Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 5th May 2004

Guest Speaker – Tony Collins

Guest Speaker Tony Collins presented a comprehensive report on the work of the NRA team commencing with the loss of Rob Jones to Bayside Council and his replacement with Lee James. A Green Corp Project, a training scheme for ten 17-18 year old students on work experience aims to fence the spinifex area at Bay Street. Work continues on the south bank of Mordialloc Creek with funding provided by Melbourne Water. Mordialloc College Years 9/10 students are involved in this project supervised by the NRA team. Plans include extending the riparian zone. Friends of Mordialloc Creek will assist with a planting day 5th June. Friends of Chicquita Park met with Tony Collins, David Digby and Jeff Yugovic as part of the community consultation to cost a vegetation management plan for the park. Concern at a statement made at an open council meeting that, “there should be a councillor on the committee who is opposed to the retention of the park in order to provide balance!” There is also reluctance to including the 2.4ha per 1000 people ARCUE measurement in the Open Space Review to give an accurate estimate of the lack of open space in Kingston. Met with Catherine Costello from Biosis on site to plan for the hand over of Epsom’s Herb Rich Grassy wetlands in January. 8000 plants per year are planted on the foreshore from Carrum to Mentone. A trial with geo-textile sand bags is planned to attempt to arrest erosion at Bonbeach. Still concern at the vandalism of foreshore vegetation in Kingston and Bayside. Request to write to Council asking for signs to be erected at the scene of tree vandalism. Discussed the siting of the Bay Trail Bicycle Path. This will involve a consultation process June 7th at Brindisi Street. Thank Tony for keeping us informed of the valuable work of the NRA team.
VCAT Hearing re four town houses in an Incremental Change Area in Chelsea. KRAMMED was an objector on behalf of residents. This development is 800 metres from Chelsea Station.

541 Main Street

1259 proformas collected during the campaign opposing the 5 storey development were sent to Mary Delahunty and presented to council by Nina and Brian. The architect /developer of 541 didn’t waste any time, the precedent having been set. A similar application is now before council for 334-337 Station Street, Chelsea. None of the three State Government reps. have shown any interest in preventing inappropriate development in either Mordialloc or Chelsea. The June edition of the VLGA Bulletin asks a pertinent question. “Do we want activity centres or congestion centres? Certainly traffic congestion will be increased both in Mordialloc and Chelsea shopping strips if these developments proceed with 21 apartments and four retail outlets proposed for Chelsea and 16 apartments in Mordialloc.

Pitrones Retirement Village

Pitrones Retirement Village in a Green Wedge was supported by Council’s Strategic Planner but opposed by Councillors so will now go to VCAT.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 7th April 2004

541 Main Street, Mordialloc Decision

The VCAT determination for 541 Main Street, Mordialloc, not surprisingly for we cynics, has approved three storeys with the fourth storey set back, for the old police station site. Those of us attending the four days Hearing believe that Council’s special witness, Craig Czarny, damaged the Council’s case by admitting that he had been engaged by Council to model height limits for the core commercial area between Main St, Beach Road and Owen Street. In his submission to the Hearing the consultant stated that “the plan envisages a maximum height of 4 storeys for the central precinct? Under cross examination by Ms Brennen, for the developer, Czarny stated that his views of an appropriate development of the subject land would be a 3 storey street wall recessive above“. Making four storeys and thus setting a precedent for four storeys in the Mordialloc Activity centre. In their summation the Members found that, “We note that he, Mr Czarny, did not recommend a two storey built form as suggested by some objectors, but rather he conceded that a higher form of development was possible on the site.’ The member continues, “We have taken the step of lowering the building(from 5 storeys to 4) generally along the lines recommended by Mr Czarny.”

Channel Deepening

Three Blue Wedge Coalition members attended a Gateway Process meeting at the Port of Melbourne Authority offices organised by the Government. The ‘gatekeepers’ were appointed to assess
the business justification for channel deepening. The gatekeepers came from Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide! Channel Deepening Meeting at Chelsea RSL Monday 3rd.

