A Happy New Year to our Loyal Members! Let’s hope that 2003 improves as the year progresses because the beginning does not augur well with bushfires and drought in Australia.
An important reminder that Council elections are due in March. Ward boundaries have changed with Long Beach now split between four wards. Cr Petchey’s ward now includes Mordialloc, under threat from high rise, high density development in and around the shopping precinct. Crs Petchey, van Klaveren and Shew are aware of the pro-development lobby in Council and without, and have worked to ameliorate the worst features of the proposed Mordialloc activity centre part of the State Government’s high density plans for 104 Metropolitan suburbs. Vote wisely for environmentally aware candidates.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
Following pressure from the community, Council staff reluctantly agreed to hold a public meeting, Dec. 4th in the Alan McLean Hall. The opportunity was used by staff to promote four storey development in the study area. Local residents are opposed to high density development in their neighbourhood but developers and real estate agents present could see dollar signs flashing before their eyes. At present development occurring in the study area is expensive, up-market. Affordable housing is not being provided in the activity centres, and despite a glut of rental property, there are “Hundreds of Kingston residents homeless” according to welfare groups. (Leader Dec.2 2002.)
The Green Wedge Coalition surveyed 20 electorates prior to the State election in November and plan to survey council candidates in the forthcoming council elections in March. Submissions to Melbourne 2030 close February 14th. Local residents concerned about medium density over-development intensifying in Kingston should express their opinion in writing to the Department of Infrastructure forthwith. While protecting the green wedge is a worthy aim, the trade-off unfortunately, is spelt out by professional planners who state that, “the burden of growth of the urban fabric is going to fall in activity centres. That means Mordialloc, Chelsea and 104 other metropolitan suburbs designated as activity centres. At the same time those residents who live in inner suburbs with a heritage listing are pro- tected, and even outer suburban areas are demanding protection of their “country style” ambience. While we would like to protect our “coastal village ambience” our Strategic Planners are seeking to weaken the Neighbourhood Character element of ResCode thus further reducing any opportunity to preserve the character of our coastal villages.
Dates to Remember:- Most Important December 4th at the Alan McLean Hall, Mordialloc 6.45pm Public Meeting to enable the local community to express their concerns about Kingston Council’s plans to impose four-storey high rise development in central Mordialloc thereby setting a precedent for further high rise development around so-called activity centres.
Very Special Meeting:- December 9 at 9am. Catherine Costello who is overseeing the management of the Herb-rich Grassy Wetland at Epsom for the ULC has offered to meet us on site to explain work in progress. The wetlands are at the southern end of the Epsom development.
KCEC Meeting December 17. Mordialloc Neighbourhood House Alabaster and Tony Collins.
All welcome. Guest speakers, Greg
Natural Resource Areas
Special Guest, NRA Team Leader, Tony Collins outlined NRA’s program for management of the foreshore & creek reserves and parks. Rowan Woodlands is considered the best NRA native vegetation area in Kingston. 16 November Friends of Bradshaw Park visited Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve to hear Leon Costermans describe work in the Reserve. Following concern about builders rubbish at Epsom, Council’s By-law officers will check the 4 hectares of significant vegetation. NRA may take over management of the remnant wetland in 3-4 years time. Aspendale Edithvale Village Committee have endorsed the Master Plan for Drills Land. Second and third plantings took place in October and November resulting in 400 plants established. Due to resource constraints NRA can only offer tools and a water tanker at this stage to assist the volunteers but David Digby and Tony will determine resourcing and allocation of KCC funding for the ongoing project. Melbourne Water sprayed the area prior to plantings. Regret expressed at the loss of Doug Evans, Environment Officer who will become a Landcare Officer with CALP. The part time position of coast care coordinator is now in limbo.
Recent weeding and spring planting of mainly grasses and low shrubs. Foxes are invading and digging dens despite baiting so funding for prevention fences may be sought.
Building Litter Etc.
Joan raised the issue of dust blowing into properties from Bonbeach development sites. Litter left by builders on Epsom is a serious problem and the responsib- ility of Council’s By-laws Officer. Kingston has introduced Local Law No5 (Amendment) Local Law Protecting Stormwater Quality from Building and Construction Sites (November 25 2002) GREEN WEDGES Mara volunteered to survey politicians re their support for retention of the green wedge. So far five responses have been received with one Liberal politician not in support.
