We had an excellent turn up to our training session in May to become Seed Production Area custodians for our Secret Seven project and we now have more volunteers than we needed to tend plants that will produce seed for reintroduction into the Merri environs.
We’ve had a fantastic response to the proposal by FoMC member Anne Frost for a new group of volunteers to gather monthly on a Wednesday morning to help care for Merri Creek. This group will start in August working with Merri Creek Management Committee staff on a range of tasks on the last Wednesday of each month from 10am-12pm.
Public land at 67 and 115 Trawalla Avenue, Thomastown had illegal buildings erected on it and Whittlesea Council had given a retrospective permit for them. On behalf of FoMC, Dr Stephen Rowley opposed removal of the reserve status of this land at VCAT, arguing that it could set a precedent for the subdivision and sale of other land adjacent to Merri Creek. However, VCAT decided otherwise.
Our sub-group, which was known as the Merri and Edgars Creek Confluence Area Restoration Group, or MECCARG for short, has changed its name to Merri Murnong. The new name is much more succinct and more evocative of nature than the former long version mouthful, and much nicer than the former shortened version. Plus it features their iconic rare species which they’ve been celebrating with a festival for ten years this year: the Murnong, or Yam Daisy.
Merri Creek has dramatically changed colour twice; firstly after heavy rain in mid-May and then again in mid-June, just as it was starting to clear up a bit. The change, from its usual darkish hue to a worrying, pale-yellow was much worse than anything we’ve seen before. Both Melbourne Water and MCMC investigated, and the MCMC Manager, Luisa Macmillan, traced the pale yellow colour to Kalkallo Creek which joins the Merri near Donnybrook.
Rural parts of Kalkallo Creek have erosion gullies metres deep and most of the sub-soils across the catchment are highly erodible and sodic (sodium-containing). They rapidly lose their structural integrity when wetted. Unfortunately, these soils underlie new residential and employment areas being developed west of the Hume Highway, north and south of Donnybrook Rd. The major source of the problem is that these soils are exposed during construction and if there are any sediment controls in place, they are failing abysmally. See more here.