Two properties in McBryde street Fawkner were the location of a NuFarm factory which manufactured herbicides, agent orange and other chemicals in the 1960s with dioxin a noted byproduct. The site has been called one of the top 10 most toxic sites in Australia.
Although residents forced the closure of the factory in the early 1970s, it was another 15 years before any site cleanup was done. The last time there was any official inspection was 1995. It is believed that the contaminated area is larger than the two properties where a clay cap keeps much of the contaminated soil contained.
This week the EPA Victoria have taken some soil samples to test for an array of toxic chemicals. What we really require is a thorough environmental audit of the entire site with community input to ensure full transparency on the testing regime. It is suspected that the area of contamination is much wider than the boundaries of the two properties being talked about, so testing should encompass this broader area.
One of the fears is that any development on either site risks penetration of the clay cap and exposure of contaminated soil to the air. This may pose a wind blown toxic danger to residents over a wide area.
The EPA says the clay cap is currently sound but plans shown in the permit application indicate “works for the proposed redevelopment are likely to penetrate the clay cap”. The question that needs to be asked: Are you okay with developers gambling with the health of residents and workers on a known toxic site? Continue reading
Are you up for some bird surveying in May along Merri Creek? Here is your chance to do some citizen science and help survey the birds at this time of year. Surveys are on 7 May and 21 May, with the Fawkner survey on the latter date.
Beginner-birders are welcome to the surveys, as well as experienced birders.
Bring binoculars if you have them, and closed-in footwear, sun-hat or raingear if necessary, and drinking water.
No dogs, please.
There are plans to build warehouses on the old Nufarm Chemicals site in McBryde St Fawkner. This site was highly contaminated with dioxins when it was operational.
A campaign by local residents who were effected by the toxic fumes, particularly Elsie Snowden from the Fawkner Progress Association succeeded in closing the plant down.
Local residents are opposed to any development occurring on the site because even cement footings for warehouses will pierce the clay cap and could cause the toxic fumes to be released again. Local residents are forming an action group to oppose the proposal and to make sure that the current generation knows how toxic this site is.
The original #EPA audit of the site only audited the two central sites of the old factory and not the surrounding sites which are likely to also be contaminated.
When: at 2 PM – 4 PM on Saturday 22 April
Where: Fawkner Community House, 95 Major Rd,
The next meeting of the action group to stop development on the toxic site at 102 McBryde st will be on:
Wednesday 3 May, 7pm @ the 95 Major Road site of Fawkner Community House.
Community meeting – Thursday 11 May, 7pm – 10pm @ Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre
Sue Bolton has initiated a public meeting in her role as a councillor. The meeting is on Thursday 11 May, 7pm at the Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre.
Register at Facebook event
Speakers at the public meeting are: Harry van Moorst (Western Region Environment Centre & long-term campaigner on toxic chemical issues); Percy Pillai (Health & Safety officer for Australian Workers Union & rep for retired workers with serious health effects from spraying the chemicals produced on the Nufarm site in Fawkner); Brian Snowden, local resident; Sue Bolton, plus others (seeking an environmental scientist)
There are more background details both from Cr Bolton and Council officers in the report and motion that was put forward by Cr Sue Bolton at Moreland Council meeting 12 April 2017. I have excerpted the 3 page item from the publicly available Council agenda : NOM19/17 TOXIC SITE IN FAWKNER (D17/109333)
Loomking north up the railway line at Camp Rd Level Crossing
Today I went on a scouting trip along the Upfield railway line to Camp Road, the site of a level crossing removal to start in the later part of 2017 and be completed by 2019.
I have come to the conclusion:
The Upgrade of the Camp Road level crossing needs to include either a tunnel for cyclists as part of the railway in trench design, or pedestrian lights to allow cyclists to cross Camp Road in safety.
The consultation and community engagement is at The Meadows Greyhound Racing track.
- Monday 6 February 2017, 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The Meadows, 80 Northcorp Boulevard, Broadmeadows.
- Saturday 11 February 2017, 10:00am to 12 noon. The Meadows, 80 Northcorp Boulevard, Broadmeadows
Friends of Merri Creek: You’re invited to the November bird surveys along Merri Creek. See meeting points below.
On Sunday 20 November from 8:45am – 10:30am
at Galada Tamboore, Egan-Strettle Reserves Coburg East, CERES Blyth St-Moreland Rd, Kirkdale-Merri Parks, Clifton Hill, Edwardes Lake and Galgi Ngarrk/Craigieburn Grasslands.
On Sunday 27 November from 8:45am – 10:30am
at Bababi Djinanang and Coburg Lake.
Beginner-birders are welcome to Friends of Merri Creek surveys, as well as experienced birders. Bring binoculars if you have them, and closed-in footwear, sun-hat or raingear if necessary, and drinking water. No dogs, please.
Survey meeting points:
Galgi Ngarrk (Craigieburn Grasslands): Meet at the O’Herns Road gate off Hume Highway, Somerton (Melway 180 E6). Note this survey can take up to 12 noon to complete.
Galada Tamboore: Meet at the end of Hatty Court, Campbellfield (Melway 7 K6).
Egan Reserve-Harding St-Strettle Reserve: Meet at the steps at end of The Grove, East Coburg (Melway 30 A3).
Edwardes Lake: Meet at the playground adjacent to Griffiths Street, Reservoir (Melway 18 E5).
CERES to Moreland Road: Meet at the seats on the Merri Path at rear of CERES near Blyth Street, East Brunswick (Melway 30 B7).
