An information session introducing plans for the Kingston Lodge residential and wetland development will be held at Mentone Council Offices, Mentone at 4.30pm Monday 29th November. Council will accept comments from groups and individuals concerning this controversial development. Stephen Hains will be present.
Significant Tree Register
Could members bring along their comments and ideas for a Significant Tree Register currently being considered by Council Environment Officers? It is hoped that this Register, coupled with a By-Law, may prevent the wanton destruction of mature trees on development blocks.
Water testing at Braeside Park involves two Friends volunteers one day once a month to test five sites. A draft report on tests prepared by a volunteer is being published. Kingston Council is reported to be using a school to monitor water quality in Mordialloc Creek. When queried a council officer was uncertain of Melbourne Waters monitoring sites which are at Wells Road bridge and Pillars Crossing only. Glen Agnew is monitoring Dunlops Drain, Lake 3, Woodlands Industrial Estate and Mordialloc Creek with his own equipment. It was decided to write to Kingston CEO and Melbourne Water asking what is being done to monitor the Creek, mosquito larvae and algae blooms in Lake 3. The cost of chemicals for monitoring is $600 per year.
Open Day at Braeside Park was successful with 34 people attending a Heathland walk with Ron. Friends of Karkarook Park now has 6 members and automatic opening and closing gates with a people counter attached. Rangers are required to spend twenty minutes each day counting the golf balls which lob in the Park from the adjoining golf range! Our taxes at work! There were 1600 applicants for 12 positions with Parks Victoria.
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Residential Strategy Workshops
J.Eggleston and F Rimington attended the Workshop, October 13th, at Moorabbin Council Offices. Neighbourhood Agreements and Covenants places the burden of protecting residential amenity on residents. The process is time consuming and difficult to achieve in streets with 30 plus houses.
Braeside Park rangers have been reduced to three. There were formerly eight rangers. Rangers now work seven days a week and in summer, from 7am to 8.30pm. An article recording these facts in the Friends of Braeside Park newsletter was picked up by the local paper and resulted in the Friends being asked to attend a meeting with the upper echelons of Parks management to ‘please explain’. The Parks persons angst may be premature given that the ALP policy on OUR NATURAL ASSETS states that Labor will “Properly resource and expand the role of park rangers”. and “Defining the role of park rangers as including environmental management and the provision of education and interpretive services.”
Tony Collins, Team Leader Natural Resources for Excel has 14 natural resource areas to anage. He explained his plans for giving advice and assistance to Friends Groups in Kingston. He will attend MBCL meetings on a bi-monthly basis to answer questions and meet on site when necessary. MBCL’s role may be mainly monitoring the Creek and foreshore natural vegetation areas. Will query status of Attenborough Park /responsibility for South bank of the creek?
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Braeside park celebrated it’s 10th birthday Sunday 22nd September. Ten Volunteers were presented with certificates in appreciation of their commitment over the years.
Mara contacted MBCL concerned at the imminent destruction of a mature flowering eucalypt on a neighbouring block destined for unit development. There were three similar incidents in the last two weeks. The issue has been raised with Council Environment Officers and requested them to commence a Significant Tree Register to try to prevent the destruction of trees by developers before building commences.
Epsom Training Facility Panel Hearing
The Panel Hearing of Amendment L 47 to the Kingston Planning Scheme (Epsom and Environs) commenced on 6th September. The issue concerning MBCL, KCEC and Council was the ULC proposal to relocate a 7 hectare remnant community of Herb-rich Plains Grassy Wetlands (West Gippsland) Community to a flood retarding basin on the southern section of the site on Governor Road.
The Urban Land Corporation paid $17.5 million for the land which is targeted for a 428 house residential development. The development is opposed by the managers/owners of Moorabbin Airport since Epsom is the last piece of open space suitable for the flight path of aircraft taking off and landing. The site is in fact dysfunctional for housing because of aircraft, traffic and industrial noise, traffic problems and possible flooding as well as the most important issue the proposed relocation of the plants. Herb-rich Grassy Wetland (West Gippsland) Community is protected under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. There are more than 60 regionally significant species on the Epsom site and more were being located even while the Hearing was in progress. Despite this ULC has applied for a permit to relocate 20% of the species to the retarding basin. The remainder of the plants will be destroyed because of the filling required before housing construction commences.
Evidence presented at the Hearing confirmed that past attempts at relocating an entire grassy wetland community have not succeeded because it is impossible to exactly replicate che soil profile and hydrological regime.
We wish to thank Jason Stewart who attended our 1-9-99 meeting and took us through the Botanicus Report and planned strategies for the Hearing. Simon Cropper was Council’s Expert Witness at the Hearing as a Peer Reviewer of the ULC’s Biosis Report which favoured relocating the plants. I attended the six day Hearing and welcomed the support of Jason, and at the presentation of our submissions on retaining the plants in-situ, David Bainbridge, Brett Donaldson (KCEC) and Brian Pullen also KCEC. Report due in two three months.
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