Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 6th July 2005


Nina has written a letter of support for Kingston’s NRA Team funding application for Herb-rich Grassland Management at Epsom. Mara, as a result of the bike path debate, has revived Sir Rupert Hamer’s plan to declare Beach Road a Scenic Boulevard. Watch for a Leader article about this proposal. Mara has also written suggesting housing styles for Chicquita Park which would increase the amount of open space available.

Mordialloc Creek Water Quality

Mordialloc Creek Water Quality is threatened by yet another inappropriately sited development in the creek catchment -this time in the Light Industrial Estate in Braeside between Governor Road and the creek at 9 Wyman Place where a concrete crushing and brick manufacturing plant has been approved by COK, EPA and Melbourne Water. While conditions are supposed to apply to prevent waste or waste water moving beyond the boundaries of the development it will be difficult containing noise and dust within the boundaries. This could impact on AGRA’s support for an extension of the Waterways wetland concept extending to the Wells Road Bridge over Mordialloc Creek combining an extension of residential development towards the industrial estate. Factory owners weren’t aware of this industry moving into the estate and are not pleased, because of the noise and dust problems bound to occur.

Bicycle Path

Bicycle Path on the cliff tops, or on the verge of Beach Road, or on a separate Beach Road lane with Beach Road becoming a Scenic Boulevard as envisaged by Sir Rupert Hamer, were ideas. discussed, with a motion that Mara send the letter to the local papers. Bayside Council is currently consulting with VicRoads in order to complete the section of bike path from Cromer Road to Charman Road to connect with the Kingston Section. Stephen pointed out that Council has ignored the fact that many people like to walk on the sandy cliff top track under the trees. They would lose this attractive pathway if a 4.5 metre concrete bike path was built on the cliff top. Geoff Heard represented KCEC at the Met Transport Forum. Bike paths the topic. Bayside Councillor says Aust. Standards for bike paths can be varied in width.

Foreshore Vegetation Management

Foreshore Vegetation Management was the subject of a meeting by members of MBCL and KCEC. DSE was represented and was introduced to the significant cliff top vegetation which would be lost a. by the cliff top bike path and b. Council’s proposed changes to foreshore management precluding the planting of trees or veg. which won’t grow higher than two metres from the floor level of adjacent buildings. We were privileged to have David Bainbridge present to enlighten the DSE rep. about the indigenous veg. since she was a newcomer to the area. MBCL and KCEC also met with Janice Munt to inform her of Council’s proposed NRA management changes for the foreshore ie. direction from top level not to plant trees or weed without approval from the upper echelons. Hundreds of trees ordered from the Beaumaris Community Nursery had to be cancelled as a result of this draconian directive from a council more interested in winning votes by improving property values for Beach Rd residents by providing water views to which they are not legally entitled. Awaiting the outcome of a meeting between DSE and Council regarding the bike path and foreshore management.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 2nd February 2005

VCAT Hearings

A tremendous win for KRAMMED at VCAT with the proposed three storey development at 334-339 Station Street, Chelsea refused on density and poor design grounds. Janelle’s presentation, as always, was impressive. Peter Soding, representing Council, also impressed with his low key demolition of the proponent’s case. Pity is we didn’t have Pete for 541 Main Street! Gleaming white footpath constructed in Melrose Street unfortunately facilitates ‘Dan Murphy’s’ reasons for seeking an exit for semitrailers into Melrose Street Result of VCAT Hearing uncertain as yet. MBCL has lodged an objection to the use of a flood plain in Chelsea Heights for residential development albeit two thirds will remain as a Melbourne Water flood retarding basin. Three concrete crushing plants proposed for former sand quarries in Heatherton will impact on the amenity with noise and possibly asbestos dust. Three of the major drains flowing into Mordialloc Creek pass through the sites. Further research required to check whether these facilities will also impact on water quality in the creek and Bay. MBCL will be represented at the forthcoming Panel Hearings. A further VCAT Hearing to resolve issues between Council’s understanding of the Chairman’s ruling in the earlier hearing and that of the developer of 541 Main Street, Mordialloc. Nina and Brian hope to be allowed to speak at the Hearing.

