A successful day despite steamy conditions. Sincere thanks to members who helped in setting up, collecting signatures for the petition and staffing the MBCL stall. A letter of appreciation has been sent to the Melbourne Water Community Liaison staff thanking them for the donation of material distributed from the MBCL stall.
Nina Earl, Brain Earl, Barry Ross and Robert Pyne attended a meeting where a sub-committee of AGRA was formed with Ken Carney as president to discuss plans for this land. Nina has volunteered to undertake historical research of the land. Water in the ‘lake’ is saline and will require testing to ensure that the surrounds are suitable for indigenous species. A compromise may be necessary to accommodate off-leash dog people and environ- mental concerns. The land covers approx. 20 acres = 8.5 hectares.
Volunteer Pre-Christmas barbecue
MBCL members were amongst those who attended a pre-Christmas barbecue at at Excell’s Bonbeach Depot. Photopoint monitoring images are now on CD on the Excell computer. A third round of monitoring the Creek and Foreshore
Natural Bush areas is due to commence this month. Letters have been received from both the EPA and Melbourne Water informing us that both parties are considering replacing the warning sign on Melbourne Water’s stormwater drain at Mentone.
Penny has joined the Beachwatch team and is able to provide valuable information about water quality and protection of foreshore vegetation. The team was instrumental in alerting the authorities to a sewage leak at Mentone Beach last month. The beach was closed for 4 days.
MBCL and KCEC were invited to a presentation to Kingston Councillors by Golders and Melbourne Water in mid-January concerning the use of ETP biosolids as fill for the large water- filled borrow pit on Woodlands Industrial Estate. The Councillors have not approved the proposal which will now go to VCAT.
The Rescode Panel Report has been released and, not surprisingly, meets with approval by developers but is a major disappointment for residents. The onus and workload will fall on local government which can apply local variations to developments or dispensations to builders. Community anger will therefore be directed at local governments and not Thwaites. Third party objections have been removed in some instances. Submissions are due 24 February.
A Defenders of the South Eastern Green Wedge’ coalition has been formed because of the rapid increase of proposed residential developments in the Cities of Dandenong, Casey and Frankston sections of the Wedge. The Metropolitan Strategy, intended to designate areas for development, won’t be released until the end of 2001- too late to save the Wedge.
Epsom / Hains Development
The avenue of red ash trees planted to form an avenue into the Hains estate have expired. The original concept plan for the development featured indigenous species. Poetic justice??? The December 22nd cloud burst created an extensive ‘inland sea’ on the Epsom development site where stormwater over flow was supposed to lie ‘temporarily’. The ‘sea’ was still very much in evidence in early January..
Braeside was honoured with the presence of the Minister for Conservation, Sherryl Garbutt in November to present awards to an impressive list of environmentalists, including Malcolm Calder. Jenny Lindell, Member for Carrum, and 20 suits from Parks Victoria also attended. Parks Victoria proved a marquee for lunch. A new ranger, one of 17 selected from 5000 applicants, has commenced work at Braeside. An identification of bats program has begun. The Grange is finding that crows from the tip areas have become a nuisance because they dig up orchid bulbs. The feral fence has been completed. The fate of Chiquita Park still hangs in the balance. Attenborough Park landscaping will be discussed at the February meeting.
The role of Friends groups and their adherence to the management plans of the Committee of Management of, for example, the foreshore has become a vexed issue which will also be discussed at the next MBCL meeting.
Trust that members have had a restful and reinvigorating break over the holiday period because 2001 is likely to become another challenging year for the environment. Remember united we stand divided we fall!