Peppercorn Tree Puzzle
There was concern when it was noticed that an old pepper corn tree was being removed outside the railway station. It was thought that maybe these trees were planted when the station was opened and therefore worthy heritage survivors. Peppercorn trees can be seen around many stations and public buildings in country towns. Seven peppercorn trees remain. Banksias have been planted in the station forecourt and Centreway to link the town with the foreshore’s indigenous vegetation. A branch of one of the remaining Monterey Cypress trees on the Pompei site blew down in a recent storm. It is disappointing that so many of these trees have been removed from around Mordialloc Creek because they attracted so many artists. Peter Smale’s work, featuring two paintings of the creek and launches, is able to be seen online.
The Bay Trail is completed in this section of the Round the Bay Trail. Where the cyclists are supposed to go next seems uncertain, unless they ride under the road bridge and then through the Pompei site to reach the foot bridge over the creek to join the Long Beach Trail to Patterson River. Alternatively they could ride over the Pompei Bridge using the left side path, then through Attenborough Park, under the rail line where the rail bridge crosses the creek, along the south bank of the creek to join with the Long Beach Trail behind the Mordialloc Secondary College.
Climate Change Bill
MBCL added our signature to Zahlia Steggle’s (Fed MP) submission to Federal Parliament. This Bill was based on New Zealand and Britain’s climate change policies and supported by the Business Council of Australia, ACTU, AMA and Climate Works Australia with a total of 400,000 signatures.
Comment made that people want action on climate change so a letter to be sent to a local paper in support of action being taken by Government. This was done.
Dent’s Paddock Development
A VCAT Hearing in May.Issues arising are the proposed location of offsets after removal of vegetation on the site. a request that some of the $7 million offered by Government for the purchase of open space be spent on purchasing this site. There is a shortage of open space in Chelsea and Edithvale.
Road the Bay Trail
A careful watch on work being undertaken along Beach Road by a MBCL member reports that construction appears to be progressing according to the plans approved by Council. While Kingston Council’s plan for the trail from Mordialloc Creek to Carrum proposes to use the Long Beach Trail, LXRA plans to build a bike trail along the Station Street side of the rail line. This will mean removing all existing Banksia Woodland along the rail line. This route is not necessary because there is an existing bike track along the opposite side of Station Street.
Braeside Park Survey
Activities being suggested in this survey include festivals, food outlets, camping, dogs, etc. Such activities would require lighting, increased parking space and noise thus creating disturbance for the flora and fauna which is a feature of Braeside Park.
It is disappointing to find that the Level Crossing Removal people have offered to complete the Kingston Section of the Bay Trail by routing the bike path along Station Street alongside the rail line instead of along the Long Beach Trail. The reason is said to be Government’s intention to encourage cyclists to use public transport. This will require parking for bikes as well as cars in the limited space available along narrow two lane Station Street
Parks Victoria is conducting a survey into future uses and activities in Braeside Park. Some of the uses suggested are possibly allowing dogs in the park. permitting group camping, commercial activities, shops and cafes, markets, festivals perhaps with amplified music, night lighting, a commercial hub and extra car parking to cater for these activities if approved. Most areas of public land restrict certain activities in some way. For example Churchill National Park rules are:- camping, dogs, horses and trail bikes are not permitted. Cyclists can use all tracks except those for walkers only. It should remembered that the Sandbelt Open Space Project, May 1994, was formed to accommodate high impact noisy activities such as war games, trail bikes and games played on sporting fields.
PFAS in Dunlops Drain
PFAS was found in the West Gate Tunnel.Work stopped because of the danger to worker’s health.PFAS is being linked to risks of cancer and liver damage. There is also a problem with the disposal of contaminated spoil. The Mordialloc Creek Meeting is not until March. We haven’t heard from the EPA about the PFAS found in Dunlop’s Drain during the Mordialloc Freeway work. A letter was sent to the EPA October 2019.
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.