Bicycle Path Charman Road to Mordialloc Creek

Bicycle Path Charman Road to Mordialloc Creek has aroused serious concerns with environmental groups in Bayside and Kingston since it is proposed to construct the path on the cliff tops at Mentone and Parkdale rather than on the verge of Beach Road. The plan to demolish established vegetation on the foreshore at Mordialloc to construct a third path has been abandoned by the Council fortunately. There are still negotiations underway between DSE and Council over the use of the existing shared path way on the verge of Beach Road at Mordialloc. Hopefully common sense will prevail.

Foreshore Vegetation

Unfortunately under-storey was removed from foreshore vegetation around the Scullin Reserve resulting in further loss of branches in the recent severe gales. Trees were also lost on the Hazel Pierce Park. We need to ensure that there is replanting with indigenous species and replacement with understorey plantings to stabilise remaining trees.

Mordialloc Pier

MORDIALLOC PIER does not appear to be in the Alcohol Free Zone extending from Main Street to the foreshore. The Pier, we are told, comes under Parks Victoria’s jurisdiction. However a phone call to Parks Vic’s office at Patterson River only produced further puzzlement. The Parks person was unaware of the exclusion of Mordialloc’s pier. Nor could one of Council’s senior managers throw any light on the subject. We await further developments. This matter arose because of the drinking and litter resulting from people on the foreshore and creek precinct celebrating Australia Day.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 5th May 2004

Guest Speaker – Tony Collins

Guest Speaker Tony Collins presented a comprehensive report on the work of the NRA team commencing with the loss of Rob Jones to Bayside Council and his replacement with Lee James. A Green Corp Project, a training scheme for ten 17-18 year old students on work experience aims to fence the spinifex area at Bay Street. Work continues on the south bank of Mordialloc Creek with funding provided by Melbourne Water. Mordialloc College Years 9/10 students are involved in this project supervised by the NRA team. Plans include extending the riparian zone. Friends of Mordialloc Creek will assist with a planting day 5th June. Friends of Chicquita Park met with Tony Collins, David Digby and Jeff Yugovic as part of the community consultation to cost a vegetation management plan for the park. Concern at a statement made at an open council meeting that, “there should be a councillor on the committee who is opposed to the retention of the park in order to provide balance!” There is also reluctance to including the 2.4ha per 1000 people ARCUE measurement in the Open Space Review to give an accurate estimate of the lack of open space in Kingston. Met with Catherine Costello from Biosis on site to plan for the hand over of Epsom’s Herb Rich Grassy wetlands in January. 8000 plants per year are planted on the foreshore from Carrum to Mentone. A trial with geo-textile sand bags is planned to attempt to arrest erosion at Bonbeach. Still concern at the vandalism of foreshore vegetation in Kingston and Bayside. Request to write to Council asking for signs to be erected at the scene of tree vandalism. Discussed the siting of the Bay Trail Bicycle Path. This will involve a consultation process June 7th at Brindisi Street. Thank Tony for keeping us informed of the valuable work of the NRA team.
VCAT Hearing re four town houses in an Incremental Change Area in Chelsea. KRAMMED was an objector on behalf of residents. This development is 800 metres from Chelsea Station.

541 Main Street

1259 proformas collected during the campaign opposing the 5 storey development were sent to Mary Delahunty and presented to council by Nina and Brian. The architect /developer of 541 didn’t waste any time, the precedent having been set. A similar application is now before council for 334-337 Station Street, Chelsea. None of the three State Government reps. have shown any interest in preventing inappropriate development in either Mordialloc or Chelsea. The June edition of the VLGA Bulletin asks a pertinent question. “Do we want activity centres or congestion centres? Certainly traffic congestion will be increased both in Mordialloc and Chelsea shopping strips if these developments proceed with 21 apartments and four retail outlets proposed for Chelsea and 16 apartments in Mordialloc.

