Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 3rd December 2008

Happy New Year to All

Trust that everyone has had a restful break and ready to once again face the challenges which I am sure await us. We can perhaps hope that with a new council operating in a different format there will be more consideration given to environmental issues. Congratulations to Cr West on a successful election result, welcome back to Trevor in the South Ward but sadly former Cr Alabaster missed out in the North Ward. His wisdom, experience and support for community values will be missed.

Crown Land Review

Land on both sides of Mordialloc Creek from the mouth to Wells Road bridge is Crown Land. The State Government is conducting a review of Metroploitan Crown Land to identify uses, resources, conditions, values and management. Submissions are due February 16. There is no need for specific detail at this stage but it is important to include any points it is felt are significant – in our case what we consider appropriate for the Pompei site all of which is Crown Land. Under Mordialloc Structure plan it is proposed to permit a four storey unit development, as well as restaurant right on the bank of the creek where Jack’s small sheds are situated. Kingston Council has been given a $250, 000 grant to employ a consultant aimed at devising a plan for the area. Such a plan would over ride the structure plan according to our local politician. Ideally the area should be retained for small boat building, and facilities for repair and maintenance for boat owners. Although plans are available of the Crown Land it becomes rather complex because of the number of leaseholders in the area. Further research is required.

Exxon Mobil

Dec 13 2008 the anchor of a vessel cut through the Exxon Mobil pipeline during a storm in Port Phillip Bay. The pipeline carries ethane from Hastings To Altona with the pipeline crossing Mordialloc beach to enter the Bay. June 17 1972 3000 people rallied on the beach to protest the pipeline fearing its installation might set a precedent for future oil pipelines. An attempt had been made in 1971 for four more pipelines to cross the bed of Port Phillip Bay-disallowed by the Hamer Government.

Mordialloc Creek Waterwatch

Brian and Judy undertook the January testing of water quality in the creek . They reported that water level was very low due to lack of rain thus no stormwater.flowing into creek from major drains. Nina reported that at a meeting of AGRA Melbourne Water gave a progress report on the proposed wetlands on industrial land above Wells Road bridge. NRA staff are concerned at possible loss of indigenous vegetation when work commences on the wetlands. Melbourne Water has no notice of motorized watercraft likely to cruise upstream of Wells Road bridge when the wetlands are completed.Friends of Edithvale Seaford Wetlands are opposed to a policy allowing motorized boats upstream o „fthe bridge.

George Woods Reserve Landscaping

Nina reports that NRA are planning to install a tank in the aboretum near the railway bridge in the park to water plants.The shared path from the rail line to the footbridge over the creek is to be realigned to prevent people taking a short cut across the grassed area leading to erosion and compaction of soil around tree roots.

Mordialloc Foreshore

Pleasing to note how well vegetation in the pig pens south of the lifesaving club is growing despite the drought. The pig pens should be retained to prevent people creating goat tracks through the dunes. Banksias and casuarinas near the playground in the Peter Scullin Reserve are doing well but those near the pier are struggling due to lack of understorey protection from gales.Pleasing to note also that two mature casuarinas opposite The Bay, vandalized after the Peter Scullin Reserve massacre, have been replaced as required by DSE policy.

Channel Deepening

Blue Wedges research has found that overseas shipping companies now believe that smaller ships are cheaper to run than large vessels. A teaching fellow at ANU College of Law , who worked for Freehills during the 2004 Panel Hearing into channel deepening, is investigating concepts of environmental justice within Australian environmental law and using the channel deepening project as a case study. Brad will attend the MBCL meeting Feb 4th.

Bay Trail

Cr Dundas met with MBCL members to inspect the proposed bike path location on the verge of Beach Road, plus a quick visit to Mordialloc Creek. Following the inspection of the bike route Stephen produced some interesting stats concerning car parking.

Beaumaris Conservation Society

Beaumaris Conservation Society met with former pollie, Evan Thornley and Vic Roads to discuss the Beaumaris section of the Bay Trail between Charman and Cromer Roads. Outcome uncertain. VicRoads is planning to convert this section of Beach Road to four lanes. Why?

VCAT Decision RE NQR / Supreme Court Summons

VCAT has approved the development of the NQR site with minor external alterations to the upper levels of units. No change to the only entry/exit point to the development into Epsom Road. The day after the arrival of the VCAT decision two large folders appeared on the doorstep with a summons for MBCL and Ors to appear at the Supreme Court. Kingston Council is taking Alex Fraser and his concrete crusher to court. The EDO is appearing for MBCL and Ors.

Blasts from the Past

Peter Scullin and Dr Michael Buxton, former City of Mordialloc Mayors and councillors – and former members of MBCL, attended Jack Pompei’s funeral and wake – and were astonished to learn that MBCL was still tottering along -after 40 years!

Jim Kerin, organizer of Southern Community Radio, conducted a 30 minute interview after the funeral with MBCL secretary re the group’s involvement with Jack Pompei ,and some of the issues concerning the creek. The highly polluted condition of the creek around 1975-1994 was the main problem during that period.

Yammerbook Nature Reserve

Nina reports that the Friends group and Kingston council are still negotiating over the wording of an interpretive sign to be erected in the Reserve. The sign will include information about the Bunurong and Jimmy Dunbar, last of his Aboriginal tribe in this area.

Bradshaw Park

Friends are alarmed about illegal advertising signs place on the park’s fence and would appreciate people reporting any more sightings to Council.

Esso/Exxon Mobil Pipeline Saga

In 1969 Mr Warlow, Esso’s chief pipeline engineering lobbyist,addressed Mordialloc Council informing them that the pipeline would not cause inconvenience except that the city would be unable to build or plant trees within the 50 foot/feasement which traverses the full length of Crown Land/creek reserve -including the Pompei site!

Just a thought With the Hasting Westernport container port development likely to go ahead, will there be pressure again for pipelines crossing the Bay?

Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.

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