Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 3rd October 2012

Environment Victoria

Following Mike Power’s visit to our October meeting it was decided that we would participate in EV’s Reclaim Victoria’s Environment campaign by holding a street stall in the Main Street. Actions taken by the Baillieu Government have seen a reduction in protection of significant environmental features throughout Victoria. These include the Coastcare program slashed, approving an open-cut gold mine in the heart of Wombat Forest near Daylesford, returning cattle grazing in the Alpine National park, urban sprawl continuing with an announcement of six more suburbs for Melbourne covering productive farmland and green wedges. There are already approx. 100 policy reversals and no end in sight. Equally disturbing is the Federal Government’s decision to hand over national environment approval powers to State Governments, six of which have Coalition governments.

Planning changes will be disastrous

According to Ranald Macdonald, David Gill and Alan Hunt referring to threats to the Green Wedges in Chelsea Mordialloc News, October 2-15 and October 16-30. “Planning changes promoted by the Baillieu government for Victoria are the recipe for an unmitigated disaster for urban and city dwellers alike. Our green edges will be despoiled, urban boundaries threatened, national parks reserves handed over to the whims of private enterprise … turned over to developers.”

Mordialloc Creek

Dredging of the creek has been completed on budget and on time. There is an issue for existing boat owners about moorings with the expectation that there will be greater competition for moorings in future. Concrete in Attenborough Reserve, laid prior dredging, will be dug up and trees planted to replace those removed to allow vehicles to access the creek bank. The wheelie bin, containing a body, discovered by the dredgers has mysteriously disappeared.

The Collins Report

It is planned to introduce a Cranbourne style garden in Attenborough Reserve along the Nepean Highway side of the park. Will the gardens feature plants indigenous to the local climate , or as at Cranbourne, plants indigenous to Australia not taking into account climatic differences.?

A busy time for the Team with 3000 plants planted in Kingston parks.

Planting being undertaken on the foreshore at Antibes Street.

What are “Gladestyle Boardwalks” to be introduced at Dixon Street, or Wimbourne Avenue -along the foreshore or along the cliff top?

A minor change to landscaping at Parkdale Railway Station Gardens. Lomandra (locally indigenous) will replace African Fountain Grass and Chinese Star Jasmine will become groundcover rather a fence climber.

Port Phillip Conservation Council AGM

The AGM was well attended to hear Dr Graham Pearman present recent scientific research concerning climate change and the impact of rapidly melting ice on sea levels. His reminder that this side of the Bay is most vulnerable to damage from storm surges and flooding. This is echoed in the Sunday Age 21-10-2012. “Climate change bill of $1 billion for suburbs.” “Waterfront communities from Southbank to Mornington Peninsula face a damage bill of more than $1 billion from sever storms and rising sea levels.” According to a report released to Councillors but not to the public. “If this (report) got out .. it could upset people!” It seems Matthew Guy, Planning Minister has got it all under control. In June he introduced measures to counter coastal inundation by including a 20cm floor-level rise in new houses in urban infill developments. MAV CEO, Rob Spence, claims that “long term prospects for coastal property owners around Port Phillip Bay were more positive .. reassuringly even under the worst-possible scenarios modeled it is still economically viable to occupy these areas.” I wonder if the Sandy storm in the US has caused a re-think?

Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands

Friends have been busy with a Wetland Awareness Day . The event was supported by seven environmental groups including Coastcare, Foreshore Friends(Kingston), Bradshaw Park, Frankston Beach Association, Melbourne Water and Animalia. Down’s Estate Submission claims that the Down’s farm should be considered an extension of the Seaford Wetlands and this should be the overriding priority in regard to uses of the land. This view is based on the fact that so little of the original Carrum-Carrum swam now remains. The Edithvale and Seaford Wetlands are the only two sites of real significance along the shores of Port Phillip Bay.

Bay Trail

The Councillor who proposed that Mentone Promenade become the Kingston Section of the Bay Trail was defeated in the council election. There is now a chance for the trail to be sited back-of-kerb especially as it is reported that VicRoads is planning to narrow the excessively wide Beach Road lanes in Kingston to the Australian Standard. This would mean less intrusion into the foreshore for the bike track by utilising the verge and a small section from the narrowed lanes. The reason for narrowing the lanes is that a wide road encourages speeding while a narrower lane makes drivers more cautious.

Energy Efficient Street Lightning

Kingston Council is to be commended for planning to introduce this policy however under the Mordialloc’s Streetscape Improvement Program installing uplighting to the Avenue of Canary Island Date palms in the highway, the clock tower and war memorial is on the agenda. This unnecessary lighting will add to cost and increase greenhouse emissions. It will also disturb the large flock of Rainbow Lorikeets nesting in the palm trees. Council’s response is that early next year it is planned to develop a public lighting strategy which will extend the policy of energy efficiency improvements to the less regulated lighting installations such as parks, security and decorative lighting. “It is expected that there will be public consultation on this new strategy.” So watch this space!

Weird Science

Sunday Age 28th October an article by Mick Connelly – a must read all about the Grange.

“At this suburban reserve, where locals swear they saw a UFO land in the 1960s, the strangest encounters are actually with nature “ says Mick . He claims that this is a secret place in Melbourne yet is known around the world because of its unique plants. The Grange Heathland Reserve is 6 and a half hectares of original bush that has survived urban sprawl. Tony Collins, Parks Team Leader CoK, says the Grange is “ like a mini Wilsons Prom.”

Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.

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