Dates to Remember:- Wednesday 6th November, Council Offices, Brindisi Street, Mentone, 7.00pm to 9.00pm. Council/ community process to address specific foreshore issues. Wednesday 13th November 9.15am -12-30pm St Kilda Town Hall “Metro Strategy-Housing our Future.”
Thursday 14th November 4.30pm-7.00pm Nauru House 80 Collins Street, “What Metro Strategy means for Young Planners”
All these meetings (there are more) have implications for the future of Mordialloc, Chelsea and Mentone all nominated activity centres with high density, high rise development. Please make sure you have your say to local planners and politicians if you don’t want your residential amenity destroyed by over development.
And don’t forget to add December 1st to your diary for the Annual Christmas Barbecue at Bonbeach Depot. Not to be missed!!
Coastal Planning & Management
MBCL was represented at a Coastal Planning & Management workshop at RMIT where once again successive speakers emphasised that the main threats to the coastline, especially Port Phillip Bay, are climate change, sea level rise and population pressure resulting from “sea change” decisions of people wanting to live on the coast. The proposed deepening of shipping channels in the Bay and Met Strategy, which targets bayside suburbs for high density, high rise development, will intensify the difficulty of managing and conserving the coastline for the enjoyment of everyone.
Kingston Foreshore Forum
Kingston Environment Officers and Team leaders are to be congratulated for organising two Forums dealing with the very different foreshore issues North and South of Mordialloc Creek. Both Forums were well attended with Noel Kesby, NSW Coastal Management expert, graphically emphasising the need for maintenance of the dune system through revegetation if coastal infrastructure and housing is to be protected from increased storm surges. Dr Eric Bird, author of ‘Coasts of Victoria’, explained the need to stabilise the cliffs North of Mordialloc Creek with revegetation programs to absorb groundwater seepage which is badly eroding the cliffs. Dr Bird was surprised that some residents wanted foreshore vegetation removed to improve ‘their’ views since vegetation acted as a wind break and prevented salt winds sand blasting properties along Beach Road. If the cliffs were planted with grass only, landslides would result. Increasing storm surges due to global warming and deepening of the shipping channels will intensify the impact of beach and cliff erosion.
The Agnew Report
Glen reports that Parks Victoria has introduced a policy of requiring a permit and payment for filming in parks especially if films or photos are to be used for publication. Permits are costly depending on requirements (eg. Parks staff assistance) or location. $55 per hour. How will this effect environment groups or individuals who photograph or video underwater locations for information and/or educational purposes? Glen advises that the Melbourne Water drain with jetty on the beach at Parkdale is, like the MW drain at Mentone, causing severe beach erosion on the southern side of the drain.
Submissions have been sent to:- Victorian Channel Deepening Authority, Environment Effects Act 1978 Review, City of Kingston Amendment C32 (Flood Overlays)
Dates to Remember – Friends of the Grange Heathland Reserve Spring Planting Day, Oct 12 9am Noon, Free sausage sizzle.
South of Mordialloc Creek Foreshore Forum Tuesday, 8th October, 7pm -9pm Chelsea Heights Community Centre. Keynote Speaker, Noel Kesby, Acting Regional Director Sydney South Coast. Noel is an expert on coastal dune management. Of relevance to residents living on Kingston coastal dunes.
Dr Eric Bird will be Keynote speaker at Mentone lifesaving Club, Wednesday 9th October, 7pm 9pm Dr Bird is author of The Coast of Victoria: Not to be missed!!
MBCL was well represented at Chelsea Town Hall in August when the VCA representatives were closely questioned about the impact of deepening the Rip,on tide levels in the Bay. Due to the sea level rise already occurring, an increased rise in tides in the Bay could prove devastating for the residents south of Mordialloc creek. Recent storm surges have badly eroded the foreshore at Aspendale and Carrum. Alternatives to deepening the shipping channels are Hastings, where deep water berths exist, and the rail lines from Darwin, Fremantle and Sydney. Construction of the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway Corridor is proceeding rapidly. Containers can be shipped to Melbourne from Darwin in four days as opposed to eight days by ship.
