Future of Braeside Park Survey
Changes to the management of Braeside Park would mean that activities such as group camping , markets, festivals, cafes and dogs would be permitted all of which would harm the environmental and cultural values of the park. This matter is referred to in the March issue of Park Watch (p32) which states “There are few places left in Melbourne where you could see a turtle lay her eggs, an echidna forage for ants or a Black-Shouldered Kite take a mouse…..Braeside Metropolitan Park is a rare gem where all this is possible on an evening stroll….. Braeside boasts important wetlands, heath lands and red gum woodland…Despite this Parks Victoria has foreshadowed a precinct plan canvassing views on permitting dogs, holding public events, activities squarely aimed at boosting human traffic. … Braeside is already under intense pressure from the Mordialloc Bypass under construction on its western boundary.” MBCL sent a submission objecting to Parks Vic’s proposals.
Toilet Pier Road, Mordialloc
A large industrial looking toilet will be built near the Pier. The building will dominate this site. There has been no attempt to blend with the existing early 1920 functional building stock as required when planning for foreshore buildings according to the official documentation used in this case.
Governor Road Car Park and Pontoons
Better Boating is planning to construct a pontoon in the creek opposite the Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club for use by the disabled, and extend existing pontoons at the Governor Road boat ramp. The ramps will be of concrete construction. There will be a metre wide extension of the car park along Governor Road. Any trees removed will be replaced following discussion with the NRA staff.
Comment made that people want action on climate change so a letter to be sent to a local paper in support of action being taken by Government. This was done.
Dent’s Paddock Development
A VCAT Hearing in May.Issues arising are the proposed location of offsets after removal of vegetation on the site. a request that some of the $7 million offered by Government for the purchase of open space be spent on purchasing this site. There is a shortage of open space in Chelsea and Edithvale.
Road the Bay Trail
A careful watch on work being undertaken along Beach Road by a MBCL member reports that construction appears to be progressing according to the plans approved by Council. While Kingston Council’s plan for the trail from Mordialloc Creek to Carrum proposes to use the Long Beach Trail, LXRA plans to build a bike trail along the Station Street side of the rail line. This will mean removing all existing Banksia Woodland along the rail line. This route is not necessary because there is an existing bike track along the opposite side of Station Street.
Braeside Park Survey
Activities being suggested in this survey include festivals, food outlets, camping, dogs, etc. Such activities would require lighting, increased parking space and noise thus creating disturbance for the flora and fauna which is a feature of Braeside Park.
It is disappointing to find that the Level Crossing Removal people have offered to complete the Kingston Section of the Bay Trail by routing the bike path along Station Street alongside the rail line instead of along the Long Beach Trail. The reason is said to be Government’s intention to encourage cyclists to use public transport. This will require parking for bikes as well as cars in the limited space available along narrow two lane Station Street
Parks Victoria is conducting a survey into future uses and activities in Braeside Park. Some of the uses suggested are possibly allowing dogs in the park. permitting group camping, commercial activities, shops and cafes, markets, festivals perhaps with amplified music, night lighting, a commercial hub and extra car parking to cater for these activities if approved. Most areas of public land restrict certain activities in some way. For example Churchill National Park rules are:- camping, dogs, horses and trail bikes are not permitted. Cyclists can use all tracks except those for walkers only. It should remembered that the Sandbelt Open Space Project, May 1994, was formed to accommodate high impact noisy activities such as war games, trail bikes and games played on sporting fields.
PFAS in Dunlops Drain
PFAS was found in the West Gate Tunnel.Work stopped because of the danger to worker’s health.PFAS is being linked to risks of cancer and liver damage. There is also a problem with the disposal of contaminated spoil. The Mordialloc Creek Meeting is not until March. We haven’t heard from the EPA about the PFAS found in Dunlop’s Drain during the Mordialloc Freeway work. A letter was sent to the EPA October 2019.
Bay Trail went to a VCAT Hearing in July. The opposition presentation included a Barrister and an expert witness for vegetation. It was thought that the Council presentation was somewhat lacking in some aspects. Awaiting the result of the Hearing
Bonbeach and Edithvale Level Crossing Removals
Also awaiting the Advisory Committee’s conclusions. Kingston Council’s Drainage expert, Alan West’s excellent report on the drainage work already carried out in Edithvale (drain replacements) was received unfortunately at the conclusion of the Hearing but is a great resource to have on hand.
RAMF continue’s with their campaign. Perhaps with all the rail and road work announced by the Andrew’s Labor Government recently the unnecessary freeway may be considered to be of less importance and drop down the list!
Regent’s Park seems to be heading for a VCAT Hearing. Some support is being organised by a number of objectors who consider that the destruction of a Memorial Garden containing mature trees in memory of a dedicated conservationist, Jack Cuthbertson, shows lack of respect as well as realising that mature trees are a valuable resource as climate change is making its presence felt with climbing temperatures and drought.
