Level Crossing Removal Project to impact Sites of Biological Significance in Heathmont

Hi All

For your urgent review!

As you may be aware, as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project  (LXRP), a planned hi-rail access point will result in the removal of, or damage to,  Sites of Biological Significance located along the Heathmont railway, just north of Heathmont Station.  Heathmont Bushcare has been managing one of these sites (named “the Station”) since its beginning in 1994.

A letter expressing Heathmont Bushcare’s concerns is under draft and is to be sent to the relevant State Government Minsters and other relevant authorities.

The main points of the letter and areas of concern/suggestion are provided below and aim to encourage that works avoid Sites of Biological Significance, or minimise impacts to them.

  • There appears to have been insufficient review of the environmental values of the area, especially given existing expert knowledge of the sites and their biodiversity values;
  • Heathmont Railway line is known for its diversity and extent of its orchid populations, and the subject sites are integral to this;
  • Moving endangered plants elsewhere is not likely to be successful and these rare plants will in all likelihood be lost;
  • Is there really a need for an access point at Heathmont? There are stretches of railway around the suburbs where access points are considerably further apart. There is already a similar facility 1.8km away in Bayswater North. As part of the process to demonstrate that reasonable steps have been taken to ‘avoid and minimise’ ecological impact we request serious consideration of whether that, or another site, might be a feasible alternative;
  • If no alternative site can be found, and this must become an access point:
    • A reduced access point footprint should be considered and biodiversity losses avoided by keeping the project as far south as possible;
    • More creative footprints, as opposed to a simply rectangular one, should be considered, such that areas with native under-storey are avoided and the footprint is concentrated in the currently mown grass areas located to the south.
  • Dialogue between the project designers and ecologists who have surveyed the sites’ vegetation must be ensured so as to optimise the accommodation of engineering and environmental objectives;
  • There has been no consideration given to existing pedestrian thoroughfare that this access point will impact and how this can be catered for. The area has a lot of pedestrian use;
  • The access point and its footprint, including access, fencing and hardstand areas will erode and destroy the amenity of the station area. Heathmont Station and the railway easement are known for their bushland character;
  • Railway verges are important sites for remnant and now rare indigenous flora. Heathmont railway verges are no exception. When works such as level crossing removals are planned this needs to be considered and plans adapted accordingly. Once a species is gone, it’s gone. And we have lost many, many plant species already.

Please respond to this email if you any concerns with regards to the messaging proposed.  Your response by the 1 June would be much appreciated (heathmontbushcare@gmail.com). 

Thank you.

Nature Discovery activity – focus on plants (2)

Heathmont Bushcare volunteers interested in assisting with this walk are welcome to attend (and if they wish to assist please contact Roger Lord to confirm – Mob 0429 189 583).

·        Date: Sunday 30 April, 2023 

·        Time: 10am to 12noon 

·        Location: H.E. Parker Reserve/Dexter’s Bush, Heathmont. 

·        Facilitator: Julia Franco – botanist and local resident 

City Nature Challenge and free guided walks/talks

Hi everyone, a reminder that the City Nature Challenge begins this Friday, 28th April. It’s a great opportunity for you to get out and about, and to explore Maroondah’s natural environment whilst contributing to citizen science.

As well, there are a variety of free talks run by very knowledgeable people.

More information below and at: https://www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/Explore/Whats-on-in-Maroondah/Events-calendar/Event-Public/City-Nature-Challenge-2023?BestBetMatch=Nature%7C87fcc417-222c-4ba9-aedd-c130dcaa4ca6%7C75f2e849-ca12-45ea-bea3-77c411548445%7Cen-AU

Following on from our successful results in the 2022 City Nature Challenge, Maroondah is again participating in 2023 and invites you to help us make it bigger and better than last year!

What is the City Nature Challenge?

The City Nature Challenge is an annual global citizen science event coordinated by the California Academy of Sciences and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, that was first run in 2016.

In 2022 Maroondah collaborated with 20 other Councils from across metropolitan Melbourne, along with the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, the Entomological Society of Victoria, and Scouts Victoria, to represent Melbourne on the global stage as “Greater Melbourne”.

In 2023 the “Greater Melbourne” collaboration now involves 27 Councils and 9 other organisations.

Participating cities “competed” to see who can make the most observations, find the most species, and engage the most observers in discovering the nature that lives in and around their city.

