PRESIDENT’S REPORT 1971

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PRESIDENT’S
REPORT
TO THE 1971 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 1.  OFFICERS:    PRESIDENT               
. .    Mr. W. (William)
Ridland 

VICE-PRESIDENT      .

Mrs. N. (Bea)
HOSKING 

HON. SECRETARY     . . 
Mrs.
M. (Gabrielle)
Johnstone 

HON. TREASURER    . . 
Mr.
A. (Alfred)
GILFORD 

                           
COMMITTEE:                 
Mrs. C. (Sue)
McDougall,       
Mrs. J.
Palmer,                            
 
Mr. K. (Kenneth)
Rendell 

                                                                      
Mrs.
W. (Sheila)
Ridland,       
Mrs. P.
Russell,                             
Cr.
G. (Geoffrey) Goode 

                                                                      
Mr.
J. (John) Iggulden
,            
Mr.
M. (Michael) Johnstone,        
Mr.
W. (William)
Leech 

                           
Six
committee meetings were held during the year. 2. CONSERVATION COUNCIL OF VICTORIA (DELEGATE
– G. (Geoffrey)
GOODE) 

This
body, with 70 societies now affiliated to it, has worked
out and approved
a constitution and is now engaged in building up efficient
working procedures
to handle major conservation problems and in providing a
forum for discussion
of matters raised by individual societies. It has assemled
information
for the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works on a
catalogue of conservation
areas in M.M.B.W. district and is at present working on a
similar study
of Western Port for the Western Port Regional Planning
Authority. 3. PORT
PHILLIP CONSERVATION COUNCIL
: (DELEGATES – M.
(Michael)
JOHNSTONE, W. (William)
RIDLAND) 

This
body continues as the active centre of conservation
interests around
the Bay. With 15 conservation bodies as active members it
has extended
its activities to the western shore of Port Phillip and
round into Western
Port. Since its formation less than two years ago it has
handled forty-five
main issues. The quarterly Newsletter, which can be
ordered through our
Society, provides a summary of conservation activities
around the Bay. 

           
Western
Port has become the major conservation issue in the
State and the P.P.C.C.
has joined with other interested groups to form the SAVE
WESTERN PORT
COALITION. Conservationists everywhere are asked
to give active support
and encouragement to the coalition’s campaign to halt
further destructive
development in the Western Port area. 4.    THE BEAUMARIS AREA:  A.    GRAMATAN
AVENUE HEATHLAND SANCTUARY

        This fenced
reserve was
designed to preserve a small portion of the heathland
flora that once covered
most of the Beaumaris area. It is under the control of our
Society, the
land being leased from Sandringham Council. 

        Working bees
have been held
during the year to reduce the excessive growth of tea
tree, control weed
infestation and repair damage by intruders. Control of
such a reserve requires
careful planning and skilled assistance and advice is
being sought on a
plan of treatment for the reserve. B.  BEAUMARIS HIGH SCHOOL GROUNDS. 

        The southern
section of
the grounds, which retains a notable concentration of
local flora, could
become an area of widespread interest among botanists and
botany students
if it can be retained in its present state. We have
approached the headmaster
of the school and expressed our keen interest in this area
and our wish
to assist the school, in any way possible, in its
preservation. 

        It should be
noted that a
small reserve, fenced by the Native Plants Protection
Society, exists just
inside the southern boundary. 

        The erection
of a very large
State Electricity Commission substation on the
south-east corner of the
grounds seems quite unwarranted in a purely residential
area and the building
is much too tall to allow it to be masked by trees. C.  BANKSIA RESERVE.

        In spite of its
name this
reserve has no Banksias and few trees. It is unfortunate
that the first
major planting of trees in the reserve consists of a
substantial group
of Pinus
radiata
,
quite regardless of the fact that
the specific
character of the Beaumaris area depends entirely on the
profusion of native
trees and shrubs.

        A request
has been sent to
Council to allow our Society to plant an equal number of
native trees in
the area already planted.

        A
tree-planting plan has
been prepared for the grounds of the Beaumaris Tennis
Club at the request
of the Tennis Club Committee. D.  DONALD MacDONALD OVAL.

        The substantial
stands of
tea tree around the perimeter continue to suffer damage
from vandalism
and heavy ground cover, mainly weeds, prevents growth of
tea tree seedlings.
Council has undertaken planting of eucalypts and she-oak
along the southern
boundary but additional planting of tea tree seems not
intended. Some Coprosma
(New Zealand mirror-bush) was included in the planting
but, at our request,
Council has agreed that there should be no further
planting of this exotic
in this reserve. E.  BALCOMBE PARK. 

        It is important
that this
park retains its natural aspect and splendid tea tree
cover. There have
been some recent proposals for clearing and building to
allow for extensive
sporting facilities but our Society is strongly opposed to
any detrimental
development. F.  SMALLER RESERVES.

        Council is to
be congratulated
on its extensive planting of native trees and shrubs at
the Beaumaris Concourse
and on the reserve at the corner of Oak Street and Tramway
Parade. G.  STREET MAKING.

        It is
unfortunate that Council
felt impelled to construct the street on the south side of
Banksia Reserve.
The cost to the Council was substantial, the road is
little used and the
surroundings of the park are not improved. The only bright
spot in the
programme was the Council decision to spare the large red
gum, which still
stands in the roadway. H.  BEACH PARK.

Sandringham Council,
as
the Committee of Management, is responsible to the Lands
Department for
supervision of the area. While it is in many ways our most
important conservation
area it is subject to extreme public pressures, to
encroachment by private
enterprise and to extensive damage and deterioration.

        During this
year there appears
to have been private proposals aimed at establishment of
some type of marina
in the area of Keefer’s and a suggestion that a scout
hall be allowed in
the boat-shed area near Table Rock. Neither of these
proposals has been
raised in any official way but the Society should
continue to be on guard
against these and any other adverse developments.

        At Ricketts
Point an inspection
has been completed of the fully grown Banksias and
proposals are being
developed to improve this plantation. With Council
approval our Society
planted additional Banksias to replace older trees in
the future. On the
landward side of Beach Road, Council has completed and
extensive planting
program which is heartily welcomed.

        A log
barrier suggested for
the sea-front area by our Committee has been placed on
the Council Estimates
for the coming year. This should do much to prevent
vehicles trespassing
on the sea-front and the neighbouring beach. W. RIDLAND    President,     9/11/1971