Although the State election is not until November things are hotting up in the Sandbelt marginal seats with politician hopefuls appearing regularly in mug shots or street stalls. An example of Lib’s anxiety is the announcement that train/tram fares are to be altered on all lines. Trams will be free in the CBD and zone one fares will apply on the Frankston line where the STOP Group (Sandbelt Transport Options) have been active with street stalls, petitions and door knocking. A public meeting is in the offing. Well done, STOP!
Mentone Station is planning a 100 year celebration – another photo opportunity for candidates! The station Friend’s Group is very active keeping an eye on the formal gardens and reporting graffiti attacks.
Kingston’s Green Wedge is still under threat from a small group of land owners and a private school who want to see the land subdivided for residential development despite a creditable report by Planisphere who did not recommend subdivision. Latest reports by the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy in Parliament, March 12 states that he had no intention of changing the urban growth boundary near the golf club or approving anything.” Defenders of the South East Green Wedge applauded Mr Guy’s stance on the issue. The Planning Minister has also implemented an interim policy for a further 18 months. prohibiting material recycling in Kingston’s Green Wedge after a previous two-year protection order lapsed in June 2010. Council has not supported any of the previous applications.
Coast and Creek Booklet
Review of the booklet has commenced with fresh information about Mordialloc Creek, the foreshore and Yammerbook salt water wetland. Species of bird life around the creek and wetlands will be important inclusions. Decisions still to be made about illustrations and printing. Aspendale Gardens Residents Association (AGRA) is still unhappy that the MW wetland extension between Wells Road Bridge and Waterways Lakes is not being constructed for some years. When completed the wetland will improve water quality in the creek.
Beaumaris Cliffs and Sea Ledges
Following a negative result from Canberra for National Heritage Listing for Beaumaris Cliffs it was suggested that an application be made to Victorian Heritage for listing. An onsite meeting with Sue Pennicuik , (Greens) took place with a favourable response. A comprehensive report from an RMIT engineering graduate is a valuable resource listing the damage which will be caused to the site if the extension of the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron proceeds with the 120 boat marina, hard stands against the cliffs and a granite wall affecting currents and sand movement. Application to Victorian Heritage for listing was moved by W.Grahame. Seconded by Nina Earl. Approved
The Bay Trail
The Bay Trail was approved by Council 5:4 in favour of back-of-kerb bike track from Charman Road to Mentone Lifesaving Club with MLSC being given permission to continue parking on 130 metres of the gravel verge which should be part of the bike path. This means that the 4 metre wide bike track will have to deviate onto the narrow cliff top resulting in the removal of 130 metres of vegetation. Appeals to DEPI for information or intervention have met with silence. In fact DEPI have given informal approval for the deviation into the foreshore vegetation. It is understood that in a struggle between DPCD and DEPI over which department will have the final say in planning / environmental matters DPCD won. This department will make decisions, DEPI can only make recommendations.
Developments in Middle Ring Suburbs
3 storeys, 11 units on a single block in Ormond Street, Mordialloc. 4 two storey units on a single block in Wood’s Avenue, Mordialloc. Two more blocks in Wood’s Avenue to be developed. Unfortunately Kingston’s Neighbourhood Residential Zone fails to protect neighbourhood character because it will permit one or two dwellings on a lot and sometimes more if the development is on a large lot. In fact in Kingston the 10 schedules of the draft NRZ taken together, will homogenise all residential areas because larger lots will be allowed to accommodate more dwellings at 1 per 300sqm so eventually the lot size for all dwellings will be reduced down to 300-500 sqm.
Regional Coastal Board
Regional Coastal Board has invited submissions to help the board prepare draft regional coastal plans. The ways that people enjoy the coasts brings challenges which regional coastal plans aim to guide to a responsible sharing with all users and at the same time look after the state’s coastal resources. Coastlines are a major attraction as well as an important recreational destination for fishing, swimming, surfing and walking. Victoria’s long southfacing coastline and cold southern waters mean that many plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Although the coastal boards have been appointed by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and functions under the Coastal Management Act 1995, Climate Change does not seem to play a major role in management plans. The current trend to build large new Lifesaving and Yacht Clubs on the foreshore around Port Phillip Bay may be a little unwise given sea level rise and an increase in severe storm events.
Australia in hot seat : climate report (Sunday Age 23 March 2014) Final draft of a five year assessment by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that there is high confidence that climate change is already affecting Australia’s oceans with climate zones and species shifting hundreds of kilometres southwards. Professor Jean Palutikof,, review editor of the assessment, said while adaptation measures were important there were limits to what the world could do and it was important to cut global emissions to ensure these thresholds were not reached .
The Collins Report
An interesting item in the Collins Report is the watering of Council’s street & parks trees – the priority to keep them alive. As Council can’t now purchase Class A water from the ETP, the alternative has been to truck water from one of the main catchments – Namatjira Park. Council can harvest approximately 90 million litres per annum from this site. This is a better solution than utilising potable water hydrants. A query – are all the street trees planted within the last few years – indigenous drought proof trees? Check the full Collins Report attachment.
Interesting little Age letter this week :- “In Victoria, National Heritage Listing means: “Will take a bit longer to get rid of.” Simon Clegg, Donvale.