Friends of Back Creek (FOBC) - Annual General Meeting

Presidents Statement 15 May 2007 

The 2006 year has been punctuated by the progressively debilitating effects of the drought which has hampered our efforts to complete our revegitation projects. Membership has remained steady at 25. Proceeds from interest earned, donations and fund raising activities have increased reflecting community acceptance of our role.  

Ongoing active support from our local Councillor Heinz Kreutz and our local member for Burwood Bob Stenhotlz has been much appreciated. The Parks and Gardens department of the City of Boroondara, in particular Janyce McMurtrie and Adrian Hotchin are now providing ongoing maintenance by spraying weeds and occasional tree lopping and removal of rubbish collected by the group. In the last 12 months the council has also provided the group and local community with a much needed notice board. Again council also assisted by provided catering for National Tree Day. 

Each year the group thinks that our involvement in Clean-up Australia day will be the last but yet again we are surprised by the amount of accumulated rubbish we find at the end of the day. More than 30 bags of rubbish were filled during the March 2007 Clean Up day.  

During 2006 FOBC published 3 newsletters across 500 households. We conducted 13 working bees involving 320 volunteers. Total contribution of participant time exceeded 650 hours of work. Two schools participated in working bees associated with Schools Tree day while a growing number of secondary students participated individually in working bees as part of their environmental studies curriculum. Local community involvement during monthly working bees has been patchy with the group tending to rely on regulars to carry the workload. Participation in the Tree day is as strong as ever. The drought has meant the ground is less able to sustain seedlings which have struggled to grow with reduced rainfall. Planting of the middle section of the pathway was achieved with some assistance from council particularly with supplementing the watering of seedling during early phases of their growth. The use of Jute Mat to retain the crumbling dry soil and retain moisture as well as suppression of weeds has proven to be a strategy the group will adopt over the forthcoming 12 months. 

This year we will attempt to gain greater levels of participation during monthly working bees.  With the cooperation and assistance of local residents, the City of Boroondara and Melbourne Water the following was achieved in 2006


The 2007 year ahead: 

Fallen Willow trees growing up the embankments of sections of the creek continue to hinder balanced growth of our plantings which are now becoming constrained. These will need to be removed by either Melbourne Water and or Council if further progress is to be achieved. FOBC will continue to work closely with both authorities and collaborate with the community to see that our mutual needs are met. Smarter methods of planting and use of jute mat will need to be applied across steeper and drier terrain. Now that Melbourne Water has virtually completed their capital works along South Surrey Park, the group will push to have a similar capital works program developed along our section of creek. FOBC will also reach out to residents south of Toorak Road to assist them to establish a sub group of FOBC that addresses the revegetation of the Glen Iris section of the creek. 

Our goals for the year ahead will be: 


Thank you to our committee members for their commitment, enthusiasm and support this past year.   Chris Walta our Secretary, John Cott,  Jim Breen,  Eleanor Stephenson, Bob Strickland, Barry Gallacher and Rosemary Buchanan. 

Robert Brierley

15 May 2007