner of Braeside Wetlands thus impacting two major wetland habitats frequented by migratory and endangered bird species. Groundwater in this low-lying area, part of the former Carrum Carrum swamp, may be contaminated by construction work at both Mordialloc Creek and at Edithvale Station when the acid sulphate soil is exposed to oxygen and endangering the water quality in the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands. An Environment Effects Statement (EES) was required based on the likely impact that polluted groundwater may have on the Edithvale Seaford wetlands thus making it unsuitable for bird life resulting in a loss of Ramsar listing of the wetlands.
Residents Against Mordialloc Freeway
RAMF consist of residents and concerned environmentalists who are not convinced that a fifth major road is required leading to Mornington Peninsula. There are alternatives such as lanes added to Springvale Road in the grassy paddock opposite Waterways residential estate and Richfield retirement Village – or extending the rail line from Frankston to Mornington. Instead residents will be faced with an elevated four lane ( maybe six lanes in future) freeway built across the open wetlands presently peaceful habitat for birds and a calm retreat for residents.
Level Crossing Removals
This project also kept environment and resident groups busy during June. Although two options are offered to communities it is usually the loudest and largest groups that are heard especially if political advantage is involved in Most residents don’t like the look of the elevated rail line and think it will devalue their property whereas the trench method may create flooding & subsidence problems in these suburbs. Groundwater impact was the most important factor under discussion at the Panel Hearing 4″-1″ June at Patterson River Golf Club. It was fortunate that the Friends of Edithvale Seaford wetlands were able to acquire two excellent expert witnesses:- Scott Seymour, for many years an engineer with Melbourne Water and extremely knowledgeable about groundwater. Supporting Scott was Sean Dooley an expert on bird migratory habits. Big questions remain about the success of the horizontal pipe in a trench method of dealing with flooding and contaminated groundwater.
Some good news for a change! VicRoads didn’t approve of the use of this land for a new SES facility so this organisation will have to look elsewhere to build. Perhaps Council can promote this great little piece of Banksia Woodland for public use.
Planning Scheme Amendment C163 Submission close May 1″ for anyone wanting to encourage Council to use developer’s contributions to purchase this land for open space in an area of Edithvale/Chelsea lacking of passive open space.
Council is proposing to remove to remove native vegetation from this environmentally significant Coastal Banksia Woodland park to make way for two netball courts. There are alternative site for netball courts. A garden created in memory of a great conservationist, Jack Cuthbertson, is also under threat of removal should these netball courts be built in this park.
Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.
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.