There hasn’t been much news since we last wrote. Andrew Robb’s office assures us that negotiations with other Ministers are continuing. Maybe now the Australia-China free trade agreement has been progressed Andrew will be able to take a more personal interest.
Bayside Council is also involved in the negotiations and at its last meeting (25 November) had an urgent late report and voted to try to forego the “Developer Contributions” on the 5.3 hectares that will be able to be developed. That would provide some compensation to CSIRO for the loss of profits from being unable to sell the four hectares.
Their resolution, which we welcome, is on page 22 of the Minutes at:
25 November 2014 Ordinary Meeting of Council Minutes.pdf
You will see they also resolved that they would prefer Bayside to own the land and will, in any case, move to zone the 3 hectares for the Woodland as Public Conservation and Resource Zone (the highest available protection) and the other one hectare of public space as Public Park and Recreation Zone.
We have also been involved in the proposal to rezone the residential area to the east of the Woodland as “Residential Growth Zone”. Whatever the eventual zoning we are pressing the Council to recognise that any increase in height or reduction in side or rear setbacks will have substantial impacts on the shading of the Highett Grassy Woodland, particularly in the winter months that are so important to the flowering and seeding of the smaller plants indigenous to the site.
Very much hoping that 2015 will at long last enable us and the Council to get on with restoring the site.
Friends of Highett Grassy Woodland.