Pitrones Retirement Village

Pitrones Retirement Village in a Green Wedge was supported by Council’s Strategic Planner but opposed by Councillors so will now go to VCAT.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 7th April 2004

541 Main Street, Mordialloc Decision

The VCAT determination for 541 Main Street, Mordialloc, not surprisingly for we cynics, has approved three storeys with the fourth storey set back, for the old police station site. Those of us attending the four days Hearing believe that Council’s special witness, Craig Czarny, damaged the Council’s case by admitting that he had been engaged by Council to model height limits for the core commercial area between Main St, Beach Road and Owen Street. In his submission to the Hearing the consultant stated that “the plan envisages a maximum height of 4 storeys for the central precinct? Under cross examination by Ms Brennen, for the developer, Czarny stated that his views of an appropriate development of the subject land would be a 3 storey street wall recessive above“. Making four storeys and thus setting a precedent for four storeys in the Mordialloc Activity centre. In their summation the Members found that, “We note that he, Mr Czarny, did not recommend a two storey built form as suggested by some objectors, but rather he conceded that a higher form of development was possible on the site.’ The member continues, “We have taken the step of lowering the building(from 5 storeys to 4) generally along the lines recommended by Mr Czarny.”

Channel Deepening

Three Blue Wedge Coalition members attended a Gateway Process meeting at the Port of Melbourne Authority offices organised by the Government. The ‘gatekeepers’ were appointed to assess
the business justification for channel deepening. The gatekeepers came from Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide! Channel Deepening Meeting at Chelsea RSL Monday 3rd.

541 Main Street, Mordialloc (continued)

Mr Czarny is still employed by council and states in his sub. to the Hearing that “work is underway to determine an appropriate scale (of development) for this and other land in the activity centre” He specifically mentioned in his submission that the arc of Beach Road would be an “appropriate site for higher forms of development. The Housing commission units perhaps? The question then is why are 4 storey height limits still being considered when councillors (we believed) and the community have consistently objected to 4 storeys in Mordialloc? What is the process at work here? Are the councillors and the community’s preferred options being ignored? Who in council is making decisions which ignore the community’s preferences despite the DOI directive in the General Practice Note for Structure Planning for Activity Centres. “Consultation with stakeholders throughout the process is essential…Community engagement is a key element at all stages of preparing a structure plan… Each stage will need specific stakeholder engagement and community consultation.

Mordialloc Skateboard Facility

Despite over 30 objections from nearby residents and others it seems certain that the site in Attenborough Park will be chosen for the 8-14 year olds’ skateboard facility. The park has been the subject of an extensive Draft Master Plan as a passive recreation area. The site is in close proximity to Doyles hotel with people parking on the park in the evening, close to the creek where vandalism of boats is a frequent occurrence, and will increase littering of the area especially if a kiosk is included.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 4th February 2004

Forthcoming Events

Clean Ocean Foundation is staging a bike ride to highlight the need for improved treatment for 142 ocean outfalls around the country. The riders will reach Mordialloc 6th March. MBCL has been asked to greet and speak to riders. Anyone interested to meet and greet riders? The riders are the third generation of activists.
Power to the People forum at Darebin Arts Centre March 30th. Has the electricity industry restructuring benefited consumers? PH. 9 347 2233
Conversation with Carmen Lawrence Queen Victoria’s Women’s Centre Friday 12th March Contact UAW Ph. 9 654 7409 if interested.
Inquiry into Sustainable Cities 2025 March 16th. Free public hearing 10.30am-4.30pm Roundtable 5.00pm-6.30pm at Parliament House, Spring Street.
March 16th. SAVE THE BAY! Alternatives to Channel Deepening Melbourne Lower Town Hall 7.30 Key Note Speaker Dr Graham Harris CSIRO. Rod Quantock MC.
Blue Wedge Meeting Chelsea Library March 2nd 3pm. Come and meet the dynamic crowd working to save our Bay!
Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority is seeking details of one our groups “Success Stories”. Deadline March 31st. Any takers?

