GOOD NEWS!! It is not often that conservationists win battles in their attempts to protect precious remnants of the environment but this month it was announced that Kingston Council bought 19 Tarella Road! It is a remnant of original bushland undeveloped despite the suburbanisation taking place around it. It will provide much needed open space for Chelsea and Edithvale suburbs which are short of an area like this for non-sporting types to enjoy.
Alex Fraser Recycling Facility
The hearing was conducted virtually which meant that submitters didn’t need to trek into Kings Street. We are now awaiting Planning Minister Wynne’s response to the need to remove this industry out of Kingston’s Green Wedge and into an industrial zone where facilities such this belong.
Pier Road Toilet Block and George Woods Reserve
The pier road toilet block is to go ahead which is unfortunate because it will dominate and block views of the approach to Mordialloc pier/ promenade area. Work is also to commence in the George Woods Reserve with extensions to the Mordialloc Scout Hall to provide a storage area for the 5th Mordialloc Sea Scouts’ boats.
Notification from Council advises of forthcoming works for the final stage of the Bay Trail from Renninson Street to the Nepean Highway. Work is expected to finish in late November. Last month electronic counters recorded 42,000 people trying out the recently completed Stage 2 Bay Trail Mentone LSC to Renninson Street.
Mordialloc Creek Contamination Report
An official warning has been issued to foreshore residents from Edithvale to Bonbeach warning them not to drink the ground water from their bores because it contains PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl) an extremely cancerous chemical.
Toilet Block at Mordialloc Foreshore
As part of “improvements” to local parks Council intends to install “new, accessible toilet facilities” at Mordialloc foreshore near the pier and promenade. The design of this large, brick industrial looking building is out of character and will dominate the area.
Mordialloc Creek Contamination Report
Prior to beginning dredging of the creek a comprehensive report of water quality was carried out. Metal contamination was recorded at all seven sites and exceeded screening levels for at least one contaminant (zinc). The other contaminants were cadmium, copper, lead, silver, mercury, arsenic and chromium depending on the site. There was no testing for PFAS but the report indicated that it was planned to check for that dangerous chemical at a later date.
Bay Trail Rennison Street to Mordialloc Creek
Tenders have gone out for this section of the trail due to commence September or October 2020.
Tree Planting Plan
Quarterly Report from Kingston Council outlines a proposed Street Tree Planting Plan. Council has worked with a consultant in the development of the plan which will provide a consistent approach to strategically prioritise tree planting and replacement based on a key criteria. This will include tree population, heat islands, population density, current tree cover and location in relation to remnant vegetation/habitat areas.
Kingston Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Strategy
Kingston Housing Strategy & Neighbourhood Character Strategy will involve higher density housing meaning loss of trees and gardens. This appears to conflict with Creating a Cool Kingston- Urban Cooling Strategy which stresses the importance of trees in developments to reduce the heat island effect. The higher density housing strategy will also impinge on the Mordialloc Heritage Overlay. A submission has been presented to Council requesting that heritage housing in Ormond Street and surrounding streets be considered for an extended heritage overlay.
Governor Road Car Park and Pontoons
Better Boating, a State Government project will see the upgrade of the Governor Road boat pontoons in Mordialloc Creek as well as a pontoon south of the highway bridge for disability access.
There may also be a one metre boundary increase around the car park in Governor Road.
Toilet Pier Road, Mordialloc
This tall, silo shaped building will dominate the Art Deco lamps along the promenade and Art Deco buildings on the Peter Scullin Reserve. Request for information from council resulted in a noncommittal response.
Future of Braeside Park Survey
Changes to the management of Braeside Park would mean that activities such as group camping , markets, festivals, cafes and dogs would be permitted all of which would harm the environmental and cultural values of the park. This matter is referred to in the March issue of Park Watch (p32) which states “There are few places left in Melbourne where you could see a turtle lay her eggs, an echidna forage for ants or a Black-Shouldered Kite take a mouse…..Braeside Metropolitan Park is a rare gem where all this is possible on an evening stroll….. Braeside boasts important wetlands, heath lands and red gum woodland…Despite this Parks Victoria has foreshadowed a precinct plan canvassing views on permitting dogs, holding public events, activities squarely aimed at boosting human traffic. … Braeside is already under intense pressure from the Mordialloc Bypass under construction on its western boundary.” MBCL sent a submission objecting to Parks Vic’s proposals.
Toilet Pier Road, Mordialloc
A large industrial looking toilet will be built near the Pier. The building will dominate this site. There has been no attempt to blend with the existing early 1920 functional building stock as required when planning for foreshore buildings according to the official documentation used in this case.
Governor Road Car Park and Pontoons
Better Boating is planning to construct a pontoon in the creek opposite the Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club for use by the disabled, and extend existing pontoons at the Governor Road boat ramp. The ramps will be of concrete construction. There will be a metre wide extension of the car park along Governor Road. Any trees removed will be replaced following discussion with the NRA staff.
Comment made that people want action on climate change so a letter to be sent to a local paper in support of action being taken by Government. This was done.
Dent’s Paddock Development
A VCAT Hearing in May.Issues arising are the proposed location of offsets after removal of vegetation on the site. a request that some of the $7 million offered by Government for the purchase of open space be spent on purchasing this site. There is a shortage of open space in Chelsea and Edithvale.
Road the Bay Trail
A careful watch on work being undertaken along Beach Road by a MBCL member reports that construction appears to be progressing according to the plans approved by Council. While Kingston Council’s plan for the trail from Mordialloc Creek to Carrum proposes to use the Long Beach Trail, LXRA plans to build a bike trail along the Station Street side of the rail line. This will mean removing all existing Banksia Woodland along the rail line. This route is not necessary because there is an existing bike track along the opposite side of Station Street.
