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.
Mordialloc Creek Contamination Report
Prior to beginning dredging of the creek a comprehensive report of water quality was carried out. Metal contamination was recorded at all seven sites and exceeded screening levels for at least one contaminant (zinc). The other contaminants were cadmium, copper, lead, silver, mercury, arsenic and chromium depending on the site. There was no testing for PFAS but the report indicated that it was planned to check for that dangerous chemical at a later date.
Bay Trail Rennison Street to Mordialloc Creek
Tenders have gone out for this section of the trail due to commence September or October 2020.
Tree Planting Plan
Quarterly Report from Kingston Council outlines a proposed Street Tree Planting Plan. Council has worked with a consultant in the development of the plan which will provide a consistent approach to strategically prioritise tree planting and replacement based on a key criteria. This will include tree population, heat islands, population density, current tree cover and location in relation to remnant vegetation/habitat areas.
PFAS in Dunlops Drain
PFAS in Dunlops Drain which flows into Mordialloc Creek. Letter has been sent to the EPA. EPA first contacted August 28. No response for eight weeks so a letter sent- still no response. The matter raised again at the Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting December 2011. Reports on the large amount of plastic entering the creek via local drains in the industrial area.
Golf clubs are under threat from developers seeking to extend housing development into the Green Wedge. Residents are concerned about Kingswood although still used as a golf course, severe pruning of grass is causing concern as a walk with Jeff Yugovich and residents indicated.
LXRA Tree Planting
Crossing removals on the Frankston Line has resulted in removal of all the indigenous vegetation around the line and stations as work is carried out. It was alarming to find in the Council Agenda a report on LXRA work, an artist’s impression of a completed station surrounded by palm trees which are not indigenous to the Bayside suburbs. A letter has been sent to Head of LXRA, Kevin Devlin and Sonya Kilkenny, local ALP member requesting that any future planting around stations be indigenous trees only. No response from either party’s corresponded with.
Review of Ward Boundaries
Discussion re possible changes to ward boundaries as a result of the State Government’s proposal for changes for no ward boundaries at all, but with for example, for Kingston as of now, nine councillors. However council’s are not keen on this idea and neither are many residents. Apparently Bayside have just finished their review and they have continued with 3 wards with 3,2,3 councillors in the 3 Wards.
Mordialloc 5th Sea Scouts Rehousing
A suggestion at the Mordialloc Creek Community meeting that the Sea Scouts want to have the scout hall on the George Woods Reserve extended so that both 4* and 5 scouts could use this building. However that will mean yet another building occupying limited open space at that site. The alternative is for the Sea Scouts to relocate to the Mordialloc Sailing Club building at Aspendale. The yacht club member spoken to seemed to think that this would be a good idea. Chelsea Yacht Club shares its building on the foreshore with other boating activities.
National Tree Planting Day Sunday 28″ July
The NRA team were delighted with the number of residents and Scouts who turned out to help plant 1800 plants on this lovely sunny Sunday on Mordialloc Creek bank. It is great to note how well trees lining the banks of the creek have grown over the years. Water birds noted were ducks. cormorants. water hens and a Nankeen night heron. Unfortunately also noted were long strips of plastic in the reeds on the creek bank.
Heritage Listing Pompei Site
No response from Kingston Council re local Heritage listing for part of the Pompei site, or for Mordialloc Creek boating area around the Island and Doyle’s hotel -all part of the early settlement around Port Phillip Bay.
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.
Committee of Management Mordialloc Creek
W. Grahame reported on this meeting which was held at the Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club. Melbourne Water, Kingston Council Officers. DEWLP. Boating and Fishing Club Members were in attendance. Issues raised were moorings. Sea Scouts lack of boat launching facilities.
Heritage Listing of Pompei Site and Mordialloc Creek Environs
Discussion about Heritage listing for not just the Pompei site and large boat building shed but also the creek environs from the mouth to the railway bridge has been postponed until February 2019. A local heritage consultant thought the whole area was worthy of this listing because of its long fishing and boat building history. While the big shed could become a boat building museum this seems unlikely to happen.
P.MacGuire-White reported on drainage run-off from sports ground hard surfaces outside the Grange boundary effecting the vegetation within the Grange.
Reports of a victory at VCAT with a large Coptic Church being refused. The planning permit sought was not only for the Church, with a tall tower and dome, but stables for horses, sports grounds, etc. The refusal was based on the fact that the church would be more useful in an urban setting rather than on a 40 hectare block of land planned to encourage small size farming activity according to Green Wedge policy documents. With Planning Minister Wynne’s victory in Saturday’s election the Green Wedge may become even more secure!
Bay Trail went to a VCAT Hearing in July. The opposition presentation included a Barrister and an expert witness for vegetation. It was thought that the Council presentation was somewhat lacking in some aspects. Awaiting the result of the Hearing
Bonbeach and Edithvale Level Crossing Removals
Also awaiting the Advisory Committee’s conclusions. Kingston Council’s Drainage expert, Alan West’s excellent report on the drainage work already carried out in Edithvale (drain replacements) was received unfortunately at the conclusion of the Hearing but is a great resource to have on hand.
