Congratulations to Cr Rosemary West and Greg Alabaster both of whom were successful in Council elections. Congrats also to Bill who campaigned strongly and missed out on toppling the opposition by 20 votes after a recount! Many, many thanks to all those who letter-boxed and scrutineered and did so much to assist our green team. Let’s hope the outcome will make a significant difference to Council decisions in the New Year, Congrats also to the Greens – Mara and Shana and others who polled magnificently. Interesting to see the effect at the forthcoming State elections! And Stephen! An exceptional result. Well done!
Planning for our Future Forum
Planning for our Future Forum was organised by Save our Suburbs, VLGA, RMIT and Planning Institute Australia 12 November.. Excellent speakers included Rob Hulls, Ted Baillieu, Paul Mees, Michael Buxton, Dr Miles Lewis, Janet Rice and many more. The feeling was that VCAT needed reform and M2030 also required reviewing. Prescriptive planning policies was preferred by many developers as well as the community making for greater certainty. Greater funding of infrastructure by developers.. M2030 is flawed and leads to “high rise, high density, high anxiety” according to Ted Baillieu. The only way affordable housing can be provided according to developers when asked was to “reduce the quality of the unit and the size of the unit to reduce costs.” Paul Mees claimed that in Vancouver maximum site coverage for one dwelling was 30%. Front yards and side yards are mandatory in stand alone dwellings! High rise development is approved for selected areas only after community consultation. Allin all a terrific Forum – if only the Ministers would listen!
Beaches are said to be clean except after rain when people are warned not to swim near drain or creek outlets for at least 24 hours after heavy rain.
Simplifying Native vegetation Guidelines
Minister Thwaites has succumbed to lobbying by urban developers to “simplify ” the guidelines by removing the urban areas from the requirement for developers to seek a permit to remove remnant or significant vegetation from a development site. EV asks people to write to the Minister and local politicians about this matter. EV believes that environmental policy to prevent inappropriate rural and residential development is under threat. MBCL has sent a submission to the Panel.
Concrete Crushing application to operate in Heatherton has been ‘crushed’ by Minister Hulls! Local residents are delighted. Not so delighted at the VCAT decision to allow a saw mill (actually a timber retail outlet) in the green wedge also in Heatherton. An application for a large caravan park/portable homes also in the green wedge is awaiting a decision. The Government’s decision to extend the Urban Growth Boundary into the green wedge will impact on Native Vegetation Guidelines. A reported application for a concrete crushing facility at Braeside has transmogrified into a cabinet making business much to the relief of the boating business already established nearby in Wyman Place!
Widening Mordialloc Creek Bridge
Widening Mordialloc Creek Bridge is controversial in that improving traffic flow along Nepean Highway at a time when the cost (and shortage) of oil is likely to be a permanent feature of a motorists life, contradicts the aim to increase public transport patronage. The impact of bridge widening on Attenborough Park has been addressed by Mara in a letter to the Editor. The destruction of the cypresses in the Park has destroyed the character and charm of the area. Road widening will remove a significant section of the Park as well. In answer to a question at the Mordialloc Village Committee about the status of bridge widening, in particular clearance for boats and the retention of the maintenance ramp, the Committee was advised that this is a VicRoads project and Council has not seen working drawings of the proposal so is unable to comment on the heights and impacts.
Foreshore Management Policy
Council’s Foreshore Management Policy as presented to the Foreshore Reference Committee was considered to be flawed in that the principles presented to Council and approved had not been resubmitted to the Reference Committee for comment. Furthermore Minutes of Committee meetings were inaccurately recorded. Concern also at the disposal of plants and trees from the Bonbeach nursery because of uncertainty if, and where trees will be, or can be planted on the foreshore despite the fact that DSE stated that a Banksia Woodland could be considered as indigenous to the foreshore pre-European settlement and therefore Banksias should be planted possibly as shelter around picnic areas and carparks.
Friends of Bradshaw Park had a tour of Rowans Woodlands. The AGM saw the election of office bearers. The October Working Bee concentrated on removing herbaceous and grassy weeds. The Hazel Pierce Park now features new picnic tables and benches. Two coastal Banksias have been planted near the creek. Five or six Monterey Cypress stumps have been removed form the Pompei Site which is looking distressingly bare without shade for Jack’s hut and the people working on their boats. Parks Vic had moved the boulders during creek maintenance so that cars are again parking on the sand near the creek mouth and leaving rubbish.
Draft Boating Coastal Action Plan
A Draft Boating Coastal Action Plan has appeared for comment until January 31. This project has been prepared by the Cnetral Coastal Board for recreational boating in the central coastal region. It is claimed that the Victorian Coastal Strategy provides guidance on the management of the coastal environment. We should perhaps be alert to the aim to Balance Demand for Coastal Space for new facilities “provided by public and private investment.”
Residents Against Toxic Waste
Residents Against Toxic Waste in Dandenong had a victory when Mark Dreyfus QC was able to show that industrial waste”in the more hazardous categories” including asbestos, hydro- chloric acid, lead and mercury has been dumped at Lyndhurst for several years. RATSW have been campaigning for six years to prove that the tip owner was breaching its permit by accepting thousands of tonnes of proscribed industrial waste each year. Well done, RATSW!
Bicycle Path has been in abeyance during the election period but the planners have been beavering away apparently. According to the VC Minutes, Jonathon says that the “officers advise that they are working towards the outcomes resolved by Council at its 26th April 2006??? Ordinary Council Meeting. Further public consultation processes are likely to be carried out in the New Year regarding the first detailed design stage of this project.”
Happy Christmas Everyone