Launchings, Forums, Workshops
MBCL members were invited to a launching of the Victorian Stormwater Action Program for Kingston at the Peter Scullin Reserve 10th May. Launched by Jenny Lindell MP. MBCL was represented at a presentation at Nauru House to explain the Review of the Environment Assessment system aimed at developing a new framework that will provide ‘certainty for business, industry and the wider community’. This is one to watch since there was claimed to be a need to ‘speed up decision making’. Subs due 21 June. A very successful Forum was held at RMIT 26 May with delegates from the nine Metropolitan Green Wedges to formulate a policy to protect the wedges from continuing development pressure.
Complications with the ownership and ultimate control of Edithvale Common have emerged with conflicting advice from Tony Rijs, and Scott Seymour of Melbourne Water. Melbourne Water is reported as wanting to sell the Common but there is a question mark over the use of the land should Kingston council buy the site.
Chelsea Heights Retirement Village
Mulkarra, developers of the proposed retirement village, are taking Kingston Council to VCAT as a result of delay in making a decision about the commercial component of this contraversial development. It is proposed to have five restaurants/eateries on the busy Springvale/Edithvale Road junction. The developers in December 2001 illegally removed a ancient River Red Gum on the site. Remaining red gums could be at risk from the developers plans.
Kingston Foreshore & Waterways Landscape Guidelines
The second Draft policy has been released for steering committee consideration. Following the excellent presentation at the KTRI from the manager of NSW coastal zones, there is greater understanding of the importance of retaining the dune systems in Kingston as a means of protecting infrastructure and expensive real estate which unfortunately, has been built on the frontal dune. Much of this information has been included in the Draft document.
There is concern that Kingston council is proposing to sell off small parks and ‘improve’ larger parks. This policy is contrary to what KRAMMED and other resident groups feel is necessary due to the massive increase in unit & Taj Mahal type developments throughout the city which replace gardens and trees with concrete paving. No new parkland is being purchased. Kingston is only spending $52 per head on parks, one of the lowest levels of all the metropolitan cities. For further reference read KRAMMED’s May Newsletter. The Naples Road cliff top playground has been up-graded but a large tea-tree was cut down because the new playground had blocked the entrance to an informal cliff top path!
Mordialloc Structure Plan
Submissions were due 31st May. It is vital that as many subs as possible are received to object to the annexation of public open space for restaurants on the creek, the Island and foreshore, the removal of the Blue Line Hire Boats to make way for a restaurant and 4 storey development (or more) in the study area. This is a developer driven project with little acknowledgement of the local communities desire for retention of the character of the area.
Weed maintenance continues at Bradshaw Park. Musk Lorikeet and Eastern Spinebill have been stuffed and display cases are now required for these specimens. Braeside Park has a salinity problem which is affecting the centuries old red gum woodland. Stephen checked the Natural Bush Area on Mordialloc Creek north bank for evidence of continuing vandalism of trees. A skateboard ramp at the site of a previous ramp may give ‘vandals’ an alternative interest. The General Meeting of the PPCC was held at Altona/Hobson’s Bay Community Centre. The President, Geoffrey Goode, asked groups to contribute to the PPCC Web site by providing ists of flora and fauna each area. Glen Agnew will be asked to supply lists of underwater plants. The Drill’s Land Committee have invited David Digby, Scott Watson, Rob Pyne and Tony Brindley to meet as soon as possible to finalise plans for this promising project. Rob Pyne is preparing a planting proposal for the site. Uncertain as to the present status of Chicquita Park. Can it be saved as a community park or will this be another loss of open space in the City of Kingston?
Green Wedges and Golf Courses
MBCL President and Secretary attended the Carrum-Carrum Wetlands Forum 15 May to hear the Guest Speaker describe the work on the Patterson River Country golf Club where 100 pine trees will be removed to be replaced with indigenous species and grasses claimed to be better adapted to Australian conditions. Residential golf courses in many green wedge areas are seen as a smoke screen for further development in non-urban areas. Older golf courses such as Patterson River and Rossdale, with declining membership, are forced to sell land for residential development or re-locate to green field sites. Residents in established suburbs are further deprived of open space when golf courses sell up and move out. Trendy residential golf courses in the non-urban areas contribute to urban sprawl. The latest development is in Keysborough with the golf club extending to the Mordialloc Main drain.