At the end of an incredibly busy year sincere thanks again to MBCL members for their involvement in this and other groups, and moral support when difficult issues arose.
Special thanks to KRAMMED for advice, support and dedication to the cause – conservation of our trees, open space and gardens.
Wishing all greenies a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.
Braeside Park had a successful launch of the Federation Trail despite inclement weather and a Federal Election. The Trail was launched by Federal ALP Member for Isaacs, Anne Corcoran. Environment Groups including MBCL, prepared displays and stalls. Norm Corn- well’s article on Class Grass (native grasses) is well worth reading in the Friend’s newsletter. The Grange’s CD Rom is still to be completed. State ALP Member, Hong Lim presented volunteer certificates to the Friend’s group. Clearing weeds is an on-going task at Rowan Woodlands. Groves Reserve, under threat from development, will be another open space loss in Kingston. MBCL will contact AGRA and Aspendale Village Committee about this matter. Melbourne Water is being unhelpful over re-vegetating Drill’s Land. Plants prepared for the site will be lost due to MW’s delaying tactics. Why? Melbourne Water has no staff working on weed removal on the south bank of Mordialloc Creek and Lake 3 at the Woodland’s Industrial Estate has been neglected by Melbourne Water who is responsible for maintenance on the Estate. Negotiations over the sale of Chiquita Park are on-going. 80 people attended a demonstration in the Park on Cup Day to protest at the potential loss of another significant open space in Kingston. The Park is earmarked for residential over-development. Please read the enclosed report on the Park and contact the phone numbers listed for further info.
Port Phillip Conservation Council
Penny attended two!! PPCC AGMs only to find that on both occasions a quorum was lacking. It is sad to hear that so many volunteer groups are experiencing declining membership. Penny reports that Frankston Council have acknowledged the work of a local woman in planting 8000 native species on the Frankston foreshore by including her in any environ- mental decisions relating to the foreshore. Frankston Council have also set up an Environ- mental Task Force which will be included in council decisions on conservation issues. Stephen, as a member of PPCC, attended a Forum organised by the Victorian Channels Authority to discuss the problem of discharged ballast water from foreign ships into Port Phillip Bay since this results in the introduction of marine pests damaging to native species .99 marine pests have been identified in the Bay to date. Question. Who will pay for the dredging of the shipping channels to allow bigger ships to access the docks, or would it be more practical for large vessels to use Westernport and have the goods transported by rail to Melbourne, or as some have suggested, by-pass Victoria and bring the goods by rail to Melbourne? Deepening the shipping channels in the Bay may lead to higher tides and great disturbance of the sea bed.
Green Wedge Issues
The Heatherton/Clayton South/Dingley Non Urban Area is the latest section of the green wedge to be under threat from development despite Kingston Council’s acknowledgement that the area ‘forms part of the south east green wedge’. The excuse given for allowing development of this section of the wedge is that it ‘has been subject to increasing pressure for more intensive urban development due in part to its proximity to established urban areas.” The obvious answer would have been for successive State Labor and Liberal Govts, and adjoining councils, to sign off on the SENUS Report which would have made it clear to developers that the green wedge would remain non urban for the enjoyment of future generations. The Memorandum of Understanding requires participating councils to prepare plans for their section of the green wedge. The MOU is a joke since it simply informs other councils of the intention to slice up another section of the non urban area within their boundaries. There is absolutely no commitment from any of the responsible authorities to ‘save’ any section of the wedge especially if there is the possibility of profiting from the deal.
Thanks to the Kennett Government’s privatisation of the SEC, small business and residents face a price hike of between 12.4% and 19.8% from January 2002. Andrea Sharman of the Energy Action Group states that the electricity suppliers are following the example of the banking industry and allocating costs to customers who have least capacity to avoid them. Darebin, Moreland and Port Phillip Councils have formed a buying group of 50,000 households to “wring good deals from retailers.” MBCL members are urged to request Kingston Council to join the buying group in order to provide a safety net for customers who will be denied supply if they can’t afford the outrageous price hike, KCEC and MBCL held a Green Power street stall in Mordialloc recently to distribute information about Sustainable Energy. Perhaps we should all pray for a cold summer and warm winter in the mean time!
Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc.
A welcome visit from Tony (Excell) who presented the second report containing text and photos recording progress in revegetation areas along the foreshore and creek. Next round of photography in November. Disappointing that a 5-star ‘cubby’ has been built amongst the melaleuca on the north bank of the creek. Police and By-laws officers are to monitor more regularly. Bollards have been removed allowing vehicles to enter off Wells Road and dump rubbish.