RAMF continue’s with their campaign. Perhaps with all the rail and road work announced by the Andrew’s Labor Government recently the unnecessary freeway may be considered to be of less importance and drop down the list!
Regent’s Park seems to be heading for a VCAT Hearing. Some support is being organised by a number of objectors who consider that the destruction of a Memorial Garden containing mature trees in memory of a dedicated conservationist, Jack Cuthbertson, shows lack of respect as well as realising that mature trees are a valuable resource as climate change is making its presence felt with climbing temperatures and drought.
A letter received from DELWP re Insurance Arrangements for Incorporated Volunteer Groups offering to indemnify MBCL for public liability claims which may arise as a direct result of volunteering activities. Following discussion it was decided to sign up but with a proviso that “we accept the offer on the basis that any claim made that our organisation is NOT responsible for the excess of any potential forthcoming claim”
Green Wedge Planning Provisions Review
A copy of this review was received and appears to be a comprehensive document with DEWLP seeking answers from strategic planners about uses in the Green Wedge. DELWP required succinct answers to questions such as :- Emerging planning issues in the Kingston Green Wedge and Stakeholders in the Kingston Green Wedge. It is hoped that Green Wedge Planning Provisions will not be weakened as a result of this review.
MORDIALLOC CREEK June Council meeting discussed a Draft Mooring Policy for Mordialloc Creek. Officer Recommendations included the following points:
- Authorise officers to cede management of A section to the Crown.
- Write a letter of support to DELWP advocating for the establishment of a Mordialloc Creek
- Write to Mordialloc Creek Community group advising of points 1&2 of this option as well as offering basic financial administration support.
- Authorise officers to provide basic financial administration support…
- Advocate for the development of a formal agreement with DELWP for the committee to have operational maintenance exclusive of dredging and any structural asset replacement responsibilities.
Although no meeting was held in June members were involved in two major State Government projects of an extremely controversial nature. These are Level Crossing removals for Bonbeach and Edithvale Stations and the Mordialloc four lane. 9 km freeway elevated to cross over Governor Road, Waterways wetlands and Mordialloc Creek before joining Springvale Road. This road will also cross through the south west corner of Braeside Wetlands thus impacting two major wetland habitats frequented by migratory and endangered bird species. Groundwater in this low-lying area, part of the former Carrum Carrum swamp, may be contaminated by construction work at both Mordialloc Creek and at Edithvale Station when the acid sulphate soil is exposed to oxygen and endangering the water quality in the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands. An Environment Effects Statement (EES) was required based on the likely impact that polluted groundwater may have on the Edithvale Seaford wetlands thus making it unsuitable for bird life resulting in a loss of Ramsar listing of the wetlands.
Residents Against Mordialloc Freeway
RAMF consist of residents and concerned environmentalists who are not convinced that a fifth major road is required leading to Mornington Peninsula. There are alternatives such as lanes added to Springvale Road in the grassy paddock opposite Waterways residential estate and Richfield retirement Village – or extending the rail line from Frankston to Mornington. Instead residents will be faced with an elevated four lane ( maybe six lanes in future) freeway built across the open wetlands presently peaceful habitat for birds and a calm retreat for residents.
Level Crossing Removals
This project also kept environment and resident groups busy during June. Although two options are offered to communities it is usually the loudest and largest groups that are heard especially if political advantage is involved in Most residents don’t like the look of the elevated rail line and think it will devalue their property whereas the trench method may create flooding & subsidence problems in these suburbs. Groundwater impact was the most important factor under discussion at the Panel Hearing 4″-1″ June at Patterson River Golf Club. It was fortunate that the Friends of Edithvale Seaford wetlands were able to acquire two excellent expert witnesses:- Scott Seymour, for many years an engineer with Melbourne Water and extremely knowledgeable about groundwater. Supporting Scott was Sean Dooley an expert on bird migratory habits. Big questions remain about the success of the horizontal pipe in a trench method of dealing with flooding and contaminated groundwater.
Coast and Creek Booklet
The coast and creek booklet may finally be at the printers thanks to the terrific work of Mick and eagle-eyed editors! There was some discussion about asking for a gold coin donation for the booklet. There were differing opinions but on some occasions such as street stalls or community events this might be appropriate.
The new newspaper on the block, the Mordialloc Chronicle, features tree pages of “advertisements” of the disinformation about the next section of the Bay Trail from the Mentone Lifesaving Club to Peter Scullin Reserve. For example the ad claims that Beach Road will be narrowed from Renninson Street to the Scullin Reserve. Not True.
Level Crossing Removal
There will be 8 community sessions to decide on work to remove the rail crossings, Edithvale to Seaford. Seaford residents are angry about the closure of Ell Race Road when it is claimed that there are feasible alternatives to the closure. There is also the threat to groundwater and the wetlands should the trench method be adopted for this section of the Frankston line.