Guest Speaker – Mr Norm Bury
Guest Speaker was Mr Norm Bury, member of the Clayton South Village Committee. Norm out- lined the background to the sale of part of the Heatherton Park in 1999, despite the fact that the land was bought and paid for on behalf of ratepayers under the previous City of Oakleigh Council, to operate as a land fill area, until such time as it became settled and would then return to the people for public use.
“The original commitment given to the people of Kingston by its elected councillors was, that the operations in which dealings of this municipality would be carried out by Council would be transparent in their entirety, and full consultation would be the cornerstone of its partnership with the people of Kingston.”
While the Heatherton area was to become part of a Chain of Parks once the tips were filled slabs are now being built over the filled tips and industrial development is occurring on the sites. “Will this mean that filled sites will be sold for development rather than become the Chain of Parks?
Who is watching over our parks to ensure that they are not being sold for development as is the case with six small parks in Clarinda ?
541 Main Street, Mordialloc
The VCAT hearing for the five storey development proposed for the old police station site ran for four days from the 22-25 March. Five residents presented submissions requesting a two storey height limit. Community opposition to high density development and support for retention of heritage buildings and neighbourhood character was reflected in the 1250 signed pro-formas collected in the days preceding the hearing. Unfortunately State Government pressure for high density in-fill development as required under M2030 will preclude a VCAT decision acceptable to the community and a precedent will be set for 4-5 storey development in the rest of the commercial centre and creek precinct. MBCL Treasurer made a contribution towards the fighting fund for the campaign. Sincere thanks to the handful of members/residents who letter boxed, held placards, gathered signatures, sent e-mails, telephoned and prepared submissions. No thanks to elected representatives and bureaucrats who fail to support communities seeking to defend their residential amenity.
Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition
Meeting 30th March issues discussed were:-
- KCEC to organise a full day community conference devoted to the state of Kingston’s environment. Speakers and community group displays to be encouraged.
- How effective is Council’s policy of dealing with cars parking on, and damaging, nature strips?
- A policy for planting sustainable trees and vegetation in Kingston to counter a predicted temperature rise due to global warming accompanied by a decline in rainfall.
- An amendment to Kingston’s open space policy to prevent small parks being sold for development.
Peter Scullin Reserve
Residents were invited to Mentone to view a reconfigured car parking plan for the creek side car park. Consultation with conservation groups resulted in a much better outcome and a cheaper option for council with no increase or loss in parking spaces. Once again thanks to those who were involved in also saving the Hazel Pierce Park from a carve up for an unnecessary, over elaborate entrance to the car park.
Chicquita Park was looking positive with plans for studies to be undertaken to ascertain available open space in the vicinity and to confirm the existence of significant vegetation. However the proponent is going to VCAT claiming a “denial of justice” at the Panel Hearing.
Contractors have been appointed to commence earth works to contour the lake which is necessary to allow for possible flood flow from upstream.
Groups are sorry to learn that Rob Jones has left Kingston and will work with Bayside Council. As a result there will be a new ranger at Kingston. The grasses are growing and will be lovingly tended at the forthcoming working bee. The new secretary is also a Village Committee member and will be able to keep members informed of issues arising.
Sustainable Cities 2025
Earlier this year Bill and Mary prepared a submission for the Federal Government’s Sustainable Cities enquiry. As a result an invitation arrived for the public hearing and round table discussions, 16 March, in the Council Committee Room, Parliament House. Fourteen councillors present volunteered their ideas during the Round Table discussions. Interestingly councillors from regional cities, e.g. Wodonga, wanted to see “a more even population spread” to relieve population pressure along the Victorian coastline and to encourage settlement in the regions. (The Age, March 27, reported that although world wide, most people will be living in cities by 2007, most of that growth will be in smaller urban areas). Improvement in public transport for both freight and passenger services was stressed by all regional and metropolitan councillors. Federal and State Govt. commitment to funding was also stressed to achieve this goal. The City of Darebin believes that Australia needs a National Population Settlement Strategy to be largely based on the ecological carrying capacity of Australia. How can we have sustainable cities unless all of Australia is sustainable??? Other comments:- Melbourne 2030 is too “top down”. VCAT: people should be part of the process but developers can engage QCs and divert council’s planning which benefits the community (rather the developer’s bank balance!) And much, much more. Ideas, perhaps for a KCEC future conference/forum???
See Public Transport Appendix part of the submission to the VCAT Hearing 541 Main Street.
Channel Deepening meeting in the Lower Melbourne Town Hall has sparked requests from POMC for discussions with Dr Graeme Harris, CSIRO, key note speaker at the meeting. Well done, Blue Wedge Coalition members!!