Melbourne’s winter has driven some of our members OS – and more are planning to join the exodus during August. Others are temporarily interstate. Some were incapacitated during July so the meeting was abandoned. Never-the- less a careful watch was kept on council activities. One of councils dubious activities has been the disbanding of the 10 Village Committee system of monthly meetings – operating successfully for 20 years. Originally established by the Commissioners at the time of Council amalgamations the committees were a means of keeping councillors informed about local issues and for the members of the committees being informed about forthcoming projects by the presiding officer present. Some councillors saw the Village committees as a threat to their authority, and despite “consultation”, are determined to introduce a system where members are encouraged to join existing groups. This will limit consultation and information to one area only rather than the broad scope of the present system.
Nina has compiled a comprehensive critique of Council’s proposal to review their policy of commercialisation of foreshore and parkland. This is because of the old catch cry “but it’s not being used”. The previous policy stressed that activities on the foreshore should be water related only.
Nina, Stephen, Mary and Port Phillip Conservation Council have all made submissions to Council’s proposed route for the Bay Trail. Unfortunately council have allowed the Mentone LSC to continue to park on part of the trail alignment along side Beach Road thus forcing the trail onto the narrow cliff top-only 9 metres wide at this point where the cliffs are subject to erosion.
Mordialloc Surf Lifesaving Club
The draft policy is for a new building, to be sited on the highest point on the foreshore – a pleasant grassy sand dune. The artist’s impression is of an exceptionally ugly building which will be used mainly to store surf boats and equipment at the ground level with rooms and a observation point on the upper level. Most competitions take place at surf beaches.
There must be an election in the offing. The Member for Mordialloc has provided money for a weed removal project on the south bank of Mordialloc Creek above Wells Road Bridge. This will involve Aspendale Gardens, local schools and Melbourne Water. Banks of the Main Drain here are lined with phragmites which improve water quality, provide wildlife habitat and prevent bank erosion. It is hoped that enthusiasts don’t consider the phragmites to be ‘weeds’ as some people do, and remove them all!
Provision for a Bike Path?
An informal bike track along the south bank of the creek, between Wells Road and Bowen Road provided a safe off-road track for riders accessing schools or Mordialloc foreshore. A former planner with Dandenong Council, June Ernst, envisaged a link between Dandenong’s off-road bike track and using the bank of Mordialloc Creek connecting with Mordialloc’s Long Beach Trail to Patterson River or Mordialloc foreshore. The bike track along the raised bank of the creek gave views across open country to the Dandenongs, whereas the only bike track at present, between Wells and Bowen roads, is along a maintenance track unsuitable in wet weather. The only view is the backs of houses with views of Dandenongs blocked by the high bank of the creek. If money is left over from weed removal perhaps thought could be given to installing a bike track along the south bank of the creek, between Wells Road Bridge and Bowen Road providing off-road access from Waterways residential estate to schools and foreshore.
Beaumaris Fossil Cliffs and Sea Ledges
Dr Shirley Prager attended the June meeting of MBCL and described the research work and meetings she has undertaken re preservation of the important fossil cliffs and sea ledges from destruction by the proposed expansion of the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron. This research provides support for work by Judy already in progress.
Friends of Bradshaw Park
Congratulations on the Friend’s informative Facebook page compiled by Genevieve Bond. Lovely to see coloured illustrations of the Park and naturally regenerating locally indigenous plants emerging – a stand of Trim Greenhood Orchids and a Small Grass Tree. A Spotted Pardalote was seen and heard. Heard on Radio National, 1st August, an interview with Tim Lowe who has written a book about the uniqueness of Australia’s song birds – the Pardalote received a special mention for the beauty of is song.
News from other Friends Groups
Exciting to read that Legacy has given the Cheltenham Friends seeds from pine tree that will be propagated to represent the Lone Pine in Turkey.
Friends of Kingston Heath will be holding a working bee around the pond 3August.
Next meeting of the Friends of the ABC will be 10.15am. 20 August. Possibly at Café Balck Parkdale -but check venue.
Project Wild Thing – Special Event
Connecting children to nature Wednesday 27 August 18.104.22.168pm at Kingston Arts Centre Theatre. To overcome the increasing divide between children and nature due over development occurring in suburban Melbourne, where gardens and open space are disappearing, there is a growing movement of organisations and individuals who care deeply about the need for nature-connected freerange roaming and outdoor playing for children. The Age recently featured a full page article about the importance of providing outdoor informal play space for children in a bush setting- George Woods Reserve perhaps?
Port Phillip Conservation Council
At the July meeting of the PPCC meeting Dr Prager again spoke about her research work of BMYS plans for expansion over the sea ledge fossil beds. According to recent research, should this massive development proceed, tidal movement and sand drift will be blocked by a granite wall. A potential threat to Mentone beach which is will continue to lose sand. PPCC Secretary, Jenny Warfe, addressed Sustainable Population Australia’s AGM, 12 July. The topic, Politics, Population and Ports, described the monetary and environmental costs of massive enlargement of Victoria’s ports to cater for larger container ships being built. Although many ports are being enlarged some are unable to do so because of space restrictions. If larger containers are unable to enter ports they will be bypassed. This may happen to Melbourne since dredging required to enlarge Hastings, the Yarra or Bay West will be environmentally damaging. Melbourne is at the tail end of the shipping line so may be bypassed anyway according to a recent ABC Radio National program.
Politics, Population and Ports
Apart from the awfulness occurring OS the Federal Environment Minister gave approval for the massive Galilee coal mine to go ahead. Dedging for expansion of ports and increased shipping will increase stress on the GBR. BHP Billiton is planning to experiment with “heap leaching” in the Olympic Mine SA. This is a dirty process designed to extract ore from overburden. These mines rely on water from the Great Artesian Basin already losing water faster than it is being replaced. On the home front five councillors voted to engage yet another consultant ( on top of the $300,000 already spent on consultants and community consultation) to try and get Matthew Guy’s approval for residential development in Kingston’s Green Wedge. And Australia no longer has a climate change policy or a Science Minister. All we can do is turn up the heat. get out a good book and wait for Spring -and the next election!