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.
Congratulations again to Moreland Council for purchasing the McBryde Street land along the Merri Creek. This purchase allows the significant revegetation work undertaken by MCMC supported by Moreland Council to be preserved and built on to further enhance ecological values and the physical and visual amenity of this section of the Merri Creek Parklands.
Thanks so much to Moreland Council for pursuing the purchase and to all our supporters for getting behind this campaign!
More on the value of this land to the corridor
Congratulations to Moreland Council, which decided on 13 June to make an offer to the State Government to buy land owned by VicRoads at Leonard St, Fawkner. This land is an integral part of the Merri Creek habitat and parkland corridor but has been declared ‘surplus’ to VicRoads’ needs. If not acquired by Council it could be sold off for residential development. It’s still not a done deal yet, as the State Government may want more than Council offers, and it will take some time for the negotiations to be completed and land to be transferred. See more here.
The $23,242 Community Grant that FoMC received from Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority will enable our Special Weed Orchid Terminators (SWOT) to continue to control the recent explosion of the invasive South African Weed Orchid at Ngarri-djarrang Grassland in Reservoir. We learnt from the events that we held in August, September and October 2017 that we could be more effective by holding events just in October, as that’s when the weeds are easier to see, but are yet to drop their seeds. So join the SWOT team and reserve these Saturdays: 13th, 20th, and 27th October.
As reported last year, VicRoads wants to sell 1.7 ha of open space beside Merri Creek in Fawkner, and did a land swap deal with Moreland Council in 2015 that would have allowed townhouse development with only a narrow open space corridor on the Creek frontage. Since the deal became public last year, there has been strong opposition from Fawkner residents and the wider Moreland and Merri Creek communities. Joe Perri, from Fawkner Residents Association, organised a well-attended walk-through of the site in October. He received many constructive responses to his call for ideas on how the site could be developed as parkland. Landscape architect Eddie Botha has incorporated many of these ideas into a concept plan for the site, which was presented to the Moreland Mayor, Cr John Kavanagh, at a meeting with Friends of Merri Creek and Fawkner Residents Association. We are very pleased that Council has resolved to make an offer to the State Government to purchase the site for much-needed parkland, and we are working with Council to encourage the Government to accept the offer.