Park News – December, 2014

Happy Holidays!

  • We wish all our Friends and your families a safe and happy holiday period.  Please do enjoy your park during the break also.
Christmas Bush Flowers-Kalang  Park

Christmas Bush Flowering-Kalang Park

Thank you Friends

  • To all our Friends who worked with us to make 2014 such a successful year for working bees – a big THANK YOU!  
  • David Stewart, Bushland Coordinator from the ParksWide division of Whitehorse Council, has also asked us to pass on Council’s thanks to our growing band of volunteers.
  • As it happens, December 5th was International Volunteer Day:


2015 Calendar

Blackburn Creeklands Advisory Committee meeting and community working bee dates for 2015 are listed below:

  • Committee Meeting dates (4th Tuesday in the month – 7:30PM at the Bowling Club):
    • January 27,
    • February 24,
    • March 24,
    • April 28,
    • May 26,
    • June 23,
    • July 28 (Annual General Meeting at 7:30PM precedes normal meeting),
    • August 25,
    • September 22,
    • October 27,
    • November 24.
  • Community Working Bee dates (Sundays 09:00-12:00 – venues to be advised):
    • May 3,
    • May 31,
    • June 28,
    • July 26,
    • August 16,
    • September 13,
    • October 18,
    • November 8.
  •  Autumn & Spring Bird Survey dates: to be advised.

Progress on Our Projects

land adjacent 60 main st

Land adjacent to 60 Main Street

  • Quite a lot of our Melbourne Water Grant has been expended on rehabilitating the land adjacent to 60 Main Street and also for revegetating the Malcolm Street Billabong surrounds.
  • Woody weed removals along the Main Street frontage and in the centre of the block are still to be performed in a later stage of the project.
  • In relation to reinstating the billabong, the designs are almost ready – the contractor has been appointed and work is likely to take place in the new year.  This will include minor construction works including laying the pipe and the rock treatment at the outlet to the creek.  We can complete the planting-out there once the machine work has completed.
  • Work has started on our Communities for Nature project which will be a major working bee focus next year – site preparations have commenced in both the Southern and Northern Corridors. Click here for further information.

Kalang Oval Pavilion

  • Council notified the community on 10th December, 2014 that it is to go ahead with replacing the existing Kalang Oval pavilion at its current location.
  • Council explains that it has “minimised the footprint of the new pavilion without compromising functionality”.
  • Next steps are completion of the detailed design and a tender process aimed at construction commencing in May, 2015.  If you need further information, Tracy Cassidy is Council’s contact on 9262 6106.

The way we were (1974-75)

heath street 1974-5

  • Friend Bernie has provided a photo of Furness Park in flood in the seventies– the picture was taken from Heath Street.
  • The water was so high at the time that water flowed over Blackburn Road.

60 Main Street Development (Again!)

southern elevation

  • Another application for development of property at 60 Main Street has been advertised by Whitehorse Council.  The yellow signs went up on Thursday 18/12.  Once again, the developer wants to build three two-storey houses on the block.  Please click here for when objections close and other information.
  • Here is a potted history of the developments so far:
    • Late 2012 – applicant applies to council to redevelop the 60 Main Street site – three two-story houses with two sited virtually on the park boundary.
    • 15/9/2013 – Council advertises the application (WH/2012/918).
    • 8/10/2013 – Council received about 60 objections from the community.
    • 20/12/2013 – Council refuses to grant a permit. 
    • 15/5/2014 – after an extraordinary delay allowed by VCAT, objectors received notice that the applicant would appeal against Council’s refusal. Objections to VCAT were required by 30/5/2014.
    • 20/6/2014 – VCAT hearing date set for 12th September, 2014.
    • 28/7/2014 – The applicant sought to amend the plans to be considered by VCAT (on Friday 12th September, 2014).
    • 6/8/2014 – Council notifies all parties it wants a VCAT Practice Day Hearing to consider the substitution of the new plans.
    • 22/8/2014 – VCAT Practice Day Hearing disallows the substitution of plans – too different from original.
    • 12/9/2014 – VCAT appeal hearing takes place (considering the original plans).
    • 21/10/2014 – VCAT notifies all parties they have two weeks to make a submission into what effects (if any) the new zones have on their respective positions.
    • 5/12/2014 – VCAT notifies that the appeal has failed.
    • 18/12/2014 – Council advertises a new application (WH/2014/881) based on the revised plans.

Plants of the Month


Wallaby Grass (whitish seed head/inflorescence)

  • Plants of the Month are the Wallaby Grasses ((Austro)Danthonia spp or Rytidosperma spp)  depending on which side of the current botanical debates you take).
  • As Dr Graeme Lorimer explains (Wild Grasses of Southeastern Australia – Course Notes, 2014) grasses are often overlooked yet they can often dominate the ground flora in terms of biomass and sunlight capture.
  • They can dominate photosynthesis – the primary production of starches, sugars and other compounds that form the base of the natural food chain. Together with sunlight, photosynthesis involves consumption of soil nutrients and water.
  • This is important for our regeneration efforts – when grasses have a high foliage cover, they play a strong role in dictating what nutrients and water are available to other flora and fauna ie they have a strong influence over what else can live with them.
  •  Although they don’t dominate, Wallaby Grasses are important indigenous grasses in the park and are currently flowering.  This author blithely assumed that they must be called “Wallaby Grass” because wallabies like to feed on them.  However, here is another possible explanation – a magnification of a local Clustered Wallaby-grass “seed”(Rytidosperma racemosum = Austrodanthonia racemosa):
Can you see a Wallaby?

Can you see a Wallaby?

Weed of the Month

  • The Weed of the Month award has been held over this month – we didn’t want to spoil the festive season by talking about weeds.  Even the Monday/Thursday Maintenance Team is taking a couple of weeks off to recharge their batteries (and those belonging to the new portable pump)!
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