Braeside Park Survey
Activities being suggested in this survey include festivals, food outlets, camping, dogs, etc. Such activities would require lighting, increased parking space and noise thus creating disturbance for the flora and fauna which is a feature of Braeside Park.
It is disappointing to find that the Level Crossing Removal people have offered to complete the Kingston Section of the Bay Trail by routing the bike path along Station Street alongside the rail line instead of along the Long Beach Trail. The reason is said to be Government’s intention to encourage cyclists to use public transport. This will require parking for bikes as well as cars in the limited space available along narrow two lane Station Street
Parks Victoria is conducting a survey into future uses and activities in Braeside Park. Some of the uses suggested are possibly allowing dogs in the park. permitting group camping, commercial activities, shops and cafes, markets, festivals perhaps with amplified music, night lighting, a commercial hub and extra car parking to cater for these activities if approved. Most areas of public land restrict certain activities in some way. For example Churchill National Park rules are:- camping, dogs, horses and trail bikes are not permitted. Cyclists can use all tracks except those for walkers only. It should remembered that the Sandbelt Open Space Project, May 1994, was formed to accommodate high impact noisy activities such as war games, trail bikes and games played on sporting fields.
PFAS in Dunlops Drain
PFAS was found in the West Gate Tunnel.Work stopped because of the danger to worker’s health.PFAS is being linked to risks of cancer and liver damage. There is also a problem with the disposal of contaminated spoil. The Mordialloc Creek Meeting is not until March. We haven’t heard from the EPA about the PFAS found in Dunlop’s Drain during the Mordialloc Freeway work. A letter was sent to the EPA October 2019.
PFAS in Dunlops Drain
PFAS in Dunlops Drain which flows into Mordialloc Creek. Letter has been sent to the EPA. EPA first contacted August 28. No response for eight weeks so a letter sent- still no response. The matter raised again at the Mordialloc Creek Community Meeting December 2011. Reports on the large amount of plastic entering the creek via local drains in the industrial area.
Golf clubs are under threat from developers seeking to extend housing development into the Green Wedge. Residents are concerned about Kingswood although still used as a golf course, severe pruning of grass is causing concern as a walk with Jeff Yugovich and residents indicated.
LXRA Tree Planting
Crossing removals on the Frankston Line has resulted in removal of all the indigenous vegetation around the line and stations as work is carried out. It was alarming to find in the Council Agenda a report on LXRA work, an artist’s impression of a completed station surrounded by palm trees which are not indigenous to the Bayside suburbs. A letter has been sent to Head of LXRA, Kevin Devlin and Sonya Kilkenny, local ALP member requesting that any future planting around stations be indigenous trees only. No response from either party’s corresponded with.
MBCL 50th Anniversary
MBCL 50th anniversary was attended by 30 former and current members. It was great to see some of the original members who had established MBCL in 1969 and later Port Phillip Conservation Council with a view to protecting the foreshore around Port Phillip Bay and the creeks that flow into it. When some of the original meeting reports were checked for display it was found that in a 1972 report the EPA was concerned about pollution in Mordialloc Creek and debated whether the creek banks should be concrete lined. When the Dandenong Valley Authority decided to do just that MBCL president, Dr Len Warren and secretary,Mara Hayler where able to convince Mordialloc Council to oppose that option. The Metropolitan Board of Works then stepped in, retained the earthern banks, phragmitie reeds to clean the water and the indigenous Maleluccas on the creek banks banks. This area has become a popular bird habitat.
While it was interesting to re-read the 1972 Environment Protection Authority (EPA) report on the creek it is concerning that there is still pollution problems with drains flowing into the creek. For instance PFAS has been found in Dunlop Drain. This drain flows close to the Moorabbin airport which would have this highly polluting substance stored on hand since it is used for fighting fires. Expanding industrial businesses at Braeside have been found responsible for, and fined, for depositing plastic in either Heatherton or Settlement Drain which flows into the creek.
This is the last remaining block of remnant coastal vegetation in Chelsea . The proposal to develop will cause the removal of most of the vegetation and thus destroy the ecological value of the site. This lovely green space will be lost when only 23 trees out of 203 existing trees will be retained if the development proceeds. Development is causing the loss of trees and gardens throughout Kingston. It is claimed that all metropolitan suburbs should have at least 30% tree coverage to ameliorate climate crisis however the City of Kingston has only 14% coverage and continues to lose more trees through level crossing removals…30 lovely red flowering gums along the rail line between Mentone and Parkdale stations were removed to provide car parking spaces.
A tour of the route of the proposed freeway was organised for the Member of the Victorian State Government Upper House. Clifford Hayas his personal adviser.Kelvin Thompson and two members of the anti Freeway Committee in August. Susan Ley, Federal Environment Minister, will present the decision of the EPBC when it is available. This will be the deciding factor for the approval of the freeway.
Tragically 30 red flowering gums along side the rail line between Mentone and Parkdale stations have been removed and replaced with concrete. This is to provide parking for vehicles that can no longer be accommodated at the Mentone car park due to work on the removal of the rail crossing.
Affordable housing is badly needed in Mordialloc. Evidence of people sleeping on the bank of the creek near the pedestrian bridge was noted earlier this month. People were moved on but piles of plastic and other bits and pieces were left for Council to remove.
National Tree Planting Day
Three planting on National Tree Planting Day was successfully carried out by the NRA team and over a 100 volunteers at the George Woods Reserve. 1800 plants were installed near the pedestrian bridge and the boat ramp. It is pleasing to note how well trees are now growing along the Heatherton Drain outlet and further along the creek. A Nankeen Night Heron was noted perched on a tall tree with Cormorants nearby