Suggested that MBCL buy the DVD Australian Coasts based on Neil Oliver’s English BBC Coasts program. Oliver actually filmed Beaumaris fossil cliffs and parts of Brighton Beach with Dr Tim Flannery. A Coastal Guide to the nature and history of Port Phillip Bay has been published and may also be worthwhile purchasing.
STOP Transport Group continues to highlight issues on the Frankston line in conjunction with the PTUA. Southland Station is to be built between Cheltenham and Highett stations, but in a limited format- no toilets, shelters or parking. Of concern is the advertising on train carriages completely covering windows. This obscures clear vision on trains, trams and buses and adds to the advertising blight around stations and rail lines. A letter has been written to the Metro company currently running the trains about this matter.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
Port Phillip Conservation Council met at Longbeach Centre Chelsea, 28 April. Developments on the coast line around the Bay are threatening Arthur’s Seat, Rosebud, Blairgowrie, Rye, Frankston and Brighton Beach. A chair lift and trail bike track on Arthur’s Sea, a swimming pool on the foreshore at Rosebud, a marina at Blairgowrie, a yacht club with a restaurant and retail premises on the foreshore at Frankston without adequate parking and a bike track on the sand at Brighton beach. Should Hastings Port go ahead there will destruction of the seagrass beds and mangroves as well as pollution from oil spills. Beaumaris Yacht Club is seeking an upper storey on the building when concrete cancer is removed. It is proposed that the building can then accommodate a Marine Research Centre – something similar to what is proposed for the Mordialloc Surf Lifesaving Club when it is rebuilt on the primary dune on Mordialloc foreshore.
The Pompei Site
Kingston Council, 25 February, produced a report seeking Councillors approval for the future licensing of the area on Mordialloc Creek bank currently licensed to Pompeis of Mordialloc who were formerly a wooden boat building family. The whole of Pompei’s landing is part of a government road and part committee of management land. Council is seeking to discontinue the government road and become committee of management. This would formalise the present situation of the site and allow Council to allocate long term leases in relation to future development of the land as envisaged through the Mordialloc Creek Master Plan while ensuring that any boat building or repairs are undertaken in an appropriate location on the site.
Following DEPI or DPCD have given informal approval to Kingston’s section of the bike intruding onto the cliff top for 130 metres to allow the Mentone Surf Lifesaving Club patrons to continue to unnecessarily park on the gravel verge a request was made at the Mordialloc Village Committee in April for the offsets to replace the vegetation removed to be locally indigenous to the area. However Council officers have advised Council that any offset plantings will not be locally indigenous vegetation planted at the site of the removal as is generally required. This despite the fact that the Coastal Management Plan Review states that “All plantings should use locally indigenous plant species and correspond with nearby EVC’s”
New Residential Zones
The New Residential Zones are in danger of completely destroying the character of middle ring suburbs as developers buy up residential blocks as they come on the market, demolish liveable dwellings and build (depending on the size of the block) three or four two, three or four storey dwellings on the block with inadequate car parking, overshadowing and over looking. There has been no attempt by Kingston Council to replace open space lost to over development resulting in loss of gardens and trees. There is no sign of housing for lower socioeconomic residents or the elderly or disabled for whom any dwelling with stairs is often unsuitable.
Green Wedge Issues
Five of the nine Councillors are still pushing for the major portion of Kingston’s Green Wedge to be re-zoned for housing despite the fact the Planning Minister has stated that he doesn’t want housing sited in the green wedges. However he hasn’t conveyed these sentiments to Kingston Council in writing. Could he waiting until after the forthcoming State election?
Beaumaris Fossil Cliffs
Judy has been researching well known artists who camped and painted on the clifftops at Beaumaris, or stayed in a house at Mentone and painted many well known works in that locality. The Victorian Heritage staff appear to be chiefly interested in attractive sites that will become a tourist draw card rather than preserving the internationally renowned fossil cliffs and sea ledges. VH staff also dismissed the importance of Aboriginal culture because “they didn’t (permantly) live on the site” rather than acknowledging that the Kuri tribes were nomadic travelling along the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay according to the seasons and food sources. The midden at Parkdale and waterhole at Table Rock is evidence of this.
Councillor Ward Funds
With a State election in the offing certain councillors are becoming toey concerning the use of Councillor Ward funds. Funds of $6000 are allocated to councillors each year to distribute to community/ volunteer groups for projects that may need advertising or to buy materials. The State Government has now agreed to cancel the distribution of Ward funds to councillors. This decision, combined with the Federal and State Governments slashing funding to environment groups throughout Australia threaten the survival, not just of the groups, but the environment when there are proposals to resume logging in State forests, coal seam gas mining in prime agricultural areas and cattle grazing in the Alps to name a few examples.
Coastal Management Plan Review
Members of the Port Phillip Conservation Council, an umbrella group for environment groups, were shocked at a recent meeting to learn that Kingston Council’s Management Plan includes the following policy under 3.3 The impact of foreshore vegetation on private views:“Council will cease planting the tree species, Coast Banksia and Black She-oak, on the foreshore to reduce any future impact on private bay views.” This despite the fact that according to current Government policy, “There is no legal entitlement to a view.”
“Bonbeach Foreshore is a special area where there is evidence that the original vegetation of the foreshore was mainly Coast Banksia Woodland, similar to Seaford Foreshore. Two large Banksias survive from this woodland. Coast Banksia Woodland develops from Coastal Dune Scrub in the absence of intense fire, its understorey of fire retardant succulents giving the vegetation some fire resistance.” (Yugovic 2008 in Assessment of City of Kingston natural reserves.)