Category: Seaford

Frydenberg – Conservation study at Seaford crossing

Dear Mr Frydenberg
You may not be aware that the State Government of Victoria has not done an Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation study (EPBC) in regards to the Elevated Rail project over Seaford Road in Seaford. As this planned project is 700 metres from Ramsar Wetlands, which is specifically mentioned in the EPBC act the Victorian Government is required by law to do this. I reiterate it has not been done. Please be aware tenders are out, two contractors have been shortlisted and contracts WILL be signed before the end of the year. Works to begin early next year. I realise you are a busy man but time is of an essence and is fast running out. I respectfully ask you as the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy to call for an EPBC with expedience. Please find below some information about the bird life in these wetlands.

Seventeen species of migratory birds from the northern hemisphere visit the Ramsar Wetlands in Seaford. Most of them are protected by international treaties.Today they are recognized as precious community assets.Of particular note, the Edithvale–Seaford Ramsar site regularly supports more than 1 percent of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway population of sharp-tailed sandpiper, a waterbird species of international importance listed under both JAMBA and CAMBA. The Edithvale–Seaford Ramsar site also provides suitable habitat for the regularly recorded Australasian bittern, a waterbird species of international significance. The Australasian bittern is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The south-east Australian population of Australasian bitterns, supported by Edithvale–Seaford Wetlands, is one of four remaining in the world.

Kind regards …………

Letter to Daniel Andrews re Seaford Road Crossing

Dear Daniel Andrews,
It has been clearly established the LXRA is only the propaganda face of the Crossing Removal project and makes no decisions. I maintain that it is up to you Daniel Andrews to respond to the questions the Seaford Community are asking regarding the elevated rail at Seaford Road, ludicrously labelled as a “Hybrid solution”. As our elected Premier, charged to represent your constituents it is up to you to have the courage to face the community of Seaford to answer our challenges.
Many of the members of our community have been referred to the AECOM Report as an answer to their emails requesting data. The AECOM report we are referred to notes that it is “incomplete.” The LXRA allegedly has another report that supposedly proves that Rail under Road cannot be achieved, however as told to the Frankston City Council the LXRA does not want to release this report because “only six people in Australia would understand it”. The community challenges you to release this report as we have our engineers and indeed the Frankston City Council has their engineers waiting to study and comment. Until that is released and should it actually prove anything that you have released is not sufficient and does not prove anything that you claim. The fact remains that the entire area of the crossing was originally harvested for its sand (which is why the Football Oval is 3 metres lower than the existing line) and any clay you claim to have located was all imported as part of filling as Seaford was developed. Therefore this clay has no bearing on your claims as it is not “natural” to the environment.
When the subject of an EES is raised by us we are told it is “not meeting triggers by lowering the road by 1.5 metres” the community raises the question of the need for an EES based on your elevation process. At the crossing (based on 5 metres elevation from current) the elevated rail line will see trains including diesel at approximately 9 metres in the air (plus wires and gantries higher.) At the rear of some properties either side of the rail corridor, the elevation remains the same from the natural ground as the existing line is approximately 1.9 metres elevated (on a mound) so even on a decline the infrastructure remains at a similar height relative to ground level. The community raises the following questions re elevation:
Air quality- elevated rail will reduce air quality as the carcinogenic particles will be distributed at height and left to be distributed by prevailing winds over residential properties.
Energy consumption eg: The increased use of diesel fuel to go up then down. Rail under Road design will use less fuel.
Additional greenhouse gas emissions eg. Carcinogenic emissions from diesel trains.
The integrity of built structures. eg: The weight of the freight trains. Each truck carries two coils weighing approximately 30 tonnes each, usually at least 30 trucks with two diesel engines to pull it.
Over 100 different species of birds can regularly be seen at Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. Seventeen species of migratory birds from the northern hemisphere visit the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. Most of them are protected by international treaties. All of these species could be negatively impacted by elevated rail.
The Edithvale–Seaford Wetlands are a unique habitat for a diverse range of waterbirds with seventy-five native waterbird species being recorded at the Ramsar site between 1989–2007.
Of particular note, the Seaford Ramsar site regularly supports more than 1 percent of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway population of sharp-tailed sandpiper, a waterbird species of international importance listed under both JAMBA and CAMBA. The East Asian-Australasian Flyway extends southwards from Alaska and Russia’s far-east, through East Asia and South-East Asia, to Australia and New Zealand. The wetlands provide suitable habitat for the sharp-tailed sandpiper as they prefer shallow, freshwater, ephemeral wetlands. Large numbers gather at the Ramsar site as the wetlands dry out.
The ability of the wetlands to regularly support more than 1 percent of the flyway population of sharp-tailed sandpipers enabled the site to satisfy Ramsar Criterion Six at the time of listingThe Edithvale–Seaford Ramsar site also provides suitable habitat for the regularly recorded Australasian bittern, a waterbird species of international significance. The Australasian Bittern is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The south-east Australian population of Australasian bitterns, supported by Edithvale–Seaford Wetlands, is one of four remaining in the world.
All of these listed bird species could be negatively impacted by elevated rail.

