Following KRAMMED’s success at VCAT with the decision to refuse a permit for 334-339 Station Street, Chelsea on grounds of density and poor design, Chairman O’Leary refused the proponent’s request to bring the fourth storey of 541 Main Street forward level with the third storey. Well done, Nina and Brian who were given permission to speak at the Hearing! Residents of Melrose Street are still waiting to learn the outcome of the Dan Murphy’s application to exit into their street. VCAT Hearing was in February.
Residential Zone 3
Residential Zone 3 submissions were due 31 March. Res 3 imposes a height limit of 9 metres or three storeys in Incremental Change Areas. If the proposed development has a pitched roof then 2 storeys applies however if there is to be a flat roof then the development may be three storeys – though still within the 9 metre height limit unless the site is on a slope then the development may be 10 metres. Activity centres (500 metres from a transport hub) may have greater heights and Neighbourhood centres (Aspendale, Dingley, etc) may have a height limit of four storeys in their shopping strips.
Concrete Crushing Panel Hearing
Concrete Crushing Panel Hearing is being heard March and April. The main issues for local residents are increased traffic, noise and toxic dust from the demolition material to be crushed in three sand quarries on Kingston and Clayton Roads. MBCL’s concern is leaching from the stormwater pond, water from which will be used to spray stock piles of demolition material containing arsenic, lead and asbestos. Water will flow back into the pond to be – re-sprayed onto the roads, machinery and end product. The pond is not clay lined so that contaminated water could leach into groundwater and major drains flowing into Mordialloc creek. Our submission will be presented April 26.
Foreshore Coordinator, Belinda Ainley attended and outlined her role in Kingston council. organising working groups involved in volunteer work on the foreshore–community education with displays and visits to schools and community groups to explain the importance of indigenous vegetation to stabilise cliffs and dunes. Belinda will coordinate a survey of native water rats in Kingston as an extension of Bayside Counicl’s study in their area. MBCL was invited to work on the survey along the foreshore and creek banks.
Welcome to 2005
2005, at present shaping up to be a challenging year. 2005 has begun with a rash of VCAT and Panel Hearings, Melrose Street residents have already been to VCAT over a Dan Murphy proposal to have large semis exit into Melrose Street. Result unknown at this stage. MBCL have objected to a concrete crushing facility at 295-305 Kingston Road, Clarinda on the grounds that lead based paint and asbestos from old buildings may enter drains flowing into Mordialloc Creek. Panel Hearing to commence 21 February at Fujitsu Building. 10am. KRAMMED will be attending VCAT 14/15 February.334-337 Station St, 3 storeys 21 residential units, four retail shops and six offices. Amended plans now appear to include a 40 seat restaurant resulting in a significant increase in car parking rate required pursuant to the Kingston Planning Scheme. This design is by the same firm responsible for 541 Main Street, Mordialloc – another congestion centre in the making. suburbs. Mary Delahunty’s parting gift a three storey height limit for Melbourne suburbs. And watch out for the country dunnies sprouting from the roof tops of developments near you approved courtesy Kingston Council. (Country dunnies was a term used to describe roof decks by a VCAT Chairman!!!) Bayside Council has a policy restricting roof decks, not so Kingston Council despite requests from KRAMMED and Others.
Mordialloc Creek Water Quality
Reports of a grossly polluted Yarra reinforces our concerns about water quality in the Creek given the Very Poor rating given to water quality in MW’s Annual Report. Monitoring results have been received but raise more questions. For example water quality results are the same at Pillars Crossing and after the flow passes through the Hains wetlands. We have asked MW to carry out tests to ascertain if the wetlands are performing as promised prior to approval given for the 700 house residential development.
Brian kindly offered to use his digital camera for monitoring vegetation on the foreshore and creek banks. However he had difficulty finding some monitoring points. Decision to contact Tony Collins to seek advice on replacing missing indicators and also whether a six month monitoring agenda would be of benefit to the NRA team.
