Australia Day 2000
MBCL was allocated a shared tent again this year and we are grateful to our Treasurer for securing a prominent position for both MBCL and CRAG. Special thanks to Johanna for collecting give-a-ways generously donated by Melbourne Water, to Mara for Transport and assisting with information and to Penny, Brian and Nina.
Green Wedge Panel Hearing C2 and C5
Both Brian, representing KCEC and Dingley Village and Johanna, for MBCL, presented submissions at the Panel Hearing into proposed development in the green wedge. The Hearing ran for six days. Kingston Council’s approval of the Kingston Lodge development set a precedent for alienation of non-urban land in the City of Greater Dandenong.1400 houses could be built east of Springvale Road.
Tony Collins (Excel)
Tony attended briefly to inform us of the progress of plans for establishing monitoring points for quarterly recording of plant growth in the Natural Bush Areas.
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!
Residential Strategy Workshops
J.Eggleston and F Rimington attended the Workshop, October 13th, at Moorabbin Council Offices. Neighbourhood Agreements and Covenants places the burden of protecting residential amenity on residents. The process is time consuming and difficult to achieve in streets with 30 plus houses.
Braeside Park rangers have been reduced to three. There were formerly eight rangers. Rangers now work seven days a week and in summer, from 7am to 8.30pm. An article recording these facts in the Friends of Braeside Park newsletter was picked up by the local paper and resulted in the Friends being asked to attend a meeting with the upper echelons of Parks management to ‘please explain’. The Parks persons angst may be premature given that the ALP policy on OUR NATURAL ASSETS states that Labor will “Properly resource and expand the role of park rangers”. and “Defining the role of park rangers as including environmental management and the provision of education and interpretive services.”
Tony Collins, Team Leader Natural Resources for Excel has 14 natural resource areas to anage. He explained his plans for giving advice and assistance to Friends Groups in Kingston. He will attend MBCL meetings on a bi-monthly basis to answer questions and meet on site when necessary. MBCL’s role may be mainly monitoring the Creek and foreshore natural vegetation areas. Will query status of Attenborough Park /responsibility for South bank of the creek?
The Mayor has been invited to the Annual General meeting 22-8-99. This will be the 10th anniversary of the Park. A grant of $700 has been earmarked for a portable display board.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
Sandridge Beach is to be re-nourished with 100,000 cubic metres of sand taken from the Bayside area. Bayside Council has to give approval for the sand removal. Groynes are to be constructed at Sandridge. Lifesaving Clubs in Kingston have been generously funded – Mordialloc LSC : $14,500, Mentone LSC: $48,500, Aspendale LSC:- $20,750. National Park, Portsea likely to be privatised. The company operating the car ferry is interested. PPCC organised a tour 1-8-99 to Campbell Cove where 159 beach huts are enjoying a rent free existence on Crown Land.
Carrum Residents Action Group
The State Government plans to sell Bonbeach TAFE and CRAG have been given 12 months notice to re-locate their community plant nursery. The sale of TAFE, almost certainly for residential development, will mean a further loss of open space in the City of Kingston.
As a result of much correspondence incoming requesting assistance, the question was asked “How do other groups support MBCL?” Do we need to use the media more to inform the public of issues? How effectively do we network? There appears to be a need to use local papers to publicise issues and to recruit if possible, potential councillors with an understanding of the importance of environmental issues.
Council elections will be held in March 2000. Any volunteers?
Letter from J.Eggleston to Kingston Traffic Officer concerning traffic / parking problems in Como Pde/Alameda Street, Parkdale.
A submission has been sent to the EPA who requested information about, amongst other issues, groundwater in the Dandenong CIC.
At Braeside Park there is increasing emphasis on volunteer involvement. For example Parks Management prepares submissions for the Friends Groups to obtain funding to carry out projects. e.g. $5000 for protection of plants, $20,000 from Federation Grants to build a Heritage trail. Leisure Action has received a Grant to provide easier access for disabled persons. A grant is available for a picnic area in the Western section. A letter was received from Vic Roads informing Parks Management that the Mornington Peninsula Freeway is unlikely to be built for ten years. Parks staff may continue to use the red brick building on the site.
Park Rangers have to provide Volunteer Activity Reviews each year. Streamwatch is to standardise water tests carried out by volunteers on Dunlops Drain in the Park. Sunday 8th November at 2pm a Spring Heathland Walk with Leon Costermans.
Planting is continuing at Karkarook Park. Open Day Sunday 5th November.
Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition
The Flora and Fauna Seminar has been broadened to include the geological sandstone areas in Kingston and adjoining Councils in the sandstone region because of similar plant species. KCEC have applied for a Federal Grant of $20,000 to pay lecturers and publication of proceedings of the seminar. Next meeting 3rd December at Moorabbin 7.30pm
Kingston Lodge Development L33
The Report of the Panel Hearing Amendment L33 into the Kingston Lodge Residential Development has been released and justifies the concerns of those opposing the overdevelopment of the site. The Panel Members are quite scathing about the Hains claim that the development will be “leading edge environmental living”. The Panel states that there is nothing special about this style of housing, in fact it is simply an “urban conversion”. They state that “Amendment L33 to the Kingston Planning Scheme not be approved at this time” They recommend further work be done to clarify the green wedge boundaries and ensure that they are sustainable plus other issues. Once this has been done “Amendment L33 may be reconsidered.” Kingston Council has already gone to the Dept. of Infrastructure to have the ruling overturned and continue to request that the green wedge boundary be moved to Springvale Road to enable this development to proceed! Panel refused a controversial development at Cranbourne. J.Cuthbertson was influential!