Branches are still being torn off vegetation opposite San Antonio Court. Signs may be installed stating that “This is a re-vegetation area”. Students from Mentone Girls Grammar and Kilbreda are working with Excell in re-vegetation projects on the foreshore and their excellent work receives positive publicity in the media. Real Estate agents must be deterred from removing vegetation to ‘improve views’ prior to sales.
The Steering Committee is frustrated with lack of support from Melbourne Water and KCC. CRAG has plants ready to plant but approval hasn’t been given to go ahead. Ken Carney AGRA, has organised a meeting with MW and KCC to discuss issues and progress.
There is concern about saving the outstanding trees on the Mayfield site in the event of the house being demolished. Trees include 3 Bunyah pines, conifers and palm trees. It was suggested that Stephen have the trees added to Kingston’s Significant Tree Register.
Kingston Planning Scheme Amendment C8
Janelle (KRAMMED) and your secretary attended the Panel Hearing to listen to the City of Kingston’s submission on September 24 & 25th. KRAMMED and MBCL will present submissions at Mentone Council Offices 10th October commencing at 10 am. The Hearings are open to the public. At Sept 5th MBCL meeting Joan summarised the very complex issue of ‘Density’ in ResCode. The DOI have removed ‘density’ from ResCode guidelines claiming it too crude a measurement. The result is that developers can maximise profits by siting as many units as possible on the block. Terms used now are ‘diversity’ instead of ‘density’ but the out- come is the same with areas around stations targeted for ‘Increased diversity’ (density).
Ward Boundaries Changes
There was lengthy discussion concerning the three Options for possible changes to Kingston’s Ward boundaries. Discussion included whether there was a need for more councillors for the large amalgamated City of Kingston. Stephen volunteered to write/present a submission re this issue. Submissions due 15th September.
Woodlands Industrial Estate / Biosoilids
KCEC’s Special Witness has written offering to discuss further the dumping of sewage sludge in the borrow pit in the industrial estate at Woodlands. The community has been invited to attend a site inspection at Woodlands Wednesday 3rd at 4pm. (following MBCL meeting!) The Minister for Conservation has not responded to correspondence re this issue.
Community Education about Environmental Issues
Anne Martin (CRAG) enlisted the support of KCEC to establish an environmental community education program. The inaugural meeting was well attended with representatives from KCEC, CRAG, The Grange, PPCC, Cr van Klaveren and Council officers Wolfgang Klein and Jonathon Guttman. The media to be used to provide information re environmental events and info. MBCL was also represented by some members wearing two hats!
Presentation of Volunteer Awards
Cr Van Klaveren presented Volunteer Awards to ten MBCL members and thanked them for their participation over three decades in some cases! Special mention should be made of Mara who was one of the original MBCL members and also Frank, our long suffering treasurer and Ron, a stalwart worker for the environment in many local areas.
Guest Speaker – Janelle
Janelle, KRAMMED President, presented a comprehensive review of ResCode and how it will impact particularly on Mordialloc, designated by council as an area of ‘increased diversity’ in fact increased ‘density’ would be a more apt description. We are grateful to KRAMMED members and Janelle in particular for the incredible amount of work she devotes to protecting our neighbourhoods. from rapacious developments.
Drill’s Land concept plan was formerly accepted and will be presented to Melbourne Water at the meeting August 14. À list of plants suitable for the site has been prepared by CRAG. Forty possum and bird boxes donated by individuals have been installed in Bradshaw Park. The Grange has had a planting day with Year 7 students from Westall College. Year 9 students planted grasses and also interact with American students on internet. Braeside Park has also been planting grasses. The Age reported that a rare lily was found in the Braeside wetlands by ‘sharp-eyed Damien Cook. The lily had not been recorded since 1903. It is a woolly water lily, Phylydrum lanuginosum. Alistair Kellock was guest speaker at AGM August 19, “Can we afford the green wedge??
Port Phillip Conservation Council
Stephen presented the PPCC newsletter and copy of PPCC President’s letter to the Kingston CEO re the need to protect foreshore vegetation for the enjoyment of all Victorians and not just the new arrivals living along Beach Road. The deepening of the shipping channels in the Bay continues to cause concern because of the possible increase in the tide levels. PPCC AGM 15 October. Murray Thompson MP will be guest speaker. Observers may attend.
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!
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.
Have you made a submission to the Landscape study? As interested Stakeholders, MBCL members can make a submission. It is especially important to stress the need to maintain and protect foreshore vegetation.