Bicycle Path from Carman Road to Mordialloc Creek
After meetings with consultants in June and July 2004 it should not have been a surprise to find that the preferred options of those who attended meetings were ignored in favour of a bike path routed on the cliff tops at Mentone and a third path through the vegetation from Rennison Street to the Pier resulting in unnecessary removal of vegetation in both instances. (Yet another example of council’s failure to seriously consult with the community. See Bill’s comments below.) Submissions to the bike path strategy are due February 11. We urge members to make a sub highlighting the precedent set if a bike trail through foreshore vegetation is approved in Kingston. Friends of Patterson River have been successful, with the support of politicians in keeping the path off Seaford foreshore, and a relevant Bayside council officer does not want a path routed through the Beaumaris cliff tops due to drainage and erosion problems. Similar damage could be expected if a path was sited on Mentone cliffs.
The long awaited presentation by Melbourne Water re Management and waterways in Kingston including the functioning of Waterways wetlands and heavy metal readings in drains and creek, is finally happening Thursday December 2nd 7pm Brindisi Street, Mentone.
Important meeting:- Tuesday November 30th. Kingston Bay Trail Working Group 6pm at Brindisi Street, Mentone.
Bonbeach Community Nursery B-B-Q Sunday 5th December 1pm 3pm.
Our president has kindly volunteered to use his digital camera and coordinate the photographs to be taken along the foreshore and creek monitoring points. Thanks, Brian! Hopefully the usual crew will be able to lend a hand in finding the sites.
Monterey Cypresses in Attenborough Park will be assessed to check their health after the severe storms which caused splitting in one tree trunk. It is hoped that the trees can be supported and saved because of their historical value and landmark status at the gateway to Mordialloc.
Nylex Bay Spill
Nylex’s costly bay spill in March 2003 resulted in the Magistrate ordering Nylex to pay $50,000 to fund an environmental project involving revegetation of the lower Mordialloc Creek. Diisodecyl phthalate was discharged from the factory via the stormwater system where it travelled 3kms flowing into Port Phillip Bay at Mentone Beach creating a slick approx. 6kms by 2kms.
Wetlands on the north bank of Mordialloc Creek extending from Hain’s wetlands to Wells Road Bridge are to be part of industrial development south of Governor Road. The land on this site was filled with 24,000 cubic metres of illegally dumped acid sulfate soil from Burnley tunnel in 1998 and was not removed. It is buried on site in close proximity Dunlop’s Drain and the creek. Acid sulfate can corrode iron and eat through concrete if exposed to air through dredging or development. Acid sulfate soils have been responsible for fish-kills in northern NSW rivers and Queensland coastal developments. It is also causing concern for those planning to dredge the Yarra shipping channels. A good question for the Melbourne Water rep.– Will there be leaching from the AS site into the proposed wetlands, Mordialloc Creek and Port Phillip Bay???
Kingston Environment Groups Network’s next meeting 7th October 7pm Presentation by Melbourne Water – Waterways and Wetlands Team! A long awaited opportunity to discuss water quality in Mordialloc Creek and Bay. also the realisation of acid soil problems in the Bayside/Kingston areas. Kingston Foreshore Reference Group meets Wednesday 20th October at Brindisi Street. Mentone 6pm. Channel deepening on the Agenda? Open Day at the Grange Saturday October 9th 9.30am to noon.
Protest at Parliament over Mitcham’s Twin towers 12 noon Tuesday October 5.2004
The Panel Hearing into Channel Deepening begins again 5th October at Nauru House 11th level. Hearings begin usually at 10am and try to finish each day at 4.35pm. Hearings are open to the public and well worth attending to listen to presentations and questioning of expert witnesses.
Submissions have been sent to: Kingston’s Draft Affordable & Appropriate Housing Strategy, Kingston Traffic Study, Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority, Open Space Review, Mordialloc Structure Plan. Nina & Brian e-mailed and faxed their submission after working on it while on holiday in the UK! That’s dedication to the cause!!
