Boronia Heights SC Campaign


Help save the site of the former Boronia Heights Secondary College

What's going on?

The State Government is planning a high density development, blocks will be small, possibly breaching Council’s Foothills Policy and houses will be at least two storeys, yet surrounding house blocks cannot be subdivided below 1000sq m.

The process has been “FAST TRACKED” which means the minister can make the decision to over-ride current overlays. There is a rumour that around 800 houses are planned for the site, however no politician has been honest enough to talk to us and confirm or deny any details.

The project is part of the Victorian Government’s Inclusionary Housing pilot program, see here for more info:

www.vic.gov.au/affordablehousing/housing-supply-and-planning/inclusionary-housing.html

Why does this site need saving?

The site contains two areas of biological importance including 0.75ha of Lowland Forest that is listed as vulnerable vegetation, and 2ha of Valley Heathy Forest that is listed as regionally endangered vegetation. The site is home to 73 plant species; four of which are critically endangered and eleven are endangered in Knox. For more information on the vegetation at the site, please visit the following link: www.knox.vic.gov.au/Files/SitesofBio/Site9_BoroniaHeightsCollege.pdf

The site is a safe haven for wildlife, and boasts numerous mature trees bearing hollows and a good thick undergrowth providing refuge for small birds.

Preservation of the Lone Pine Memorial. This mature pine tree, a direct progeny of the Gallipoli Lone Pine, still stands on the grounds in front of an Anzac mural. For more information on the significance of the Lone Pine, see: gallipoli.net.au/lonepine.html

Boronia Heights is an important public open space, where locals can walk and exercise their dogs and children can come and play.

Public Space is precious - not just for us but also for the future. If lost it will be gone FOREVER.

Boronia Heights fauna and flora

Knox Council Overlays specific to Boronia Heights College.

The site is covered by four Overlays. Two of the overlays are very clear about the protection of indigenous trees with one of those also covering the significance of protecting indigenous vegetation. It is also covered by Public Use Zone – Education. With the removal of the school, the land, or at least most of the land, should still remain public use to keep the area in balance.

Design And Development Overlay - Schedule 1 planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au/schemes/vpps/43_02.pdf

Environmental Significance Overlay - Schedule 2 planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au/schemes/knox/ordinance/42_01s02_knox.pdf

Significant Landscape Overlay - Schedule 2 planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au/schemes/knox/ordinance/42_03s02_knox.pdf

Public Use Zone – Education planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au/schemes/vpps/36_01.pdf

You can see all of the overlays for “Grid area 03” here: http://planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au/schemes/knox/maps#pso-planningSchemeMaps-grid03

Boronia Heights Memorial Park Action Group Committee

The Saving Boronia Heights Committee is working hard to try to save and protect the land of the former Boronia Heights Secondary College to benefit the people and the natural environment.

The committee was formed following a successful public meeting on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 where over 150 people voiced their concern over the area.

In December 2021, a public meeting was called by local residents and a new committee was formed in January 2022 to continue the work of the “Saving Boronia Heights Committee”.

The “Boronia Heights Memorial Park Action Group Committee” is working to save the site as public open space and Memorial Park to honour past Boronia Heights Secondary School students, Sarah Loughton (killed in the Port Arthur massacre in 1996) and Bung Siriboon (who disappeared on her way to school in 2011) and to enhance the Lone Pine ANZAC memorial.

The stated objectives of the Committee are to:

· Campaign for preservation of the site

· Monitor activity on the site by third parties (such as Metricon and various contractors)

Petition

Please sign the petition to save Boronia Heights Memorial Park from housing development.

This beautiful 8.05-hectare site is currently home to a wide variety of native flora and fauna. Since the school was demolished, the site has increasingly become a sanctuary for animals and birds. Many locals use this rare remaining green space as parkland.

What can you do?

  • Visit 40 Mountview Road, Boronia and enjoy the green, open space.

  • Contact the Member for Bayswater, Jackson Taylor and Member for Ferntree Gully, Nick Wakeling to express your support for Boronia Heights Memorial Park.

  • Follow us of Facebook: www.facebook.com/SaveBoroniaHeights

  • Let us know if you have ideas or information. Photos taken of the flora and fauna on site would be greatly appreciated. We also need people to help us monitor third party activity on the site and take photos, record dates of any observed activities; such as spraying, surveying, digging. Contact us via info.boroniapark@gmail.com

Our campaign so far...

2016

  • April 22nd: 2016. Newspaper article in Knox Leader.

2017

  • June 3rd 2017: A public meeting was held on the site on Saturday 3rd June, near the Lone Pine Memorial. Around 150 concerned residents came along to learn about what is happening and to start making a difference. This was convened by the Knox Environment Society. A group of local residents has now been formed to organise the next steps. You can watch most of the meeting on our YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/XWKTuyu-oxY

  • June 9th, 2017: Newspaper article in Knox Leader.

  • June 14th: The Save Boronia Heights Committee assembled for their first meeting.

  • August 7th: The first petition was submitted to MP Heidi Victoria for counting. We collected over 2000 signatures!

  • December - Submissions closed for The Government Land Standing Advisory Committee assessment.

2018

  • February 12-14 - Public hearings were held where many local residents, KES members, environmental experts and other concerned people spoke.

  • April 2018 - Government Land Standing Advisory Committee Tranche 11 Report

  • July 14th - 500 neighborhood updates were delivered by KES volunteers to residents surrounding the site. Conversations with local residents clearly indicated support for the retention of the site for public open space.

  • Over 2.5 thousand postcards were sent to Minister Richard Wynne from concerned residents.

2019 – 2021

  • KES continued to monitor contractors’ activity on the site, particularly in the maintenance of the Habitat Zones the Victorian Government pledged to preserve.

  • KES planted hundreds of plants in Habitat Zone 2 and continued weed eradication program.

  • KES maintained communication with members of the Victorian government in on-going bid to preserve the site for public use.

2022

  • The Boronia Heights Memorial Committee have continued to campaign for preservation of the site and raise public awareness, in collaboration with KES.

  • April 18 – Easter eggs distribution (10am – 12 noon)

  • April 25 – place a poppy at the Lone Pine ANZAC memorial

  • Freedom of Information request lodged relating to site (referred to by the Victorian Government as Tranche 11)

Boronia Heights