Sale of Small Parks in Clarinda

Both MBCL and KCEC members presented submissions to Council urging the retention of the parks because they are easily accessible for the elderly, children and disabled residents who are nervous about crossing busy major roads. The parks were developer contributions in lieu of funds when residential development was underway in Clarinda. The Minister for Local Government was approached by Council for approval to sell the parks. The money from the sale is to be used to fund a multicultural centre in Clarinda shopping strip. Council had agreed to an assessment of Kingston’s open space needs. We argued that the parks shouldn’t have been sold until the assessment was concluded. Criticism also of the consultation process whereby both MBCL and KCEC were invited to speak to their submissions when the decision to sell was already agreed upon.

Edithvale Common

January 2002 Melbourne Water declared the common surplus to requirements, The land is subject to flooding and if used as a football oval with social functions held under lights, or in the club house at night, will create disturbance to the nearby RAMSAR listed Edithvale Wetlands. Submissions supporting the FOESW objections have been dispatched.

541 Main Street, Mordialloc

Stirling work by Nina & Brian in organising letter boxing, leaflet handout in Main Street and lobbying politicians. Thanks to those who assisted in this time consuming activity. Over 600 signatures have been collected, compiled and sent to the Minister’s electorate office. Individuals who have been letter boxed are also sending the leaflets to Delahunty’s office. Next, watch out for the daring placard wavers alerting the public that their neighbourhood could be next to find five storeys or higher in their coastal village. The VCAT Hearing commences 22 March. Please find time to attend the Hearing and lend support to the submitters.

Peter Scullin Reserve

KCEC combined with MBCL to support Brian’s car parking re-org of the creek car park. It was designed to remove the need to convert a large section of the Hazel Pierce Park to bitumen. Officers at the meeting agreed to consider the altern- ative design and report. Peter Scullin, former Mordialloc Councillor after whom the park was named, expressed a desire to be kept informed of the outcome.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 3rd December 2003

A very successful New Year to environment group volunteers who achieved some impressive results in 2003. Pressure continues, however, as Mordialloc battles to preserve its low rise fishing village character as predators circle seeking approval for five or more storey buildings in the shopping centre and environs. On a more positive note, a revitalised KCEC could add weight to conservation and resident action groups who are seeking, for example, to maintain parks and open space for the benefit of the whole community.

March 16 Melbourne Lower Town Hall 7.30pm “Alternative to Channel Deepening in Port Phillip Bay” Come along and listen to expert opinion on the danger of deepening versus alternative environmental options.

Peter Scullin Reserve Traffic Management Plans

Consultants plans for reorganisation of car parking on the creek bank involved a realignment of the entrance to the car park and would result in removal of vegetation and loss of grassed area in the Hazel Pierce Park. This appeared to be a costly exercise for very little gain. Meetings with officers and the consultant were held to discuss Brian & Nina’s alternative parking plan with seats & grassed area along the creek bank. A subsequent meeting was requested before Council approved their plan, and once again alternative options were discussed. It is hoped that the outcome will mean the retention of the vegetation and grassed area of Hazel Pierce Park.

Skateboard Facility

Once again we are grateful for Brian & Nina’s effort in presenting alternatives to the inappropriate siting of the skateboard facility. The preferred option is the former skateboard site on the Jack Grut Reserve which is safely and easily accessible via off-road bicycle paths from Aspendale Gardens, Royal Palms Estate and Epsom Housing Estate. The foreshore option was ruled out by the Victorian Coastal Strategy policy of excluding non-water related activities on foreshore reserves. A VCAT Hearing set a precedent when a similar request was refused at Rye.

Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition

Bill has undertaken, with assistance of KCEC members, to broaden the role of the coalition. The first project to be tackled is Council’s olicy of selling off small parks and playgrounds to fund the building of e.g a multicultural centre or expand playing fields. With the rapid increase in unit development in Kingston. there is a need to retain small parks to provide relief for unit dwellers who lack private open space for a garden.

