Hopefully more information will be provided about who is standing in each of Kingston’s eleven wards with one councillor in each ward. Voting will be postal. There are some important issues for new councillors to consider and hopefully make decisions that are not environmentally harmful. Some of these issues are listed below.
After a long campaign people were pleased with Council’s decision to buy the land for much needed open space. But it is disturbing to find that a potential councillor is querying that decision, claiming that the money should be spent elsewhere, rather than saving the remnant indigenous plants, trees and open space provided at Tarella Road.
Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting
This was a Zoom meeting which one of our members was able to view and has given us a detailed report on the issues. One of the issues is that spoil from future dredging will be deposited in the dredge spoil grounds in Port Phillip Bay when the POM does their dredging in late 2021. Another topic discussed was the wetlands. They are considered a priority by Melbourne Water but the program still lacks funds. It may start sometime in 2021. The new Mordialloc Creek Master Plan should be released in the next few weeks. More car parking is planned in Attenborough Park to cater for boat owners. However there is no launching ramp on that side of the creek and car parking will be limited on the Pompei site, if the four storey apartment block goes ahead. Two MBCL members continue to attend “virtual” VCAT meetings about the Pompei site.
Construction of new pontoons for Mordialloc Creek upstream and adding a change room facility to the George Woods Reserve are two works estimated to begin in the New Year. Groups of people will be collecting rubbish alongside the creek, as funding was provided to help people laid off work in other areas.
GOOD NEWS!! It is not often that conservationists win battles in their attempts to protect precious remnants of the environment but this month it was announced that Kingston Council bought 19 Tarella Road! It is a remnant of original bushland undeveloped despite the suburbanisation taking place around it. It will provide much needed open space for Chelsea and Edithvale suburbs which are short of an area like this for non-sporting types to enjoy.
Alex Fraser Recycling Facility
The hearing was conducted virtually which meant that submitters didn’t need to trek into Kings Street. We are now awaiting Planning Minister Wynne’s response to the need to remove this industry out of Kingston’s Green Wedge and into an industrial zone where facilities such this belong.
Pier Road Toilet Block and George Woods Reserve
The pier road toilet block is to go ahead which is unfortunate because it will dominate and block views of the approach to Mordialloc pier/ promenade area. Work is also to commence in the George Woods Reserve with extensions to the Mordialloc Scout Hall to provide a storage area for the 5th Mordialloc Sea Scouts’ boats.
Kingston Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Strategy
Kingston Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Strategy will involve higher density housing meaning loss of trees and gardens. This appears to conflict with Creating a Cool Kingston- Urban Cooling Strategy which stresses the importance of trees in developments to reduce the heat island effect. The higher density housing strategy will also impinge on the Mordialloc Heritage Overlay. A submission has been presented to Council requesting that heritage housing in Ormond Street and surrounding streets be considered for an extended heritage overlay.
Governor Road Car Park and Pontoons
Better Boating, a State Government project will see the upgrade of the Governor Road boat pontoons in Mordialloc Creek as well as a pontoon south of the highway bridge for disability access.
There may also be a one metre boundary increase around the car park in Governor Road.
Toilet Pier Road, Mordialloc
This tall, silo shaped building will dominate the Art Deco lamps along the promenade and Art Deco buildings on the Peter Scullin Reserve. Request for information from council resulted in a noncommittal response.
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.
MBCL 50th Anniversary
MBCL 50th anniversary was attended by 30 former and current members. It was great to see some of the original members who had established MBCL in 1969 and later Port Phillip Conservation Council with a view to protecting the foreshore around Port Phillip Bay and the creeks that flow into it. When some of the original meeting reports were checked for display it was found that in a 1972 report the EPA was concerned about pollution in Mordialloc Creek and debated whether the creek banks should be concrete lined. When the Dandenong Valley Authority decided to do just that MBCL president, Dr Len Warren and secretary,Mara Hayler where able to convince Mordialloc Council to oppose that option. The Metropolitan Board of Works then stepped in, retained the earthern banks, phragmitie reeds to clean the water and the indigenous Maleluccas on the creek banks banks. This area has become a popular bird habitat.
While it was interesting to re-read the 1972 Environment Protection Authority (EPA) report on the creek it is concerning that there is still pollution problems with drains flowing into the creek. For instance PFAS has been found in Dunlop Drain. This drain flows close to the Moorabbin airport which would have this highly polluting substance stored on hand since it is used for fighting fires. Expanding industrial businesses at Braeside have been found responsible for, and fined, for depositing plastic in either Heatherton or Settlement Drain which flows into the creek.
