Objection to new supermarket

FOBIF has sent an objection to the Mount Alexander Shire to the displayed plans for a new supermarket at Forest and Urquhart Streets Castlemaine. The essentials of our objection are as follows:

‘We emphasise that we have no opinion on the wisdom of a second large supermarket in the town, or its location, or its design: we have to trust to the competence of council on these matters.

‘Our objection is solely related to the proposed landscape plantings for the development. In particular, I refer to pages 06-02 07-02 and 08-02 in the relevant section of the planning documents.

‘On these pages it is proposed to plant the following environmental weeds around the development:

‘Cootamundra Wattle: this is not only an Environmental Weed, which spreads into the bush, replacing indigenous plants and damaging the natural ecosystem, but it also crosses with our indigenous Silver Wattle and thus is in the process of causing Silver Wattle’s extinction in Castlemaine, because the progeny of Silver Wattles are now crosses, and therefore weeds.  It’s like letting a feral bull into a cattle breeding stud and not having a morning after pill available. Even if a “sterile cultivar” were proposed, this would look the same as the non-sterile ones and thus act as a promotion for Cootamundra Wattle, increasing its popularity with gardeners unaware of its problems.   We also question if a “sterile cultivar” is guaranteed to remain absolutely sterile forever?

‘Peppercorn Tree (Schinus molle) (which also gets knocked by heavy frost, and is not a wise planting in this area!),
‘English Ivy (Hedera helix) and
‘Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides).

‘The first three of these are listed in the Advisory List of Environmental Weeds in Victoria https://www.ari.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0027/125919/ARI-Technical-Report-287-Advisory-list-of-environmental-weeds-in-Victoria.pdf.

‘Fountain Grass is listed in Victorian Resources Online – Invasive Weeds http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosite.nsf/pages/weeds_swamp-foxtails-grass

‘There are already plenty of environmental weeds in this district, causing a headache to public land managers. A lot of work has been done by Castlemaine Landcare restoring Forest creek, and it would be a pity if escapees from the new supermarket were to make their job harder.

‘The named plants could be easily substituted with others less threatening to the environment: we are sure that a quick consultation with a reliable landscape gardener would solve the problem.’

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6 Responses to Objection to new supermarket

  1. Chris Hosking says:

    well done

    • Joyce Sanders says:

      Excellent. Thank you so much for putting in that plant objection that so many of us would not have had the skill to do. The only real flaw I was able to pick up was the lack of an Aboriginal Management Plan on the basis that the ground was all turned over in mining. But they missed the site of Castlemaine’s possibly-oldest cottage that sat up opposite the motel. That cottage was in the oldest photos of Castlemaine and most likely sat up on the mound thrown up from centuries of Forest Creek flooding in its original alignment. The supermarket group pulled the cottage down quickly, but the site should have had an Aboriginal/Heritage investigation.

  2. Alan Hollensen says:

    So, why are you objecting the supermarket, rather than simply trying to amend the planting schedule?
    These appear to be rather different issues to me.
    And if your objections are successful, that would mean ….what?
    No supermarket!

    • fobif says:

      We figure that an objection is the safest way to draw attention to the planting problem. We can’t amend the plan–it’s already in.

      When the objections are considered, we believe the proponent would have the chance to amend the planting plan, which in our opinion should be a straightforward matter.

  3. Louise says:

    I agree with your objection to the plants being suggested . I’d like to know who the landscaper is!

  4. Elaine says:

    Wow very impressive FOBI team! Who else would read that level of detail and pick up on a detail that would potentially cost our community money by having to remove them as they spread around the landscape.

    I’m a bit surprised by their lack of landscaping awareness! These are mostly all weeds throughout Victoria, not just Castlemaine.

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