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.
Anne Corcoran, Federal Member for Isaacs, believes that Chiquita Park remains at risk with no indication that the threatened sale of the land by the Defence Department will be stopped by the Howard Government. Construction of the Federation Trail is well on the way in Braeside Park with the assistance of a $36,000 grant. Community involvement is essential so the artists are working with a range of schools and community groups to make tiles for the km trail. Ron attended the Friends of the Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens at which Dr John Wamsley was guest speaker. Bradshaw Park had a good grass planting session with grasses supplied by Excell nursery. The Friends group have written an article about the importance
of retaining foreshore vegetation for the next newsletter. Drills Land may be re-named Squatter’s Run. Melbourne Water will construct a fence along the Wells Road side of the Park. A shared bicycle/pedestrian bridge is being built over the creek 30 metres downstream from Wells Road. $50,000 may be provided by Council for landscaping Drills Land. Friends also planted grasses at The Grange. Aviary wire has been placed along the bottom of the surrounding fence to prevent rabbits and rats entering the Park. A tent found in the Park was probably liberated from a near by school. Odours from the tip next door are unpleasant.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
PPCC members helped to swell the numbers when Bayside Council organised a demonstration to protest at the Brack’s Government’s failure to consider Rickett’s Point as one of the nominated Marine National Parks in Port Phillip Bay. Stephen asked PPCC to consider reducing subs to $40 for groups with membership of over 100 and $35 for groups with membership under 100. This would greatly assist MBCL financially and we thank Stephen for suggesting this proposal. PPCC is well endowed at present and in fact, has to pay tax!.
DNRE was contacted and asked to supply a list of Acts or By-laws which could be used by Council to protect foreshore vegetation from vandalism. Bayside Council has a Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO). The Crown Lands Act can be used and DNRE advises that it is treating the Victorian Coastal Strategy as policy guidelines. The Kingston Environment Officer is working on the issue of the best means to inform people of the value of foreshore vegetation with the assistance of a work placement person..
Mordialloc Structure Plan
The Plan was launched quietly at the Mordialloc Sailing Club. Disposable cameras were provided to enable those present to photograph both the positive and negative aspects of the study area. It is also important for residents to respond to the survey sheets provided by the consultants, GHD, because Mordialloc is next on the list for ravishment by developers. The community is being given the chance to indicate what they want to happen in their community – so let’s tell them!
A successful day despite steamy conditions. Sincere thanks to members who helped in setting up, collecting signatures for the petition and staffing the MBCL stall. A letter of appreciation has been sent to the Melbourne Water Community Liaison staff thanking them for the donation of material distributed from the MBCL stall.
Nina Earl, Brain Earl, Barry Ross and Robert Pyne attended a meeting where a sub-committee of AGRA was formed with Ken Carney as president to discuss plans for this land. Nina has volunteered to undertake historical research of the land. Water in the ‘lake’ is saline and will require testing to ensure that the surrounds are suitable for indigenous species. A compromise may be necessary to accommodate off-leash dog people and environ- mental concerns. The land covers approx. 20 acres = 8.5 hectares.
Volunteer Pre-Christmas barbecue
MBCL members were amongst those who attended a pre-Christmas barbecue at at Excell’s Bonbeach Depot. Photopoint monitoring images are now on CD on the Excell computer. A third round of monitoring the Creek and Foreshore
Natural Bush areas is due to commence this month. Letters have been received from both the EPA and Melbourne Water informing us that both parties are considering replacing the warning sign on Melbourne Water’s stormwater drain at Mentone.
Penny has joined the Beachwatch team and is able to provide valuable information about water quality and protection of foreshore vegetation. The team was instrumental in alerting the authorities to a sewage leak at Mentone Beach last month. The beach was closed for 4 days.
MBCL and KCEC were invited to a presentation to Kingston Councillors by Golders and Melbourne Water in mid-January concerning the use of ETP biosolids as fill for the large water- filled borrow pit on Woodlands Industrial Estate. The Councillors have not approved the proposal which will now go to VCAT.