541 Main Street, Mordialloc (continued)

Mr Czarny is still employed by council and states in his sub. to the Hearing that “work is underway to determine an appropriate scale (of development) for this and other land in the activity centre” He specifically mentioned in his submission that the arc of Beach Road would be an “appropriate site for higher forms of development. The Housing commission units perhaps? The question then is why are 4 storey height limits still being considered when councillors (we believed) and the community have consistently objected to 4 storeys in Mordialloc? What is the process at work here? Are the councillors and the community’s preferred options being ignored? Who in council is making decisions which ignore the community’s preferences despite the DOI directive in the General Practice Note for Structure Planning for Activity Centres. “Consultation with stakeholders throughout the process is essential…Community engagement is a key element at all stages of preparing a structure plan… Each stage will need specific stakeholder engagement and community consultation.

Mordialloc Skateboard Facility

Despite over 30 objections from nearby residents and others it seems certain that the site in Attenborough Park will be chosen for the 8-14 year olds’ skateboard facility. The park has been the subject of an extensive Draft Master Plan as a passive recreation area. The site is in close proximity to Doyles hotel with people parking on the park in the evening, close to the creek where vandalism of boats is a frequent occurrence, and will increase littering of the area especially if a kiosk is included.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 3rd March 2004

Guest Speaker – Mr Norm Bury

Guest Speaker was Mr Norm Bury, member of the Clayton South Village Committee. Norm out- lined the background to the sale of part of the Heatherton Park in 1999, despite the fact that the land was bought and paid for on behalf of ratepayers under the previous City of Oakleigh Council, to operate as a land fill area, until such time as it became settled and would then return to the people for public use.
“The original commitment given to the people of Kingston by its elected councillors was, that the operations in which dealings of this municipality would be carried out by Council would be transparent in their entirety, and full consultation would be the cornerstone of its partnership with the people of Kingston.”
While the Heatherton area was to become part of a Chain of Parks once the tips were filled slabs are now being built over the filled tips and industrial development is occurring on the sites. “Will this mean that filled sites will be sold for development rather than become the Chain of Parks?
Who is watching over our parks to ensure that they are not being sold for development as is the case with six small parks in Clarinda ?

541 Main Street, Mordialloc

The VCAT hearing for the five storey development proposed for the old police station site ran for four days from the 22-25 March. Five residents presented submissions requesting a two storey height limit. Community opposition to high density development and support for retention of heritage buildings and neighbourhood character was reflected in the 1250 signed pro-formas collected in the days preceding the hearing. Unfortunately State Government pressure for high density in-fill development as required under M2030 will preclude a VCAT decision acceptable to the community and a precedent will be set for 4-5 storey development in the rest of the commercial centre and creek precinct. MBCL Treasurer made a contribution towards the fighting fund for the campaign. Sincere thanks to the handful of members/residents who letter boxed, held placards, gathered signatures, sent e-mails, telephoned and prepared submissions. No thanks to elected representatives and bureaucrats who fail to support communities seeking to defend their residential amenity.

Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition

Meeting 30th March issues discussed were:-

  • KCEC to organise a full day community conference devoted to the state of Kingston’s environment. Speakers and community group displays to be encouraged.
  • How effective is Council’s policy of dealing with cars parking on, and damaging, nature strips?
  • A policy for planting sustainable trees and vegetation in Kingston to counter a predicted temperature rise due to global warming accompanied by a decline in rainfall.
  • An amendment to Kingston’s open space policy to prevent small parks being sold for development.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 4th February 2004

Forthcoming Events

Clean Ocean Foundation is staging a bike ride to highlight the need for improved treatment for 142 ocean outfalls around the country. The riders will reach Mordialloc 6th March. MBCL has been asked to greet and speak to riders. Anyone interested to meet and greet riders? The riders are the third generation of activists.
Power to the People forum at Darebin Arts Centre March 30th. Has the electricity industry restructuring benefited consumers? PH. 9 347 2233
Conversation with Carmen Lawrence Queen Victoria’s Women’s Centre Friday 12th March Contact UAW Ph. 9 654 7409 if interested.
Inquiry into Sustainable Cities 2025 March 16th. Free public hearing 10.30am-4.30pm Roundtable 5.00pm-6.30pm at Parliament House, Spring Street.
March 16th. SAVE THE BAY! Alternatives to Channel Deepening Melbourne Lower Town Hall 7.30 Key Note Speaker Dr Graham Harris CSIRO. Rod Quantock MC.
Blue Wedge Meeting Chelsea Library March 2nd 3pm. Come and meet the dynamic crowd working to save our Bay!
Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority is seeking details of one our groups “Success Stories”. Deadline March 31st. Any takers?