KCEC Secretary, Glenda Byrne, arranged for Mara and Brian to speak on Southern FM Radio in April. Mara spoke eloquently of the need to retain, protect and maintain foreshore vegetation to prevent erosion of cliff tops and to add to the aesthetics of the coast line. Brian spoke on two occasions explaining environmental concerns with Melbourne Water’s proposal to fill the Woodlands borrow pit with bio-solids from the Carrum Treatment plant.
Despite Melbourne Water being less than encouraging about restoring their saline affected retarding basin, a working group is proceeding with a concept plan for wildlife habitat and attractive open space. Cr van Klaveren is hopeful of obtaining money from the council budget to assist with the work.
Attenborough Park has officially been included in the soon to commence Mordialloc Structure Plan which will be the subject of broad community consultation. Chiquita Park (3 acres =11⁄2 ha) has been the subject of a well organised campaign by those seeing the need to retain this park to compensate for continuing over development in Kingston with subsequent loss of parkland. Ron has contacted DNRE to establish if there are vulnerable plants, and wild life. There are An attempt will be made to register an old eucalypt on the Heritage list. KCEC will seek to register trees with National Trust Bradshaw Park Friends invited Friends of the Grange to a barbecue and chat. An enjoyable time was had by all. The PPCC AGM will be held at Williamstown, 30 April. PPCC are working on draft policies for cables and pipes at locations around Port Phillip Bay. They also recommend that remaining land in Port Phillip Bay be retained as open space and that there be strict guidelines for any commercial use proposed. Deepening of the Heads with possible higher tides in the Bay affecting developments on land vulnerable to inundation was discussed. The Proposed new Docklands suburb would be vulnerable.
Leisure / Landscape Studies
Both these studies are available for perusal in libraries and at council offices. Please take time to study them carefully and make a submission. It is important to stress the importance of retention of foreshore vegetation in view of the letter boxing of foreshore residents by a Mentone resident who is making outrageous requests and claims about foreshore vegetation removal. These people need to be reminded that the foreshore is for the benefit of ALL Melbourne residents and not just the minority who live on Beach Road and wish to improve the value of their property
Mordialloc Traders Street Party 18 March
MBCL was invited to set up a display in the Main Street on Sunday 18 March. This proved to be very successful with Council produced leaflets on suitable indigenous plants for coastal gardens being eagerly sought. The photographic display of foreshore erosion in the 1970s and the success of erosion control today as a result of re-vegetation of the foreshore with native trees and grasses attracted wide interest and support for the retention of the plantings.
June will be the next photopoint monitoring exercise Water Photos were also taken as a separate exercise by MBCL, of cliff top vegetation to monitor the illegal and deliberate destruction of vegetation on the cliff tops between Mentone and Mordialloc.
Port Phillip Bay / Mordialloc Creek
GPS monitoring of Mordialloc Creek by Parkdale Research during March highlighted the extremely low level of water in the creek with boats sitting on mud well above the water level at low tide. Small boat owners are angry claiming that their $500 pa fees are excessive given the poor maintenance and lack of adequate water being released into the creek. Unfortunately the low water level has resulted in unpleasant odours emanating from the creek – a common problem in the 1970s.
Congratulations to Joan on her election to the Mentone/Parkdale Village Committee. Penny, Brian and Mary remain as members of their respective committees and are able to keep the environment to the fore at meetings. Penny has been able to give first hand reports on the water quality problems with Mentone and other bayside beaches this summer. The EPA was testing the water at Mentone each day during January and had to give a low risk report for most of the month. At present warnings against eating mussels taken from Port Phillip Bay have appeared in the press.
Tony Collins, Excell Natural Bush Area Team Leader, Water was present at the Feb. meeting and presented us with an attractive hard copy report of the photopoint monitoring so far. The report is on the web page. The third round of monitoring has just been completed with Stephen filling Penny’s place this time.
The problem of blackberries on the Mentone cliff tops was discussed. They will be dealt with in the second half of the NRA contract. when it is hoped to enlist the aid of green corp troops to assist with maintenance and revegetation. A major problem is the vandalism of foreshore vegetation caused by residents on Beach Road seeking to’improve’ their views It was moved that MBCL write to Kingston Council asking that an education program be commenced via the local papers informing residents that vegetation plays an important part in stabilising dunes and cliff tops. Also that signs warning of heavy fines for the destruction of vegetation be placed at sections of the foreshore where there is evidence of destruction,. Two further motions addressed the problem of lack of communication between Kingston Council Customer Service and Excell, and the responsibilities of Friends Groups.
Planned to meet with the Team Leader of Parks to discuss the plans for Attenborough Park which is at present being used for overflow parking from Doyles Hotel.