Submissions to Senate Inquiry into the WTO and Treaties, ResCode 2000, Kyoto Protocol.
The first round of photography was completed in August and the film has been dispatched for printing-possibly on a compact disc for easy reference at a later date. Notes were made on plant growth in each area. School groups have successfully planted grasses in sections of the foreshore and these are flourishing. Thanks to Tony for so efficiently organising sites.
Tony Collins was present and was able to give a detailed report on The Grange’s feral proof fence almost completed. Rowan Woodland. After a controlled burn in April a Scout group planted 1000 plants. Revegetation is occurring. Chiquita Park’s future is still uncertain. Bald Hill/Namatjira Park with remnant plants is now part of Excell’s contract. Mordialloc Creek is being used to control Bridal Creeper. Kingston Heath has minor remnants of Swamp Paperbark .Community people may be employed in this park. Kingston Foreshore. It is reassuring to know that there are two people working full time on the foreshore. Excell has been working with school groups on the foreshore also. This is in part an education exercise to encourage young people to realise the importance of foreshore conservation. Bonbeach, Williams Grove, Friends of Bonbeach planted trees on the foreshore on Sunday 30th July. Clusters of students from Seaford/Carrum Primary Schools are also involved.
Kingston Street Tree Management Study
It was decided that MBCL would write in support of Ron’s review of the document. An appreciative acknowledgement has been received from David Digby.
Woodlands Industrial Estate / Biosolids
The Peer Review of Golders Report is still being carried out by Woodward Clyde on ti use of biosolids in Lake 1, Woodlands Industrial Estate.
Letter from RP. re Kingston’s Street Tree Strategy (for MBCL file), Port Phillip Regional Catchment re weed & rabbit action plans, VLGA Constitutional reform document, DOI re changes to Commonwealth Assessment & approval development projects when the EPBC comes into operation, Offor Sharp re Woodlands Wetlands, EPA re Ballast Water & Hull Fouling, John Thwaites re Grand Prix and review of land use on Crown Land.
Tony Collins (Excel) advises that the sites have been marked along the creek and foreshore and photographing can commence late August and then every three months thereafter. Tony will attend 5th August meeting to finalise details.
The feral fence has been commenced at The Grange. Unfortunately there has been an out- break of vandalism causing considerable damage. Rob Jones has been replaced by Emily while he is on leave. 800 grasses have been planted at Bradshaw Park. S.C-S waters the yellow box eucalypts. Heaths are growing well in the control burn areas of the Rowan Woodlands. The Southern Golf Club ‘lake’ on the boundary of Braeside Park has gone ahead but a Parks Victoria officer is meeting with the Friends group to discuss the issue. Friends wonder whether the SGC should pay for the groundwater used in the ‘lake’. A request was made to BIOSIS for payment for the potting mix used in the rescue of plants from Epsom. Some difficulty arousing interest in the Federation Trail proposal and payment to the artist involved. Two foxes were found dead in the Park as a result of the poisoning program. A cat ban has been successfully introduced to Hains development south of Braeside Park. Well done our new Councillors!
Letters sent to:- SAP re E coli levels at St Kilda, Alpine Parks Submission to MPs Perton & Birrell & Independent MPs, Team Leader Parks re grass mowing at Mentone, Kingston CEO re the bio-solids fill for Lake 1 Woodlands.
Donation of Information
G. Agnew donated ocean water quality documents to MBCL. Expressed concern at some councils’ street tree planting programs. Deciduous trees create a problem with the litter entering drains. Reports that high E coli levels at St Kilda may be due to compaction of the Grand Prix track at Albert Park cracking sewage mains.
Terry Lane in the Age, June 4th, claimed that pressure groups like SAP (and possibly Krammed and MBCL) are regarded as ‘pests’ because they are persistent in pursuing their cause. MBCL, in our 32nd year of causing irritation, is happy to be numbered amongst the ‘pests’ especially as the ‘pests’ according to Terry, “in the long run are usually proved right!”