President’s Report 2005

Well its been another busy year with many problems to grapple with and so thanks to all those members who coped with the load and again especially thanks to Secretary Mary R – a rhetorical question – what would we do without her? On behalf of all members thankyou Mary for another sterling effort.

Amid all the problems we faced two stand out and have been the main work for our Secretary Channel Deepening and Foreshore matters although the latter broke down into several aspects and Brian and Nina with enthusiastic support from Geoffrey did much work in the community re the Bike Trail along the Foreshore. Our big problem has been to convince Council that the best siting is along the edge of Beach Road. Sad to say it looks like much more work has to be done to convince them.

The Channel Deepening argument has been part of the Blue wedge campaign spearheaded by the Warfe family, notably Jenny, who has been indefatigable in her endeavours to involve a very wide range of people in the campaign. Compliments go also to Stephen Calvert – Smith for the support he has given. The arguments put forward by the members of the Blue Wedge campaign have certainly caused the members of the Environmental Panel to think hard about what is being proposed and the government may be hard put to convince a by now sceptical public on the matter.

Another long-standing matter for concern which looks like coming to a solution is Chicquita Park. Despite convincing argument by the Friends and especially by their President Neil Liddell the State Government have not yielded to their argument and yet again Kingston Council has called for submission s from the community. It’s a question of how many times do we have to say please look after our Open Space for them to get the message? Our colleague Councillor Rosemary West has battled hard and long for a good result. Let’s hope she prevails in the end.

It happened so long ago and has dragged on so much that it is easy (at least for one person) to forget that the Mordialloc Structure Plan was released in 2004. Not sure that any definitive word ahs been spoken re the Plan although several sites look as though they will have 4 storey buildings a erected on them and what is going to happen to the Pompei site? We know that the Monterey Pines have been chopped down – this latter has not been a total tragedy as we still think native trees are best for the area but when are we going to see some replacement planting’s?

Again we have worked closely with KRAMMED in their attempts to stem the tide of concrete sweeping over our region. Thanks again to our colleague Janelle House for all the work she does (and brings up a baby as well). We think we all –MBCL, KCEC and KRAMMED combined well to put the Open Space case to the consultants for the review. Would that we could be sure the council will follow up on all the good work put in by our members and colleagues. Must add our thanks to Greg Alabaster for the arguments put forward re open space most notably re the Linton Reserve and St Kilda Football Club development.

At the Panel hearing re the matter of Concrete crushers for siting in the green wedge Sec Mary again presented argument against the proposal. In this work she was supporting efforts by RAID and The Defenders of the South East Green Wedge. It is hard to believe we still have to argue to save the green wedge from such proposals but there is no shortage of people wanting to concrete everything in sight.

Not content with trips overseas Brian and Nina made a substantial submission to the Kingston Traffic Study and were on hand helping to get the Drills Land park off to a good start (still have not got an agreed name for the Park) and for good measure contributed to the matter of a Skateboard facility in Attenborough Reserve although on this a compromise was the best we could achieve.

We applauded and we hope assisted Mara and Judy in their efforts to control Dan Murphy and his band of rascals with their attempts to annoy the neighbourhood with their trucks in Melrose Street. Which reminds us that Mara was the inspiration for a doughty band of outdoor warriors protesting by the side of Nepean Highway re the four-storey development in the Main Street.

We went to several EGN meetings for a mixed result in support of great arguments penned by Dr Bill Hampel our respected colleague from the KCEC and we strove valiantly to get some sense re Water Quality measurements from Melbourne Water and Stephen Hains of Waterways fame. We are still waiting.
We did make a submission re Amendment C44 but that seems to have sunk without trace.
Again I think we can be proud of our efforts for yet another year.

Brian Pullen

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