Jan 06 2015
The Department has requested that the site, which runs between Radford Road Reservoir and Merri Creek, be rezoned to Industrial, after which the site will be sold. However, several hectares of the site lie outside the school fence on a bend of the Creek and have been planted and managed for about 30 years by Darebin Council, as part of the Merri Creek open space corridor. The Merri Trail runs across the frontage, and there are nationally-listed endangered plants (Dianella amoena) on a rocky outcrop. Much of this area is flood-prone.
The Education Department has offered to sell the frontage to Darebin Council, but the Council does not want to pay the price being asked.
The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council in their 2011 Metropolitan Melbourne Investigation recommended that surplus public land be assessed, and retained as public land if it has public land values including open space, ecological connectivity and a water frontage. The Lakeside frontage has multiple public land values, and clearly should be retained in public ownership as open space. FoMC considers that the frontage area should be transferred free-of-charge to Council.
In 2010 the community was able to prevent public land being sold privately when 10.7 hectares of VicRoads land along Edgars Creek was gifted as public open space to be managed by Moreland City Council. Now we need to do it again or risk losing part of the Merri Creek public open space, including the Merri Trail.
Jan 06 2015
We received this generous donation from The Grove Wholistic Centre for Spirituality Inc., which has ceased operating and distributed its remaining assets to organisations “that have purposes or values closely connected to those of The Grove.”
The Grove had been established in 1991 as a space where women could explore their spirituality, offering a diverse and affordable program of activities and events, including retreats, creative workshops, discussion groups and meditation courses, as well as counselling services, a clothing exchange and a library. Following the sale of its building in 2012, the organisation was left without a permanent base; in winding it up, the remaining committee members were delighted to be able to contribute to the improvement of the creek and the local environment.
Jan 06 2015
We have now left the office at Brunswick Town Hall after at least 14 years, marking the end of a significant era for the group.
Moreland City Council very generously allowed us to use the office initially for our high profile campaign against the F2 Freeway (now called the Craigieburn Bypass), when we had a paid coordinator for a while. However, after the campaign ended, Moreland Council allowed us to stay on.
After we couldn’t find a replacement for Jack Svendsen as office coordinator, the office wasn’t much used, which was just as well as in the last few years some leakage made it damp and unpleasant to work in. In december 2014, Moreland notified us that they want to fix up the office for other purposes, so most of the FoMC Committee helped with a massive clean-out. All our freeway campaign material was donated to the State Library of Victoria, our office equipment and supplies are being re-used (mainly by MCMC), and everything else was either recycled or thrown out, except for some important files which are being held by the Secretary.
We also no longer have a landline, so contact us by email or phone/text the Secretary, Ray Radford, on 0422 989 166.
Jan 06 2015
Recently, FoMC has made three submissions to protect biodiversity from large scale development occurring in the upper Merri: to the Wallan Structure Plan; to the Craigieburn North Employment Area Precinct Structure Plan; and to the English Street Precinct Structure Plan and draft Amendment C183 to the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. Thank you to Yasmin Kelsall and Ann McGregor for putting these submissions together.
Jan 06 2015
We have kicked off 2015 by receiving the following grants, thanks to MCMC’s Conservation Program Manager, Katrina Roberg:
$49,810.15 from Communities For Nature for the project: The Need for Seed, to enhance remnant vegetation along the Merri Creek and establish genetically selected plantings of three depleted plants to act as ‘seed orchards.’
$20,000 from Melbourne Water River Health Incentives program for the project: Koonda lat is where it’s at, to control weeds, restore habitat and engage the new residents of nearby apartments near the Koonda Lat bridge on the shared path in Northcote. Plus a $1,000 Melbourne Water Group Support Grant for purchase of loppers, barbecue, hand mattocks, and admin support.
$3,000 from Parks Victoria, through their Volunteer Group Long Service Award, for the project: Celebrating Nature in our Native Grasslands – Cooper St Grassland, for woody weed control, a bird talk, activity day, reptile display and barbecue.