 

The negative aspects of elevated rail on the community are as follows. Social structure and networks eg: antisocial behaviour and graffiti on the pylons under the elevated rail, the embankments and pylons will be a big divide right through the community.
Residential amenity & social well-being eg: Overshadowing causing diminished sunlight into residential properties a known cause of depression and lack of the feeling of well being.
Social vulnerability and differential effects on parts of the communities. Security risk on residential properties bounded by the rail reserve re increased access to the back of houses
Housing and social infrastructure needs eg: Predominantly low rise housing
Perceptions of aesthetic, recreational and other social values of landscape or locality eg: Out of character with our seaside community, airborne pollution next to a sporting ground, a visual blight on the community.
As an additional consideration, you are also proposing a bike/pedestrian path along the rail line within the reserve. The existing reserve is rarely used, by introducing this path you also expose all properties to new security concerns by inviting public direct access to the rear of properties. Again should your plan proceed it will be your responsibility to ensure security protection for all residences?
Attitudes to the proposed development. 97.1 percent of the community want rail under road
The references to noise and air quality are interesting as given that you have already committed to your design, I would have thought that all of these issues would have been included into your engineering and costing not still “up in the air”. This lack of investigation is indicative of the acknowledged failures in your non-consultative process with the community. All of this information should already be available and clearly communicated with the community, not made up afterwards. The whole “Community Consultation” has proven to be flawed and farcical.
I do see a positive in that the trains will no longer be blowing their horn as it approaches the removed crossing (the same for Rail under Road) however I am sure that the train will still be blowing its horn to scare those that may be climbing on the infrastructure which will be totally accessible to all.
Once again, Mr Andrews, I remind you, you are the elected Premier of the State. You are elected by the people for the people not for your own desires. Your plan is directly against the wishes of 97.1% of Seaford residents. It is my will as it is the will of the community of Seaford that you stand up, divulge the currently withheld data, properly consult with and understand the impact you propose on our suburb. As has been said before no matter what the circumstance this would never happen in Hampton or Brighton, you can build a road under sea water at Safety Beach, you can build a tunnel under the Yarra, you have clearly indicated that no matter what the environmental implications you will build the Western Distributor however in Seaford the most obvious crossing you refuse to build Rail under Road. Do it once and do it right! It is time for you to stand up and protect this community !!

We await your challenge acceptance

Regards……………….

Why Rail Under Road is possible at Seaford

The Seaford technical report (available at http://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media-library/publications/frankston-publications/reports/seaford-technical-report) states:

LXRA Myth… When considering the best way to remove the Seaford Road level crossing, environmental factors are particularly challenging in terms of groundwater flows, flooding and potential impacts to the nearby Edithvale-Seaford wetlands and Kananook Creek.

These environmental problems ruled out the building of a trench at this site. This image shows the underground conditions at Seaford. In Seaford, there are clay layers that are close to the surface.

A trench structure, combined with the clay, would change groundwater flow, as water would need to divert around the trench. This means that water levels on the inland side could rise, causing potential impacts to the wetlands. Water levels on the coastal side could fall, which would in turn affect the environmental values of Kananook Creek.


Image from LXRA technical report

More details about “hybrid solution” – see at LXRASeafordReport

Edithvale_Seaford_Wetlands_Ecological_Character_Description (2) (1)

We have 3 points to consider here:

1. Groundwater issues have been successfully tackled on many sites on Mornington Peninsula, and everywhere else in the world.

Groundwater obstacles can be overcome at the Seaford Rd site just like any other site. A number of train stations have ground water pumps. A more challenging example is of Martha Cove road tunnel under the water channel, close to the shore.