Sale of Small Parks in Clarinda

Both MBCL and KCEC members presented submissions to Council urging the retention of the parks because they are easily accessible for the elderly, children and disabled residents who are nervous about crossing busy major roads. The parks were developer contributions in lieu of funds when residential development was underway in Clarinda. The Minister for Local Government was approached by Council for approval to sell the parks. The money from the sale is to be used to fund a multicultural centre in Clarinda shopping strip. Council had agreed to an assessment of Kingston’s open space needs. We argued that the parks shouldn’t have been sold until the assessment was concluded. Criticism also of the consultation process whereby both MBCL and KCEC were invited to speak to their submissions when the decision to sell was already agreed upon.

Edithvale Common

January 2002 Melbourne Water declared the common surplus to requirements, The land is subject to flooding and if used as a football oval with social functions held under lights, or in the club house at night, will create disturbance to the nearby RAMSAR listed Edithvale Wetlands. Submissions supporting the FOESW objections have been dispatched.

541 Main Street, Mordialloc

Stirling work by Nina & Brian in organising letter boxing, leaflet handout in Main Street and lobbying politicians. Thanks to those who assisted in this time consuming activity. Over 600 signatures have been collected, compiled and sent to the Minister’s electorate office. Individuals who have been letter boxed are also sending the leaflets to Delahunty’s office. Next, watch out for the daring placard wavers alerting the public that their neighbourhood could be next to find five storeys or higher in their coastal village. The VCAT Hearing commences 22 March. Please find time to attend the Hearing and lend support to the submitters.

Peter Scullin Reserve

KCEC combined with MBCL to support Brian’s car parking re-org of the creek car park. It was designed to remove the need to convert a large section of the Hazel Pierce Park to bitumen. Officers at the meeting agreed to consider the altern- ative design and report. Peter Scullin, former Mordialloc Councillor after whom the park was named, expressed a desire to be kept informed of the outcome.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 3rd December 2003

A very successful New Year to environment group volunteers who achieved some impressive results in 2003. Pressure continues, however, as Mordialloc battles to preserve its low rise fishing village character as predators circle seeking approval for five or more storey buildings in the shopping centre and environs. On a more positive note, a revitalised KCEC could add weight to conservation and resident action groups who are seeking, for example, to maintain parks and open space for the benefit of the whole community.

March 16 Melbourne Lower Town Hall 7.30pm “Alternative to Channel Deepening in Port Phillip Bay” Come along and listen to expert opinion on the danger of deepening versus alternative environmental options.

Peter Scullin Reserve Traffic Management Plans

Consultants plans for reorganisation of car parking on the creek bank involved a realignment of the entrance to the car park and would result in removal of vegetation and loss of grassed area in the Hazel Pierce Park. This appeared to be a costly exercise for very little gain. Meetings with officers and the consultant were held to discuss Brian & Nina’s alternative parking plan with seats & grassed area along the creek bank. A subsequent meeting was requested before Council approved their plan, and once again alternative options were discussed. It is hoped that the outcome will mean the retention of the vegetation and grassed area of Hazel Pierce Park.

Skateboard Facility

Once again we are grateful for Brian & Nina’s effort in presenting alternatives to the inappropriate siting of the skateboard facility. The preferred option is the former skateboard site on the Jack Grut Reserve which is safely and easily accessible via off-road bicycle paths from Aspendale Gardens, Royal Palms Estate and Epsom Housing Estate. The foreshore option was ruled out by the Victorian Coastal Strategy policy of excluding non-water related activities on foreshore reserves. A VCAT Hearing set a precedent when a similar request was refused at Rye.

Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition

Bill has undertaken, with assistance of KCEC members, to broaden the role of the coalition. The first project to be tackled is Council’s olicy of selling off small parks and playgrounds to fund the building of e.g a multicultural centre or expand playing fields. With the rapid increase in unit development in Kingston. there is a need to retain small parks to provide relief for unit dwellers who lack private open space for a garden.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 5th November 2003

Forthcoming Events

Kingston’s Natural Resource Area teams famous Christmas Party for Friends Groups is on again Sunday 7th December at Bonbeach Depot. UAW Peace Rally:- Brunch for Peace at the Beach Saturday 13 December 11am. There will be a small MBCL environmental presence. Come and meet some fabulous women activists! The date of the Panel Hearing Amendment C32 into Kingston’s flood management strategy has been changed to 15th and 16th December. KRAMMED and MBCL are presenting submissions.

Sympathy has been extended to Glen whose mother died this week.

Kingston Environment Network Group

Advertisements were placed in local papers advising Friends groups or individuals that they could apply to become members of the Network. A Community Cabinet Meeting is scheduled for December the 8th at Moorabbin. MBCL members have applied to speak to Ministers on channel deepening, loss of open space and M2030 pressure on local communities through proposals for high rise, high density development around transport hubs. e.g. The 5 storey development proposed for 541 Main Street is now going to VCAT. If approved it will set a precedent for further inappropriate high rise developments in Mordialloc and other activity centres in Kingston.

Peter Scullin Reserve

Plans for traffic management will remove a section of the Hazel Pierce Park for a bus turning/resting space on the creek bank. This is unacceptable because there are alternative sites for that purpose. Brian E. presented an alternative plan to council planners which, it is hoped, will be favourably received by the responsible authority!

Mentone Gardens Group

Committee member, Penny, corrected last month’s newsletter report about 1 funding for beautification work in the Mentone railway gardens. It seems that the funds ! promised for the work, to be provided by the State Government and Council, has not yet been forthcoming.

Guest Speaker – Michael Norris

Guest Speaker, Michael Norris, presented details of the proposed residential development for the CSIRO site in Highett on the boundary of Kingston and Bayside. The Structure Plan in its present form threatens the destruction of seven mature Yellow Box trees, about 20 River Red Gums probably 300 years old as well as orchids, grasses and soil stored seed. Damien Cook states that, “This native vegetation represents the last remaining example in the sand belt region of a once extensive vegetation community.” The Structure plan is also recommended eight storeys or higher for the corner of Bay Road and Nepean Hwy.

Retreat House Cheltenham

Retreat House Cheltenham and botanical garden-like surrounds are also under threat from further residential development. The buildings are worthy of Heritage listing. Development of this site will mean a further loss of parkland for the Cheltenham residents. Cr West to investigate further.

Mordialloc Skateboard Park

Mordialloc Skateboard Park the siting of which is causing considerable confusion due to lack of consultation with local residents adjacent to the proposed site. Environmental concerns were not addressed initially and there appeared to be resistance to a more representative committee presenting alternative views and sites. The site of the former skateboard ramp on the Jack Grut Reserve is most appropriate being accessible to Epsom, Aspendale and Royal Palms Estate but farther enough away from residents not to cause a nuisance. Thanks to Nina and Brian who have thoroughly researched other skateboard sites and interviewed skaters., and to Brian especially who has been a lone voice on the committee presenting a balanced point of view. Attenbourough and the foreshore are NOT suitable sites for this facility – not being a water related (or coastal dependent activity).

Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence

It was decided at the November meeting to nominate the Natural Resource Area team for this award for their outstanding work with community groups, Friends and local schools, and especially regeneration work on the fore- shore and Mordialloc creek. Thanks to Brian P,Nina and Bill for assistance in compiling the nomination. Fingers crossed!

The Parks

Cr West attended the Open Day at The Grange and was impressed with the chocolate lillies?. Attenborough Park is undergoing drainage works with some damage to bollards used to prevent car parking. Submitters to the Chicquita Park Panel Hearing are anxiously awaiting the ruling. It is expected that the proponent will appeal to VCAT if the decision does not approve the development. The Key Features Report into channel deepening is available at the library – all four thick files! It is possible to
trawl through to find studies that highlight some aspects such as dredge spoil contamination or possible saline intrusion into ground water which may cause salinity problems in the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands if there is a rise in sea level.

GUO Chinese Landscape Painter of the 11th Century.
Watercourses are the arteries of a mountain, Grass and trees its hair, Mist and haze its complexion, Stones are the bones of heaven and earth, Water is the blood of heaven and earth.

Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.