Mordialloc Creek Master Plan Update
The 2004 Master Plan was last updated in September 2012. Much of the original upgrading has been completed. In this 2012 version retention of boating and fishing activity on and around the Pompei landing is emphasised. The proposed unit development on the site is not mentioned and will add to a demand for parking. The suggestion is that Attenborough Park be used for boat owner’s parking. An item of concern is the proposal to plant an avenue of Canary Island Palms around the Hazel Pierce Reserve on Beach Road. If anyone is concerned about this please start making enquiries. This was tried once before but the four palms were removed from the site!!
Protection of Westernport Bay
Victorian National Parks Association is appealing for funds for legal and scientific expertise to challenge the weakness of AGL’s claims for a floating gas import facility in the middle of protected wetlands at Crib Point .The entire Westernport Bay is a Ramsar listed wetland. The north arm of the Bay attracts 50,000 waterbirds and this is where AGL is proposing to discharge 47 kilograms of chlorine into the bay each day, if it is not stopped. Even AGL admits that this will exceed safe levels for marine life.
Oysters on the Pier
It seems the experiment to create artificial reefs around Port Phillip Bay to encourage oysters to grow for non-commercial purposes is successful. A recent report mentioned oysters are growing on Mordialloc Pier and on the existing reef to the south of the pier. Will the oysters be affected by the contamination coming out of Mordialloc Creek? Should there be a sign at the mouth of the creek warning the fishermen on the pier not eat the fish or oysters???
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.
Notification from Council advises of forthcoming works for the final stage of the Bay Trail from Renninson Street to the Nepean Highway. Work is expected to finish in late November. Last month electronic counters recorded 42,000 people trying out the recently completed Stage 2 Bay Trail Mentone LSC to Renninson Street.
Mordialloc Creek Contamination Report
An official warning has been issued to foreshore residents from Edithvale to Bonbeach warning them not to drink the ground water from their bores because it contains PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl) an extremely cancerous chemical.
Toilet Block at Mordialloc Foreshore
As part of “improvements” to local parks Council intends to install “new, accessible toilet facilities” at Mordialloc foreshore near the pier and promenade. The design of this large, brick industrial looking building is out of character and will dominate the area.
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.
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.
A tour of the route of the proposed freeway was organised for the Member of the Victorian State Government Upper House. Clifford Hayas his personal adviser.Kelvin Thompson and two members of the anti Freeway Committee in August. Susan Ley, Federal Environment Minister, will present the decision of the EPBC when it is available. This will be the deciding factor for the approval of the freeway.
Tragically 30 red flowering gums along side the rail line between Mentone and Parkdale stations have been removed and replaced with concrete. This is to provide parking for vehicles that can no longer be accommodated at the Mentone car park due to work on the removal of the rail crossing.
Affordable housing is badly needed in Mordialloc. Evidence of people sleeping on the bank of the creek near the pedestrian bridge was noted earlier this month. People were moved on but piles of plastic and other bits and pieces were left for Council to remove.
National Tree Planting Day
Three planting on National Tree Planting Day was successfully carried out by the NRA team and over a 100 volunteers at the George Woods Reserve. 1800 plants were installed near the pedestrian bridge and the boat ramp. It is pleasing to note how well trees are now growing along the Heatherton Drain outlet and further along the creek. A Nankeen Night Heron was noted perched on a tall tree with Cormorants nearby
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.
Neighbourhood Character Study
May has certainly been a busy month with meetings and workshops and now the Neighbourhood Character Study to unravel. Consultants Curry and Brown claim that Kingston is managing to cope with housing demand and doesn’t require changes, however Ethos Consultants, presenting the current study, are claiming that there must be higher density housing around the Activity Centres in Kingston on the Frankston line. This three storey development should extend for 800 metres walking distance from the stations. Residents have made it clear that they want gardens and trees, and definitely do not want two storey buildings in the back yards of houses when development is taking place. In other words they want Mordialloc to retain the family friendly atmosphere for which it is famous.
It was pleasing to learn that “old Mordialloc” retains its Heritage listing and that Ormond Street has been able to have at least two lovely little Edwardian cottages Heritage listed. Unfortunately two Edwardian houses in Barkly street are to be sold so will probably be demolished and replaced with three storey characterless blocks of units.
Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting
Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting discussed dredging the creek from the mouth up as far as the rail bridge. The contaminated dredge spoil will not be pumped onto Aspendale beach as happens when the creek mouth is dredged. This spoil will have to be either deposited in landfill or into the dredge spoil grounds in Port Phillip Bay where the Yarra spoil is deposited. Whichever it is it will be expensive.
5th Mordialloc Sea Scouts
5th Mordialloc Sea Scouts are looking for a new home and an extension to the 4th Mordialloc building on George Woods Reserve was mentioned. However a better idea would be for the 5th Sea Scouts to move in with the Mordialloc Sailing Club at Aspendale Beach where they could store their own boats or use the club boats. When discussed with a Sailing Club member he seemed quite pleased. Mentone Girl Guides have use of Parkdale Yacht Club. Multiple use of buildings would reduce the expense for Council who has to keep providing venues for various sporting groups and then having to maintain them.
Tony Collin’s Quarterly Report was received concerning work carried out by Council. During February Parks staff worked with Clare McPhee onsite at Regent’s park to relocate regenerating seedlings of Banksias and Burdarias from within the proposed netball court project construction area. Some seedlings will be provided to local residents and many used as planting stock for the relocated Jack Cuthbertson Memorial Garden which was unfortunately removed to make way for two netball courts. it is pleasing to read that Groves Reserve is now being cared for by the NRA team – Council’s newest Natural Resource Area. Also good news to read that the Peter Scullin Reserve will be planted with approx 80 indigenous coastal trees this Winter, 2019.
Beach Road Boulevard
Kingston Council so resolved to plant both sides of Beach Road with indigenous trees and christening the road a Banksia Boulevard. Some of the younger councillors may be surprised to learn that pre-amalgamation six Bayside Mayors also wanted to call Beach Road a boulevard as a means of protecting it from becoming a heavy transport route for steel trucks from Hastings some of which had crashed on the Charman Road corner. The name change didn’t happen but a curfew.on heavy commercial vehicles using beach Road has been in use since that time.
Melbourne Water’s Strategy of Healthy Waterways
Melbourne Water’s Strategy of Healthy Waterways may align with Living Links in the Dandenong Catchment to carry out reporting and monitoring of data on the condition of the waterways. Mordialloc Creek is under discussion at the moment as a result of the proposed Mordialloc Freeway. Extensive work will be undertaken north of the creek beginning by drilling down into a landfill to provide pylons for an elevated six lane freeway and /or an eight metre embankment to carry the freeway in other sections of the 9km freeway. The elevated six lane freeway will pass over the internationally recognised Waterways Wetlands-harbour for bird life and treasured by the residents. A three week Hearing has just concluded where 135 submissions were lodged, only 35 of these submissions approved of the freeway, with objections on grounds of noise , emissions, disturbance of bird life on the three surrounding wetlands. Contamination of the groundwater as a result of disturbance of acid sulfate soil and pollutants from the landfills could impact on major drains flowing into Mordialloc Creek, the wetlands and eventually Port Phillip Bay.