Category Archives: Reports

Melbourne Water Assets

Melbourne Water Assets in the State Electorate of Box Hill – Preliminary Assessment For Community Use

(David Berry, Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc. – January 2016)

Asset

Melway Map Location

Melbourne Water Comments Re Potential Community Uses (via website)

Tree Society Comments Re Potential Community Uses

Pipeline easement, Balwyn

46 H/6

Mostly purple-shaded i.e. likely to be available for access related activities such as walking, running or yoga. Twenty-four hour access usually required and infrastructure unlikely to be permitted.

Suitable for:

  • Informal gravel paths and seating
  • Planting beds containing small shrubs, grasses and tufties.
  • Opportunity for a children’s playground on the corner of

    Fitzgerald and Yandilla Streets.

Melbourne Water Reservoir, Mont Albert

46 K/11

Mostly red-shaded i.e. access unlikely to be permitted for safety and security reasons. Perimeter green-shaded i.e. likely to be available for community projects and could be used for a variety of purposes depending on the space.

No access so no comment.

Koonung Creek Link, Box Hill North (includes part of Frank Sedgman Reserve)

47 C/4

Mostly yellow- and green-shaded.
Yellow: likely to be available for small-scale

infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure.
Green: likely to be available for community projects and could be used for a variety of purposes depending on the space.

Currently well utilised as parkland and public open space. The Koonung Creek Trail runs through this area and a playground is located here.

Koonung Creek &

Surrounds,

Doncaster East (Immediately east and west of Middleborough Road north of the Eastern Freeway)

47 G, H & J/3

Mostly green- and yellow-shaded (see possible land use descriptions above).

Large indigenous bushland with mown open grass areas and sealed shared path running east-west.

  • Install informal gravel walking paths, seating and directional

    signage.

  • Remove environmental weeds and plant indigenous species

    (succession planting).

  • Survey and assess local community interest in a park Friends

    group.

 

Asset

Melway Map Location

Melbourne Water Comments Re Potential Community Uses (via website)

Tree Society Comments Re Potential Community Uses

Elmhurst Retarding Basin, Blackburn

47 J/8

Mostly yellow-shaded i.e. likely to be available for small-scale infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure.

Possible uses and works:

  • Wetland/water feature creation with bird hide
  • Enclosed off-lead dog exercise area
  • Environmental weed removal/control and perimeter

    planting with indigenous species.

  • Consider ‘de-barrelling’ the Blackburn Creek south of the

    basin and create a wetland/waterway/biolink/habitat with associated landscaping and planting.

RHL Sparks Reserve, Box Hill

47 F/11 & 12

~ 50% of the reserve (most of the eastern section) is not shaded and ownership is unclear. The remaining land is mostly yellow- and green-shaded.

Yellow: likely to be available for small-scale infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure.

Green: likely to be available for community projects and could be used for a variety of purposes depending on the space.

Possible uses and works:

  • Formalise the car park off Albion Road
  • Create a large wetland in the northern park section adjacent

    to the Gardiners Creek inlet

  • Install a circuit of informal gravel paths around the reserve

    on or close to perimeter and creek plus associated seating

  • Plant out the creek banks/verges within the reserve to create

    a biolink

  • Plant out the embankments (east and west) to create diverse

    biolinks

  • Remove and replace the high mesh fence along

    Middleborough Road.

Blackburn Creeklands, Blackburn

47 H, J & K/11

Mostly yellow-shaded (with some green-shaded areas) i.e. likely to be available for small-scale infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure.

For many years this area has been developed by Whitehorse council and the Blackburn Creeklands Advisory Committee and Friends as an exemplary passive recreational space in a bushland setting and should be used as a template for other potential Melbourne Water sites within the Box Hill electorate.

Gardiners Creek link, Nunawading

48 E/10

Mostly yellow-shaded i.e. likely to be available for small-scale infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure.

This open section of the creek has been encroached upon by residential and institutional development.
Access is currently problematic and the link needs to be ‘opened up’ for public use as a walkway and planted out as a biolink and source of habitat for local fauna.