Kirkdale Reserve & Merri Park: Meet at the end of Victoria Street, East Brunswick, at barbecue shelter (Melway 30 B8).
Hall Reserve Clifton Hill: Meet at the Rotunda, Hall Reserve, Clifton Hill (Melway 2D D1).
Coburg Lake Reserve: Meet near the car park, Lake Grove Coburg (Melway 17 H10).
Bababi Djinanang: Meet on the Merri Path at the end of Jukes Road, Fawkner (Melway 18 A2).
Are you ready to rumba with the Bongo Brothers? Or be mesmerised by the sweet voices of the Moomba Park Primary school choir or Fawkner Community House Choir? Or watch the incredible music of Ustad Khalil Gudaz, a Master sitar player performing traditional Afghani and Indian music. Maybe you just want to do some middle eastern hip hop, or try some circus skills.
Come along for an afternoon of inclusive performance and community entertainment at this year’s Fawkner Festa.
The Fawkner Festa 2016 will take place on Sunday 6 November 2016 at CB Smith Reserve from 12 – 4 pm.
Posted in community, events
Ever wanted to be a citizen scientists? Here is your chance to help out in Fawkner.
Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek invite you to participate in the Flax Lily & Blue-banded Bee Wild Pollinator Count.
What: Flax Lily & Blue-banded Bee Wild Pollinator Count
When: Sunday 13 November, 10am-12.30pm
Where: Meet in the Parklands at the east end of Jukes Rd Fawkner
(Melway 18 A2).
Visit the Lily and Blue Banded Bee project sites, place a Bee Hotel & count the wild pollinators!
Refreshments will be provided.
Phone Ray or Monica at MCMC 9380 8199. This project is funded by Victorian Government’s Threatened Species Grant and the many generous donors of a crowdfunding campaign!
Inspecting the grasslands
For October 2016 Fawkner Library features a unique exhibition of photographs showing the Merri Creek Valley before and during it’s transformation over the last 40 years.
Pop in to the library to enjoy this free exhibition and appreciate the work of so many people, many volunteers to make Merri Creek an important natural ecosystem refuge in our urban environment.
The photographic exhibition is by the Merri Creek Management Committee and the Friends of Merri Creek.
Featuring ‘before and after’ photographs illustrating the transformation of Merri Creek from a drain and dumping ground to a waterway and a much-loved bushland corridor, the exhibition celebrates the ongoing collaborative efforts by community volunteers, local Councils, government agencies and others. While there is still much to be done, the creek continues to improve.
Event: Monday 03 October 2016 to Friday 28 October 2016 during Fawkner Library Open hours
Monday and Thursday 11 am – 5.30 pm
Tuesday 11 am – 8 pm
Wednesday and Friday 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 1 pm
Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016 at Fawkner Community House on Major Rd
The second meet the candidates forum for the inner northern Melbourne electorate of Wills was organised by the Fawkner community house. The main contest is between Labor and the Greens, but 10 candidates are standing. An apology was received from the Liberal candidate.
John Englart from Sustainable Fawkner asked the first question.
Question: It is World Environment Day today. How many of you have visited the Bababi Djininang grasslands at the end of Jukes Road in Fawkner? How many of you realise we have an endangered species in that grasslands area?
Response: Only Samantha Ratnam and Zane Alcorn had indicated they had visited or passed Bababi Djininang, and no one was aware we have endangered species right here in Fawkner.
The Matted Flax-lily (Dianella amoena) is a nationally endangered species found along the embankment of Merri Creek. Further up Merri Creek (outside of Wills) the endangered Golden Sun Moth and Growling grass frog can also be found.
Read an account here including questions and candidate responses:
The ten Candidates in the order listed on the Wills ballot paper:
Kyung Moo (Kevin) HONG (Liberal Party of Australia) Facebook
Ashley BLACKWELL (Drug Law Reform Party) Facebook, Drug Law Reform website
Tristram CHELLEW (Australian Sex Party) Facebook
Samantha RATNAM (The Greens) website | Facebook
Dougal GILLMAN (Renewable Energy Party) Renewable Energy Party Facebook
William FULGENZI (Socialist Equality Party) SEP Facebook
Zane ALCORN (Socialist Alliance) Facebook
Camille SYDOW (Animal Justice Party) Facebook
Francesco TIMPANO (Independent) Facebook
Peter KHALIL (Australian Labor Party) website | Facebook
When you vote I urge you to take into account the environment and climate policies of the candidates, as well as their social and economic policies.
See also the ABC Promise Tracker: How does the Coalition’s record stack up as the nation heads to a new election? and
Abbott/Turnbull Government record on environment and climate action
Don’t forget the Federal election sausage sizzle map:
not too late for schools to do some sizzling fund raising at polling booths.
Fawkner candidates meeting for Wills2016: Zane Alcorn, Samantha Ratnam and Peter Khalil
We have decided to extend the time for May Food Swap, so that we can include a working bee in the garden. There are always bushes to prune, weeds to pull, seedlings to plant. Please bring some food to share if you can. Also extra garden tools would be a great help.
When: Saturday 14 May 10.30am to 2.30pm
Where: Outside Fawkner Community House, Jukes Road site.
Food Swap and Working Bee 10.30am to 12.30pm
Shared lunch 12.30pm to 1.00pm
Working Bee continuing 1.00pm – 2.30pm
So come and join us for some, or all of this event…. for a chat, to swap some garden produce, share some lunch, and lend a hand if this works for you.