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.
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.
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.
Three MBCL members met with the Local Member to discuss the potential threat to the Banksia Woodland as a result of the SES being offered use of the site for a replacement depot. The current Scope building is situated on Crown land. Both VicRail and VicRoad own strips of land on either side of this building. It is thought that the building could be reconfigured to accommodate both the Scope building and the SES. There may be a scar three on Groves Reserve.
VCAT was not happy with the extent of vegetation which would be removed if the development of 14 units went ahead on this lovely little piece of bushland at Edithvale – a suburb short of open space. Land is in limbo at present Local residents would like Council to buy the land for open space as has been done where two house blocks were bought for that purpose.
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.