Friends of the Healesville Freeway Reserve

www.friendsofthehealesvillefreewayreserve.org

Newsletter

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Welcome to the Friends of the Healesville Freeway Reserve

The Healesville Freeway reserve between Springvale & Boronia Road is currently in a planning process for alternative use as the road will not proceed. The Community uses sections of this reserve as open space for Active and Passive Recreation. There are also several sections of endangered remnant bushland along the reserve that provide habitat for native animals.

This site aims to keep the community up to date with information regarding the consultation process and help to retain community access to the reserve following the conclusion of the consultation process. To date we have collected almost 5000 signatures (4981 if you think we should be exact) for the petition.

How can you help?

Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to the news letter to keep up to date with information.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

pdfAnnouncement

pdfAssociated map

 

We finally have a response from government on their position with regard to the Healesville Freeway Reservation. The press release and map with the location of the two parcels to be transferred to Crown land is attached.

 

It is worth noting –

  • The Biolink/Shared path is included
  • The Terrara preschool playground is secure
  • There is no indication of what will be done with the two heritage properties – Greenways and Mirrabooka.
  • The amount of land being preserved for Open space is 44% in the attached announcement.
  • The land proposed to be protected includes the Eastern extension of the Dell and land for Vermont Secondary school.
  • The Open space percentage is similar to the allocation in the VicRoads ‘Shared path’ concept, so no additional land is being set aside for Open space, however the protection of Crown land is more secure.
  • All the work done by VicRoads over the last 3 years has been set aside, which is a colossal waste of taxpayer funds and all the man hours put in by VicRaods staff and all the consultants who were hired for this project.

Now that the position of all three major parties is known, we will try and set up a public forum where representatives from the parties will be invited to present their views on the HFR in particular and open space/ biodiversity in general. The community will have a chance to ask questions and seek clarifications. There is not much time but we will try and do it in late October’14, more information will follow so please keep a look out for it and tentatively pencil in Sunday 26th Oct in your diary. We will try and hold it as before at the George Road entrance of the Bellbird Dell.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

It has been a long wait since March’14 for the Coalition Government to release the structure plan or state their position on the Healesville Freeway Reserve corridor.

VicRoads was originally due to release the Structure plan in March, then it was pushed out to April and then May, after that they stopped talking about its release, now they say the Shared path concept, the community feedback and Council’s concept is with the office of the Minister for Roads and they are awaiting instructions. Do remember, that in late 2013 despite being 8 months behind schedule, the community consultation was rushed through in the lead up to Christmas, with no regard for the convenience of the community and despite that they are again 5 months behind schedule.

 

At the Action day in March’14, our local member of Parliament Neil Angus was asked about the government’s position, he replied that he would consult with his colleagues and get back.

Despite numerous follow up via emails, letters and face to face meetings: we have had no reply so far on the Government’s formal position for this land.

We know that Labor’s policy is to keep all of the reserve as Open Space and that the Greens support that position, it is just the Coalition’s policy that is not known.

 

At the Federal level for the last election, few Coalition policies were declared and those that were made public were not fully articulate. Since then we have had unwelcome surprise after surprise, as different policies are now being espoused and the means of achieving them announced. We do not want that to happen at the State level as well.

 

Waiting for five months to hear back, without any response from the State government is too long. The election in November is not far now and the community needs to know what each political party’s position is on this important local issue so as to make an informed decision when they vote.

If you think you have waited long enough and want an answer from the government, ask for it.

 

Write to –

Neil Angus – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Minister for Roads: Terence Mulder – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Minister for Planning: Mathew Guy - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

 

Friends of the Healesville Freeway Reserve (Whitehorse)

23rd March ’14 - Action Day Report

What a day we had! We had been watching the weather with trepidation, initially the forecast was 70% chance of rain then it changed to 40%. Finally the day was overcast but clear and a collective sigh of relief was breathed!

 

Set up started early with an area for the 5 displays, the voting and the BBQ.

Setting up for the Action DaySetting up for the Action Day

The day started slowly, with people trickling in from 10am, Michael Sukkar, the Federal member for Deakin dropped in soon after and met the early birds.

Number grew during the morningAround 400 attended during the action dayAround 400 attended during the action day

 

The numbers continued to grow steadily and by the time we had the speeches it was full house!

With 260 votes collected on the day, we estimate the attendance at 400, as not everyone who attended stayed for the whole time and several people who attended had already voted at the Face to Face promotion of the event at the local shopping centres on the 15th, 16th & 22nd March’14 and so could not vote again.

Though there were 5 concepts, people had a choice between 3 options for land use – 100% Open space, 20% Housing or 60+% Housing.

 

  • Open Space Options - The ALP have promised if they win government, to keep all the reserve as open space, handing it over to Parks Victoria, with $650,000 promised for a biolink/shared path. The Community also put up a concept for 100% open space.
  • 20% Housing Options – Again there were two concepts – The Community concept for 20% housing and the Whitehorse Council’s vision with 19% housing
  • 60+% Housing – This number is an estimation as VicRoads have still not announced what the percentage of housing in their concept works out to. They have confirmed though that their concept would include the tree lined shared path, which was the concept on display.

