Important Submission!! Inquiry into the Sale and Development of Public Land and Open Space
The Legislative Council has established a 7 Member all Party Select Committee to conduct the Inquiry into the sale or alienation of public land for development. Subs due 28th September. It is of the utmost importance that public land is retained for public use as more land is acquired for development sites.
Channel Deepening Inquiry
Channel Deepening Inquiry is almost complete. The Environment Management Plan will be presented to the Inquiry July 30th and POMC’s response to the inquiry will be presented by Jeremy Gobbo QC July 31″. The Hearings are open to the public and well worth attending .Evidence presented by the Blue Wedge and others has been compelling in detailing safety issues as larger ships enter the Heads, the impact on the Great Sands as more water enters through the deepened southern shipping channel and erodes the southern beaches. The possible leaching of toxic sediments from the Bund 10 kms offshore from Mordialloc, or resuspension of toxicants while the bund remains uncovered for 140 days or longer during dredging.
Kingston Bay Trail Bicycle Path
The July Mordialloc Village Committee quotes the April 2007 Revision, “Review community submissions .. Final public consultation being arranged to discuss “on-road” option. Otherwise – All quite on the Western Front.
Mordialloc Creek Bridge
Mordialloc Creek Bridge is still causing angst for drivers who are finding traffic hold-ups on all streets and service roads around Mordialloc Main Street and Nepean Highway. Work on the bridge is not permitted at night for Health and Safety reasons under the tender awarded by Vic Roads. Traders are becoming desperate as they lose hundreds of dollars of trade. Work will take 18 months to complete.
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An Urgent Public Meeting organized by the Southern Victoria Community Action Group to hear from key speakers the many social, economic and environmental impacts about the proposed 8,750 acre Hastings Port expansion of land use and Transport Strategy involving 16 x 1.2km long Freight Trains along Frankston lines per day but mostly at night. Monday 4th June at 7.30pm at Chelsea Function Centre Cnr Station St & Thames Promenade Chelsea.
Good News Department
Recent high winds did one good turn when it blew down the controversial THREE storey structure which the developer of Chicquita Park was planning to use as a display home!!
Second Good News story- St Kilda Football Club might decide to relocate from Linton Street Park to another site having been denied an increase in poker machines. Cranbourne Council are very keen to have the club in that city.
And Thirdly- Kingston Council had an unexpected victory at VCAT when the former Baguly flower cultivation concern in the green wedge was refused a permit for sand extraction in the eight hectare site on the corner of Heatherton and Clayton Roads. Barry Ross appeared for the Southern Green Wedge Coalition and must be pleased with the outcome.
Thanks to Tony, Nina and Brian for suggesting that MBCL would be interested in the Waterwatch program, funding permitting.
Living Links Seminar
April 2007 was attended by four MBCL members who reported favourably on the Living Links proposal which is a master plan for a web of living parks, wetlands, pathways and open spaces along waterways and habitat corridors. Three MBCL members have also attended Waterwatch training sessions to become part of the scheme which has schools and volunteers already testing water quality in Mordialloc Creek.Funding the equipment needed to begin the study is still being investigated. It is proposed to test upstream of Wells Road bridge and at the spot where Waterways wetlands re enters the Mordialloc Main Drain. Mordialloc Creek depends on stormwater run off from major drains to provide water for the creek. Drains such as Settlement and Dunlops Drain flow through industrial areas and waste disposal sites. Kingston Council’s stormwater management plan has identified run off from some industrial sites as being a threat to the health of Mordialloc Creek and Port Phillip Bay. Thanks to Judy Fields who is undertaking research into Mordialloc Creek water quality reports.
Greenfields Industrial Development
Greenfields Industrial Development is taking place in Dandenong on the site of the former Dandenong and Springvale Sewerage Treatment Plant on the banks of Dandenong Creek. This plant was decommissioned in 1996. Melbourne Water is now undertaking remediation work to rid the site of contaminants. Dioxin was found at the plant in the 1990s causing concern down stream because at that stage Dandenong Creek water fed into Mordialloc Creek and Port Phillip Bay.
SARA LEE CREEK Cr West reported on plans to discuss with Melbourne Water a means of preventing the creek from becoming a barrel drain. Friends of Heatherton Park want the creek revegetated.
