The campaign continues to save Chiquita Park from sale by the Defence Department. The price of valuation by the Friends group was $500,000?for the 3 acres (11⁄2 ha) rather than the $2 million. This assessment was based on the sale of 40% of the F6 freeway reservation at Heatherton near The Heath Park from Centre Dandenong Road to the back of the Kingston Centre. The price was $400,000 for this land.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
New policy statements were discussed at the AGM at Williamstown. Topics included bridges and open space. There has been serious tree vandalism in Reserve Road, Beaumaris. Signs have been erected by their Council at places where trees have been illegaly removed in some cases by developers.
Landscape Leisure Plans
As reported in the May Minutes there is considerable overlap in the Kingston Foreshore Strategy, Mordialloc Structure Plan and the Landscape/Leisure Studies. Submissions to the Landscape Study were summarised by the consultant, May 15th. He reported that views and vegetation were the most often commented on- chiefly by the residents of Beach Road who want to see the foreshore vegetation ‘trimmed’! Submitters found the format of the consultant’s response sheet difficult to understand and fill in because of the small print and amount of text.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
The Structure Plan was launched at the Mordialloc Sailing Club May 15th. Attenborough Park will be considered as part of the Plan. The Mordialloc Sea Scouts and Blue Line Boat Hire, in their submissions, have clearly stated their objection to be being moved off the Island, or from their present position in the Creek in the case of the Blue Line people, to make way for more food outlets or restaurants or to make way for the large motor boats who may want to moor in the creek and presumably sample the haute cuisine from the 24 food outlets in Mordialloc Main Street. The Minister for Conservation, Sheryl Garbutt has refused to finance dredging of the creek or stabilising the Island. However since successive Liberal and Labor Governments are planning to turn Mordialloc into the tourist mecca of the southern hemisphere, perhaps the State Government should reconsider funding maintenance work. Residents need to be aware that three/four storey heights in residential areas is back on the agenda in the Structure Plan.
Leisure / Landscape Studies
Both these studies are available for perusal in libraries and at council offices. Please take time to study them carefully and make a submission. It is important to stress the importance of retention of foreshore vegetation in view of the letter boxing of foreshore residents by a Mentone resident who is making outrageous requests and claims about foreshore vegetation removal. These people need to be reminded that the foreshore is for the benefit of ALL Melbourne residents and not just the minority who live on Beach Road and wish to improve the value of their property
Mordialloc Traders Street Party 18 March
MBCL was invited to set up a display in the Main Street on Sunday 18 March. This proved to be very successful with Council produced leaflets on suitable indigenous plants for coastal gardens being eagerly sought. The photographic display of foreshore erosion in the 1970s and the success of erosion control today as a result of re-vegetation of the foreshore with native trees and grasses attracted wide interest and support for the retention of the plantings.
June will be the next photopoint monitoring exercise Water Photos were also taken as a separate exercise by MBCL, of cliff top vegetation to monitor the illegal and deliberate destruction of vegetation on the cliff tops between Mentone and Mordialloc.
Port Phillip Bay / Mordialloc Creek
GPS monitoring of Mordialloc Creek by Parkdale Research during March highlighted the extremely low level of water in the creek with boats sitting on mud well above the water level at low tide. Small boat owners are angry claiming that their $500 pa fees are excessive given the poor maintenance and lack of adequate water being released into the creek. Unfortunately the low water level has resulted in unpleasant odours emanating from the creek – a common problem in the 1970s.
Corrections to the minutes humbly acknowledged and accepted. Debate re the submission to Department of Immigration re Australia’s Future Population should be sent under MBCL heading? Voting resulted in 6 members in favour with 4 against. It was felt that because of land degradation, soil salinity and water shortage an increase in population would need to be very carefully considered by whichever Government was in power.
Water The second round of monitoring was carried out by Penny, Brian, Nina and Frank. Many thanks to these volunteers. The film is being processed by Excell staff. Unfortunately there is anger that some residents living along Beach Road have decided to call themselves Friends of San Antonio Court. They don’t work with Council’s Natural Bush Area Staff and are solely concerned with illegally removing vegetation on the foreshore to improve their view.
Melbourne Water Drain, Mentone
After discussion with Melbourne Water about the removal of the sign warning people not to swim near the outlet of the drain, letters have been sent to Dr Brian Robinson and the Managing Director of Melbourne Water querying the removal of the sign. Signs remain on Kingston council drain pipes crossing the beach between Mordialloc and Mentone. Four weeks on there has been no reply to these letters.
Urgent! Urgent! Urgent!
Submissions to Kingston’s Residential Strategy close November 21. The Planners claim that they have only received six submissions. Let them know what you think of dwellings in Kingston where the only private open space will be on the roof top or on a balcony. Bayside residents have successfully persuaded their Council to agree to 1:400sq metres throughout the municipality. Despite loss of trees and gardens there is no provision for public open space to compensate in Kingston. Miles Lewis says that ‘densification is attacking the liveability of Melbourne and assaulting some of the values held most dear. Residents have rights?
We begin the next round of monitoring in November. A recent inspection of the foreshore indicated that vegetation is responding well to the recent rain. With the demolition of so many of the houses, gardens and trees along Beach Road, the foreshore vegetation is especially important to buffer the built area from the foreshore.
