Bonbeach Factsheet: Environment
01 Feb 2017
Bonbeach – February 2017
The Victorian Government is removing 50 dangerous and congested level crossings around Melbourne including the crossing at Station Street/ Bondi Road in Bonbeach.
The rail line will be rebuilt and lowered into a trench underneath Bondi Road which will be rebuilt at its current level.
Environmental planning framework
While we know it is feasible to build a trench, a key step in the planning process is to refer the project to the State Minister for Planning to consider whether an Environment Effects Statement (EES) is required.
An EES is an evaluation of the potential significant environmental, social and planning aspects of a project, and the approach to managing those impacts.
If undertaken, the full EES process can take 12 months or more, and construction cannot begin until the Minister for Planning has completed his assessment and made planning approvals.
Given the level crossing is close to the Edithvale-Seaford wetlands, it is important to refer the project to help fully understand and manage potential impacts to groundwater as a result.
The Ramsar listed Edithvale-Seaford wetlands are home to a large number of threatened flora and fauna species, as well as being the last remnants of the once much more extensive Carrum Carrum Swamp.
The wetlands are used for flood control, conservation, recreation and education. The wetlands are also a haven for migratory bird species.
Trenches can sometimes cause impacts to groundwater. Initial findings have indicated that groundwater impacts can be managed in Bonbeach due to the sandy soil conditions beneath the surface.
However, any impact to the wetlands is significant, so the Edithvale and Bonbeach level crossing removal projects will be referred to the Minister for Planning to make a determination on the need for an EES.
We will also be referring these projects to the Commonwealth Minister for Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Bonbeach Gardens are an important asset to the community, and very much loved given the hours spent maintaining these gardens.
We will be working closely with the Chelsea and Bonbeach Train Station Group and will make every effort to minimise the impact of our project at Bonbeach.
Managing trees and vegetation
A trench under the road at Bonbeach will mean the removal of trees within the rail corridor on both Nepean Highway and Station Street, to allow for construction.
Our initial assessment of the trees and vegetation within the rail corridor at Bonbeach determined that no ecological communities as listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 or the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 were recorded in our project areas.
The initial findings concluded that the maximum extent of removal that will occur as a result of the Bonbeach project is 0.936 hectares of patches of remnant native vegetation and one scattered tree. This is the equivalent of 0.2304 habitat hectares.
Trees, vegetation and green space are important to local communities and support biodiversity along the Frankston train line.
We will make every effort to minimise the impact of our project on trees and vegetation and will offset losses where we can in accordance with the Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines and our own Environmental Management Strategy.
Landscaping will also be an important part of the final design solution, noting there are some restrictions regarding larger trees. This is due to safety issues associated with branches falling across the lowered rail tracks.
More detail around tree removal and landscaping for the project will be available as we further progress the design solution.
- Habitat hectare measures the quality and quantity of native vegetation in the context of the relevant native vegetation type.
- Remnant patches is a continuous area of native vegetation, with or without trees, where less than 75 per cent of the understorey cover is weeds or non-native plants.
- Scattered trees are canopy trees which have at least 75 per cent of their understorey cover as weeds or non-native plants.
For a high-res version of this publication please download the Bonbeach Environment fact sheet PDF, 535.4 KB