Review of the Environment Effects Act 1978
MBCL’s Submission to the EEA was presented at the Panel Hearing at Nauru House, 19th August. Our concern is the need for public consultation to be included at all levels of a proposed project. The Government aim is to ‘streamline’ decision making in the interest of’efficiency’ and ‘certainty ‘for developers. Robin Saunders also presented a submission based on the need for public consultation in decision making. The EEA will probably become part of the Planning & Environment Act…thus making it the size of a telephone book!
Mordialloc Structure Plan
There continues to be concern: that the upper echelons of Council are pushing for four storey developments in the study area despite the community clearly stating that this is not acceptable. Nina asked that the proposed public meeting not be held during the school holidays. We have asked Lee Ekland to mail invitations to all who have made submissions to the Strategy.
President’s Report:- The President in his Report thanked members for their contribution throughout the year. We, in turn, wish to express our appreciation for Brian’s support and assistance, at all times graciously given despite many competing demands on his time. Thank you, Brian.
Dates to Remember:- Spring Planting Day 8th September Drills Land 10am-12pm. Barbecue AFTER 800 plants bedded down and mulched!
KRAMMED AGM to be held at Parkdale Uniting Church 7.30pm 17th September. GUEST SPEAKER:- Nigel Kirby, President SOS. All welcome. Light refreshments
Dr Tim Flannery Thursday 19th September Melbourne Town Hall 5.00pm -6.45pm “The History of Melbourne’s Environment.” Light refreshments provided. RSVP
Mordialloc Structure Plan
A date for the public meeting to be held in Mordialloc has not yet been decided. Council possibly awaiting the outcome of the Metropolitan Strategy. Planners want an “information night only” rather than a robust discussion with the community airing grievances about this controversial consultant’s report. Fears that the Blue Boat Hire may be relocated to accommodate a restaurant on the site, on Crown Land, on the creek bank in the Hazel Pierce Reserve. Neither the Scullin Reserve or Attenborough Park is considered acceptable by MBCL as a site for a skateboard ramp. The former site at the Jack Grut Reserve would be ideal.
The Grange has received funding from the Clayton South Village Committee and plans to print large posters featuring the parks indigenous vegetation. Stephen attended the Bradshaw Park meeting. Clematis has been planted on the White street fence to provide a screen. David Bainbridge, who did considerable work in the park, has provided a list of plants found there. Chicquita Park has been re-sold! Council seems more positive about retention of the park. Minister Garbutt, in response to our letter, is “happy to lend support to a Council application for funding from the Community Support Fund! She also feels that the “highest and best use should be as ongoing public open space! Drill’s Land. All systems go! A Spring Planting Day is planned for 8th September. Drills Land has been a real success story and fine example of community cooperation in the face of, at times, bureaucratic intransigence.
Guest Speaker – Tony Collins
Tony Collins, City of Kingston, Parks & Urban design, brought us up to date with the changed structure now that the Natural Bush Areas maintenance has returned in-house to Council rather than being contracted out. Tony firmly believes that it is important to maintain communication links with volunteer groups. MBCL will continue with the photo- monitoring programme for foreshore and creek reserves commencing again in October. A successful National Tree Day was organised with five sites along the foreshore. 4000 coastal grasses and shrubs were planted by 600 students and eight staff over two days. Three apprentices will work a six month rotation between NBA, gardening and golf courses. A part-time coordinator will be appointed to work with NBA and Local Laws on foreshore issues. Noel Kesby will be brought down from NSW again to speak to Village Committees about the importance of dune management for Kingston’s 13kms of vulnerable foreshore. The popular Christmas barbecue will be on again this year at the depot. A great opportunity to meet and thank the team of dedicated NBA folk.
We wish to express our sincere thanks for the Melbourne Water Newsletter Grant which will assist with the cost of mailing, p/copying, faxing information to MBCL members.
Meeting Attended in July
Friends of the ABC Mordialloc Branch, Metropolitan Transport Forum, Victorian Channel Authority meeting Chelsea Town hall, KRAMMED Resident Action Group.
