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.