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Beaumaris Conservation Society

(Formerly Beaumaris Tree Preservation Society 1953-1970)

 

 

President’s Report 1990

 

 

NEW MANAGEMENT FQR THE HEATHLAND SANCTUARY AFTER 30 YEARS

The 30-year period from 1960 till now during which the Society has leased and been the sole management organization for the Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary will end next month. Sandringham Council has unanimously agreed that the Sanctuary should not be sold, but should be retained as a Heathland Sanctuary, to be reserved as such undo the City of Sandringham Planning Scheme. Until then it has only its present status as land zoned Residential C, although it is protected by Victoria’s Fauna and Flora Guarantee Act.

 

Sandringham Council has called a meeting of interested parties, including all BCS members wishing to attend, at the Sanctuary at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, 20th September 1990, to confer on directions its management should be taking. The Committee hopes that as many BCS members as possible will be able to attend.

 

NON-INDIGENOUS TREES WILL COME TO DOMINATE BEAUMARIS STREETSCAPES

Last year BCS wrote to Sandringham Council over its review of its 1984 Street Planting Guide. We commended that Guide’s excellent wording, which sought to re-establish the original flora, including the native grasses and ground covers. BCS hoped that at least 75% of street tree planting species would be of indigenous local flora. We believe that streetscapes should harmonize with existing indigenous vegetation rather than be seen as alien.

 

<>It is disappointing to see that the Council in practice appears to have moved away from in previous position. Recent plantings right along Reserve Road and other street have been of trees that are not indigenous to Victoria even, let alone Beaumaris. They appear to be species indigenous to northern Australia. Barely saplings, yet their potential to smother the coastal bush atmosphere of inland Beaumaris is a time-bomb. Replacing them now would entail relatively little cost or disturbance. They should be removed and replaced now before they become an entrenched and discordant camouflage of the natural character of Beaumaris.

 

MINISTER’S STAND ON TIME LIMIT FOR KEEFER’S SITE WORKS SUPPORTED

BCS Office-bearers and others were the Appellants in an unsuccessful 1987 Appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal against Sandringham Council’s approval to construct a new boat hire and kiosk building on the old Keefer’s site. The Council, but not the State Government, has since received very adverse publicity over this year’s cliff fall there, partly referring to the 1998 AAT Report. That report, to the Hon. Tom Roper, recommended warning signs threatening prosecution for unauthorized cliff destruction, but related these to the risks to the unique fossils rather than to the public. A Ministerial Press Release (12th February 1989) acknowledged this.

 

 Now that the 2 years granted in early 1988 to build the kiosk etc. has expired, the new Minister has not extended the period allowed. The proponents are appealing to the AAT, and BCS Office-bearers will be supporting the Minister’s approach at the AAT hearing on 5th October 1990.

 

BETTER CONTROL OF BEACH ROAD TRAFFIC, AND PROVISION FQR BICYCLES

BCS through the Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc. (PPCC Inc.), has supported submissions to the Minister for Transport and the Opposition endorsing the Wells Road to Marina Road trial, and is seeking its extension.

 

INTERACTION WITH OTHER CONSERVATION BODIES, GQVERNMENT & COUNCIL

We continue cur membership of the PPCC Inc, the Conservation Council of Victoria, and the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). The PPCC Inc. Committee has recommended that ACF members vote NO in the referendum in October to replace the present ACF Constitution with a new version, as the replacement is considered less democratic and more authoritarian (as opposed to authoritative).

 

BCS continues to have useful contacts with State Government MPs and local MPs, Mr David Lea MLA and the Hon. Geoff Connard MLC, and Sandringham Council’s staff and South Ward Councillors.

 

 

Geoffrey Goode, President                                                                                                                                                 17th September 1990