This is the last remaining block of remnant coastal vegetation in Chelsea . The proposal to develop will cause the removal of most of the vegetation and thus destroy the ecological value of the site. This lovely green space will be lost when only 23 trees out of 203 existing trees will be retained if the development proceeds. Development is causing the loss of trees and gardens throughout Kingston. It is claimed that all metropolitan suburbs should have at least 30% tree coverage to ameliorate climate crisis however the City of Kingston has only 14% coverage and continues to lose more trees through level crossing removals…30 lovely red flowering gums along the rail line between Mentone and Parkdale stations were removed to provide car parking spaces.
Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting
Travis reports on the number of plastic bottles found in the creek as well polystyrene which is a problem because it breaks into little pieces. Clare refers to a kit available to log rubbish and identify its source as it flows from drains into the creek and Bay
Clare reported that a developer wants to build 9 units on this site which will mean if the development proceeds only 20 trees will remain on the site where there are now approx 180 trees. The developer will need a permit to cut down 180 trees.
Greening Kingston with urban forests is one of Kingston Council’s policies. Unfortunately as more suburban houses and gardens are destroyed to make way for development trees are. A wonderful Eucalypt in Chelsea Heights growing in the nature strip is likely to be cut down because residents are afraid branches may fall although it is a healthy tree.
Banksia Boulevarde Beach Road Mordialloc
Still some indecision concerning what sort of tree to plant along Beach Road after the Bay Trail is completed. Vic Roads is not happy about Banksias and a small number of Beach Road residents noisily claim that they want views and not trees.
Mordialloc Masonic Hall
Mordialloc Masonic Hall has been approved for youth services on the ground floor while the upper level may be used for Ward meetings or other Council activities Unfortunately the hat will not be available for community use.
New Policy for Meetings
Council has stipulated that meetings such the Faith group and others must have 21 members per meeting. Each member will be paid $250 a year. However the Public Spaces and Environment Committee (PEAC) normally had a regular attendance with 12 members and is scheduled to meet 30th May. Will this be its swan song.?
Council Motion on Poker Machines
Pleasing to note that Cr Staikos had proposed a motion concerning the addictive nature of poker machines and harm that is done to society. Kingston is one of the ten suburbs in the metropolitan area with the highest number of machines and monetary losses. It was moved that MBCL write to Cr Staikos congratulating him on his motion.
Local member. Tim Richardson, is organising joint funding to purchase the whole of the land to compensate for lack of open space in the Chelsea/ Edithvale area. It is intended to emphasise former Aboriginal occupation. food and hunting activity on the land pre-European occupation.
Letter to Clifford Hayes, MP Member for South East Legislative Council, in response to the MP’s request to learn of important issues in his electorate. Money for Dent’s Reserve was one issue mentioned. The MP is a member of Sustainable Population Australia.
A meeting on site with a Council Office, a MBCL member and a qualified gardener discussed means of saving Banksia seedlings from the Jack Cuthbertson Memorial Garden before it is destroyed to make way for two netball courts. The seedlings would be propagated and distributed to the community. The Council is no longer spraying the site.
Rossdale Golf Course
Rossdale golf course is reported to be up for sale again for housing. This will mean more loss of open space. Golfers will have to ply on the Capital Golf course adjacent to the Moorabbin Airport. 2500 acres will come back to Council from the sale of the golf course.
Letter sent to the Queensland Premier regarding Adani’s prolifigate use of water from the Great Artesian Basin. As yet no response. However we now learn that Origin Energy has been given approval by the Northern Territory Government to commence fracking on Aboriginal land without seeking this communitie’s approval. The Chairman of Origin Energy concedes that the company cannot guarantee that fracking won’t destroy water aquifers in the Northern Territory.
86 Albert Street Mordialloc
Concern that this development, being close to a school, may be dangerous for students as a result of road widening.
Committee of Management for Mordialloc Creek
A meeting of the COM was attended by MBCL reps, DEWLP, Melbourne Water and Kingston Council officers, small boat owners and Pompei representatives. Boat moorings, dredging the mouth of the creek and around the island were on the agenda. Since the Pompei site has been sold the future of the big boat building shed is under discussion as a possible local heritage listed site. However a consultant has stated that the creek, from the mouth to the rail bridge at least, is worthy of nomination for heritage listing due to Aboriginal, and later European association with the creek as a gateway to the Mornington Peninsula and commencement of fishing and boat building industries.
Following a Panel Hearing at Kingston Council the Minister for Planning has approved a stay of vegetation removal on the site until January 2019. Some excellent presentations were made by MBCL members and especially a local resident whose family originally owned the land when he was a boy. He was able to give an account of the original vegetation on the site.
One brave resident was prepared to go to VCAT on his own in an attempt to prevent this Memorial indigenous garden being destroyed to make way for two netball courts. Some MBCL members felt so strongly about this issue that it was decided to give support. VCAT has permitted a number of people to be joined with the original appellant and will be allowed to speak at the forthcoming VCAT Hearing.
Still awaiting the result of the VCAT hearing initiated by opposition parties to the Council approved plan for the bike path.