Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Newletter – April 2006

Peter Scullin Reserve

We are deeply indebted to Stephen-Calvert Smith for painstakingly counting the number of trees at the Reserve prior to the removal of all the indigenous coast wattle and boobialla and 45 of the 95 trees 22 out of the 27 banksias, 14 out of the drooping she-oaks. The five remaining banksias are the smallest specimens and every bit of greenery in the entire park up to a height of 2 metres has been shorn. Stephen, in an excellent letter to the Leader asks, “What sort of message does this destruction send to vandals cutting down trees on the foreshore?” We didn’t have long to wait for an answer. Two of the row of spindly she-oaks on the Beach Road side of the Reserve were cut down some time over Easter providing views to a row of units on Beach Road and to the Bay cafe on the corner of Centreway/Beach Road who now boasts in an ad in the local paper, “Our views to the bay have never been better.” While the DSE Conditions for the management of the Reserve states that 80 Banksias must be planted an expert on Banksias says that many of those planted will not survive due to natural attrition and vandalism from those who now have views to the Bay. And all this destruction was caused to provide extra space for a two-day annual Kingston’s Wine and Food event. Meanwhile visitors to the reserve will be deprived of shade and shelter from the weather.

Glen Agnew

Glen Agnew presented a fascinating slide presentation of his 20 years underwater filming of the Parkdale Reef showing the gradual decline of the plant life and fish species. even through it was astonishing to see some of the species inhabiting the reef – the Magpie Perch looking like a Collingwood supporter with its distinctive black and white. stripes. Glen’s presentation was at the recent meeting of KCEC in April. Great to have him back in action.

Rakali Survey

Kingston’s survey of the Rakali will take place between Mentone foreshore and the lower reaches of Mordialloc Creek. Stephen has volunteered to help with the survey. Helen may also become involved. She visits the creek daily and has reported a number of dead water rats on the creek banks or rats with facial disfigurement.

Melbourne Water Beach Outlets

Feasibility Study is examining a means to upgrade drains at Marina Road, Mentone and Ashmore Avenue drainage outlets currently crossing the beaches at these locations. The so-called Ashmore Avenue outlet is south of the Rennison Street carpark. MBCL was represented at the meeting. The option of another short jetty covering the pipe was unanimously ruled out because of the erosion caused by the drain acting as a groyne. The soakage option for Marina Road requires much more research since this may impact on cliff stability.

Mordialloc Creek Bridge Widening

Mara, Nina and Judy are monitoring this proposal. Judy has raised the issue at the Mordialloc Village Committee and MBCL has written to Janice Munt and VicRoad asking that the community be included in consultation with the result that Vic- Roads is proposing to provide an information bulletin to keep the public up to date with work. It is understood that pedestrian/cycle paths 3.5 metres wide will be installed on both sides of bridge – not attached to outside of the bridge as expected.

Drills Land

Naming of the site was discussed at the April meeting of AGRA with a decision to call the land ‘Drills ‘however Melbourne Water has not confirmed that decision. Meanwhile Nina has undertaken important research at Land Victoria where a title search revealed that in 1964 Leo Victor Drill, auctioneer, acquired the site but didn’t live on it. Nina is also undertaking a survey of Boon wurrung sites.

Street Tree Pruning

Geoff has alerted us to some alarming facts concerning street tree pruning in Kingston. 3.5 metres on the road side of the nature strip and 3 metres above the footpath. Then there is the clearance for the top of the tree under power lines. In some streets there would be no vegetation left on the tree. The road clearance was so that trucks would not be damaged!!! A check with Bayside Council revealed that they have a range of heights including 3.5 metres over a road, 3 metres over a drive, 2.5 metres over a footpath but if the tree is going to be severely disfigured they leave it alone.

Climate Change and Biodiversity Conferences

Kingston Council organised seminars on both these topics. CSIRO scientist, Kathleen McInnes, gave a detailed presentation at Chelsea which should give planners pause for thought about continuing to permit development on the most vulnerable eastern side of Port Phillip Bay where sea level rise and storm surges will increase. Storm surges are already causing damage south of Mordialloc creek, BIODIVERSITY:- In their MSS report Council. claim that “Pre-settlement vegetation may not be suitable in today’s urbanised environment.” whereas the Port Phillip & Westernport Regional Catchment Strategy amongst policy objectives states, Target BT7: Increase the diversity of native species in modified landscapes. Geoff H. undertook a critical review of Kingston’s achieve- ments under the Cities for Climate Protection program and found that very little has been achieved to date by council. Geoff’s report was presented at the recent KCEC meeting. Mary attended a Planning for Climate Change seminar at which Dr Penny Whetton CSIRO and Dr Ian Mansergh,senior representative for DSE presented factual evidence of climate change. Dr Mansergh was especially interested in the possibility of biodiversity connectivity in, and through, the sub-economic farming communities in Victoria to link remnant areas of veg.

Leisure Needs Survey

Leisure Needs Survey for activity centres was poorly attended at least at three of the venues Four people attended the meeting at the Mordialloc Tennis Clubhouse. It is difficult to see how many more structures to provide entertainment could be squeezed into our narrow beach side shopping strips – apart from more cafes of which Mordialloc already has 20 food outlets!

Heatherton Clayton Dingley Non-Urban Review

Members of MBCL, KCEC and Defenders of the South East Green Wedge met with Council officers to learn what is proposed for Kingston’s green wedge. Sand mining and filling could continue for some years. One exciting proposal was the possibility of Melbourne Water using empty quarries for flood retention ponds and/or water storage reservoirs. The Chain of Parks concept was strongly endorsed by MBCL/KCEC/DSEGW.

MBCL’s Resource Library

MBCL’s Resource Library has for loan CDs The Invasive Species Council has sent us a CD ROM concerning the increase in weeds and feral animals entering Australia. The council would like help in ‘closing the barn door’. Also a CD ‘Time after Time’ an award winning documentary celebrating the great heritage of ancient Celtic, American & Australian people. Winner Best Documentary film Athens, Greece, 2005.
Also a CD of photos of 1930’s Mordialloc.

Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.

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