Important Submission!! Inquiry into the Sale and Development of Public Land and Open Space
The Legislative Council has established a 7 Member all Party Select Committee to conduct the Inquiry into the sale or alienation of public land for development. Subs due 28th September. It is of the utmost importance that public land is retained for public use as more land is acquired for development sites.
Channel Deepening Inquiry
Channel Deepening Inquiry is almost complete. The Environment Management Plan will be presented to the Inquiry July 30th and POMC’s response to the inquiry will be presented by Jeremy Gobbo QC July 31″. The Hearings are open to the public and well worth attending .Evidence presented by the Blue Wedge and others has been compelling in detailing safety issues as larger ships enter the Heads, the impact on the Great Sands as more water enters through the deepened southern shipping channel and erodes the southern beaches. The possible leaching of toxic sediments from the Bund 10 kms offshore from Mordialloc, or resuspension of toxicants while the bund remains uncovered for 140 days or longer during dredging.
Kingston Bay Trail Bicycle Path
The July Mordialloc Village Committee quotes the April 2007 Revision, “Review community submissions .. Final public consultation being arranged to discuss “on-road” option. Otherwise – All quite on the Western Front.
Mordialloc Creek Bridge
Mordialloc Creek Bridge is still causing angst for drivers who are finding traffic hold-ups on all streets and service roads around Mordialloc Main Street and Nepean Highway. Work on the bridge is not permitted at night for Health and Safety reasons under the tender awarded by Vic Roads. Traders are becoming desperate as they lose hundreds of dollars of trade. Work will take 18 months to complete.
A coalition of concerned residents have organized a meeting at Northbrook House, High Street, Malvern, Sunday 6th May. 2.30pm to hear Guest Speaker, – Professor Kevin O’Connor of Melbourne University delivering a lecture on “An Alternative Approach to Melbourne Planning”
Can Melbourne Be Saved? Getting off the carousel of growth madness! Hear Mark O’Connor, Saturday, May 26th, 2.pm at North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne. 3051. SPA AGM.
The Living Links project sponsored by Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority was well attended by MBCL members 20th April. Initial reports were that the seminar was well worth attending. A full report is anticipated at Wednesday’s meeting. The prospect of bike path linkages along Mordialloc Creek and Patterson River to Dandenong Creek is an exciting prospect as part of the aim of linking the ranges to the Bay..
Review of Coast and Creek Booklet and Brochure
Any ideas?? Bring them along and let’s hear them!
Friends of Mordialloc Creek
Friends of Mordialloc Creek held a working bee 14th April while Yammerbook Nature Reserve Friends Group and Aspendale Gardens Primary School took part in Waterwatch training in March. Virginia from DSE checked with EPA and advised that while the black anaerobic dredge spoil from Mordialloc Creek looks and smells unpleasant the environmental impacts are minimal.
Happy New Year to All
Perhaps over the holiday period we may have had time to revitalise ourselves ready to face environmental challenges lying in wait for us in 2006! Locally challenges include the proposed bike path on the foreshore, Mordialloc Structure Plan, the widening of Mordialloc Creek bridge and Council’s controversial policy of managing fore- shore vegetation and open space. Councillors could be encouraged to focus more widely on questions of climate change and how it affects the community.
Congratulations to Judy and Pam who won their VCAT Appeal over a two storey development at the rear of a property which would have over-looked both Judy and Pam’s homes and yards. Kingstons policy states that “two storey developments at the rear of the development should be discouraged.” Government regs don’t allow Councils to use the word “must” in planning policy. Congratulations also to Barry Ross and Brian P. who won the VCAT Appeal objecting to a proposed caravan park in the green wedge. In fact the site was to be occupied by dozens of mobile homes to become de facto cheap housing. Acting on behalf of the Defenders of the South East Green Wedge the lads won their VCAT Appeal. Well done all!
Mordialloc Creek Bridge
Nina and Mara have written letters expressing concern at the impact a widened bridge and highway will have on Attenborough Park. Judy asked at, the MVC for copies of the bridge plans. In response to Mary’s query about plans for the bridge Jonathon Guttman stated that he hadn’t seen the VicRoads plans yet but Council has been pressing to have pedestrian bridges on both sides of the bridge to provide safe access for hundreds of Mordialloc College students attending the school. VicRoads has acquisition overlays on part of Attenborough Park but Jonathan doesn’t think VicRoads will require all of the land under acquisition.
Peter Scullin Reserve Landscape Plan
Plans will be released for public comment at the January Council meeting. Plans will need careful scrutiny to ensure vegetation is not removed without plans for replacement.