Although no meeting was held in June members were involved in two major State Government projects of an extremely controversial nature. These are Level Crossing removals for Bonbeach and Edithvale Stations and the Mordialloc four lane. 9 km freeway elevated to cross over Governor Road, Waterways wetlands and Mordialloc Creek before joining Springvale Road. This road will also cross through the south west corner of Braeside Wetlands thus impacting two major wetland habitats frequented by migratory and endangered bird species. Groundwater in this low-lying area, part of the former Carrum Carrum swamp, may be contaminated by construction work at both Mordialloc Creek and at Edithvale Station when the acid sulphate soil is exposed to oxygen and endangering the water quality in the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands. An Environment Effects Statement (EES) was required based on the likely impact that polluted groundwater may have on the Edithvale Seaford wetlands thus making it unsuitable for bird life resulting in a loss of Ramsar listing of the wetlands.
Residents Against Mordialloc Freeway
RAMF consist of residents and concerned environmentalists who are not convinced that a fifth major road is required leading to Mornington Peninsula. There are alternatives such as lanes added to Springvale Road in the grassy paddock opposite Waterways residential estate and Richfield retirement Village – or extending the rail line from Frankston to Mornington. Instead residents will be faced with an elevated four lane ( maybe six lanes in future) freeway built across the open wetlands presently peaceful habitat for birds and a calm retreat for residents.
Level Crossing Removals
This project also kept environment and resident groups busy during June. Although two options are offered to communities it is usually the loudest and largest groups that are heard especially if political advantage is involved in Most residents don’t like the look of the elevated rail line and think it will devalue their property whereas the trench method may create flooding & subsidence problems in these suburbs. Groundwater impact was the most important factor under discussion at the Panel Hearing 4″-1″ June at Patterson River Golf Club. It was fortunate that the Friends of Edithvale Seaford wetlands were able to acquire two excellent expert witnesses:- Scott Seymour, for many years an engineer with Melbourne Water and extremely knowledgeable about groundwater. Supporting Scott was Sean Dooley an expert on bird migratory habits. Big questions remain about the success of the horizontal pipe in a trench method of dealing with flooding and contaminated groundwater.
We were delighted to have Penny McGuire-White join MBCL after moving to Mentone in 1999. Penny is still actively involved with The Grange as well as many other interests. We are indebted to our President, Johanna van Klaveren, for the enormous time and effort which has gone into producing a Web site for MBCL. (see the call sign at the top of the page).
On Monday 31-1-2000 Johanna and Brian will be presenting their submissions at the Panel Hearing for Planning Amendments to Non-Urban Land in the Keysborough Green Wedge. The Hearings are open to the public. Support from members of KCEC and MBCL would be welcome! The Hearing is at Springvale Council Chambers.
After a busy 1999 with many important planning issues to mull over, 2000 got off to an equally busy month. The defeat of the Kennett Government was an unexpected boost to greenies hopes for less destructive environmental planning decisions. We are monitoring the Labor Governments decisions.
With Council elections due in March it is an opportunity to seek out candidates with sound environmental credentials. Do you know of any person willing to stand?
Tony Collins (Excel)
Tony reported that two new groups of volunteers have been formed making a total of 16 groups. Some MBCL members indicated that they would be interested in monitoring Natural Bush Areas from Mentone Foreshore to Mordialloc Creek and along Mordialloc creek This would involve taking photos and reporting to Council quarterly on weed cover and plant growth. Times, areas, photo points and cameras will be organised by Tony who will report at our February meeting.
Chiquita Park is owned by the Defence Department who plans to sell the park for $2 million Kingston Council has been given first option. The park has a stand of Cherry Ballart trees worthy of protection. Bradshaw Park was a finalist for the Heritage category in the City Pride Awards. The Open Day was successful. Nina and Brian took MBCL’s Epsom display board to the Park and collected more signatures for the protection of the Herb Rich Grassy Wetlands at Epsom former Training facility. The Grange received a grant of $44,000 for feral fences, educational information, booklets and brochures. A rare orchid was found after a ‘burn’ in the park.
Braeside Park is waiting for a promised Federal Grant of $35,000. Improvements to the sewage system mains along Chute Street and Governor Road will mean the installation of a small pumping station in Braeside Park. Ron’s article in the Friends of Braeside Park newsletter also appears on the Friends Webb page. This caused a stir amongst Park’s management who wanted the article removed from the site. The Friends members believed that communities should be able to demonstrate their democratic rights – with one dissenting member. The article which commented on the shortage of staff to manage the park satisfactorily was sent to the Minister for Conservation. MBCL suggested that Parks management are free to put a response to Ron’s article on their web site!
