Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 3rd December 2003

A very successful New Year to environment group volunteers who achieved some impressive results in 2003. Pressure continues, however, as Mordialloc battles to preserve its low rise fishing village character as predators circle seeking approval for five or more storey buildings in the shopping centre and environs. On a more positive note, a revitalised KCEC could add weight to conservation and resident action groups who are seeking, for example, to maintain parks and open space for the benefit of the whole community.

March 16 Melbourne Lower Town Hall 7.30pm “Alternative to Channel Deepening in Port Phillip Bay” Come along and listen to expert opinion on the danger of deepening versus alternative environmental options.

Peter Scullin Reserve Traffic Management Plans

Consultants plans for reorganisation of car parking on the creek bank involved a realignment of the entrance to the car park and would result in removal of vegetation and loss of grassed area in the Hazel Pierce Park. This appeared to be a costly exercise for very little gain. Meetings with officers and the consultant were held to discuss Brian & Nina’s alternative parking plan with seats & grassed area along the creek bank. A subsequent meeting was requested before Council approved their plan, and once again alternative options were discussed. It is hoped that the outcome will mean the retention of the vegetation and grassed area of Hazel Pierce Park.

Skateboard Facility

Once again we are grateful for Brian & Nina’s effort in presenting alternatives to the inappropriate siting of the skateboard facility. The preferred option is the former skateboard site on the Jack Grut Reserve which is safely and easily accessible via off-road bicycle paths from Aspendale Gardens, Royal Palms Estate and Epsom Housing Estate. The foreshore option was ruled out by the Victorian Coastal Strategy policy of excluding non-water related activities on foreshore reserves. A VCAT Hearing set a precedent when a similar request was refused at Rye.

Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition

Bill has undertaken, with assistance of KCEC members, to broaden the role of the coalition. The first project to be tackled is Council’s olicy of selling off small parks and playgrounds to fund the building of e.g a multicultural centre or expand playing fields. With the rapid increase in unit development in Kingston. there is a need to retain small parks to provide relief for unit dwellers who lack private open space for a garden.

Channel Deepening in Port Phillip Bay

Penny attended a further community meeting of the Port of Melbourne Corporation where the ten consultants present outlined their area of research. Disposal of dredge spoil is a major problem. It is estimated that five new sites will be required in the Bay. One suggestion gaining currency unfortunately, is to build an island off Dromana! Meanwhile in Rotterdam even bigger ships are being built and these vessels will not be able to enter the Bay even after dredging. Three members of MBCL along with Alan Clark PPCC, met Minister Batchelor at the Community Cabinet Meetings at Moorabbin late last year to discuss channel deepening. We were told that a decision will be based on the EES Report. However the Government has made an ‘in principle’ decision to proceed with the project!

Five Storeys 541 Main Street, Mordialloc

Nina, Brian and John have sent out letters to 80 objectors advising them of the forthcoming VCAT Hearing March 22nd at which they will be able to speak or observe the process. Despite appeals to Minister Delahunty to impose a height limit to protect the low rise character of Mordialloc until the Structure plan is completed, this has been refused thus allowing developers to target the Pompei boat building site as well. M2030 is encouraging developer frenzy knowing that VCAT members have been told to be aware of Government policy to encourage higher density around Activity centres. Dr Earl will present a submission on behalf of some objectors at the Hearing.

Drill’s Land

At the December meeting of Committee, Kingston Council and Melbourne Water agreed on a Master Plan. A salt marsh was planned because of brackish water, but now Melbourne Water want to run stormwater from Bowen’s Road through Drill’s wetland and filter flows into Mordialloc Creek. Because the saline lake will be flushed with fresh water, the range of salt tolerant plants will be reduced and will attract different birds. Engineers will determine flows and volume to decide on the shape and depth of the water body and where mud flats for wading birds can be located. There will be no island but the water will be fenced to stop animals disturbing birds. Tenders will be out in February 2004 for the earth works.
Aspendale Gardens Primary School received $1900 from Melbourne Water’s Bushcare Grant for Drill’s Project. As part of their curriculum there will be water tests involving science and maths. Nature studies of wildlife and insects are also part of the curriculum. Excellent work by the dedicated committee of volunteers. Progress of the scheme will be watched with great interest.

Chicquita Park Panel Hearing Report????????????????????????????

Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.

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