Foreshore Reference Group and Kingston Environment Network Group committee management and control still cause concern. The possible “stacking” of the FRG or potential downgrading of the KENG reveal a lack of commitment to established environment groups who can, with years of experience and qualifications, contribute ideas to Council re management of climate change, biodiversity, water quality and open space retention. A climate of fear or resentment appears to prevail amongst some councillors certainly not all.
Native Vegetation Guidelines Framework
MBCL presented a submission to the Panel Hearing outlining the impact of residential development on significant indigenous vegetation in the urban areas of Kingston, e.g. Epsom and Chicquita Park. Minister Thwaites promptly agreed to the “simplification” of the guidelines and simultaneously DSE announced major staff cuts from the environment department .61 positions will be axed from the land steward- ship and biodiversity group limiting still further monitoring and protection of native vegetation.
Public Meeting Nov 7th. 7pm at the Peninsula Community Theatre. Mornington Topic: Forests & Free Speech. Planning for our Future Saturday 12 November 10am-5pm at RMIT Melbourne Campus. Organised by Save Our Suburbs, RMIT, VLGA and Planning Institute. of Australia. Phone 9 347 2233 for bookings. Watch for Friends of Kingston “Meet the Candidate” at the Alan McLean Hall, Mordialloc. Your chance to quiz the incoming Council hopefuls.
Guest Speaker – Jason Stewart
Jason Stewart was our Guest Speaker at October meeting. Jason has returned to Victoria after working for some years in NSW. He hopes to spend more time on his organic farm and energy efficient house at Cann River near the Errinundra Plateau. The 11ha Herb Rich Grassy Wetland on the Epsom training track was partially saved thanks to Jason alerting Council officers of its existence. The Urban Land Corporation somewhat reluctantly agreed to retain 4ha as a significant site to be managed by Kingston Council’s NRA team.
It was agreed to postpone proposed meeting with VicRoads Bicycle Route Managers until after the Council elections since no decisions will be made until business resumes with new councillors in 20006. In the meantime the State Government’s Draft proposals for Sustainable Neighbourhoods places great emphasis on alternative forms of trasport which, of course, includes bicycle paths shown in the documentation just where we want them on the verge of roads or back of kerb.
Judy has been discussing with Glen the various reports as to water quality in the creek. The most recent reports are difficult to obtain as are reports dealing with contaminated dredge spoil from around the island in the creek. The extent of toxicity and manner of its disposal are also difficult and costly to obtain. Since it can no longer be pumped onto industrial land above Wells Road Bridge where is it being dumped?
Foreshore Vegetation Management
Fortunately the DSE vetoed the second and third principles which Council wanted to introduce into management of vegetation. These were not planting anything that would grow above two metres from the floor level of dwellings on the foreshore or Beach Road and allowing residents to request pruning of trees that they considered were blocking their views despite the fact that there is no legal entitlement to private views of the Bay. Fortunately EVC Management guidelines does permit the re-establishement of, for example, a Banksia Woodland on the foreshore, but priority will be given initially to planting ground cover on the dunes south of the creek. However there has been more vandalism of Banksias south of the creek recently. (EVC Environmental Vegetation Classes)
Congratulations to Councillor Rosemary West, former Age and Leader journalist, who on 27th June was awarded honorary membership by the Australian Journalists Association! Quite a coup for Kingston Council to have a councillor on board with the wealth of skills and experience which Rosemary has!
We trust that David E. is making great progress in his current battle with ill-health.
Bill has prepared several papers dealing with State wide issues which also impact on local councils. Paper No.1 dealt with M2030 policy on housing and the need for improved public transport if M2030 is to succeed as envisaged. At present the Brack’s Government seems to be ‘improving’ public transport with buses. Paper No 2 to the Independent deploring Council’s lack of a substantial environmental policy, and Paper No.3 is a Submission to the Victorian Environment Assessment Council River Red Gum Forests Investigation. We are grateful to Bill for the research and effort in producing detailed documents of this calibre. We need now to persuade Kingston Council that our mature trees are also worthy of preservation rather dispensable items to make way for views or developments.
