Kananook Creek trail nuked by Frankston Council in the name of fire prevention
Frankston Council Nukes Kananook Creek Reserve
Late November 2011, Frankston Council commenced clearing the eastern side of the Kananook Creek track in the vicinity of Buna and McCullough Avenues Seaford. Aghast locals say that it’s an act of wanton vandalism that’s been undertaken in the name of fire prevention.
Since white settlement, sucessive generations of locals and visitors alike have eulogised the inimitable beauty of the creek and its sheltered trail.
Kananook Creek is located about 35 kms south of Melbourne. It nestles in the secondary dune system and flows south parallel to the Seaford Foreshore before entering Port Phillip Bay at Frankston.
The State Government publication Flora of Melbourne says "Along the low-lying Kananook Creek is a unique community of Coastal Banksia Woodland.” The creek’s 7.5.km length is bounded on the east side by a slender coastal Banksia woodland reserve through which passes a narrow mulched walking trail. In combination with the foreshore reserve, it’s the biggest patch of remnant Banksia Woodland in the Port Phillip region and is regarded as being of high regional significance.
Frankston City Council’s web site describes it as “one of Frankston's most beautiful natural environments, providing a unique and picturesque place for people to commune with nature in the midst of our urban landscape.”
The reserve was granted Land for Wildlife status in 1996 and over 200 species of indigenous plants have been documented.
Community concern and activism regarding the condition and management of the creek and abutting bush reserve the dates back to the early settlement of Seaford and Frankston.
A Mornington Standard journalist reports on the 22nd of February 1908 that “Our readers may be getting tired of our continued references to the Kananook Creek, but it is a most important question to Frankston, and we intend to keep the agitation going until we get something done to remedy present unsatisfactory state of affairs.”
The most recent expression of that concern and practical care is the Kananook Creek Association. It was founded in the mid 1970’s in response to the ongoing degradation of the creek and environs.
Over the past 35 years, Kananook Creek members and supporters are estimated to have spent over 100,000 hours in weeding, mulching, plant propagation and planting; clean ups, maintenance work and until recent years the removal of fire fuel. In this work they have been supported by hundreds of locals and others including corporate, Greening Australia, school and service club volunteers; work experience team participants, and participants in correctional services activities.
In recent years, the Kananook Creek Association and its members have been awarded many accolades by state and local government. In 2005 the Association won a special commendation from the National Bank.
Members of the Association see this work as being in partnership with their council and Melbourne Water. They are bitterly disappointed with the lack of consultation or warning.
Association president Rob Thurley says his committee is devastated and that Association members are outraged. So too is 30 year resident Bob Cooper whose property backs on to the creek reserve. Mr Cooper is quoted by the Frankston Weekly as saying “Councils response is over the top. They have turned it into the moon. So many people have put so many hours in.”
Councilors appear to have been mushroomed. Work seems to have been halted and Frankston Council CEO George Modrich has “requested more information”.
See more photos & maps below
Kananook Creek Association
Yet to be cleared
Cleared - great sight lines for a bike track
Yet to be cleared