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!
The campaign continues to save Chiquita Park from sale by the Defence Department. The price of valuation by the Friends group was $500,000?for the 3 acres (11⁄2 ha) rather than the $2 million. This assessment was based on the sale of 40% of the F6 freeway reservation at Heatherton near The Heath Park from Centre Dandenong Road to the back of the Kingston Centre. The price was $400,000 for this land.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
New policy statements were discussed at the AGM at Williamstown. Topics included bridges and open space. There has been serious tree vandalism in Reserve Road, Beaumaris. Signs have been erected by their Council at places where trees have been illegaly removed in some cases by developers.
Landscape Leisure Plans
As reported in the May Minutes there is considerable overlap in the Kingston Foreshore Strategy, Mordialloc Structure Plan and the Landscape/Leisure Studies. Submissions to the Landscape Study were summarised by the consultant, May 15th. He reported that views and vegetation were the most often commented on- chiefly by the residents of Beach Road who want to see the foreshore vegetation ‘trimmed’! Submitters found the format of the consultant’s response sheet difficult to understand and fill in because of the small print and amount of text.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
The Structure Plan was launched at the Mordialloc Sailing Club May 15th. Attenborough Park will be considered as part of the Plan. The Mordialloc Sea Scouts and Blue Line Boat Hire, in their submissions, have clearly stated their objection to be being moved off the Island, or from their present position in the Creek in the case of the Blue Line people, to make way for more food outlets or restaurants or to make way for the large motor boats who may want to moor in the creek and presumably sample the haute cuisine from the 24 food outlets in Mordialloc Main Street. The Minister for Conservation, Sheryl Garbutt has refused to finance dredging of the creek or stabilising the Island. However since successive Liberal and Labor Governments are planning to turn Mordialloc into the tourist mecca of the southern hemisphere, perhaps the State Government should reconsider funding maintenance work. Residents need to be aware that three/four storey heights in residential areas is back on the agenda in the Structure Plan.
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.
Outgoing:- Stratcorp. comments on Draft Leisure report, Dandenong Planning Scheme Amendments C2 & C5, Planning Panel re Merri Creek Freeway proposals, Prime Minister re GM food copies to Senator Hill& Kim Beazley, Local Paper re Kingston’s Interim Residential Design Guide.
Water The photos taken in August are being developed as a record of growth in the revegetated areas of the foreshore and creek reserves. The next photo session will take place in November. Nina queried who was responsible for maintaining the south bank of Mordialloc creek up to Wells Road. Weed infestation is significant. Nina also queried when the moon-scaped ‘wetland’ near Brown’s Reserve would be enhanced possibly with landscaping.
MBCL President and secretary were taken on an extensive tour of the Dandenong Creek Catchment during August. The Liverpool flood basin, Jells Park and the Police Paddocks were amongst areas inspected. This gave an insight into the need for pollution control in the upper catchment and also into the need for extensive flood retarding basins due to accelerating residential development in flood prone areas.
Members may be wondering at the change in logos at the top of the page. We have been advised that MBCL is eligible for a Melbourne Water grant to assist with the publication of this newsletter. We are, of course, delighted. Thank you, Melbourne Water!
Four members have volunteered to take part in a monitoring program of the Natural Bush Areas along the creek and foreshore. This will involve photographing selected sites on a three monthly basis to check on re-growth and revegetation in these areas. During May, sites were selected by Tony Collins Team Leader Excel, and volunteers, Nina, Brian, Penny and Mary.
The selection process was in itself informative. For example, great work is being done on the north bank of Mordialloc creek with weed removal and planting of species indigenous to the area, however there is still the problem with the south bank of the creek, formerly under the control of Chelsea Council but now the responsibility of Melbourne Water. Maintenance and weed removal is urgently required to prevent weed infestation recurring on the opposite bank.
While foreshore vegetation and planting programs are creating a haven for birds and a buffer between the built area and beach, a major problem continues to be the destruction of foreshore vegetation by residents who want to ‘improve’ their view. Two incidents occurred recently when banksias and tea-tree were bull-dozed from the foreshore at Chelsea and Carrum.
Progress in suburban council’s storm water management strategy’s was the topic for discussion at the Dandenong CIC meeting held at Kingston in May. Kingston Council’s Environment Officer, Doug Evans, presented a report stressing that the quality, rather than the quantity, of storm water was the main aim of the management plan.
Cr van Klaveren gave a comprehensive report on current issues of local concern:-
- JvK attended the PPCC AGM at which the Hon. Victor Perton was guest speaker.