Chiquita Park is approx. 5 hectares and contains a stand of Cherry Ballart trees. The Defence. Dept is offering it for sale at $1 million. Braeside Park The nursery is progressing. The sewage work is almost finished. A bus tour of the Park is planned. Cr van Klaveren has been invited.Cattle grazing which has been used to keep grass in check is ceasing after 20 years. Mowing is taking its place and indigenous Chocolate Lillies, Milk Maid and red gums are appearing. The Grange An Open Day is planned. Precious Sun Orchids died after some not so gentle weeding around them! A proposal to build a road around Namatjira Park has not been well received. Also opposed by residents is Kingston Council’s plan to “re-develop” Westall Station as part of the Residential Strategy. Keely Park, donated to the community is affected. Bradshaw Park Extra painted(decorative?) fence panels are to be created by Parkdale Secondary College students. Discussion as to whether the park needs a distinctive gate to advertise its existence and perhaps a name change to Indigenous Plant Reserve.
Excell will gather seeds and eventually take control of the remaining 4 hectares of Herb-rich Grassy Wetland left on the site. Orchids rescued from Epsom are growing well in Braeside nursery.
Outgoing:- Stratcorp. comments on Draft Leisure report, Dandenong Planning Scheme Amendments C2 & C5, Planning Panel re Merri Creek Freeway proposals, Prime Minister re GM food copies to Senator Hill& Kim Beazley, Local Paper re Kingston’s Interim Residential Design Guide.
Water The photos taken in August are being developed as a record of growth in the revegetated areas of the foreshore and creek reserves. The next photo session will take place in November. Nina queried who was responsible for maintaining the south bank of Mordialloc creek up to Wells Road. Weed infestation is significant. Nina also queried when the moon-scaped ‘wetland’ near Brown’s Reserve would be enhanced possibly with landscaping.
MBCL President and secretary were taken on an extensive tour of the Dandenong Creek Catchment during August. The Liverpool flood basin, Jells Park and the Police Paddocks were amongst areas inspected. This gave an insight into the need for pollution control in the upper catchment and also into the need for extensive flood retarding basins due to accelerating residential development in flood prone areas.
Submissions to Senate Inquiry into the WTO and Treaties, ResCode 2000, Kyoto Protocol.
The first round of photography was completed in August and the film has been dispatched for printing-possibly on a compact disc for easy reference at a later date. Notes were made on plant growth in each area. School groups have successfully planted grasses in sections of the foreshore and these are flourishing. Thanks to Tony for so efficiently organising sites.
Tony Collins was present and was able to give a detailed report on The Grange’s feral proof fence almost completed. Rowan Woodland. After a controlled burn in April a Scout group planted 1000 plants. Revegetation is occurring. Chiquita Park’s future is still uncertain. Bald Hill/Namatjira Park with remnant plants is now part of Excell’s contract. Mordialloc Creek is being used to control Bridal Creeper. Kingston Heath has minor remnants of Swamp Paperbark .Community people may be employed in this park. Kingston Foreshore. It is reassuring to know that there are two people working full time on the foreshore. Excell has been working with school groups on the foreshore also. This is in part an education exercise to encourage young people to realise the importance of foreshore conservation. Bonbeach, Williams Grove, Friends of Bonbeach planted trees on the foreshore on Sunday 30th July. Clusters of students from Seaford/Carrum Primary Schools are also involved.
Kingston Street Tree Management Study
It was decided that MBCL would write in support of Ron’s review of the document. An appreciative acknowledgement has been received from David Digby.
Woodlands Industrial Estate / Biosolids
The Peer Review of Golders Report is still being carried out by Woodward Clyde on ti use of biosolids in Lake 1, Woodlands Industrial Estate.
Congratulations to MBCL President Johanna van Klaveren who ran a clean, green campaign and defeated four male contestants to win the seat of Carrum Carrum.
On being announced winner, Johanna graciously and publicly acknowledged the community work of ex-Councillor Nixon. Unfortunately a vitriolic campaign of misinformation about the newly elected councillors is being run in the Liberal funded Chelsea Independent??? newspaper.
River Red gums have been planted in the park to lower salinity levels. A $6000 fence has been provided to keep grazing cattle from the trees. A $33200 Federal Community Grant has now been received to create a Federation Community trail to include Koori culture, scar tree identification, Carrum Carrum swamp history, the heathland and old race course. A fox eradication program is underway. The Web page saga has been resolved as Ron has achieved his aim of having a staff increase for the Park! With six rangers operating Ron has removed his comments from the web page! Burns in The Grange may have been deliberately lit. Unfortunately 4-5 pine trees have been cut down to enable a new fence to be built around the park. A working bee at Rowland Woodlands removed coast wattles. A burn was carried out to encourage re-vegetation. Bradshaw Park had an ‘unofficial’ burn which extended 20 metres into the park. Rosemary West made the saving of Chiquita Park a plank in her election campaign.
The Open Space Report was finally released and, although both MBCL and the KCEC, had made submissions two years ago which were included in the report, we had to ask for a copy of the report. It was only reluctantly sent to our groups to enable us to make further comment. There is cause for concern over proposals to sell off small neighbourhood parks to finance developments on larger parks. The small parks will be monitored for five years to see if they are used. We believe that a 40 year time frame at least is necessary to assess whether the parks are required given that there is likely to be considerable demographic changes in Kingston as a result of the Residential Strategy report due to be released now that the election is over.