Planning Issues in Kingston are still causing angst amongst residents-open space and residential amenity is disappearing. The Planning Minister’s offer of Interim height limits to Councils who have commenced their Structure Plans, may not save Kingston’s five Activity Centres from high rise because so far Mordialloc and Highett are the only centres to have completed Structure Plans. Chelsea’s plan has not been commenced and there is already an application for a four storey development in Station Street. The Save Albert Park group, in their newsletter, refer to a book by Dr Mark Lowe, Prof. Dept Communications, Uni of Ottowa entitled “Neoliberal Power Politics and the Contraversial Siting of the Australian Grand Prix Motorsport event in an Urban Park”. His theme in part is the ‘use of Albert Park Reserve as privatization in the service of commercial interests with costs borne by the taxpayer.” This has significance for Kingston residents where there is a tendency to sell off parkland rather than increase parkland to compensate for the overdevelopment of sites with loss of open space. Commercialisation of the foreshore for commercial activity is still likely in Kingston.
Planning Issues Continued
The Town and Country Planning Association reports on The Charter for Planning. Planning academics from Melbourne University co-ordinated an independent panel report on the proposal with contributions from SOS, the City of Yarra, TCPA. The report, Inner Urban Conservation and Development, edited by Miles Lewis was launched in August. However, it must be said that academics and bureaucrats tend to concentrate on the inner suburb planning issues rather than those afflicting middle ring suburbs. Do they know we exist out here?
An excellent turn-out of 25-30 people on National Tree Day to plant hundreds of trees, shrubs and grasses as well as ground cover on the north bank of the creek opposite the Jack Grut Reserve. Some newcomers were interested in the reason for planting indigenous species, local biodiversity habitat corridors and much else. The next working bee to be held in October.
Dates to Remember:- Wednesday 6th November, Council Offices, Brindisi Street, Mentone, 7.00pm to 9.00pm. Council/ community process to address specific foreshore issues. Wednesday 13th November 9.15am -12-30pm St Kilda Town Hall “Metro Strategy-Housing our Future.”
Thursday 14th November 4.30pm-7.00pm Nauru House 80 Collins Street, “What Metro Strategy means for Young Planners”
All these meetings (there are more) have implications for the future of Mordialloc, Chelsea and Mentone all nominated activity centres with high density, high rise development. Please make sure you have your say to local planners and politicians if you don’t want your residential amenity destroyed by over development.
And don’t forget to add December 1st to your diary for the Annual Christmas Barbecue at Bonbeach Depot. Not to be missed!!
Coastal Planning & Management
MBCL was represented at a Coastal Planning & Management workshop at RMIT where once again successive speakers emphasised that the main threats to the coastline, especially Port Phillip Bay, are climate change, sea level rise and population pressure resulting from “sea change” decisions of people wanting to live on the coast. The proposed deepening of shipping channels in the Bay and Met Strategy, which targets bayside suburbs for high density, high rise development, will intensify the difficulty of managing and conserving the coastline for the enjoyment of everyone.
Kingston Foreshore Forum
Kingston Environment Officers and Team leaders are to be congratulated for organising two Forums dealing with the very different foreshore issues North and South of Mordialloc Creek. Both Forums were well attended with Noel Kesby, NSW Coastal Management expert, graphically emphasising the need for maintenance of the dune system through revegetation if coastal infrastructure and housing is to be protected from increased storm surges. Dr Eric Bird, author of ‘Coasts of Victoria’, explained the need to stabilise the cliffs North of Mordialloc Creek with revegetation programs to absorb groundwater seepage which is badly eroding the cliffs. Dr Bird was surprised that some residents wanted foreshore vegetation removed to improve ‘their’ views since vegetation acted as a wind break and prevented salt winds sand blasting properties along Beach Road. If the cliffs were planted with grass only, landslides would result. Increasing storm surges due to global warming and deepening of the shipping channels will intensify the impact of beach and cliff erosion.
The Agnew Report
Glen reports that Parks Victoria has introduced a policy of requiring a permit and payment for filming in parks especially if films or photos are to be used for publication. Permits are costly depending on requirements (eg. Parks staff assistance) or location. $55 per hour. How will this effect environment groups or individuals who photograph or video underwater locations for information and/or educational purposes? Glen advises that the Melbourne Water drain with jetty on the beach at Parkdale is, like the MW drain at Mentone, causing severe beach erosion on the southern side of the drain.