Road tunnel under water at Safety Beach – Martha Cove

2. Seaford Wetlands has own engineering controls for water levels

Seaford Wetlands are now largely Artificial and Actively managed with current engineering controls that regulate the hydrological operations controlling the water coming in and out from the various sources. Water levels are regulated through the various cells and then in turn the water is released to storm water drains or the Kananook creek via further engineering controls.

There would be no change to water levels at the Seaford Wetlands with the Rail under solution, due to the current engineering controls designed to regulate the hydro-logical operation of the area.

In an effort to fast track the Seaford Rd level crossing removal the LXRA have skipped detailed technical investigations at the Seaford Rd site. They have not looked into the current engineering controls at the Seaford wetlands, which could manage the water levels of the Seaford wetlands with a rail under road solution

3. The proposed train trench is short and shallow

 The proposed solution, based on surveying and 3D modelling data demonstrates that the actual trench would be a maximum of around 180 meters either side of the level crossing before it is back at the current level of the RF Miles Reserve 1.5 AHD. Any embankments above and beyond this would be soft planted ones to match the current landscape.

Geodetic survey of Seaford crossing

Please see the recent surveying results taken from Railway Pde, RF Miles Reserve and the Railway line in Seaford.

The surveying has shown what we already know, a rail-under solution is perfectly feasible at Seaford Rd and what you have been led to believe by the LXRA has been blown far out of proportion to justify the second rate solution they are trying to impose on our Suburb.

From this surveying data we have been able to create a 3D model of the landscape with the RF Miles Reserve, Railway Pde, Seaford Rd and the Train-line all included.

We can now see that the kilometre long bath tub analogy they have beaten like a dead horse is a complete lie, see for yourself.

Its no wonder LXRA would never provide any of the designs in section view as it would be plain as day the basis of their arguments were not factual but in fact just propaganda

This information has been given to the LXRA at a meeting with the NSRFL committee, they have agreed to review it, we will be actively seeking a follow up meeting to discuss the outcome of this review.

We have not given up on Seaford and are still fighting this, more to come in the following weeks. Don’t give up people, stay strong. This is far to important.It’s not over until it is under.

Based on this data, please see proposed solution for Seaford

AHD = “Australian Height Datum”

a standard point of reference that all surveying data is related back to, all LXRA documentation regarding Seaford Rd is referenced from the AHD as-well

Seaford Rally Day

Say No to Sky Rail
Seaford Rally Day

Seaford Community Centre
Sunday 23rd July
This event had a wonderful turnout of residents. It was also attended by Frankston Councillors, 7 News and The Herald Sun.

 

* Guest Speakers *

Introductions Willem Popp
Who we are
Neil McCarthy = NSRFL Seaford Team
Seaford Update
Engineering ==== Paul Porter & Sean Wise
Rail Under Road option for Seaford
Eel Race Road = Fiona Tellesson
Local concerns
LOTI – Catherine Pendelich
Experiences of Dandenong Line Residents
FCC Rep – Glenn Aitken
FCC Rep – Quinn McCormack
Neil McCarthy = NSRFL Seaford
What community can do, next steps

We oppose:
1. The “Hybrid” Sky Rail that will divide our seaside community
This will scar our seaside landscape forever, creating overshadowing across neighbouring
properties.
The Sky Rail will throw noise across the suburb and allow carcinogenic diesel particulates
to spread to homes and schools.
2. The closure of seven local businesses
Seven Seaford businesses will be closed with the loss of over 100 jobs to make way for the
relocation of the Carrum sidings.
This is a short-term move until the sidings are moved to Baxter.
3. The closure of Eel Race Road
The ridiculous closure of Eel Race Road has had no community consultation.
This will put extreme traffic pressure on Railway Parade, Armstrongs Road, Mcleod Road and Nepean Highway.
How long before the Carrum Sky Rail is extended over Eel Race Road and on to Seaford Road?

Rail under Road CAN be achieved at Seaford Road. There is NO NEED to
relocate the Carrum sidings to Seaford. Eel Race Road must remain OPEN
with Rail under Road at Carrum.

What can you do?


Bring your friends and family to our RALLY

Show your community support

Our local member Sonya Kilkenny said:
“The Community has spoken …
… and I am committed to removing the level crossing at Seaford Road”
However the LXRA’s own figures show that over 97% of Seaford
residents want the level crossing removed by Rail Under Road.

Your actions determine the future of Seaford
Act now before it’s too late!