Mordialloc Creek Water Quality
A copy of Stephen Hains letter was sent to Melbourne Water in the hope that a decision may be taken to monitor water quality as it enters and leaves the wetlands at Waterways. However we have been referred to another MW contact for further discussion. In the mean time the EPA have conducted a survey of toxic sites around Melbourne. Hobson’s Bay has the most contaminated sites with 14 and Kingston comes second with 8. Priority sites are those where pollution presents an unacceptable risk to health and groundwater. Interestingly “owners are forced to pay for a clean up or to stop groundwater pollution.” How will this affect the Alex Fraser concrete crushing activities in a former sand quarry full of contaminated groundwater?? And are these eight contaminated sites in Kingston adding to the poor water quality in Mordialloc Creek?
Keysborough Golf Club
Keysborough Golf Club in the Green Wedge is still bubbling along. This is Watson’s development. Golf course, clubhouse, pro-shop, restaurant, function centre, maintenance building, together with 394 dwellings. Objections have been lodged.
Bike Path Saga Continues
MBCL was represented on a Mordialloc Village community bus tour of the foreshore 18th June. CEO, Strategic Planner and Mayor, and an elderly councillor who claimed he had never seen the Bayside bike path but never-the-less didn’t want a shared path on the verge of Beach Road. Response from other committee members was disappointing. The feeling is that the Mayor etc, don’t want any discussion or debate. The attitude is one of defensiveness and claiming concern for vegetation removal but not wanting any discussion about the council’s policy of foreshore management which will see removal of understorey and ‘pruning’. The proposed meeting with the DSE has not yet eventuated though DSE people have met with Belinda Ainley and possibly others to spin their idea of veg. management. Stephen’s survey finds people wish to retain the sandy walking cliff top path.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Congratulations to our President, Brian, as the recipient of Kingston Senior Citizen on Australia Day. And a speedy recovery after a spell in hospital!
Thanks to all those footsore members who have pounded footpaths letter boxing for our “team” who are standing for Council. Let’s hope they all win- the alternatives are too, too horrible.
Nina/Brian’s letter to Landscape Officer, Kingston Council re the Proposal to use Norfolk Island Pines and Moreton Bay Figs as feature trees in Attenborough Park. This is not acceptable when Council’s policy, according to their management policy, is to use indigenous species. Also received, Mara’s letter to Lee Eklund re the proposal to locate a kiosk in Attenborough Park and to exhibit this plan at the forthcoming Wine and Food Festival for “public comment”. This could be seen as taking decision making out of the hands of local residents and left to people who have little idea of the issues at stake… such as comm- ercial use of public parkland.
Nina and Brian have also sent a letter to Council commenting on lack of community consul- tation. The letter was quoted in full in the. Independent. Well done! Also received Joan and David’s submission on problems at Patterson River and environs, amongst others car parking on the banks of the river.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
Lengthy discussion on best means of alerting the public of the need to actively oppose the proposed four storey development option for Mordialloc. Can we rely on a local politician statement, “no four storey’s while I’m a member.”? A further public meeting was suggested. Brian/Nina volunteered to investigate Manningham Council’s survey method. The result of the council election could have a major bearing on the four storey debate.
The Mordialloc Structure Plan has become part of increased density proposals contained in the Melbourne 2030 document. This makes it clear that increased density will occur for large parts of Kingston. Kingston’s Residential Strategy and KCC’s submission to Melbourne 2030 indicate approval for increased development at officer and CEO level. Glen Eira’s Strategy is superior to KCC’s in that there is encouragement to retain larger lot sizes thus allowing for a genuine diversity of housing which is sadly lacking in Kingston.
A welcome visit from Tony (Excell) who presented the second report containing text and photos recording progress in revegetation areas along the foreshore and creek. Next round of photography in November. Disappointing that a 5-star ‘cubby’ has been built amongst the melaleuca on the north bank of the creek. Police and By-laws officers are to monitor more regularly. Bollards have been removed allowing vehicles to enter off Wells Road and dump rubbish.
Branches are still being torn off vegetation opposite San Antonio Court. Signs may be installed stating that “This is a re-vegetation area”. Students from Mentone Girls Grammar and Kilbreda are working with Excell in re-vegetation projects on the foreshore and their excellent work receives positive publicity in the media. Real Estate agents must be deterred from removing vegetation to ‘improve views’ prior to sales.
The Steering Committee is frustrated with lack of support from Melbourne Water and KCC. CRAG has plants ready to plant but approval hasn’t been given to go ahead. Ken Carney AGRA, has organised a meeting with MW and KCC to discuss issues and progress.
There is concern about saving the outstanding trees on the Mayfield site in the event of the house being demolished. Trees include 3 Bunyah pines, conifers and palm trees. It was suggested that Stephen have the trees added to Kingston’s Significant Tree Register.
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!