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A coalition of concerned residents have organized a meeting at Northbrook House, High Street, Malvern, Sunday 6th May. 2.30pm to hear Guest Speaker, – Professor Kevin O’Connor of Melbourne University delivering a lecture on “An Alternative Approach to Melbourne Planning”
Can Melbourne Be Saved? Getting off the carousel of growth madness! Hear Mark O’Connor, Saturday, May 26th, 2.pm at North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne. 3051. SPA AGM.
The Living Links project sponsored by Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority was well attended by MBCL members 20th April. Initial reports were that the seminar was well worth attending. A full report is anticipated at Wednesday’s meeting. The prospect of bike path linkages along Mordialloc Creek and Patterson River to Dandenong Creek is an exciting prospect as part of the aim of linking the ranges to the Bay..
Review of Coast and Creek Booklet and Brochure
Any ideas?? Bring them along and let’s hear them!
Friends of Mordialloc Creek
Friends of Mordialloc Creek held a working bee 14th April while Yammerbook Nature Reserve Friends Group and Aspendale Gardens Primary School took part in Waterwatch training in March. Virginia from DSE checked with EPA and advised that while the black anaerobic dredge spoil from Mordialloc Creek looks and smells unpleasant the environmental impacts are minimal.
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State of the Dandenong Catchment Friday 20 April at Hemisphere Conference Centre 488 South Road. Moorabbin. Commences 9.00am. RSVP 12 April. North Aspendale Erosion Control Works Information Evening 3rd April Council’s Cheltenham Office Commences 5.30pm. Contact Rebecca Cohen for Further information Phone 9581 4388.
Dredging the Shipping Channels in Port Phillip Bay
It’s on again, folks! Dredging the Shipping Channels in Port Phillip Bay and dumping contaminated dredge spoil from the Yarra River in the extended dredged material grounds (DMG) off Mordialloc! You can find out more about the impact on the Bay from the complete set of volumes of the EES report in the Council’s offices Brindisi Street, Mentone. The reason for dumping highly toxic dredge spoil material from the Yarra in the Bay is because “it will be too expensive to treat it on land!”
Port of Hastings Land Use
While dredging the shipping channels in Port Phillip Bay is back on the agenda a scheme to resurrect the development of Hastings as a major transport/ shipping hub is also being actively canvassed. According to the summary document it is envisaged that there will be 3,410 truck movements per day when the port is working and 44 train movements per day On the Frankston Line. There is discussion of a third Frankston rail line to cater for this traffic In the meantime it would be advisable not purchase a home anywhere near the Frankston rail line!
Kingston Planning Scheme Amendment C52 Mordialloc Activity Centre
The Panel report has been released and received a favourable response from Council who felt that most of their concerns and wish list had been addressed, There maybe problems however where the Panel felt there could be more flexible height limits in some parts of the study area. The Report now goes to the Minister for Planning for approval.
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Peter Scullin Reserve
We are deeply indebted to Stephen-Calvert Smith for painstakingly counting the number of trees at the Reserve prior to the removal of all the indigenous coast wattle and boobialla and 45 of the 95 trees 22 out of the 27 banksias, 14 out of the drooping she-oaks. The five remaining banksias are the smallest specimens and every bit of greenery in the entire park up to a height of 2 metres has been shorn. Stephen, in an excellent letter to the Leader asks, “What sort of message does this destruction send to vandals cutting down trees on the foreshore?” We didn’t have long to wait for an answer. Two of the row of spindly she-oaks on the Beach Road side of the Reserve were cut down some time over Easter providing views to a row of units on Beach Road and to the Bay cafe on the corner of Centreway/Beach Road who now boasts in an ad in the local paper, “Our views to the bay have never been better.” While the DSE Conditions for the management of the Reserve states that 80 Banksias must be planted an expert on Banksias says that many of those planted will not survive due to natural attrition and vandalism from those who now have views to the Bay. And all this destruction was caused to provide extra space for a two-day annual Kingston’s Wine and Food event. Meanwhile visitors to the reserve will be deprived of shade and shelter from the weather.
Glen Agnew presented a fascinating slide presentation of his 20 years underwater filming of the Parkdale Reef showing the gradual decline of the plant life and fish species. even through it was astonishing to see some of the species inhabiting the reef – the Magpie Perch looking like a Collingwood supporter with its distinctive black and white. stripes. Glen’s presentation was at the recent meeting of KCEC in April. Great to have him back in action.
