At the April meeting Cr Johanna van Klaveren resigned as President of MBCL but remains a member and will attend meetings whenever possible given her busy schedule. We are grateful to Johanna for the work she accomplished during her time as President. The members extended congratulations to Johanna on her decisive win and wished her every success over the next three years.
Victorian Local Governance Association Report
Average Ratio of Councillors to Population. Victoria 1:7900. One councillor to 7900 people, the highest of all six Australian States. NSW has double the number of councils 177, to Victoria’s 78. NSW 1:3470 people.
Mara to write to Kingston Council re the percentage of street blocks that can be taken up with units (not more than one quarter) and to have no two storey units unless they fit in with existing streetscape.
A phone call from a Mentone resident advises that mature trees (100 years old) may be destroyed as the result of permit approval for unit development on a block on the corner of Como Parade and Dixon Street. Suggested that MBCL adopt an advisory role for residents rather than lodge objections ourselves. Best to encourage residents to become activists.
Kay reports that vegetation is reappearing after a burn at Bradshaw Park. Penny advises that a successful burn was carried out at The Grange. A committee meeting with Braeside Park Friends and Parks Victoria legal staff recommended that conservation objectives for the next 5, 10, 20 years be adopted. A second grant of $6000 for salinity reduction has been received. $33,000 has been received and plans are being considered for a Federation Trail. A cattle rotation grazing program operates to control pasture/weed growth. Kingston Council engineers and Park Rangers gave permission for a”lake” to be dug right on the perimeter of Braeside Park and the Southern Golf Course. The Golf Club was given free use of earth moving equipment in return for the fill for a nearby development! No EIS was required. There are fears that pumps on site will drain the Park’s heathland and there is already evidence that this is so. Letters have been sent rom MBCL to Mark Stone and Sheryl Garbutt requesting information. A bat night attracted 50 people. A very worthwhile butterfly monitoring project is being considered for the Park. Contact Rona Pearson on 9584 7443 for further information.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
The Ordinary General Meeting of the PPCC was held at Altona 17th April. The Guest Speaker was Mr Victor Perton MLA, Shadow Minister for Environment & Conservation. The PPPCC objects to proposals for obtrusive or high-rise structures to be built on or near Prince’s Pier Port Melbourne as such structures are grossly inappropriate over the waters of any part of Port Phillip Bay. The PPCC supports the continuation of the bicycle path on Beach Road rather than through Beach Park cliff top path.
Epsom Plant Rescue
Catherine Costello, BIOSIS, has organised a plant rescue of significant species outside the 7 hectares. These plants will be rehoused at Braeside or similar locations because work will shortly commence on the earth works at the site. Work on the 7 hectares won’t commence until Spring. The rescue is in the capable hands of Ron and Kay.
The massive 104 page report into the Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme (residential development in the green wedge north of Hutton Road) has been released and gives approval for 1400 houses on market garden land. There are constraints recommended such as a 500 metre buffer zone around all the kennels and the Animal Shelter. A disappointing result overall, but not surprising given the precedent set by Kingston Council with the Hains development.
Residential 2000 Workshops
These workshops have been held in various locations including Kingston and Frankston. The Planning Minister, John Thwaites wants to combine Vicode 1 and the Good Design Guide and hopefully, produce a document that will result in improved planning regulations. It was obvious at the Kingston workshop that the retention of trees on blocks was the major concern of the community reps. MBCL was well represented at the Kingston and Frankston workshops. The Draft Kingston Street Tree Management has been released. The Residential Strategy is still under wraps.
Parks Victoria Annual Report
Whilst seeking to double volunteer input grants fell from $7.2m in 1997 to $5.3m in 1999 Full time staff fell from 913 in 1998 to 799 in 1999. However executive salaries have been reduced under Mark Stone’s reign as distinct from Jeff Floyd’s term when top executive salaries were $380,000. Now capped at $160,000.