Friends of Back Creek (FOBC)
- Annual General Meeting
Presidents Statement 12 May
The 2008 year
was a successful year although not without some change and potential
turmoil for FOBC. Membership has declined slightly largely due to reduced
focus by FOBC on pushing for new members. Similarly while proceeds from
donations have increased slightly the number of donators has declined.
This is also due to lack of active drive by FOBC to seek funds from
the community. Nevertheless acceptance and overall support of FOBC’s
activities remains strong. Our financial position also remains strong.
It maybe as we enter our 10th year that the level of familiarity
and acceptance from the community has resulted in the group and its
activities becoming somewhat taken for granted. The creek and its pathway
is now a significant part of the community and regarded as an accepted
asset which is well used. While the work that remains to be done is
substantial, the job of engaging the community to participate in finishing
the job will be harder still.
past 12 months FOBC published 3 newsletters maintaining a distribution
of 500 households. We conducted 13 working bees involving over 500 volunteers.
Total contribution of participant time exceeded 1000 hours of work.
Wattle Park Primary School participated in Arbor week planting of nearly
2000 seedlings involving all students and teachers over 2 days in June.
The plantings conducted along the walkway south of Cornell St have spurred
our local council to continue with further landscaping and planting
along this section of the old creek. It can be expected that this year
coinciding with Schools tree day another opportunity for planting by
local school children will occur in this area..
day continues to be successful with the volume of rubbish collected
earlier this year being greater than previous year. Approximately 25
people participated collecting nearly 30 bags of rubbish.
FOBC and Melbourne Water became strained during the middle of last year
as they asserted their control over the waterway. Their concern centered
round the need to ensure the safety of volunteers while working along
the waterway which remains the responsibility of Melbourne Water. The
risk perceived by Melbourne Water of activities performed by FOBC during
working bees threatened to scuttle our activities. Following a couple
of meetings in conjunction with City of Boroondara, FOBC was able to
submit a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) encompassing all typical working
bee activities. The JSA satisfied both Council and Melbourne Water and
as a result we are able to continue our activities along the creek.
There is no doubt however that many of the remaining sections along
the creek yet to be rehabilitated our outside of this group’s capability
to participate in rehabilitation due largely to the terrain encountered
and the extensive overgrowth of willows.
Melbourne Water have gained access to capital funding to proceed with
a major willow removal project along the creek. FOBC have been an integral
part of the community consultation process and to date has participated
in 3 community meetings along the creek since November last year conducted
by Melbourne Water and Council. The project has just commenced and is
expected to take 4 years, undertaken in 4 stages. Work commenced on
Monday 11th May 2009 at the Riversdale Rd end of the creek.
in community education with presentations to the local Linden Park Scout
group about the creek. This was followed by planting of seedlings along
the creek bed reserve entrance to Linden Park and a creek walk. The
children were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute
to improving the creek surrounds and they enjoyed seeing and hearing
about the wildlife that exists in the area. Last year working
bee participation was sporadic but did see new levels of interest from
some local residents. The drought has made the planting difficult at
times and reduced the season.
group operating south of Toorak Road in Glen Iris has made significant
progress in rehabilitating their section of the creek. The area since
they started work early last year has improved considerably. Thanks
to Albert Toet for keeping the group focused and running.
FOBC will continue
to keep the local community apprised of the progress of work performed
by Melbourne Water and Council.
We aim to do
- Finish planting
along Riversdale Rd end of the creek
- Progress and complete
planting along the west embankment just north of Cornell St entrance.
- Complete planting
along the east embankment south of Quinton Rd.
- Follow up with infill
planting along the Quinton Rd end after Melbourne Water has completed
stage 1 of their project.
- Participate in and
supervise planting by local school children and scout groups along the
walk way towards Linden Park as well as the nature strip along Quinton
Thank you once
again to our local Councilor Heinz Kreutz who provides the group a voice
to council as well as his personal contributions to working bees. Thanks
also to our local member for Burwood Bob Stensholt for continuing to
support FOBC by printing our newsletters as well as assisting with conflict
resolution in our dealings with Melbourne Water. The Parks and Gardens
department of the City of Boroondara, in particular Janyce McMurtrie
and Adrian Hotchin continue to provide our group much needed assistance
in supplying mulch, jute matting, removing rubbish, spraying and coordinating
maintenance and capital works along the creek. Last year they were also
active in ensuring our relationship with Melbourne Water remained constructive
and mutually beneficial.
Thank you to
our committee members for their commitment, enthusiasm and support this
past year. Chris Walta, John Cott, Jim Breen,
Eleanor Stephenson, Bob Strickland, Barry Gallacher and Rosemary Buchanan
and Albert Toet (FOBCS)