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
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.
Neighbourhood Character Study
May has certainly been a busy month with meetings and workshops and now the Neighbourhood Character Study to unravel. Consultants Curry and Brown claim that Kingston is managing to cope with housing demand and doesn’t require changes, however Ethos Consultants, presenting the current study, are claiming that there must be higher density housing around the Activity Centres in Kingston on the Frankston line. This three storey development should extend for 800 metres walking distance from the stations. Residents have made it clear that they want gardens and trees, and definitely do not want two storey buildings in the back yards of houses when development is taking place. In other words they want Mordialloc to retain the family friendly atmosphere for which it is famous.
It was pleasing to learn that “old Mordialloc” retains its Heritage listing and that Ormond Street has been able to have at least two lovely little Edwardian cottages Heritage listed. Unfortunately two Edwardian houses in Barkly street are to be sold so will probably be demolished and replaced with three storey characterless blocks of units.
Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting
Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting discussed dredging the creek from the mouth up as far as the rail bridge. The contaminated dredge spoil will not be pumped onto Aspendale beach as happens when the creek mouth is dredged. This spoil will have to be either deposited in landfill or into the dredge spoil grounds in Port Phillip Bay where the Yarra spoil is deposited. Whichever it is it will be expensive.
5th Mordialloc Sea Scouts
5th Mordialloc Sea Scouts are looking for a new home and an extension to the 4th Mordialloc building on George Woods Reserve was mentioned. However a better idea would be for the 5th Sea Scouts to move in with the Mordialloc Sailing Club at Aspendale Beach where they could store their own boats or use the club boats. When discussed with a Sailing Club member he seemed quite pleased. Mentone Girl Guides have use of Parkdale Yacht Club. Multiple use of buildings would reduce the expense for Council who has to keep providing venues for various sporting groups and then having to maintain them.
Tony Collin’s Quarterly Report was received concerning work carried out by Council. During February Parks staff worked with Clare McPhee onsite at Regent’s park to relocate regenerating seedlings of Banksias and Burdarias from within the proposed netball court project construction area. Some seedlings will be provided to local residents and many used as planting stock for the relocated Jack Cuthbertson Memorial Garden which was unfortunately removed to make way for two netball courts. it is pleasing to read that Groves Reserve is now being cared for by the NRA team – Council’s newest Natural Resource Area. Also good news to read that the Peter Scullin Reserve will be planted with approx 80 indigenous coastal trees this Winter, 2019.
Beach Road Boulevard
Kingston Council so resolved to plant both sides of Beach Road with indigenous trees and christening the road a Banksia Boulevard. Some of the younger councillors may be surprised to learn that pre-amalgamation six Bayside Mayors also wanted to call Beach Road a boulevard as a means of protecting it from becoming a heavy transport route for steel trucks from Hastings some of which had crashed on the Charman Road corner. The name change didn’t happen but a curfew.on heavy commercial vehicles using beach Road has been in use since that time.
Melbourne Water’s Strategy of Healthy Waterways
Melbourne Water’s Strategy of Healthy Waterways may align with Living Links in the Dandenong Catchment to carry out reporting and monitoring of data on the condition of the waterways. Mordialloc Creek is under discussion at the moment as a result of the proposed Mordialloc Freeway. Extensive work will be undertaken north of the creek beginning by drilling down into a landfill to provide pylons for an elevated six lane freeway and /or an eight metre embankment to carry the freeway in other sections of the 9km freeway. The elevated six lane freeway will pass over the internationally recognised Waterways Wetlands-harbour for bird life and treasured by the residents. A three week Hearing has just concluded where 135 submissions were lodged, only 35 of these submissions approved of the freeway, with objections on grounds of noise , emissions, disturbance of bird life on the three surrounding wetlands. Contamination of the groundwater as a result of disturbance of acid sulfate soil and pollutants from the landfills could impact on major drains flowing into Mordialloc Creek, the wetlands and eventually Port Phillip Bay.
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.
Committee of Management Mordialloc Creek
W. Grahame reported on this meeting which was held at the Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club. Melbourne Water, Kingston Council Officers. DEWLP. Boating and Fishing Club Members were in attendance. Issues raised were moorings. Sea Scouts lack of boat launching facilities.
Heritage Listing of Pompei Site and Mordialloc Creek Environs
Discussion about Heritage listing for not just the Pompei site and large boat building shed but also the creek environs from the mouth to the railway bridge has been postponed until February 2019. A local heritage consultant thought the whole area was worthy of this listing because of its long fishing and boat building history. While the big shed could become a boat building museum this seems unlikely to happen.
P.MacGuire-White reported on drainage run-off from sports ground hard surfaces outside the Grange boundary effecting the vegetation within the Grange.
Reports of a victory at VCAT with a large Coptic Church being refused. The planning permit sought was not only for the Church, with a tall tower and dome, but stables for horses, sports grounds, etc. The refusal was based on the fact that the church would be more useful in an urban setting rather than on a 40 hectare block of land planned to encourage small size farming activity according to Green Wedge policy documents. With Planning Minister Wynne’s victory in Saturday’s election the Green Wedge may become even more secure!
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.
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.
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.