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Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League – Minutes – 5th November 2003

Forthcoming Events

Kingston’s Natural Resource Area teams famous Christmas Party for Friends Groups is on again Sunday 7th December at Bonbeach Depot. UAW Peace Rally:- Brunch for Peace at the Beach Saturday 13 December 11am. There will be a small MBCL environmental presence. Come and meet some fabulous women activists! The date of the Panel Hearing Amendment C32 into Kingston’s flood management strategy has been changed to 15th and 16th December. KRAMMED and MBCL are presenting submissions.

Sympathy has been extended to Glen whose mother died this week.

Kingston Environment Network Group

Advertisements were placed in local papers advising Friends groups or individuals that they could apply to become members of the Network. A Community Cabinet Meeting is scheduled for December the 8th at Moorabbin. MBCL members have applied to speak to Ministers on channel deepening, loss of open space and M2030 pressure on local communities through proposals for high rise, high density development around transport hubs. e.g. The 5 storey development proposed for 541 Main Street is now going to VCAT. If approved it will set a precedent for further inappropriate high rise developments in Mordialloc and other activity centres in Kingston.

Peter Scullin Reserve

Plans for traffic management will remove a section of the Hazel Pierce Park for a bus turning/resting space on the creek bank. This is unacceptable because there are alternative sites for that purpose. Brian E. presented an alternative plan to council planners which, it is hoped, will be favourably received by the responsible authority!

Mentone Gardens Group

Committee member, Penny, corrected last month’s newsletter report about 1 funding for beautification work in the Mentone railway gardens. It seems that the funds ! promised for the work, to be provided by the State Government and Council, has not yet been forthcoming.

Guest Speaker – Michael Norris

Guest Speaker, Michael Norris, presented details of the proposed residential development for the CSIRO site in Highett on the boundary of Kingston and Bayside. The Structure Plan in its present form threatens the destruction of seven mature Yellow Box trees, about 20 River Red Gums probably 300 years old as well as orchids, grasses and soil stored seed. Damien Cook states that, “This native vegetation represents the last remaining example in the sand belt region of a once extensive vegetation community.” The Structure plan is also recommended eight storeys or higher for the corner of Bay Road and Nepean Hwy.

Retreat House Cheltenham

Retreat House Cheltenham and botanical garden-like surrounds are also under threat from further residential development. The buildings are worthy of Heritage listing. Development of this site will mean a further loss of parkland for the Cheltenham residents. Cr West to investigate further.

Mordialloc Skateboard Park

Mordialloc Skateboard Park the siting of which is causing considerable confusion due to lack of consultation with local residents adjacent to the proposed site. Environmental concerns were not addressed initially and there appeared to be resistance to a more representative committee presenting alternative views and sites. The site of the former skateboard ramp on the Jack Grut Reserve is most appropriate being accessible to Epsom, Aspendale and Royal Palms Estate but farther enough away from residents not to cause a nuisance. Thanks to Nina and Brian who have thoroughly researched other skateboard sites and interviewed skaters., and to Brian especially who has been a lone voice on the committee presenting a balanced point of view. Attenbourough and the foreshore are NOT suitable sites for this facility – not being a water related (or coastal dependent activity).

Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence

It was decided at the November meeting to nominate the Natural Resource Area team for this award for their outstanding work with community groups, Friends and local schools, and especially regeneration work on the fore- shore and Mordialloc creek. Thanks to Brian P,Nina and Bill for assistance in compiling the nomination. Fingers crossed!

The Parks

Cr West attended the Open Day at The Grange and was impressed with the chocolate lillies?. Attenborough Park is undergoing drainage works with some damage to bollards used to prevent car parking. Submitters to the Chicquita Park Panel Hearing are anxiously awaiting the ruling. It is expected that the proponent will appeal to VCAT if the decision does not approve the development. The Key Features Report into channel deepening is available at the library – all four thick files! It is possible to
trawl through to find studies that highlight some aspects such as dredge spoil contamination or possible saline intrusion into ground water which may cause salinity problems in the Edithvale Seaford Wetlands if there is a rise in sea level.

GUO Chinese Landscape Painter of the 11th Century.
Watercourses are the arteries of a mountain, Grass and trees its hair, Mist and haze its complexion, Stones are the bones of heaven and earth, Water is the blood of heaven and earth.

Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.