 

Asset

Melway Map Location

Melbourne Water Comments Re Potential Community Uses (via website)

Tree Society Comments Re Potential Community Uses

Masons Road Retarding Basin, Blackburn

62 B & C/1

Mostly yellow-shaded (and to a lesser extent purple-shaded)
Yellow: likely to be available for small-scale infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure. Purple: likely to be available for access related activities such as walking, running or yoga. Twenty-four hour access usually required and infrastructure unlikely to be permitted.

Possible uses:

  • Wetland/water feature creation with bird hide
  • Enclosed off-lead dog exercise area
  • Environmental weed removal/control and substantial

    planting out with a diverse list of indigenous species

  • Install informal gravel walking paths, seating and directional

    signage

  • Create a wetland/waterway/biolink/habitat with associated

    landscaping and planting

  • Section of a biolink through to Springvale Road.

Linear creek link, Forest Hill

62 D/1

Mostly yellow-shaded (and to a lesser extent purple-shaded)
Yellow: likely to be available for small-scale infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure. Purple: likely to be available for access related activities such as walking, running or yoga. Twenty-four hour access usually required and infrastructure unlikely to be permitted.

This waterway link joins two retarding basins (Masons and Glen Valley) and needs to be opened up east and west of Forest Road and informal paths, seats and signage installed. The result will be a linear creekland park between Springvale and Blackburn Roads running parallel to Canterbury Road.

Glen Valley Retarding Basin, Forest Hill

62 D/1

Mostly yellow-shaded (and to a lesser extent purple-shaded)
Yellow: likely to be available for small-scale infrastructure such as park benches, goal posts and temporary food vans. Unlikely to be available for large-scale infrastructure. Purple: likely to be available for access related activities such as walking, running or yoga. Twenty-four hour access usually required and infrastructure unlikely to be permitted.

Possible uses:

  • Wetland/water feature creation with bird hide
  • Enclosed off-lead dog exercise area
  • Environmental weed removal/control and substantial

    planting out with a diverse list of indigenous species

  • Install informal gravel walking paths, seating and directional

    signage

  • Section of a biolink through to Blackburn Road
  • Create a wetland/waterway/biolink/habitat with associated

    landscaping and planting.

 

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Vale Liz Henry

(David Berry August 2014)

Farewell Liz – It is indeed a sad time for your family and all your friends and colleagues.

Liz loved many things but a few stand out (in no particular order):

  • Cricket
  • The Australian Broadcasting Company (the ABC or ʻAuntieʼ)
  • Her pet cats to whom she was a loving and faithful retainer
  • Her ʻspiritualʼ home at Skenes Creek • The Essendon football club and
  • Her passionate advocacy for the natural environment.

Liz also possessed beautifully crafted handwriting skills as evidenced in the many reports she submitted as Bungalook Nursery Coordinator, a position she held with distinction for over 20 years.

Liz was also actively involved in numerous community organisations primarily focused on the protection and enhancement of the natural landscape within Whitehorse.

I have had the privilege of working with Liz on many of these committees including:

  • The Whitehorse Community Indigenous Plant Project/Bungalook indigenous plant nursery
  • The Blackburn and District Tree Preservation Society (over 12 years)
  • The Wurundjeri Walk Advisory Committee (over 12 years)

Liz also served on the Wandinong Sanctuary Advisory Committee and the Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association Committee as a responsible, conscientious and hard-working representative for many years.

Liz possessed many admirable qualities including:

  • A passionate advocacy for the natural environment of Whitehorse
  • An enviably high level of botanical expertise
  • A sound understanding of plant nursery production techniques
  • Excellent plant identification skills
  • A thorough knowledge of seed collection techniques
  • Expert weed Identification and weed management skills

Liz was also a frequent contributor of topical articles to various newsletters and other publications and was always vigilant and responsive to those development proposals that threatened the natural environment in Whitehorse.

Liz was a highly valued committee member and volunteer whose personality, skills and experience will be sadly missed in the Whitehorse (and larger) communities.