- Decisions have to be made about saving the historic house, Mayfield, and the impressive stand of European trees
- The Kingston Residential Strategy is still being considered by Council. The State Government has nominated setbacks and overshadowing as issues to be addressed. Members claim that density is still a major issue as is the retention of trees.
- JvK attended a VCAT hearing with residents concerned about a sub-standard unit development which had been approved by ‘delegation’
- Mordialloc Activity Node, now known as the Mordialloc Precinct, will be the subject of a study when tenders are decided. Councillors Petchey and van Klaveren are on the Steering Committee. Environment members must also be included in this important study.
- JvK and Councillor Normington inspected the Mirvac development site at Kingston Centre where 450-500 houses are to be built.
Watch for information about the 3rd National Mainstreet Conference. Securing the future Mainstreet Streetlife 18-21-April 1999
Australia Day Stall
Sincere thanks to all those who assisted at our display and stall on Australia Day on Mordialloc Foreshore. Thanks to F.Rimingtons initiative we had a great position right in front of the main marquee. Our display and petition urging Council and State Govt to protect the Green Wedge attracted enormous support. Many people asked for and took away petition forms to gather further names. Councillors and State politicians take note.
Kingston Lodge Development L33
Despite widespread local opposition to this development in the Green Wedge, and scientific evidence concerning building on a flood plain when climate change and storm surges are becoming more frequent, McLellan has approved the 700 house residential development.
Epsom Racecourse Development L38
The Urban Land Authority has purchased the former racecourse and plans to construct 400- 500 houses on the site which is also flood prone. This land & parts of Mordialloc were flooded to a depth of two metres in 1932 and 1954. Melbourne Water will require 10 ha for a flood control basin on the site. This will also serve as the required “open space” for the development.
Letter to DNRE re the lopping of the four banksias in front of Windows on the Bay. Letter to PPCC re the banksia lopping (as above)
Letter to Rob Jones, SERCO re continued meetings with Friends Groups & MBCL.
Photoposts have been placed in Bradshaw Park to provide a progressive record of plant growth.
Friends of Braeside Park have written to the local member, Geoffrey Leigh MP, requesting funds for a filter on Dingley Drain. $1000 was received but Melbourne Water advises that $40,000 is required for a filter. The red brick building used as a Ranger’s office has been bought by Melbourne Water and leased to Braeside Park Admin.
Kingston Lodge Development L33
Kingston Council have applied to have the green wedge boundary moved from the freeway reservation to Springvale Road to facilitate the proposed residential development in the green wedge. The Aspendale Gardens group are opposed to the 700 house residential development on the Hains property in the green wedge. KCEC members have discussed this matter with DNRE. Letters from KCEC have been sent to a number of responsible authorities and environmental groups re this blatant “urban incision” (the Panel’s words) of part of the green wedge.
Acid Sulphate Soil
In addition to the 24,000 c/m of acid sulphate soil from the City Link tunnels dumped at Braeside by Transfield Obayashi, potential acid sulphate soil has been found on the Kingston Lodge site. The EPA will require an Environment Management Plan to be carried out before this soil can be used for fill for the proposed residential development on the Hains land. Transfields consultants have claimed that the acid sulphate soil can be covered and left at the Braeside site however if the owner of the land wants to build factories on the land he will have to bear the cost of treating the land. The EPA haven’t insisted on monitoring the Braeside land to check if there is any leaching of acid sulphate into the drains or groundwater. Continue reading
As a result of much correspondence incoming requesting assistance, the question was asked “How do other groups support MBCL?” Do we need to use the media more to inform the public of issues? How effectively do we network? There appears to be a need to use local papers to publicise issues and to recruit if possible, potential councillors with an understanding of the importance of environmental issues.
Council elections will be held in March 2000. Any volunteers?
Letter from J.Eggleston to Kingston Traffic Officer concerning traffic / parking problems in Como Pde/Alameda Street, Parkdale.
A submission has been sent to the EPA who requested information about, amongst other issues, groundwater in the Dandenong CIC.
At Braeside Park there is increasing emphasis on volunteer involvement. For example Parks Management prepares submissions for the Friends Groups to obtain funding to carry out projects. e.g. $5000 for protection of plants, $20,000 from Federation Grants to build a Heritage trail. Leisure Action has received a Grant to provide easier access for disabled persons. A grant is available for a picnic area in the Western section. A letter was received from Vic Roads informing Parks Management that the Mornington Peninsula Freeway is unlikely to be built for ten years. Parks staff may continue to use the red brick building on the site.
Park Rangers have to provide Volunteer Activity Reviews each year. Streamwatch is to standardise water tests carried out by volunteers on Dunlops Drain in the Park. Sunday 8th November at 2pm a Spring Heathland Walk with Leon Costermans.