Green Wedge Defenders, Duck Inn 6th July, Green Wedge Farmers meeting at Bangholme Soldiers Memorial Hall August 9th, Kingston Conservation and Environment Coalition Mordialloc Neighbourhood House 7.30pm 20th August. KRAMMED AGM Parkdale Uniting Church 17th September. Guest Speaker Nigel Kirby President SOS.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
Following representations from KRAMMED, Mordialloc Village Committee and local residents Kingston Council agreed to hold a public meeting to allow Mordialloc residents to express their concerns at GHD Consultants plans for the area. Watch for information about the time and place for this important meeting.
Kingston Foreshore & Waterways Landscape Guidelines
After an exhaustive consultation process the report was presented to Council July 9. Congratulations to Chris Dance consultant, Lindsay Fraser and Environment Officers on the outcome of the landscape study of Kingston’s fragile foreshore strip.
Mentone / Parkdale Lifesaving Clubs
There is concern at Council’s approval of ‘tearooms’ for both lifesaving clubs. A 20 seat facility at Parkdale LSC and a 60 seat ‘tearooms’ (open 7am-11pm) at Mentone LSC. There is inadequate parking in the car parks or on Beach Road. Already there are reports of cars parking around the War Memorial at Parkdale. Penny will report to the Mentone Village Committee to seek assurance that the Village committee will be included in discussions.
Congratulations to Tony Collins and team who have been employed by Kingston Council to maintain our Natural Bush Areas. Welcome Back to MBCL president, Brian, who visited his family in Vienna. Hullo to former MBCL president, Dr Len Warren, who called to catch up with Mara and Mary. Len lives in Perth and works for the CSIRO.
Submissions have been sent to the Environment Assessment Review and the EPA Road Traffic Noise Strategy.
Workshops attended:- Economics for the People, the second reclaiming Australia Conference at Trades Hall. The focus was on the General Agreement on Trade & Services which could see the Howard Government agreeing to privatisation of our service
industries. such as postal, water, telecommunications, with protection for the environment reduced.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
It was felt that there should be a public meeting prior to the Council agreeing to the consultants report. A request has been made to the Mayor for a public meeting to allow the community to express their concerns over the proposal to permit four storey developments in the study areas as well as other important issues. Thanks to the Rowan Woodlands committee for their submission to the Mordialloc Structure plan.
Foreshore Landscape Guidelines
Guidelines have been strengthened in the second Draft policy document. The funding of a coordinator to oversee the management of the guidelines was queried given the heavy debt burden which the City of Kingston has.
Green Wedge Forum
A very successful Forum was held at RMIT involving delegates from all eleven Met. Green Wedges. Each delegate gave a thumbnail sketch of the issues and pressure for development in their Wedge. As a result of work by the Wedge Defenders efficient press officer, two excellent front page articles appeared in the Age 3rd and 4th June.
Launchings, Forums, Workshops
MBCL members were invited to a launching of the Victorian Stormwater Action Program for Kingston at the Peter Scullin Reserve 10th May. Launched by Jenny Lindell MP. MBCL was represented at a presentation at Nauru House to explain the Review of the Environment Assessment system aimed at developing a new framework that will provide ‘certainty for business, industry and the wider community’. This is one to watch since there was claimed to be a need to ‘speed up decision making’. Subs due 21 June. A very successful Forum was held at RMIT 26 May with delegates from the nine Metropolitan Green Wedges to formulate a policy to protect the wedges from continuing development pressure.
Complications with the ownership and ultimate control of Edithvale Common have emerged with conflicting advice from Tony Rijs, and Scott Seymour of Melbourne Water. Melbourne Water is reported as wanting to sell the Common but there is a question mark over the use of the land should Kingston council buy the site.
Chelsea Heights Retirement Village
Mulkarra, developers of the proposed retirement village, are taking Kingston Council to VCAT as a result of delay in making a decision about the commercial component of this contraversial development. It is proposed to have five restaurants/eateries on the busy Springvale/Edithvale Road junction. The developers in December 2001 illegally removed a ancient River Red Gum on the site. Remaining red gums could be at risk from the developers plans.
Kingston Foreshore & Waterways Landscape Guidelines
The second Draft policy has been released for steering committee consideration. Following the excellent presentation at the KTRI from the manager of NSW coastal zones, there is greater understanding of the importance of retaining the dune systems in Kingston as a means of protecting infrastructure and expensive real estate which unfortunately, has been built on the frontal dune. Much of this information has been included in the Draft document.
