Members may be wondering at the change in logos at the top of the page. We have been advised that MBCL is eligible for a Melbourne Water grant to assist with the publication of this newsletter. We are, of course, delighted. Thank you, Melbourne Water!
Four members have volunteered to take part in a monitoring program of the Natural Bush Areas along the creek and foreshore. This will involve photographing selected sites on a three monthly basis to check on re-growth and revegetation in these areas. During May, sites were selected by Tony Collins Team Leader Excel, and volunteers, Nina, Brian, Penny and Mary.
The selection process was in itself informative. For example, great work is being done on the north bank of Mordialloc creek with weed removal and planting of species indigenous to the area, however there is still the problem with the south bank of the creek, formerly under the control of Chelsea Council but now the responsibility of Melbourne Water. Maintenance and weed removal is urgently required to prevent weed infestation recurring on the opposite bank.
While foreshore vegetation and planting programs are creating a haven for birds and a buffer between the built area and beach, a major problem continues to be the destruction of foreshore vegetation by residents who want to ‘improve’ their view. Two incidents occurred recently when banksias and tea-tree were bull-dozed from the foreshore at Chelsea and Carrum.
Progress in suburban council’s storm water management strategy’s was the topic for discussion at the Dandenong CIC meeting held at Kingston in May. Kingston Council’s Environment Officer, Doug Evans, presented a report stressing that the quality, rather than the quantity, of storm water was the main aim of the management plan.
Cr van Klaveren gave a comprehensive report on current issues of local concern:-
- JvK attended the PPCC AGM at which the Hon. Victor Perton was guest speaker.
- Decisions have to be made about saving the historic house, Mayfield, and the impressive stand of European trees
- The Kingston Residential Strategy is still being considered by Council. The State Government has nominated setbacks and overshadowing as issues to be addressed. Members claim that density is still a major issue as is the retention of trees.
- JvK attended a VCAT hearing with residents concerned about a sub-standard unit development which had been approved by ‘delegation’
- Mordialloc Activity Node, now known as the Mordialloc Precinct, will be the subject of a study when tenders are decided. Councillors Petchey and van Klaveren are on the Steering Committee. Environment members must also be included in this important study.
- JvK and Councillor Normington inspected the Mirvac development site at Kingston Centre where 450-500 houses are to be built.
Carrum Lowlands Wetlands Committee
Nina and Brian have agreed to represent MBCL on this committee. We are most appreciative of their involvement especially as they have many other commitments..
Green Wedge C2/C5
The Panel report is a rather baffling document appearing to be contradictory at times. C2 has been approved with a 500 metre buffer around the dog zone. C5 is to be revised quite considerably.
Bradshaw Park is having some animals taken to a taxidermist and plans to have a display of ‘preserved ‘animals and birds for visitors to the park, especially school groups. A feral fence is to be constructed around The Grange. The Annual General Meeting will be held at Westall Tennis Club 21-6-2000 The history of The Grange will be the topic of a guest speaker. Rowan Woodlands planned a bats and fox night.
Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition
There have been on-going discussions about a suitable memorial for Jack Cuthbertson to recognise his involvement in so many organisations but especially with environment groups. The family’s preference is for a seat possibly in a local park. A notice board in Chelsea Library was another suggestion considered because Jack fought so hard to have a library established.
Hain’s Wetland Development (Waterways)
The developer organised tours of the wetland development during the construction stage. Conservationists decided to avail themselves of the opportunity to have a site inspection . The construction of the wetlands cost $13 million according to one of the employees. The recent rains have tested the engineering design as the ‘inland sea’ rushes towards the Bay. It is pleasing to see the phragmites already appearing along the edges of the ‘wetlands.
We are indebted to those members of Braeside and Bradshaw Parks who toiled to rescue 50 boxes of significant plants from Epsom before the bull-dozers moved in. The plants were outside the area which is to be retained as herb-rich grassy wetland. Unfortunately, it was reported that ‘hundreds of plants were not saved and have now become victims of development mania joining the thousands of Australian species to become extinct. Insufficient time was allowed by ULC to rescue all the plants.
An Indigenotes article Volume 12 Number 7 1999, by Ken Duxbury, queried the use of Roundup by council staff in order to control weeds. It seems that lack of resources since the amalgamation of councils has meant that manual weeding is not possible according to council staff. The author thinks that other methods of weeding are possible. Germany, for example, does not allow herbicides in public parks. Steam is used instead. Apart from a possible link to non-Hodgkin Lymphoma there is a warning of the potential damage that Roundup can do to aquatic life:- “Do not allow container or spray to get into drains, sewers, streams or ponds” A warning there for Hains and Epsom wetlands??
Andrew of Parkdale
Some listeners to 3LO would have heard Andrew of Parkdale commenting on a range of issues in the talk-back session, but how many have heard him on Ockhams Razor, a science segment on the ABC. Last Saturday the AGE featured one of Andrew’s best (I think) feature articles for Saturday Essay entitled “Sorry days: memories of Archie, Noel”. The Archie was Archie Roach, Aboriginal singer, who joined Andrew’s Grade 3 class at a primary school. How appropriate that the article appeared the weekend of reconciliation activities. As Jon Faine said on Monday morning, “A very moving article.” Andrew also appears in Arena magazine.