Point Cook Growth And The Environment

Since moving to Point Cook almost 14 years ago, I’ve seen the suburb grow from mainly paddocks consisting of mixed farm and grass landscapes. Infrastructure was less than minimal, with the closest real shopping centre being Central Square in Altona Meadows. Sneydes Road was one lane with cars passing in opposite directions having to move on to the gravel verge… It was not unusual to travel from Point Cook Rd to Hoppers Lane and not see another vehicle!

Today Point Cook is a fully-fledged suburb, with road and facility infrastructure struggling to keep pace with housing development. No doubt you are aware that we now have shopping centres, licensed clubs, service stations, medical centres, community centres, a library and a golf club to name a few of these additions to Point Cook’s landscape over time. However, what many residents may not be aware of is that Point Cook is part of an important and world recognized bird migratory route, with birds visiting from as far away as Siberia. It is the winter home of the Orange Bellied Parrot, of which only 60 individuals remain. It provides habitat for a number of flora and fauna species listed by State and Federal Governments as Endangered, Threatened and Rare.

So while as Point Cook residents, we should be proud of the suburbs growth, I believe we must also be aware of the needs of other species and balance our development growth with an awareness of the unique and valuable natural heritage of the area.

In 2011, Wyndham City Council proposed that a large area of Green Wedge land at the Airbase end of Point Cook Road be considered for rezoning in order to allow more housing development. This action disregarded the community need for open space. It disregarded the previously mentioned Threatened, Endangered or Rare species and the very real need for their protection. It was a decision that future generations will see as ill considered, or even downright stupid.

I ask all Point Cook residents to share my concern for the need to provide habitat for our indigenous natural wildlife and in doing so seek to reach a balance between human growth, our natural need for recreational breathing space and our moral obligation to allow other species to exist.

Should you be interested in finding our more information about our local natural environment and/or take an active interest in our natural environment some of the local environment related groups that you may wish to make contact with are:

Western Region Environment Centre (Includes Shoestring Gardening Inc)
Meets 4th Wednesday of the month. 6.30 pm at Eco Centre, 28 Ridge Drive, Wyndhamvale
03 9731 0288 or 0431 121218

The Australian Plant Society – Wyndham District
Meets 7.30pm, third Wednesday of each month at The Old Shire Offices, Cnr Duncans Rd & Watton St, Werribee

Werribee River Association
Meets 7.30pm, third Thursday of each month at The Old Shire Offices, Cnr Duncans Rd & Watton St, Werribee

See Media: Urban Growth for some of the media related to urban growth.

Do you have any suggestions as to how we can better reach a balance between human growth, our natural need for recreational breathing space and our moral obligation to allow other species to exist? Tell us about it in the comments below.

URGENT Your Attendance Required At Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan Information Session – 5-7pm Tue 31 Jan

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan

UPDATE (3pm: 25 Jan): The GAA PCWP information session planned for Tuesday 31 January has been postponed.  No alternative date has been set as yet.  PCAG will be insisting that community consultation is still undertaken and advise of further details once known.  PCAG encourages you in the meantime to read the GAA documentation on the Wyndham C163 – Point Cook West Precinct Structure Plan – PSP39.1 and submit your feedback to the GAA by their deadline of Thursday 16 February, 2012.

The Growth Areas Authority (GAA) have placed their proposed development of “Point Cook West Precinct’ (PCWP) on the internet.  This refers to the parcel of land bordered by Hacketts Road, Sneydes Road and the Princess Freeway.  ”

After a review of these documents, the Point Cook Action Group (PCAG) believes that this plan will put significant pressure on the suburb and could lead to a decrease in the standard of living and devaluation of house prices for the suburb of Point Cook.

With no plans in place for a school, only two open space areas (incorporating 2 AFL ovals and 6-12 tennis courts), not to mention the high density housing planned for the land and limited employment options, the proposal not only doesn’t suit the character of Point Cook, it overlooks that many of our community facilities are at capacity already and it does not address the needs of Wyndham as a WHOLE. [Read more…]