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AWPC flags possible planning breaches 461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd, Rosebud

Australian Wildlife Protection Council asks Mornington Peninsula Council to investigate potential breaches at 461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd and also to ensure that important remnant vegetation and heritage listed trees are better protected from property development. At the very least Council should ensure planning applications that are granted to remove indigenous vegetation are required to have wildlife spotters on site and flora professionals the opportunity to collect seed and plant material for environmental revegetation projects.

To Antonella Celi,
[Councillor for the Seawinds Ward, Mornington Peninsula Shire]
During the council election campaign, you advocated for protecting neighbourhood character from over development. Which rightly is a concerning issue many locals feel strongly about. One such development application which has been approved and works which have started is 461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd, VCAT REFERENCE NO. P566/2016, PERMIT APPLICATION NO. P15/1026. I know this application has been raised in a number of council meetings and one you yourself have spoken out against.

While I do not have the arborist report to confirm my suspicions, I do strongly believe that works that have commenced have breached the permit. That the Mornington Peninsula council is responsible for enforcing. The breaches I believe to have occurred are listed at the bottom of the page.

I am really frustrated and angry that a manna gum that was estimated to be between 300-500yrs old could be cut down. Especially considering there was a vegetation protection overlay on the property, the tree in question was recommended to be heritage listed and I was in the process of making a heritage listing request. With the assistance of Peninsula Speaks. It is very disappointing to know council staff do not take their job seriously and defer their employment duties to community members. I really do believe if the planning department took the enquiries seriously from the public and did the job expected of them, that historical indigenous tree would have been saved. It does not surprise me with the attitude of staff, that developers are advertising the sale of houses. Before the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council approve planning applications.

I now ask that the council investigate the potential breaches at 461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd and also ensure that important remnant vegetation and heritage listed trees are better protected from property development. At the very least ensure planning applications that are granted to remove indigenous vegetation are required to have wildlife spotters on site and flora professionals the opportunity to collect seed and plant material for environmental revegetation projects.

Regards
Craig Thomson
President Australian Wildlife Protection Council
Secretary Animalia Wildlife Shelter
Treasurer Save Tootgarook Swamp Inc.

More information

[...]

461-469 Waterfall Gully Rd
VCAT REFERENCE NO. P566/2016
PERMIT APPLICATION NO. P15/1026

Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO1).
Design and Development Overlay (DDO1).
I believe that the above overlays should have been enough to protect the manna gum.

I believe that the following conditions have been breached,

Amended Plans

1. (b) A vegetation removal plan which utilises the numbering in the Arborist report submitted and which shows vegetation proposed to be removed and vegetation proposed to be retained, with the vegetation to be retained being Trees 46, 62, 67, 76, 88, 93, 97, 111, 112 and 113
There are now less Eucalypt trees remaining than were meant to be protected.

And

12. Prior to the commencement of any building or works, appropriate tree protection fencing must be erected in accordance with Australian Standard AD4970 – 2009 (Protection of Trees on Development Sites). The tree protection fencing must remain in place until the completion of any works hereby approved.
This did not happen.

I believe The following probably has not been under taken,

13. The construction methods contained within the Arborist report endorsed under this permit must be undertaken.

Native Vegetation Offsets

15. In order to offset the removal of 0.024 hectares of remnant patches and 13 scattered trees approved as part of this permit, the applicant must provide a native vegetation offset that meets the following requirements, and is in accordance with the Permitted Clearing of Native Vegetation – Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines and the Native Vegetation Gain Scoring Manual. The general offset must:

* (a) Contribute gain of 0.063 general biodiversity equivalence units.
* (b) Have a minimum strategic biodiversity score of 0.181.
* (c) Be located within the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority boundary.

16. Before any native vegetation is removed from the site, evidence in the form of a credit register extract from the Native Vegetation Credit Register must be provided to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority. This offset must meet the offset requirements set out in this permit and be in accordance with the requirements of Permitted Clearing of Native Vegetation – Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines and the Native Vegetation Gain Scoring Manual.

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Comments

A 300- 500 year old manna gum, no matter where it is on the site should be retained (unless in bad condition) even if it means it grows out of the living room ceiling and roof. Of course this does not solve the problem of loss of vegetation (native fauna habitat) from ever larger developments- a very damaging process.

Email copy received from Craig Thomson:

I attended the information session on Wednesday 16/11/16 at Dromana community in regards to the fast tracking to rezoned land in Rosebud. I asked if there were ecological surveys of the entire site and if they were available.
Despite reassurances there is no flora or fauna ecological reports available to the community. This inhibits my ability to actually enter a submission, as well as other local ecologist and zoologist who are concerned about this site. Further to this the current tree report that is provided, in mine and other local experts opinion. Give the community false and misleading information about the ecological significance of the site.

I would ask that you rectify this and make the Abzeco ecological flora and fauna reports available to the community.

Regards
Craig Thomson
President Australian Wildlife Protection Council