Braeside park celebrated it’s 10th birthday Sunday 22nd September. Ten Volunteers were presented with certificates in appreciation of their commitment over the years.
Mara contacted MBCL concerned at the imminent destruction of a mature flowering eucalypt on a neighbouring block destined for unit development. There were three similar incidents in the last two weeks. The issue has been raised with Council Environment Officers and requested them to commence a Significant Tree Register to try to prevent the destruction of trees by developers before building commences.
Epsom Training Facility Panel Hearing
The Panel Hearing of Amendment L 47 to the Kingston Planning Scheme (Epsom and Environs) commenced on 6th September. The issue concerning MBCL, KCEC and Council was the ULC proposal to relocate a 7 hectare remnant community of Herb-rich Plains Grassy Wetlands (West Gippsland) Community to a flood retarding basin on the southern section of the site on Governor Road.
The Urban Land Corporation paid $17.5 million for the land which is targeted for a 428 house residential development. The development is opposed by the managers/owners of Moorabbin Airport since Epsom is the last piece of open space suitable for the flight path of aircraft taking off and landing. The site is in fact dysfunctional for housing because of aircraft, traffic and industrial noise, traffic problems and possible flooding as well as the most important issue the proposed relocation of the plants. Herb-rich Grassy Wetland (West Gippsland) Community is protected under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. There are more than 60 regionally significant species on the Epsom site and more were being located even while the Hearing was in progress. Despite this ULC has applied for a permit to relocate 20% of the species to the retarding basin. The remainder of the plants will be destroyed because of the filling required before housing construction commences.
Evidence presented at the Hearing confirmed that past attempts at relocating an entire grassy wetland community have not succeeded because it is impossible to exactly replicate che soil profile and hydrological regime.
We wish to thank Jason Stewart who attended our 1-9-99 meeting and took us through the Botanicus Report and planned strategies for the Hearing. Simon Cropper was Council’s Expert Witness at the Hearing as a Peer Reviewer of the ULC’s Biosis Report which favoured relocating the plants. I attended the six day Hearing and welcomed the support of Jason, and at the presentation of our submissions on retaining the plants in-situ, David Bainbridge, Brett Donaldson (KCEC) and Brian Pullen also KCEC. Report due in two three months.
The Mayor has been invited to the Annual General meeting 22-8-99. This will be the 10th anniversary of the Park. A grant of $700 has been earmarked for a portable display board.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
Sandridge Beach is to be re-nourished with 100,000 cubic metres of sand taken from the Bayside area. Bayside Council has to give approval for the sand removal. Groynes are to be constructed at Sandridge. Lifesaving Clubs in Kingston have been generously funded – Mordialloc LSC : $14,500, Mentone LSC: $48,500, Aspendale LSC:- $20,750. National Park, Portsea likely to be privatised. The company operating the car ferry is interested. PPCC organised a tour 1-8-99 to Campbell Cove where 159 beach huts are enjoying a rent free existence on Crown Land.
Carrum Residents Action Group
The State Government plans to sell Bonbeach TAFE and CRAG have been given 12 months notice to re-locate their community plant nursery. The sale of TAFE, almost certainly for residential development, will mean a further loss of open space in the City of Kingston.
R.Pearson tables a letter written to Jeff Floyd re the development of a petrol station on the corner of Springvale and Governor Roads fearing that this will set a precedent for further development on the Haines land south of Governor Road & north of Mordialloc Main Drain. Letter requests that Melbourne Water purchase this land to extend Braeside Park and include wetlands which will filter drainage before it enters Mordialloc Creek. A letter was also sent to Graeme Calder, Commissioner City of Kingston.
A meeting is still to be arranged with Warren Ashdown to discuss the placement of signs at the drive-in and walk-in entrances to the Park. A new entrance gate is required to replace the dilapidated gate.
Negotiations appear to be at a stalemate between the sand mining company and Melbourne Water re the development of the park.
Thousands of people attended a Cup Day picnic at the Park. Entertainment included sweeps, sausage sizzle, bush bands and an historical display. Braeside Park manager has been transferred to Kew whilst the new manager will have the added responsibility of Coolart, Devil’s Bend, Reservoir, etc!
Council Staff are still trying to find the wooden routed sign which was removed without permission by the contractors from the Park. There is criticism of the new design of signs for the Natural Resources Areas.
The cost of replacing signs throughout the City of Kingston is as follows:-
- Signs with the Kingston Logo on a white background in shopping centres and parks $48,000
- Boundary signs $17,000
- Dog signs $10,000
- Logo $4,000
- Installation costs $50,000
Rangers are monitoring the Dingley drain which flows through the Park and carries leachates from the landfill sites in Spring Road. October 20th a walk was organised by Friends of the Park.
Karkarook Park on Warrigal Road
Planting continues. The trees at the moment are very small.