Goodbye Liz – and thank you from all your ʻenvironmentalʼ friends and the Whitehorse community.

Planning Permit Application for the Retirement Village Complex

As of early March 2014 a decision has yet to be made by Whitehorse council on the fate of the permit application for 131-173 Central Road Nunawading.

The owners want to build seven multi-storey buildings containing 151 residential units, an auditorium, café and shop with associated road, path, fence and car park construction. The site is one of the most important natural sites in private ownership within Whitehorse. So much so that it has an Environmental Significance Overlay and a Significant Landscape Overlay protecting the endangered and rare Valley Heathy Forest on the land.

All-in-all over 80 trees, mostly indigenous, will be destroyed to make way for the development if the permit is granted.

The tree society committee has compiled a list detailing the important features of the trees to be removed (including species, height, canopy and trunk diameters, habitat value, worthy of retention rating and location on the site) and we can only conclude that over 75% of these indigenous trees must be retained! The only reason for destroying them is that they are sited on the massive building footprint for the proposed development.

These trees have been dismissed as ‘scattered trees’ by both the proponents and the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). We think they are far more important than this crude description and deserve to be fought for, saved and protected.

SDA Retirement Village Complex

Planning Consultation Forum for the Proposed Retirement Village Complex at 131-173
Central Road Nunawading
Over 160 submissions have been received by Whitehorse City Council in opposition to the
proposal to build seven multi-storey buildings containing 151 residential units, an
auditorium, café and shop with associated road, path, fence and car park construction.
All-in-all over 80 trees, mostly indigenous, will be removed if this development goes ahead.
According to the Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) placed on the land by council
in 2008:
‘ … The site contains remnant native vegetation of very high local conservation
significance. This includes the presence of:
– A remnant of the endangered Ecological Vegetation Class (Valley Heathy Forest) with
Very High conservation significance rating and habitat score in excess of 0.4.
– Large hollow bearing trees.
– 15 plant species of bioregional conservation significance

This site of botanical significance plays an important role in contributing to the biodiversity
of the area around Blackburn Lake Sanctuary.  This Ecological Vegetation Class is severely
threatened to the extent that records indicate only about 470 hectares remain out of the
20,000 hectares that may have existed in the Gippsland Plain Bioregion.  Any
development, particularly subdivision, within the property needs to be appropriately
managed to ensure the long- term protection and sustainability of this biodiversity …’

This land is considered so important it is the only site in Whitehorse to have an
Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO1) and a Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO5)
applied to it.  Indeed it is one of only two sites in Whitehorse with Environmental
Significance Overlays (the other being 15 Virgillia St. Blackburn North).

The Consultation Forum was held on Tuesday 29 October with over eighty concerned
members of the Whitehorse community in attendance.  The forum, organised by Council
and mediated by Mr. Bruce Turner, aimed to:
‘ … Generate a shared understanding of the proposal and any issues and concerns
from all perspectives and to explore ways that the concerns might be addressed …’

A multitude of issues and concerns were raised by the community (the meeting lasted for
over 3.5 hours!) yet the responses from the representatives for the proponent were minimal
or rambling and for the most part evasive.   So the last aim of the forum was not achieved
i.e. there was very little exploration of ways that the concerns about the development
might be addressed.

The Tree Society had a list of 25 questions on the environmental impacts of the
development.  However, only one of these questions was answered (it was confirmed that
80 trees were to be destroyed in the construction of the retirement village).  Our list of
questions and concerns will be forwarded to Council’s Planning Department in the hope
that answers will be provided and reason prevails.

Other community representatives raised the following issues in relation to the proposed
unsympathetic overdevelopment of the site:
• Scale, character and visual amenity (particularly in reference to Cromwell Court
residents and the Central Road frontage)
• Other environmental impacts (e.g. impacts on Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, noise,
fumes, lighting, exhaust fumes and litter)
• traffic, parking and safety; drainage, built surfaces and other infrastructure and
construction impacts

Council will make a final decision on the proposal in February/March 2014.

Interested in reading more? Click here for a full copy of the  Newsletter November 2013