A welcome visit from Tony (Excell) who presented the second report containing text and photos recording progress in revegetation areas along the foreshore and creek. Next round of photography in November. Disappointing that a 5-star ‘cubby’ has been built amongst the melaleuca on the north bank of the creek. Police and By-laws officers are to monitor more regularly. Bollards have been removed allowing vehicles to enter off Wells Road and dump rubbish.
Branches are still being torn off vegetation opposite San Antonio Court. Signs may be installed stating that “This is a re-vegetation area”. Students from Mentone Girls Grammar and Kilbreda are working with Excell in re-vegetation projects on the foreshore and their excellent work receives positive publicity in the media. Real Estate agents must be deterred from removing vegetation to ‘improve views’ prior to sales.
The Steering Committee is frustrated with lack of support from Melbourne Water and KCC. CRAG has plants ready to plant but approval hasn’t been given to go ahead. Ken Carney AGRA, has organised a meeting with MW and KCC to discuss issues and progress.
There is concern about saving the outstanding trees on the Mayfield site in the event of the house being demolished. Trees include 3 Bunyah pines, conifers and palm trees. It was suggested that Stephen have the trees added to Kingston’s Significant Tree Register.
MBCL has been involved with the following issues throughout 2000-2001:
Biosolids Woodlands Industrial Estate – Hearing Pending, Appearance at the WTO Senate Hearing at Parliament House Spring Street, Metropolitan Strategy, Green Wedge & Dandenong C2, Mordialloc Structure Plan Focus Group, Landscape & Leisure Study Steering Committee, RMIT Planning Seminar May 2001, Submissions to the Marine & Coastal Parks Study, ResCode meetings at Nauru House, Attendance at the Hazardous Waste Consultative Committee Meetings. A street stall at Chelsea and Mordialloc to disseminate information about coastal plantings.
The past year has been an exceptionally busy one for MBCL and we are extremely grateful that our members are prepared to participate in, and work with a number of environment groups throughout Kingston. This valuable service allows us to offer support or seek assistance when required. Sincere thanks to our hard working volunteers.
Stephen is MBCL delegate to the PPCC and keeps us informed about issues of concern around Port Phillip Bay. Brian & Nina Earl are hard working members of a number of committees, but especially important is their input to Drills Land and Lowlands committee. Penny, as a member of the EPA Beach Watch team, keeps an eye on the beach and importantly, the foreshore vegetation. Brian, as President, has a busy task in keeping abreast of concerns throughout Kingston while our Treasurer keeps a tight rein on budgetary matters. Ron has always been a loyal member of MBCL as well as Braeside Park. Get well soon, Ron.
Attenborough Park to be landscaped as part of the Mordialloc Structure plan has power poles through the park which detract from the vistas. The value of Chiquita Park was based on the valuation of 40% of the F6 freeway sold @ $250,000. The privately sponsored photo posts in Bradshaw Park have had the plaques removed by vandals. Funding for security lights has been approved. It is planned to have a notice board placed on the side of the shed. Nina presented an aerial photo and landscape plans for Drill’s Land (Squatters Run). A letter of support for the plans was sent to the committee from MBCL. $50,000 Council grant for the development has been approved. Groves Reserve is the latest piece of open space which may be under threat from Council development plans. Under the rotation scheme for park rangers, Rob Jones is returning to The Grange. An interesting talk on fungi was given by Thelma Spicer. A CD and booklet about The Grange. is being prepared.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
We have received a copy of PPCC’s President’s letter to the Kingston CEO about the threats from residents on Beach Road to foreshore vegetation. The Shire of Mornington took action to protect 320 hectare site from development. The wetland is known as the Tootgarook Swamp. One of PPCC’s policies is the need to protect the few large parcels of undeveloped land left around Port Phillip Bay from more intensive development.
There is a suggestion that Keefers mussel farm infrastructure may move to Mordialloc creek when it is moved from Beaumaris. There has been vandalism of the fence alongside the Pier and upstream on the south bank of the creek where a viewing platform has been trashed. A cubby has been ‘built’ on the north bank of the creek using old furniture, roofing iron and branches from the stand of vegetation. Excell was informed and plan to revegetate the area.