Kingston’s survey of the Rakali will take place between Mentone foreshore and the lower reaches of Mordialloc Creek. Stephen has volunteered to help with the survey. Helen may also become involved. She visits the creek daily and has reported a number of dead water rats on the creek banks or rats with facial disfigurement.
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Peter Scullin Reserve Landscaping
Thanks to the intervention of the DSE no vegetation removal occurred before the Wine and Food event.. Kingston Council, had neglected, as Committee of Management to apply to the Minister for approval to remove vegetation on the Reserve. A permit was only applied for by Council on the 8th March after DSE advised of the need for a permit. Vegetation clearance commenced Wednesday March 22nd resulting in the loss of 22 Coast Banksias, 14 Sheoaks, all eucalypts .45 trees removed. Council’s list of to revegetation species differs from that of the DSE which lists a Banksia woodland of 80 trees. Council list has 21 Banksias. We had been advised by Parks and Gardens staff that no trees would be removed. All the Coast Wattle, Boobialla, Correas, understorey plants, have gone leaving the Reserve exposed to the elements and the remaining Sheoaks likely to succumb to gales. The other plantings will be grasses and low growing ground cover rather than a substantial windbreak on this vulnerable site.
Thanks to all submitters to the so-called consultation process regarding landscaping the Reserve. Two submissions were claimed to have been too late although one was handed in one day early and one on the due date at Council offices. Incompetence, inefficiency or what???
The Peter Scullin Reserve is Crown Land. How is it that Council officers were unaware that Ministerial approval was required to remove vegetation from Crown Land given the length of time some of the officers have lived and worked in Kingston?
Glen Agnew is back in the water and researching madly we are happy to report!
Waterways Wetlands type of creek development is proposed from Bowen Road to Boundary Road on land currently zoned industrial. However Graham Duff, Melbourne Water, stated at an AGRA meeting that no industrial construction can take place between the creek and Canterbury Road without Melbourne Water approval. A tree barrier could be planted to screen industry from residential areas south of the creek subject to land owners approval. The meeting was also informed that all water from Dandenong Creek flows into Patterson River. A small amount of water is diverted at Pillars Crossing into Mordialloc Creek at all times to keep the creek running. Flood control initiatives for Aspendale were also discussed. In a 1 in 100 year flood Aspendalians were happy to learn that they would be quite safe.
Mordialloc Creek Bridge
Also discussed at the AGRA meeting was the issue of bridge replace- ment and the need to raise the height of the bridge to prevent it acting as a dam during an unusually high tide combined with a 1 in a 100 year flood. Janice Munt has written to VicRoads requesting that MBCL be included on a reference committee for the bridge widening.
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Guest Speaker Tricia Phelan
Tricia Phelan from Power to Change was guest speaker at the February meeting. Power to Change is a joint initiative of Environment Victoria, Climate Action Network Australia, Native Conservation Council of NSW, Greenpeace and WWF. The campaign is focused on local action and seeks to work with local communities in Melbourne’s south east for the next two months. Solutions are outlined in the campaign such as helping people to change over to Green Power which is the brand for Government accredited renewable energy products. The introductory letter from the campaign organiser stated:- “MBCL has demonstrated a commitment, among other things, to protect foreshore vegetation in the area. We are concerned about the impacts of climate change on the foreshore and hence we would like to work with MBCL to heighten local awareness about these impacts. ” For further information c/- Environment Victoria 9341 8116
Comprehensive minutes of the Drill Land committee meeting 7th February were tabled. Remarkable progress has been made in establishing a lake and creating an island. Unfortunately funding is not available to complete Stage 2 in the next 3 year plan. Plans for completion are ready and supported by Melbourne Water at a cost of $50,000. The committee will explore other avenues for necessary funds.
Landscaping of the Peter Scullin Reserve
Removal of under storey in the Reserve is concerning. Members inspected the site and decided to request a meeting with the council officer responsible for the project. Under storey is to be removed before the annual two day Wine and Food event March 18 despite the landscape architect recommending that no vegetation be removed before replacement plantings are in place. While the proposal to plant extensively with Banksias is welcome, these trees are slow growing leaving the area exposed for visitors to the foreshore on the other 363 days of the year.
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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.
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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!
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