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The Chief Executive Officer 
Bayside City Council 

Dear Mr Wilson, 

2002/8152: Proposed Construction of Viewing Platforms, and other Work at and near “Moysey Gardens”  

Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. considers that the “Moysey Gardens” and the area near it (Melway 86F8) is, not surprisingly, given the nearby large and long established hotel and commercial areas, more in need of restoration and corrective work than many other parts of Beaumaris Beach Park. 

The Society notes that the “Moysey Gardens” provide, by means of an unduly large stone cairn, and remnant senescent Pinus radiata trees, a substantial reminder of the past presence of the Moysey family, who were pioneer settlers of Beaumaris. These relics relate to an era long past, and it is appropriate that they should look old and simple, and not be dominated or even rivalled by nearby incompatible development. It is appropriate that these reminders of the Moysey era appear in a simple setting of public open space, which at present includes mown grass, with four bench seats, a public drinking tap, a litter container, and a cliff top safety fence, providing that this present level of modification of a once natural coastal setting goes little further. 

Need to remove past clutter: Unfortunately that simple and restful scene overlooking Port Phillip, and the coastline of the City of Kingston and beyond, from the edge of a high cliff, has already been marred by the blight of more municipal and other introduced clutter and disturbance. Extraneous past works and clutter that mar the site covered by Project 2002/8152 include: 

  • A completely unnecessary and currently unsightly large area of degraded crazy paving around the stone cairn – that paving should be removed and lawn should be allowed to grow right up to a paved mowing border strip, no wider than say 150 mm around and abutting the cairn
  • A rectangular masonry block with a derelict information page on the top of it like the many other such derelict blocks erected on the coast by the former City of Sandringham – no longer maintained, ugly and useless
  • Two large and obtrusive white signs each on two poles that are part of the Bayside Art Trail, but which are inappropriately located in that they intrude into views of the sea (immortalized by the Clarice Beckett painting of that site) from the grassed area and further inland, in one case from all along Bodley Street – the solution to that blemish would be to relocate them at opposite ends of the grassed area, at right angles to the coast and road, not in line with either Bodley Street or Banksia Avenue, and with bushland behind them so that they were not obtruding into the view of those seeking a long range view of the sea, and did not have their rear blank sides visible on the skyline from land below, and from the sea.
  • A partly rusted early 1990s Bayside Council sign mounted on two poles bearing two large rectangular plates, the upper one reading “Moysey Gardens” and the lower one reading “Bayside City Council”. The proliferation of signs could be reduced by discontinuing this sign and noting this relatively inconsequential information, which is easily deduced from the plaque on the unavoidable cairn, more compactly as part of another more important sign.
  • A bulky grey-green metal utility enclosure near Keys Street that is close to the bicycle road is disfigured with graffiti, and is unduly obtrusive and ugly. Funds proposed to be spent on the unnecessary construction of further clutter would be far better spent rationalizing existing necessary clutter and minimizing its obtrusiveness. Some of those funds should go towards some toning down or amelioration of the starkness and unwelcome appearance of that utility enclosure. It is recognized that the enclosure is the property of another instrumentality that does not have the responsibility and motivation for managing Beach Park that Bayside Council does, but that should not preclude an arrangement between Bayside and the owner, with Bayside spending money to reduce ugliness rather than spending money to increase it.
Need to Avoid Introducing New and Gratuitous Clutter: The Society opposes the proposed construction of “Viewing Platforms” at the edge of the cliff, both in the “Moysey Gardens” area opposite Bodley Street, and also opposite Banksia Avenue. There is no difficulty whatsoever for people to view the sea and cliffs from near the edge of the cliff at both of these sites. The supposed need for one, let alone two, “Viewing Platforms” is imaginary. It would be a complete waste of funds that should be directed to the serious and ever-growing take-over of the foreshore and cliffs by pest and exotic plants. The impact on the landscape, and skyline views in this narrow area of special cliff top land of the proposed structures is entirely negative and unwelcome. 

The Society opposes the increase in built clutter on Beach Park that will result. The platforms are not needed to view the sea here, and would detract from the goal of having as natural and unaffected a coastal reserve as possible. The best views of the cliffs here by far are obtained from the public access areas, including the jetties, around the Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron area. If there is a serious intention to have people enjoy coastal views here, we consider that rationalized, relevant signage should publicize the public’s lawful right to walk right around the BMYS perimeter, which is written into BMYS’s lease from the Crown. A recent sign on the BMYS fence regarding “grounds” might deter many people from exercising their right to walk on those public areas. 

Need to Replace Pest and Exotic Plants with Coastal Indigenous Plants: Because of its early settlement and its closeness to early intense development, including the former boat shed below, the project area contains many pest and exotic plants. Columns G and H on the Beaumaris Foreshore Pest Plant list on our Web site give an approximate listing of the species noted there. More specimens of surviving indigenous plants should be planted. 

Inappropriateness of “Gardens” here: It would be honest, and appropriate for a foreshore area, to phase out the terminology “Gardens” for this area. Its status as a part of a Permanent Public Recreation Reserve under the Crown Land Reserves Act is secure, and it needs no subsidiary protective title. The idea of the “Moysey Gardens” as “Gardens” is no longer reflected in the way in which the area is managed, as the only “gardening” that occurs on this very dry sandy area is periodic lawn mowing in times when summer dieback of grass or drought has not resulted, as at present, in there being any lawn worth mowing. The main legacy of past “gardening” has been the persistence of recognized pest plants introduced at that time, such as South African Gazania and Agapanthus plants. 

Yours sincerely, 

 

Adrian Cerbasi
President 
Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc.   

    

cc. Mayor and Councillors, Bayside City Council