Leisure / Landscape Studies
Both these studies are available for perusal in libraries and at council offices. Please take time to study them carefully and make a submission. It is important to stress the importance of retention of foreshore vegetation in view of the letter boxing of foreshore residents by a Mentone resident who is making outrageous requests and claims about foreshore vegetation removal. These people need to be reminded that the foreshore is for the benefit of ALL Melbourne residents and not just the minority who live on Beach Road and wish to improve the value of their property
Mordialloc Traders Street Party 18 March
MBCL was invited to set up a display in the Main Street on Sunday 18 March. This proved to be very successful with Council produced leaflets on suitable indigenous plants for coastal gardens being eagerly sought. The photographic display of foreshore erosion in the 1970s and the success of erosion control today as a result of re-vegetation of the foreshore with native trees and grasses attracted wide interest and support for the retention of the plantings.
June will be the next photopoint monitoring exercise Water Photos were also taken as a separate exercise by MBCL, of cliff top vegetation to monitor the illegal and deliberate destruction of vegetation on the cliff tops between Mentone and Mordialloc.
Port Phillip Bay / Mordialloc Creek
GPS monitoring of Mordialloc Creek by Parkdale Research during March highlighted the extremely low level of water in the creek with boats sitting on mud well above the water level at low tide. Small boat owners are angry claiming that their $500 pa fees are excessive given the poor maintenance and lack of adequate water being released into the creek. Unfortunately the low water level has resulted in unpleasant odours emanating from the creek – a common problem in the 1970s.
Congratulations to Joan on her election to the Mentone/Parkdale Village Committee. Penny, Brian and Mary remain as members of their respective committees and are able to keep the environment to the fore at meetings. Penny has been able to give first hand reports on the water quality problems with Mentone and other bayside beaches this summer. The EPA was testing the water at Mentone each day during January and had to give a low risk report for most of the month. At present warnings against eating mussels taken from Port Phillip Bay have appeared in the press.
Tony Collins, Excell Natural Bush Area Team Leader, Water was present at the Feb. meeting and presented us with an attractive hard copy report of the photopoint monitoring so far. The report is on the web page. The third round of monitoring has just been completed with Stephen filling Penny’s place this time.
The problem of blackberries on the Mentone cliff tops was discussed. They will be dealt with in the second half of the NRA contract. when it is hoped to enlist the aid of green corp troops to assist with maintenance and revegetation. A major problem is the vandalism of foreshore vegetation caused by residents on Beach Road seeking to’improve’ their views It was moved that MBCL write to Kingston Council asking that an education program be commenced via the local papers informing residents that vegetation plays an important part in stabilising dunes and cliff tops. Also that signs warning of heavy fines for the destruction of vegetation be placed at sections of the foreshore where there is evidence of destruction,. Two further motions addressed the problem of lack of communication between Kingston Council Customer Service and Excell, and the responsibilities of Friends Groups.
Planned to meet with the Team Leader of Parks to discuss the plans for Attenborough Park which is at present being used for overflow parking from Doyles Hotel.
Corrections to the minutes humbly acknowledged and accepted. Debate re the submission to Department of Immigration re Australia’s Future Population should be sent under MBCL heading? Voting resulted in 6 members in favour with 4 against. It was felt that because of land degradation, soil salinity and water shortage an increase in population would need to be very carefully considered by whichever Government was in power.
Water The second round of monitoring was carried out by Penny, Brian, Nina and Frank. Many thanks to these volunteers. The film is being processed by Excell staff. Unfortunately there is anger that some residents living along Beach Road have decided to call themselves Friends of San Antonio Court. They don’t work with Council’s Natural Bush Area Staff and are solely concerned with illegally removing vegetation on the foreshore to improve their view.
Melbourne Water Drain, Mentone
After discussion with Melbourne Water about the removal of the sign warning people not to swim near the outlet of the drain, letters have been sent to Dr Brian Robinson and the Managing Director of Melbourne Water querying the removal of the sign. Signs remain on Kingston council drain pipes crossing the beach between Mordialloc and Mentone. Four weeks on there has been no reply to these letters.