Protest to Council

Royal Park Protection Group sought legal advice on what protection could be provided to the Royal Park regarding drilling planned.

Paul Leitinger and Julianne Bell, as our representatives. attended the MCC meeting on July 10th, 2012 of the Council’s Future Melbourne Committee’s stated position.

They provided submissions opposing the drilling and pointing out the Council

On May 8th the Council had stated it “was opposed to use of any parkland for the purpose of any roadworks or associated activities”.

The members of the Committee listened to our proposal that a management plan with penalties was required as a minimum and agreed to put in place such a plan with protection measures. We were thanked for the legal opinion and our submission.

Drill sites give clue to future path of road tunnel

From The Age

IS THIS the path the controversial east-west road tunnel will cut through the inner city?

In an application to Melbourne City Council the Baillieu government is requesting approval for 13 test drilling sites in Royal Park and surrounding suburbs to plan for the multibillion-dollar project.

In an indication of its preferred route for the tunnel, maps show the drill sites run in a direct line from Alexandra Parade under the Melbourne Cemetery and Royal Park.

At the back of the indicative route the drill sites split, suggesting locations for inbound and outbound connections to CityLink in Royal Park and nearby neighbourhoods.

The application for ”preliminary geotechnical drilling” is part of a $15 million business case being prepared for the 18-kilometre tunnel, which tops the Baillieu government’s infrastructure wish-list.

The government says the project will ease traffic congestion on Melbourne’s roads and create an alternative cross-city route for cars and trucks. Since it was first proposed under the previous state government the tunnel has faced heated local opposition over tolls and concerns over its impact on the inner city and parkland.

The project received a boost earlier this month when Opposition Leader Tony Abbott committed $1.5 billion to help build it. It has been reported federal Labor could also commit funding later this year. Continue reading


Julianne Bell wrote to MCC on behalf of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. and the Royal Park Protection Group Inc. to draw attention to the condition of the billabong in the Australian NativeGarden.  It was covered in what appears to be a form of red algae or water weed which covers the water entirely.  It seems to have been there for at least 12 Months.

“This stretch of water used to be home to a number of species of birds but these have disappeared with the exception of a few ducks. In addition to the water birds,  there were little “bush birds” living in the vegetation on the banks of the pond and used to skim the water picking up insects. But, as far as we know, they are no longer there. See photo of the billabong taken last week.  Also of concern is the condition of the swale running north-south through the Gardens along the line of what once was a creek into the pond. We assume that the swale is now stagnant.    We should be pleased if you can immediately authorise removal of this carpet of red algae and proceed with the rehabilitation of the billabong and swale. This matter is urgent to encourage birds to return to theAustralian Native Garden.”

A positive response was received and the state of the billabong is much improved.

Toilets create stink at Royal Park

Julianne Bell and Protectors of Public Lands members at the planned toilet site. PIC: MATT MURPHY

Julianne Bell and Protectors of Public Lands members at the planned toilet site. PIC: MATT MURPHY

A PARKLAND protection group is kicking up a stink over Melbourne Council plans to install a $200,000 public toilet in Royal Park, saying it would kill heritage trees.

The council is set to start work on the aluminium toilet building in Gatehouse St, near the corner with Park Drive, next month.

But Protectors of Public Lands is fighting to have the toilet moved, saying the proposed site would kill two historic pepper trees and spoil a major entrance to the park.

“It is an extreme act of vandalism,” spokeswoman Julianne Bell told the Leader last week.

Ms Bell also warned public toilets could attract illegal and anti-social behaviour, which she said had led to the partial closure of a public toilet at nearby Western Oval.

But council spokesman Sam Bishop denied there would be any tree damage and said the plan had been supported in public consultation that ended on April 10.

“The public toilet will be installed next to the path at the edge of the park to ensure the safety and convenience of park visitors and local residents,” Mr Bishop said.

Cr Cathy Oke said the council had done a significant amount of work with tree expert

From Melbourne Leader see article