At the end of an incredibly busy year sincere thanks again to MBCL members for their involvement in this and other groups, and moral support when difficult issues arose.
Special thanks to KRAMMED for advice, support and dedication to the cause – conservation of our trees, open space and gardens.
Wishing all greenies a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.
Braeside Park had a successful launch of the Federation Trail despite inclement weather and a Federal Election. The Trail was launched by Federal ALP Member for Isaacs, Anne Corcoran. Environment Groups including MBCL, prepared displays and stalls. Norm Corn- well’s article on Class Grass (native grasses) is well worth reading in the Friend’s newsletter. The Grange’s CD Rom is still to be completed. State ALP Member, Hong Lim presented volunteer certificates to the Friend’s group. Clearing weeds is an on-going task at Rowan Woodlands. Groves Reserve, under threat from development, will be another open space loss in Kingston. MBCL will contact AGRA and Aspendale Village Committee about this matter. Melbourne Water is being unhelpful over re-vegetating Drill’s Land. Plants prepared for the site will be lost due to MW’s delaying tactics. Why? Melbourne Water has no staff working on weed removal on the south bank of Mordialloc Creek and Lake 3 at the Woodland’s Industrial Estate has been neglected by Melbourne Water who is responsible for maintenance on the Estate. Negotiations over the sale of Chiquita Park are on-going. 80 people attended a demonstration in the Park on Cup Day to protest at the potential loss of another significant open space in Kingston. The Park is earmarked for residential over-development. Please read the enclosed report on the Park and contact the phone numbers listed for further info.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
Penny attended two!! PPCC AGMs only to find that on both occasions a quorum was lacking. It is sad to hear that so many volunteer groups are experiencing declining membership. Penny reports that Frankston Council have acknowledged the work of a local woman in planting 8000 native species on the Frankston foreshore by including her in any environ- mental decisions relating to the foreshore. Frankston Council have also set up an Environ- mental Task Force which will be included in council decisions on conservation issues. Stephen, as a member of PPCC, attended a Forum organised by the Victorian Channels Authority to discuss the problem of discharged ballast water from foreign ships into Port Phillip Bay since this results in the introduction of marine pests damaging to native species .99 marine pests have been identified in the Bay to date. Question. Who will pay for the dredging of the shipping channels to allow bigger ships to access the docks, or would it be more practical for large vessels to use Westernport and have the goods transported by rail to Melbourne, or as some have suggested, by-pass Victoria and bring the goods by rail to Melbourne? Deepening the shipping channels in the Bay may lead to higher tides and great disturbance of the sea bed.
Green Wedge Issues
The Heatherton/Clayton South/Dingley Non Urban Area is the latest section of the green wedge to be under threat from development despite Kingston Council’s acknowledgement that the area ‘forms part of the south east green wedge’. The excuse given for allowing development of this section of the wedge is that it ‘has been subject to increasing pressure for more intensive urban development due in part to its proximity to established urban areas.” The obvious answer would have been for successive State Labor and Liberal Govts, and adjoining councils, to sign off on the SENUS Report which would have made it clear to developers that the green wedge would remain non urban for the enjoyment of future generations. The Memorandum of Understanding requires participating councils to prepare plans for their section of the green wedge. The MOU is a joke since it simply informs other councils of the intention to slice up another section of the non urban area within their boundaries. There is absolutely no commitment from any of the responsible authorities to ‘save’ any section of the wedge especially if there is the possibility of profiting from the deal.
Thanks to the Kennett Government’s privatisation of the SEC, small business and residents face a price hike of between 12.4% and 19.8% from January 2002. Andrea Sharman of the Energy Action Group states that the electricity suppliers are following the example of the banking industry and allocating costs to customers who have least capacity to avoid them. Darebin, Moreland and Port Phillip Councils have formed a buying group of 50,000 households to “wring good deals from retailers.” MBCL members are urged to request Kingston Council to join the buying group in order to provide a safety net for customers who will be denied supply if they can’t afford the outrageous price hike, KCEC and MBCL held a Green Power street stall in Mordialloc recently to distribute information about Sustainable Energy. Perhaps we should all pray for a cold summer and warm winter in the mean time!