Conferences, Workshops, Seminars, Panel Hearings!
It’s been a busy month for members who have attended some of the above. MBCL presented a paper outlining the problem associated with disposing toxic sewage sludge in the Woodlands borrow pit to the Panel chaired by Terry Laidler at Dandenong North. The Panel was hearing submissions concerning Melbourne Water’s request to dispose of waste water to Boags Rock for the next 50 years. MBCL was present at Trades Hall to hear speakers denouncing the Federal Government’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Legislation which could affect environment groups protesting over e.g logging. We were represented at a UAW meeting where the same issue was explained by a Civil Liberties lawyer. The Victorian Coastal Conference-A Sustainable Coast had notable speakers such as Barry Jones who warned of the impact of increased population on the Port Phillip Bay coast line. His warning about the effect of climate change was echoed by Dr Graeme Pearman, CSIRO Scientist, who also stressed that the impact on beaches from storm surges will be dramatic. Five MBCL members attended an excellent Coastal Dune Management Workshop at the Keith Turnbull Research Institute & were shown slides of the impact of poor beach management in NSW where dunes have been eroded and houses collapsing into the sea as a result of loss of sand protection. Wind tunnels created by people trampling over dunes caused sand to move 2 metres a year from the degraded dune system settling in the roofs of houses. 3000 structures are likely to disappear into the sea in NSW.
Re-vegetation of the dunes and coastal areas is the answer according to the speaker.
Tony gave a report of Excell’s excellent Clean Up Australia campaign on the NRA’s creek and foreshore. 380 people collected 90 bags of litter. School and Friends Groups were involved as well as Telstra workers who cleaned up around Windows at Mordialloc. Excell’s contract has been dissolved with work tendered out, however NRA staff will be increased from 6 to 8 members and will be financially better resourced. Excell staff are working with Mentone Grammar School students to remove blackberries from the Mentone foreshore. State funding has been received to plant some sections of the Aspendale/Edithvale foreshore. Excell met with the Environment and By-Laws Officers at a site opposite San Antonio Court, Mentone where six She-oaks have been drilled and poisoned. Tony was thanked for his attendance and appreciation expressed for his team’s excellent work in the NRA areas and with community groups.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
Submissions close 31 May. It is important to fill in the pro-forma (despite expiry date) and send in a submission especially if three & four storeys are considered inappropriate in the study area. Or if alienation of public open space for cafes around the creek and foreshore cannot be justified in view of the fact that there 21 caffs in the Main Street! Many thanks to KRAMMED for advice and assistance in this matter.
Playground Development Strategy
Parks are under threat from all quarters. Small parks are targeted for sale and larger parks will be upgraded, however in areas of high density multi-unit development it is essential that small parks are retained to compensate for the loss of private open space. Elderly people, disabled and families with small children require a park within 150 metres safe walking distance according to VicCode I. Under ResCode, Council is not required to provide parks to compensate for the loss of private space as a result of development.
The Grange has had a controlled burn and pine trees have been removed. The hyacinth orchid is in bloom. A silver leaf stringy bark is in blossom. The CD has beautiful photos of flowers in the Grange. There has been planting in Braeside Park where die-back has occurred. River Red Gum seedlings are growing well. Pitrones, next to the Rowan Woodlands, is to be re-zoned for a retirement village. Although this may result in the Woodlands acquiring more land, the site is in Kingston’s section of the Green Wedge. PPCC. We are awaiting notification that Penny has been accepted as MBCL’s second delegate to PPCC, Stephen being our original delegate.
Significant Tree Register
Important reminder that we have until May to register trees, grasses, shrubs that we consider significant and wish to see protected for the enjoyment of future generations. Forms may be obtained from Council offices.
Mordialloc Structure Plan
Please find enclosed a form to fill in and return to the address listed if you don’t want to see 4-storey development rearing its ugly head in the study area. The Plan is a regurgitation of the rejected Tract Study 1988 with minor modifications and caters primarily for the cafe latte crowd with an outbreak of kiosks and cafes around the Island and the creek. Please obtain a copy of the report and make a submission. Closing date May 31st. Continue reading