Friends of Back Creek (FOBC) - Annual General Meeting
Presidents Statement 13 April
The 2009 year
was one in which much of FOBC’s activities were put on hold pending
decisions being made by Melbourne Water and their Waterways Alliance
regarding capital works being performed along the creek. Despite their
tooing and froing progress continued to be made in improving the creek
amenity and creating lasting commitment to its ongoing rehabilitation.
of core supporters of our group remained stable while community participation
in our main activities was also strong. FOBC Committee Members while
remaining committed to the process of improving the creek have resolved
to adopt a less physically active role and instead focus more on managing
and supervising activities conducted along the creek.
financial position is stable and capable of fulfilling its planned activities
pursuing ongoing funding will depend largely on the extent to which
Melbourne Water and to a lesser extent Council choose to invest in the
final stages of the creeks rehabilitation. Much of the easy work has
been done and now the focus rests on Melbourne Water talking the too
hard basket middle section of the creek. The terrain in this section
is narrow in some parts steep and not easily accessible by people or
equipment. Until significant clearing of willows and fallen debris is
conducted, FOBC will have little opportunity to be involved in the creeks
rehabilitation other than supporting on the fringes.
past 12 months FOBC published 2 newsletters maintaining a distribution
of 500 households. We conducted 11 working bees involving over 350 volunteers.
Total contribution of participant time exceeded 700 hours of work.
Wattle Park Primary School participated in Schools tree day planting
of over 1200 seedlings involving over 180 students and teachers in two
planting sessions on 31 July. The plantings were conducted along the
walkway south of Cornell St next to last years plantings. This has enabled
the school children to view the progress made in the growth of plantings
they did in the previous year. Council is now preparing ground on the
other side of the pathway for planting by the children later this year.
Over the next 5 – 10 years the section of barrel drained creek leading
to Linden park will become a truly green corridor containing diverse
& March 2009 Melbourne Water completed the first stage of what was
to be a 4 stage plan of willow removal and creek rehabilitation. This
stage was conducted around the Quinton Rd bend of the creek and involved
extensive willow removal and laying of rocks along the creek. While
at present the rocks create a dominating vista effectively draining
what water that may flow down the creek it is pleasing to see the extra
sunlight exposure has created opportunity for the native plantings to
grow. In particular the indigenous slender knotweed which was once remnant
is now flourishing and its growth and spread has started to soften the
impact of the rock work. It is not hard to imagine the rocks will be
substantially covered by this growth in the next few years.
of the original plan appear to have been shelved largely due to lack
of funding. Consultation by FOBC with Council and Melbourne Water has
continued over the past 9 months and it appears that while works conducted
will be less ambitious than originally planned progressive selective
removal of willows will continue over the next few years. This will
provide further opportunities for FOBC and the community to be involved.
The relationship and communication between the community and local authorities
has improved and the prospects for improving the creek habitat appear
day remains an important part of FOBC calendar of activities although
early this year the onset of heavy rain resulted in rubbish being washed
downstream before it could be picked up. 15 bags full of rubbish were
group operating south of Toorak Road in Glen Iris continue to make significant
progress with substantial planting done along the upper slopes. Heavy
rains and flkooding have become a problem with the pathways requiring
constant maintenance. Albert Toet has been doing a great job keeping
the momentum for activity going.
FOBC will be
more low key this year with much of our focus centering around National
tree day and Schools tree day activities. Monthly working bees will
concentrate more on maintenance activities with some limited planting
along available slopes along the creek.
has made a start on willow removal this year but it is unknown the extent
to which work will continue. Until the dust or more accurately mud settles
FOBC will keep away from the creek bed.
We aim to do
to our local Councilor Heinz Kreutz, our local member for Burwood Bob
Stensholt, the Parks and Gardens department of the City of Boroondara,
in particular Janyce McMurtrie and Adrian Hotchin continue to support
our group with advice labour and other resources when required. Thanks
also to Melbourne Water for their understanding and listening to our
views regarding the creek.
to our committed committee members Chris Walta, John Cott, Jim
Breen, Eleanor Stephenson, Bob Strickland, Barry Gallacher and
Albert Toet (FOBCS)