Concrete Crusher Application.
Delta have lodged another application for a Materials Recycling Facility in conjunction with a Transfer Station. The Minister refused Delta’s application for a similar facility on the recommendation of a planning panel in 2005. Silica dust from the existing concrete crushing plant, also location on Kingston / Heatherton Road, has already forced a market gardening business, supplying local supermarkets, to close because of dust falling on vegetables. Silica dust can result in silicosis forming. Water is of the utmost importance in the concrete crushing process as a means of suppressing dust emissions. A second concrete crusher, if approved, operating in the same locality, will increase the demand for water supplied by natural run=off, water from disused quarries acting as dams, groundwater and mains water supply during dry periods. The Dandenong Offensive Industrial Zone (now INZ2) was designed to accommodate offensive polluting industries such as concrete crushers. Kingston’s Green Wedge is not an appropriate location for polluting industries harmful to the environment.
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.
Congratulations to Cr Rosemary West and Greg Alabaster both of whom were successful in Council elections. Congrats also to Bill who campaigned strongly and missed out on toppling the opposition by 20 votes after a recount! Many, many thanks to all those who letter-boxed and scrutineered and did so much to assist our green team. Let’s hope the outcome will make a significant difference to Council decisions in the New Year, Congrats also to the Greens – Mara and Shana and others who polled magnificently. Interesting to see the effect at the forthcoming State elections! And Stephen! An exceptional result. Well done!
Planning for our Future Forum
Planning for our Future Forum was organised by Save our Suburbs, VLGA, RMIT and Planning Institute Australia 12 November.. Excellent speakers included Rob Hulls, Ted Baillieu, Paul Mees, Michael Buxton, Dr Miles Lewis, Janet Rice and many more. The feeling was that VCAT needed reform and M2030 also required reviewing. Prescriptive planning policies was preferred by many developers as well as the community making for greater certainty. Greater funding of infrastructure by developers.. M2030 is flawed and leads to “high rise, high density, high anxiety” according to Ted Baillieu. The only way affordable housing can be provided according to developers when asked was to “reduce the quality of the unit and the size of the unit to reduce costs.” Paul Mees claimed that in Vancouver maximum site coverage for one dwelling was 30%. Front yards and side yards are mandatory in stand alone dwellings! High rise development is approved for selected areas only after community consultation. Allin all a terrific Forum – if only the Ministers would listen!
Beaches are said to be clean except after rain when people are warned not to swim near drain or creek outlets for at least 24 hours after heavy rain.
Simplifying Native vegetation Guidelines
Minister Thwaites has succumbed to lobbying by urban developers to “simplify ” the guidelines by removing the urban areas from the requirement for developers to seek a permit to remove remnant or significant vegetation from a development site. EV asks people to write to the Minister and local politicians about this matter. EV believes that environmental policy to prevent inappropriate rural and residential development is under threat. MBCL has sent a submission to the Panel.
Concrete Crushing application to operate in Heatherton has been ‘crushed’ by Minister Hulls! Local residents are delighted. Not so delighted at the VCAT decision to allow a saw mill (actually a timber retail outlet) in the green wedge also in Heatherton. An application for a large caravan park/portable homes also in the green wedge is awaiting a decision. The Government’s decision to extend the Urban Growth Boundary into the green wedge will impact on Native Vegetation Guidelines. A reported application for a concrete crushing facility at Braeside has transmogrified into a cabinet making business much to the relief of the boating business already established nearby in Wyman Place!
Letters received from Mara re drawing attention to traffic danger in White Street, Mordialloc especially to children attempting to cross the road to access local schools. Semi-trailers exiting the Parkdale Plaza into Melrose Street will increase the traffic hazard.
Letter to be sent to Stephen Hains seeking his assistance in having the wetlands monitored to assess their effectiveness in improving the water quality of Mordialloc Creek since Melbourne Water reports that the water quality in the Creek and Patterson River continues to be rated as Very Poor. Hain’s response will be discussed at June meeting.
Concrete Crushing Facilities Clarinda
As a result of Bill and Mary approaching the Leader articles have appeared in the Moorabbin Dandenong and Mordialloc Chelsea Leaders explaining the possible impact on ground and surface water from the contaminants contained in demolition material leaching from the stormwater ponds and groundwater in the sand quarries. The water in the ponds is to be used to prevent dust causing health problems in the surrounding residential, market gardens and schools abutting the facilities.
Council’s plan to formalise the sandy tracks on the cliff top at Mentone into a 4 metre wide shared bike path is meeting with alarm by walkers interviewed. A similar informal sandy track around the Bayside section of foreshore to Rickett’s Point is an example of the importance of retaining the Mentone cliff top path free of fast moving bicyles. As Bill said trying to mix people on one path with speeding cyclists doesn’t work. With the removal of foreshore vegetation for the 4 metre wide track, combined with Council’s outrageous changes to foreshore ‘management’,- removal of vegetation to provide views for priveleged Beach Road residents, the sandy track will be hotter in summer, more open to winds in winter, and lack the natural walking surface. MBCL’s preferred option for a bike path to serve as a commuter path, on the verge of Beach Road.extends the successful Bayside bike path. Unfortunately Vic Roads doesn’t favour a designated safe bike path on Beach Road.