Planting is continuing at Karkarook Park. Open Day Sunday 5th November.
Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition
The Flora and Fauna Seminar has been broadened to include the geological sandstone areas in Kingston and adjoining Councils in the sandstone region because of similar plant species. KCEC have applied for a Federal Grant of $20,000 to pay lecturers and publication of proceedings of the seminar. Next meeting 3rd December at Moorabbin 7.30pm
Kingston Lodge Development L33
The Report of the Panel Hearing Amendment L33 into the Kingston Lodge Residential Development has been released and justifies the concerns of those opposing the overdevelopment of the site. The Panel Members are quite scathing about the Hains claim that the development will be “leading edge environmental living”. The Panel states that there is nothing special about this style of housing, in fact it is simply an “urban conversion”. They state that “Amendment L33 to the Kingston Planning Scheme not be approved at this time” They recommend further work be done to clarify the green wedge boundaries and ensure that they are sustainable plus other issues. Once this has been done “Amendment L33 may be reconsidered.” Kingston Council has already gone to the Dept. of Infrastructure to have the ruling overturned and continue to request that the green wedge boundary be moved to Springvale Road to enable this development to proceed! Panel refused a controversial development at Cranbourne. J.Cuthbertson was influential!
Braeside Park Friends Group is being asked to conduct tours of the Park formerly undertaken by Park Staff. In times such as these with downsized staff more is expected of volunteer groups it seems.
Governor Road widening to four lanes will mean loss of parkland on the southern section of Braeside Park. The undeveloped Kingston Lodge land will remain intact!
Karkarook Park Friends Group will be established to work with Braeside Friends Group in volunteer work in the park.
The Sandbelt Parklands Advisory Committee will widen the committee to attract people with a wide range of interests.
Kingston Lodge Panel Hearing
Conservation/environment groups appeared at the Panel hearings at Moorabbin Council Offices on the 11/12 August. J. Cuthbertson presented a most detailed and comprehensive submission to the Panel. Friends of Braeside Park, Friends of Edithvale Seaford Wetlands and Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League all spoke in support of their submissions. It was disappointing to hear Parks Victoria and DNRE supporting the development – even to the extent, in Parks Victoria’s case, supporting Kingston Council’s recommendation that the Green Wedge boundary should be moved to Springvale Road to allow the 700 house development to proceed. Kingston Council had a lawyer to support their case in favour of the development.
Mordialloc Local Area Traffic Study
Surveys have been sent to some residents in the study area – not all residents received them. The Mordialloc traders want the Moorabbin Transit bus moved to the other side of the railway line to allow for more car park spaces, however this will disadvantage public transport users especially the elderly who will have to negotiate the steep railway underpass. Residents in Montgomery Street will also be disadvantaged by the traders demand for a car park on the corner of Owen Street and Montgomery Street. Residents have asked that the Owen Street end of Montgomery Street be closed to stop through traffic. The next Steering Committee meeting will address the White street, Governor Road traffic problems.
Kingston Lodge Wetlands Development
The Panel Hearings into the proposed 700 house residential development and wetlands on the Hains property, Kingston Lodge, has commenced at Moorabbin Council Chambers. MBCL, KCEC, Friends of Braeside Park, Edithvale Wetlands and other community groups will appear on August 11/12. The hearings are open to the public. Six of the seven Kingston councillors have voted in favour of the development.
Bradshaw Park is being subjected to a radical removal of tea-trees. According to SERCO the aim is to convert the park into a grassy woodland. Tea-trees a certain number of metres from the coast are considered to be weeds!! The removal of healthy mature trees from this park, the foreshore and the creek reserve is causing considerable angst.Are there not more important tasks to be undertaken?
Braeside Park staff organised an excellent tour of Karkarook Park and work in progress there followed by a barbecue at Braeside Park. There is some suggestion of negotiations underway between Melbourne Water and Vic Roads over the ownership of the Mornington Freeway Reservation.
Karkarook Park is taking shape although mining continues in the largest hole which will eventually become a lake suitable for some boating. The park is essentially a flood control basin to treat stormwater especially Heatherton drain flow before it enters Mordialloc Creek.
Acidic Soil Dumping Melways 93 Al
Last November 1997 acid sulphate soil was dumped on industrial land south of Governor Road abutting Dunlops Drain. The soil came from City Link tunnels and Webb Dock and is prescribed contaminated soil. It has not been removed but covered with clean fill, however the EPA advises that in the long term there will be leaching into the groundwater. These oxidation products are highly toxic to aquatic organisms and if exposed to the air can also corrode steel and concrete engineering products.