 

The speakers for the day were - Neil Angus, member for the Lower House of Forest Hill representing the Coalition. The ALP was represented by Shaun Leane, Upper House member for Eastern Metropolitan, and Pauline Richards who has been preselected for the Lower House seat of Forest Hill. Greg Barber leader of the Greens was there with local candidate for the Upper House, Samantha Dunn. Morack ward Councillors Raylene Carr and Bill Bennett and Raeoni Turner from Nadrasca.

Other councillors from the City of Whitehorse who attended were Andrew Munroe and Andrew Davenport. At noon everyone gathered to hear the speakers who set out their views and then took questions from the Community.

 

Neil AngusNeil Angus Shaun LeaneShaun Leane Greg BarberGreg Barber Bill Bennet & Raylene CarrBill Bennet & Raylene Carr

A special thank you to the Vermont Lions who worked hard to keep everyone fed on the day!

 

All the voting slips have now been counted and the result of the view the community expressed is overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the HFR corridor as Open Space.

 

The No 1 issue people voted for as most important was – Open space at 85% while the VicRoads concept got the least votes at less than 1%.

  • Total Votes – 758
  • Action day votes – 260
  • Face to face – 498 (conducted on 15th, 16th & 22nd March at Vermont South Shopping Centre and Brentford Square Shopping Centre)

Break Up by Concept

Ranking – 1 Most liked ---------- 5 Least liked

1 2 3 4 5


Australian Labor Party – 100% Open Space

42.92%

25.94%

14.31%

12.89%

3.93%

 

City of Whitehorse Vision – approx 20% Housing

2.99%

11.16%

35.06%

49.53%

1.26%

 

Concept 4 Preservation - 100% Open Space

41.67%

45.13%

7.70%

4.25%

1.26%

 

Low Impact Housing -20% Housing

11.64%

17.14%

41.51%

28.93%

0.79%

 

Vic Roads Shared Path Concept – 60% housing

0.79%

0.63%

1.42%

4.40%

92.77%

 

The Next Step

Now that there is a clear choice for the community between the Coalition and Labor view on this issue, the final say on the HFR should be taken to an election. We call on the Premier Dr. Napthine, Ministers for Roads and Planning, Terry Mulder and Matthew Guy to provide some assurance to the community that no final decisions will be made or contracts signed until after the election, when people are allowed to express their choice through the ballot box. To do any different would be a breach of faith with the community.

Thank you, to all the people who came out in numbers to have their say on what they want for their community.

 

Other Resources

 

pdfMedia release

pdfComments on Assessment cards

pdfComments on butcher's paper

 

The result of the view the community expressed at the Action day held on 23rd March was

 

Overwhelming in favour of retaining the HFR corridor as Open Space

 

The No 1 issue people voted for as most important wasOpen space at 85% while the VicRoads concept got the least votes at less than 1%

 

Total Votes – 758

  • Action day votes – 260
  • Face to face – 498 (conducted on 15th, 16th & 22nd March at Vermont South Shopping Center and Brentford Square Shopping Center)

Estimated attendance at the Action Day – 400

Not everyone who attended stayed for the whole time and several people who attended had already voted at the Face to Face and so could not vote again.

 

Break Up by Concept - 1 Most liked - 5 Least liked

Ranking-       1            2               3               4                       

 

Australian Labor Party – 100% Open Space

42.92%

25.94%

14.31%

12.89%

3.93%

City of Whitehorse Vision – approx 20% Housing

2.99%

11.16%

35.06%

49.53%

1.26%

Concept 4 Preservation - 100% Open Space

41.67%

45.13%

7.70%

4.25%

1.26%

Low Impact Housing -20% Housing

11.64%

17.14%

41.51%

28.93%

0.79%

Vic Roads Shared Path Concept – 60% housing

0.79%

0.63%

1.42%

4.40%

92.77%

 

When - Sunday 23 March 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2.00 pm.

Speeches from 12 noon

 

Where - George Road end of the Bellbird Dell (Melway 62 J-6)

 

The aims of this activity are to:

  • Enable the Whitehorse community to view and discuss the Community, Whitehorse Council and ALP concept plans for the development of the Healesville Freeway Reserve
  • Compare the Community, Whitehorse Council and ALP concept plans to those put forward by VicRoads in November 2013
  • Hear the views of our elected representatives (State, Local and Opposition) on the future for the Healesville Freeway Reserve.
  • Assist Whitehorse community members in making informed decisions regarding the future uses and development of this important 35-hectare site.

 

From 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. all development concepts will be displayed in Bellbird Dell Reserve (George Road entrance, Melway 62 J-6).

From 12 noon political representatives will be asked to make a speech on their views for the future of the reserve and answer questions from members of the community.

A sausage sizzle and refreshments will be provided.

 

Come along and have your say!

 

 

pdfALP_press_release.pdf

Today Daniel Andrews, Leader of the ALP announced.

 

If elected in November, the ALP have promised to -
 
* Retain 100% of the HFR as public open space
* Transfer the management of the reserve to Parks Victoria
* Allocate $650,000 towards a shared path
* Appoint a Committee of Management made up of interested members of the community.
 
This is a great outcome for the community and safe guards the status of the land forever, protecting it from any future governments attempting to sell it.
We have yet to see, if the Liberal Government will  match the offer.
 
We now need to make sure this issue is taken to the next state election so the people can vote for what they want. The current government should not under any circumstance sign any contract with any parties before the election. To do so would be to break faith with the community.