Council’s Foreshore Management Policy
Letters have been sent to DSE Manager Coasts re the proposal to limit future planting on Kingston’s 13kms of foreshore to 2 metres to allow foreshore residents “their views” despite the fact that there is no legal entitlement to views. Letters have also been sent to politicians. The surveys carried out by the council consultant: have been biased by the selection of interviewees – those living only on the foreshore or Beach Road. Council plans in the next stage to interview builders and developers about foreshore vegetation!!! What next? Real estate agents?? A meeting with, and reference to, a former council employee’s species list, Mordialloc Flora, and the Botanicus 2000, study found 54 significant species on the cliff tops 16 of which are found only in this section of the foreshore. 21 of these species are regionally significant.
Kyoto and the Environment Organised by Ann Corcoran, Federal Member for Isaacs Monday May 2005, 7.30pm Mentone RSL . Speakers:- Graeme Pearman and Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage.
Nominations for Kookaburra Awards are invited by Parks Victoria to raise awareness of the extent and importance of parks for healthy people and to recognise those volunteers who are committed to protection, conservation and development of the Victorian Parks system.
And don’t forget the Save the Bay Art Show opening 12 May 6.00pm to 8.00pm until 30 May. Opening hours daily 9am 5.30pm
AETA Australia – East Timor Association are urgently calling for letters to politicians about the Timor Sea Oil and Gas Issue. “Don’t Rob Their Future “Campaign.’
SPA Sustainable Population Australia meeting Saturday 7th May 2pm Henry George House 1/27 Hardware Lane, Melbourne Featuring Fossilgate – the connection between population numbers and oil supply as well as a film of an interview with Jenny Warfe about population growth and the effect on the democratic process and environmental amenity.
Panel Hearing concerning two concrete crushing facilities seeking approval to operate in Clarinda heard residents objections on grounds of the impact of dust and noise on the residential amenity of the area including a school and operating nurseries. MBCL submission raised issues about the impact on groundwater over-usage and possible contamination from the type of demolition material to be crushed e.g. concrete containing asbestos, lead paint and arsenic from timber demolition. Three major drains flowing into Mordialloc Creek flow through Delta and Alex Fraser sites. Settlement, Heatherton and Dunlops drains are already polluted according to the Kingston Industrial Stormwater Project. It was disappointing to hear EPA representatives dismissing the impact of pollution of ground and surface water as being of little significance claiming that water in the area could be classified as “segment B of SEPP(Groundwaters of Victoria) with the following beneficial uses: Potable mineral water supply….and Primary contact recreation!!
Channel Deepening Report
The Channel Deepening Report arrived finally – a massive document containing some astonish- ing revelations about the POMC’s Expert Witnesses less than expert reports. In effect they were told by the Panel to go away and try harder next time. Issues of concern were invited from submitters to be included in a supplementary EES to address the staggering environ- mental problems which exist.
Bicycle Path from Charman Road to Mordialloc Creek
Penny gave a report of the meeting at Council about the path and a lengthy discussion followed. Nina stated that the option of narrowing Beach Road (by replacing the section taken from the foreshore by Vic Roads in ‘988) has not been seriously considered by the consultant or council officers who are fixated- with the cliff top option. It was pointed out that the MBCL option for the verge of Beach Road path has been successfully constructed and used in both Mornington and Bayside. It is pointed out that surveillance is not such an issue if the path is on the verge of Beach Road rather than through the bushes on the cliff top. Object strongly to the suggestion from the BUGS rep to “remove the understorey for greater safety” !!. Jenny W. pointed out that 60% of native birds live in the under-storey and feed a metre from the ground. Jenny also reminded us that lights will be required if the path is on the cliff top whereas Beach Road lighting will suffice if the path is on the verge of the road. Regrettably the cliff top path was approved by Council April 26 – but the battle is far from over.
Following KRAMMED’s success at VCAT with the decision to refuse a permit for 334-339 Station Street, Chelsea on grounds of density and poor design, Chairman O’Leary refused the proponent’s request to bring the fourth storey of 541 Main Street forward level with the third storey. Well done, Nina and Brian who were given permission to speak at the Hearing! Residents of Melrose Street are still waiting to learn the outcome of the Dan Murphy’s application to exit into their street. VCAT Hearing was in February.
Residential Zone 3
Residential Zone 3 submissions were due 31 March. Res 3 imposes a height limit of 9 metres or three storeys in Incremental Change Areas. If the proposed development has a pitched roof then 2 storeys applies however if there is to be a flat roof then the development may be three storeys – though still within the 9 metre height limit unless the site is on a slope then the development may be 10 metres. Activity centres (500 metres from a transport hub) may have greater heights and Neighbourhood centres (Aspendale, Dingley, etc) may have a height limit of four storeys in their shopping strips.
Concrete Crushing Panel Hearing
Concrete Crushing Panel Hearing is being heard March and April. The main issues for local residents are increased traffic, noise and toxic dust from the demolition material to be crushed in three sand quarries on Kingston and Clayton Roads. MBCL’s concern is leaching from the stormwater pond, water from which will be used to spray stock piles of demolition material containing arsenic, lead and asbestos. Water will flow back into the pond to be – re-sprayed onto the roads, machinery and end product. The pond is not clay lined so that contaminated water could leach into groundwater and major drains flowing into Mordialloc creek. Our submission will be presented April 26.
Foreshore Coordinator, Belinda Ainley attended and outlined her role in Kingston council. organising working groups involved in volunteer work on the foreshore–community education with displays and visits to schools and community groups to explain the importance of indigenous vegetation to stabilise cliffs and dunes. Belinda will coordinate a survey of native water rats in Kingston as an extension of Bayside Counicl’s study in their area. MBCL was invited to work on the survey along the foreshore and creek banks.