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Objection to Application for Planning Permit 5.2005.272.1 to Remove Vegetation from Ricketts Point Landside
 
Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. is aware of the above Application, the Reference No. of which is 5.2005.272.1, and hereby objects to a permit being granted as requested in that application for removal of vegetation in the reserved land adjoining the eastern side of the carriageway of Beach Road, between Haydens Road and Reserve Road.
 
Grounds of Objection: The grounds of the Society’s objection are that:

  • the present area of habitat for indigenous coastal vegetation has received the protection of a Vegetation Protection Overlay because it is a major remnant of that type of vegetation, and should not be reduced, impaired or intruded upon, and thus work against the purposes of the VPO1 detailed in its Schedule 1,
  • the vegetated landscape and its vegetation community are a worthwhile and fortunate complement to the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, forming a most appropriate natural setting for it, and
  • the landscape of coastal vegetation should not be reduced, impaired or intruded upon, particularly as it is on the landward side of the coastal road there, which is rare around the entire perimeter of Port Phillip Bay,

particularly for the relatively trivial purpose of constructing the sixteen or so car parking spaces proposed.

 

Crown coast reserve (Haydens Rd to Tea House) with its distinctive Landside Banksia integrifolia woodland


Habitat for Indigenous Coastal Vegetation Should Not be Further Reduced: Conservation is constantly being advocated, but the reality is that areas of protected bushland are being steadily eroded by incremental modifications such as that proposed by this application. This application is posed as a proposal to remove vegetation, but it extends beyond its purport of removing specific plants as it is also, inherently, a proposal to reduce the area of land available for the growth of such plants, as the proponent appears to consider that the area in question in this fine coastal vegetation reserve should be interfered with for the purpose of facilitating the parking of sixteen motor vehicles.
 
The Landside Reserve and its vegetation give constant value and pleasure not only to local residents, but also to countless citizens of Victoria and interstate and international visitors to it. Its benefits are quietly provided constantly, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and it is a major contributor to the appeal of the adjacent foreshore reserve and Marine Sanctuary. By contrast the maximum benefit that 16 car parking spaces can give is a benefit to 16 drivers, and such passengers that they might or might not have. That benefit is given only while the cars are actually parked there. While cars are not parked in a particular parking bay, there is manifest disbenefit, as empty paved car parking spaces are ugly and they clash with and devalue the adjacent bushland.
 
That purpose of the appropriately named Vegetation Protection Overlay, VPO1, in Map 4 of the Bayside Planning Scheme is described in its Schedule 1. This proposal does not have regard to the eponymous purpose of the Overlay. Comments are made below in relation to various sections of that Schedule 1 and how they bear on the Landside Reserve, which would be intruded upon by the proposal:
 
Section 1.0


  • The area is a particularly significant Banksia integrifolia woodland containing some very mature trees and valuable understorey plants.
  • It is also a reasonably-sized area acting as a corridor and a breeding and nesting site for native birds.  The southern brown tree frog is also present.
  • Six and a half years have been spent in revegetation.

 

Section 2.0


  • Appropriating an area of the site is not in the spirit of the Schedule 1 whose objective is to “maintain the quality of the remaining fauna habitat in Bayside and to create additional habitat”.

Section 4.0


  • The effect of the removal of the vegetation and the loss of the land can only diminish the habitat value and long term viability of the area. The smaller the area of land the harder it is to maintain its indigenous integrity.
  • The vegetation is significant as it contains mature Banksia integrifolia trees and other understorey vegetation that is also of high quality. The area most affected by the road works is the southern area, which is rated H2 High Quality vegetation (Year 2002 Annual Monitoring Report for the City of Bayside’s Native Vegetation Works Program, Simon Cropper, Botanicus Aust, Page 47, Site no 095).
  • These revegetation beds, owing to their already close proximity to the existing pathway, will be damaged by being exposed to trampling, litter, dogs and exotic weeds.
  • The four mature Banksia integrifolia trees may also be destabilized by the construction works even though an effort has been made to protect them. (The Banksias are under threat by the road works owing to their close proximity to the existing road. The landscape planner has attempted to protect them by organizing the parking bays so that their roots are protected from the construction works).
  • The reason for removal of the vegetation is to create 16 car parking spaces. The cost and the loss of a valuable asset is not justified when there are over 100 car parking spaces easily accessible to the Tea House in the beach car parks.

Significance of the Association with the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary: The Marine Sanctuary has been established under the National Parks Act 1975 because of the importance of its rich and special marine environment. Although the Sanctuary is an entirely marine area, its quality and importance is such that consideration for its values should extend to its setting on the coast. Fortunately it is adjacent to a distinctive section of coastline that is Crown land reserve, and whose natural values magnificently complement those of the Sanctuary. Section 4 of the above Act lists the objects of the Act, and they give good guidance to management policies and practices in adjacent buffer areas.

Rare Occurrence of Coastal Vegetation Landscape on both sides of Coast Road: There are very few sections of the coastal road around Port Phillip Bay where a substantial reservation of coastal vegetation is found on both sides of the road. The 300 metre long Ricketts Point Landside Reserve, which is relatively undisturbed, is the third longest bushland reserve adjoining the inland side of the coast road between Port Melbourne and Portsea. The only two longer such reserves are the narrow 3,000 metre strip between Rye and Blairgowrie, and the 1,000 metre long steep cliff at Anthony’s Nose, Dromana.
 
Conclusion: The main purpose of the proposed road works is to construct a safe right hand turn lane for south-bound traffic turning into the foreshore car parks. That can be achieved without having to construct the proposed parking bays, which would harm the adjacent wooded reserve, and contribute to extra visual clutter and over-urbanization of the area.
 
Free car parking is now allowed on the eastern edge of Beach Road here. The proposed extra central lane for making right hand turns can easily be accommodated by prohibiting parking along that eastern edge. The revenue proposed to be gained by charging fees for parking of the 16 cars in question will not all be lost, as much of it should be harvested by such drivers simply parking in the large foreshore car parks, which are already built, whereas the cost of the new parking bays and metering equipment is an expenditure that could well be saved, with great environmental benefit.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
  
 
Adrian Cerbasi
President
Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc.
 
   
  cc. All Bayside City Councillors and the CEO, Hon John Thwaites MLA, Hon Phil Honeywood MLA, Mr Chris Strong MLC,

        Mr Noel Pullen MLC, Mr Murray Thompson MLA, The Age, Bayside Leader