Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 3rd December 2014

Happy New Year (Hopefully)

Trust all have had a relaxing time, ready for action and better prospects for the environment under a new government. MBCL has lost one of our long serving members who has moved to Bacchus Marsh to be closer to family. Mara, as secretary of MBCL, was one of the members who successfully prevented the DVA from concrete lining Mordialloc Creek in 1977. Fortunately the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works was engaged to realign the creek and revegetate the banks to create pleasant open space it is today in increasingly built up suburbia.

Desalination Plant Wonthaggi

Nina reported on a visit to the desalination plant at Wonthaggi and found it fascinating although there was no public access- only tour groups of eight persons. Former farmland surrounding the plant now indigenous habitat.

Bradshaw Park Name Change

The former Bradshaw Park, is now to be called officially Bradshaw Bushland Reserve. The Reserve has been transformed to bushland featuring indigenous flora and fauna.

The Grange

A successful barbecue was held at the Grange last November and was also a thank you from the NRA to the volunteers who have worked in reserves and on the foreshore throughout the year. All in all a lovely day.

End of Year Break-Up

It was decided to combine Christmas break-up events this year so that KRA, KCEC and MBCL enjoyed a well organised dinner locally prior to members taking a well earned rest after a fraught year of environmental battles.

Mordialloc Creek Catchment Enhancement Project

Melbourne Water Grant awarded February 2013 to fund Friends of Mordialloc Creek working with Kingston Council’s NRA crew on the Living Links site opposite the end of Old Wells Road. Work consisted of removing woody weeds and revegetating the creek banks. Melbourne Water inspected the site 17th November 2014 with the Kingston Council officers and Friends Group. Melbourne Water representative was pleased with the work and the project’s completion and was impressed with NRA management of creek vegetation. Melbourne Water was also interested in photos taken when MBCL was monitoring the growth of creek vegetation approx. 2000. Council officer promised to forward photos to Melbourne Water representative.

Beaumaris Fossil Cliffs and Sea Ledges

Perhaps to counter Prof. Tim Flannery and Dr Erich Fitzgerald’s plan to invite people to attend a day when fossils can be identified or people can learn about the importance of the fossil beds at Beaumaris, the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron is also planning to have an Open Day to discuss a new mega marina in Beaumaris Bay. Should this marina get Government approval, the sea ledges will be covered with ha’s of concrete. Beaumaris Conservation Society has labelled the plan destructive.

The Bay Trail

Nina reported on the VCAT Practice Day at which the Chair person ordered Kingston Council to attend a Meditation meeting at VCAT with the objectors. Previously there had been no consultation between Council and environment groups about the proposal to use 130 metres of the gravel verge for car parking for Mentone Lifesaving Club rather than for the bike track as approved by former Liberal and Labour Transport Ministers.

Beach Road Safety for Cyclists

There has been a decrease in accidents on Beach Road between cyclists and car drivers. This is in part due to weekend car parking bans on Beach Road between the hours of 6am and 10am Saturday and Sunday mornings. Peak cycling body Bicycle Network supports the ban and “says that the big drop in injuries shows that these changes were worth fighting for.”

Communities for Nature Funding

In contrast to Kingston foreshore residents who have had inserted into Kingston’s Coastal Management Plan that “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 “ two Somers groups have received funding for a program designed to “support local environmental projects that protect and support native plants and animals.” A display of photos was on display telling the story of five years of hard work undertaken by the Friends restoring the Coastal Banksia Woodland and remnant dune scrub of the Reserve. (Somers Paper Nautilus, Issue 55 ,Nov. 2014-Jan 2015.)

Climate Change

Miami South Beach is being inundated by rising sea. After a brief heavy downpour water could not escape ,so sewers backed up and filled the roads. This was during an annual fine art festival, Art Basel, when Hollwood stars and wealthy individuals visit Miami. Harold Wanless, Professor at the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Miami stated “The ocean has risen…. Much of the region is just 1.5metres above sea level.” (Age 21 2014)

Port of Hastings

Perhaps the only good news for some time is that the Andrew’s Labor Government has decided not to go ahead with the development of the Port of Hastings for a major container port. Not so good is that Labor may want to build a major container port on the Western side of Port Phillip Bay. While sensible since it is closer to industrial areas and the exporting of agricultural produce , it will mean massive dredging for larger vessels with devastating effects on the Bay and the Ramsar feeding grounds of the Orange Bellied parrot.

Mordialloc Lifesaving Club

It is claimed that vegetation has to be removed on the foreshore to provide one path for surf boats to access the water and another path to allow medics to reach the water quickly. This will mean the removal of healthy mature She-oaks – and, of course they won’t be replaced because of Kingston’s Coastal Management Plan forbidding the planting of trees, including She-oaks, on Kingston’s 13 ms of foreshore. MBCL has objected to the amount of vegetation to be removed.

Climate Change and Biodiversity Meeting

12TH February @ 6.30pm at Council Offices, Cheltenham.

Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.

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