Happy New Year to All
Perhaps over the holiday period we may have had time to revitalise ourselves ready to face environmental challenges lying in wait for us in 2006! Locally challenges include the proposed bike path on the foreshore, Mordialloc Structure Plan, the widening of Mordialloc Creek bridge and Council’s controversial policy of managing fore- shore vegetation and open space. Councillors could be encouraged to focus more widely on questions of climate change and how it affects the community.
Congratulations to Judy and Pam who won their VCAT Appeal over a two storey development at the rear of a property which would have over-looked both Judy and Pam’s homes and yards. Kingstons policy states that “two storey developments at the rear of the development should be discouraged.” Government regs don’t allow Councils to use the word “must” in planning policy. Congratulations also to Barry Ross and Brian P. who won the VCAT Appeal objecting to a proposed caravan park in the green wedge. In fact the site was to be occupied by dozens of mobile homes to become de facto cheap housing. Acting on behalf of the Defenders of the South East Green Wedge the lads won their VCAT Appeal. Well done all!
Mordialloc Creek Bridge
Nina and Mara have written letters expressing concern at the impact a widened bridge and highway will have on Attenborough Park. Judy asked at, the MVC for copies of the bridge plans. In response to Mary’s query about plans for the bridge Jonathon Guttman stated that he hadn’t seen the VicRoads plans yet but Council has been pressing to have pedestrian bridges on both sides of the bridge to provide safe access for hundreds of Mordialloc College students attending the school. VicRoads has acquisition overlays on part of Attenborough Park but Jonathan doesn’t think VicRoads will require all of the land under acquisition.
Peter Scullin Reserve Landscape Plan
Plans will be released for public comment at the January Council meeting. Plans will need careful scrutiny to ensure vegetation is not removed without plans for replacement.
Foreshore Reference Group and Kingston Environment Network Group committee management and control still cause concern. The possible “stacking” of the FRG or potential downgrading of the KENG reveal a lack of commitment to established environment groups who can, with years of experience and qualifications, contribute ideas to Council re management of climate change, biodiversity, water quality and open space retention. A climate of fear or resentment appears to prevail amongst some councillors certainly not all.
Native Vegetation Guidelines Framework
MBCL presented a submission to the Panel Hearing outlining the impact of residential development on significant indigenous vegetation in the urban areas of Kingston, e.g. Epsom and Chicquita Park. Minister Thwaites promptly agreed to the “simplification” of the guidelines and simultaneously DSE announced major staff cuts from the environment department .61 positions will be axed from the land steward- ship and biodiversity group limiting still further monitoring and protection of native vegetation.
Keysborough Golf Club
The developer of a residential golf course estate in the green wedge. between Hutton Road and Mordialloc Creek, is challenging Minister Hulls refusal of the application by appealing to VCAT. The Hearing is scheduled for March. MBCL have objected to the application and will be represented at the Hearing by Defenders of the SE Green Wedge.
Applications by Delta and Alec Fraser were refused by Minister Hulls but Alec Fraser is reported to be applying to the Supreme Court to have the Minister’s decision over-turned. Concrete crushing in the Din San nursery site is continuing with concrete dust from the grey mountain blowing onto properties in Dingley Village. Instead of trying to pass the buck to the State Government Kingston Council should be extremely concerned at the health risk to residents from deadly silicone fibres.
Bradshaw Park has had highly successful planting days in Rowans Woodlands and the Grange and appreciated the guided tours provided by the NRA Team and the Friends Groups. Bradshaw Park AGM acknowledged years of work by Kay Proudley who has now moved, with her husband, to East Gippsland.
Minister Hulls approved Amendment C25 to the Kingston Planning Scheme on 22nd December (just before Christmas) which applies a RES 3 Zone over the entire parcel of land and deletes the Environmental Audit Overlay from the entire parcel of land. Council voted to approve development on the site higher than anything yet seen in Kingston and refused to discuss with the Friends Group open space configuration. As Friends Group President states in the Leader (23-1-06) “In our view all levels of Government stand condemned for hypocrisy and for failing to protect this valuable community asset”
Linton Street Park
Linton Street Park is still under threat from St Kilda Football Club who plans to build facilities on South Road necessitating acquiring parkland for car parking. The park is on the perimeter of the 400 metre boundary of Moorabbin Activity Centre. Further loss of Kingston’s limited supply of parkland, alienated for commercial development, means that present and future generations are denied the benefit and enjoyment of open space essential for the well-being of the community.
The new Bayside Council is insisting on height limits around shopping strips and in some residential areas. Meanwhile in Kingston KRAMMED is receiving two or three calls daily from distraught residents faced with developments with underground car parking, two storey edifices with roof decks overlooking and over shadowing established dwellings. Perhaps as Cr Nixon once advised KRAMMED members, we should all move to Bayside!!