Watch the official 2023 City Nature Challenge video to view some of the amazing observations of wild plants and animals that people around the world have made in previous challenges.

2023 City Nature Challenge video 

How you can contribute

You can contribute to the challenge directly by using iNaturalist to log your observations of the wild plants and animals you can find in your local area – a nearby creek, a local reserve, or your own backyard – any time from Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May. 


The Bedford Road level crossing removal projects (LXRP) is proposing a lay down area near the Heathmont Railway line site located north of the Railway Station and immediately south of the Scout Hall, known as site 29b in Maroondah’s Biodiversity report (Lorimer 2020). Refer attached.  Also, along the western railway verge here  there are some locally rare plants, including Tadgell’s Bluebell (Wahlenbergia multicaulis) and the last remaining population of the Salmon Sun Orchid (Thelmitra rubra) within this area.

I have attached a letter sent to residents regarding the project.

It woud be timely if Heathmont Bushcare members could raise their concerns about the proposal by contacting the LXRP via:

contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au or 1800 105 105

Remembering that this is the site where Heathmont Bushcare started its campaign in 1994!!


Roger Lord 

Dwarf Galaxia fish re-introduced into Dandenong Creek

Dwarf Galaxias Galaxiella pusilla female (upper) and male. Image: Rudie Kuiter, Aquatic Photographics.
Dwarf Galaxias Galaxiella pusilla female (upper) and male.
Image: Rudie Kuiter, Aquatic Photographics.

Dwarf Galaxias are very small, scaleless, fish that are listed as Endangered in Victoria.

A fascinating little fish, they live in shallow, slow-flowing, swamp-like situations but are able to survive periods of dryness if the water body in which they live is also populated with burrowing crayfish. Galaxias utilise the holes of these crayfish in dry events. They can also travel quite long distances between pools, so long as there is very shallow, slow flowing water linking the pools.

Recently, up to 300 Dwarf Galaxias were released into the wetland at Scott St in Heathmont. Based on the cover of aquatic vegetation at this site, it is hoped that it will prove to be a suitable home for the Galaxias, which used to occur commonly in the Dandenong Creek before it was channelled post-war to reduce flooding.

It is very encouraging to see the indigenous vegetation, planted in recent years along the the banks of the creek as it flows through Bayswater along the Heathmont boundary, flourishing.

The re-introduction of the Dwarf Galaxia fish is another significant step towards the rehabilitation of this important waterway.

Help lobby Maroondah Council for the Heathmont Village Green.

Maroondah council is asking for the Maroondah community to provide them with feedback on  “where, why and how you play and gather”.

The following is an excerpt from the council website:

“Whether it’s a play in a park, a walk with a friend, a family picnic, workout or an adventure in our bushland, we want to know what you enjoy, and what you think could improve your experiences in open space in Maroondah.

Your feedback will help inform our Play and Gathering Places Strategy, with the vision to provide inclusive places within our open spaces that aim to cater for all cohorts within our community. 

These places will aim to promote gathering, interaction, connection, wellbeing and liveability, that are thoughtfully and sustainably planned to honour Maroondah’s natural environment and culture. 

Complete our five minute survey and drop a pin on our interactive map to share your experiences with play and gathering in Maroondah.” https://yoursay.maroondah.vic.gov.au/play-and-gathering-places?tool=survey_tool#tool_tab

Additionally, there will be a ‘Heathmont 100-year celebration’ to be held at HE Parker on Sunday 26th Feb. As well as enjoying the festivities on this day, this may well be an opportunity to talk to our councillors about the Village Green proposal.

More details here: https://www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/Explore/Whats-on-in-Maroondah/Events-calendar/Celebrate-Maroondah-Heathmont-100-year-Celebration-Family-Fun-Day

Critters of Heathmont

Many thanks to Gwyn Davies for the remarkable photos.

Welcome to 2023

Dear All,

I hope you’ve all had a relaxing, happy and safe Christmas!

Heathmont Bushcare has a big calendar of events lined up for 2023, including continuing our work rejuvenating the goat site at H.E. Parker Reserve, and the weekend of 9th/10th September when we will participate in the Heathmont 2023 Centenary celebrations. Stay tuned for more details of events planned for this weekend.

In the meantime, please see the attached calendar for details of working bees in 2023.

Look forward to seeing you soon.

Will Harper.

Move Beyond Coal

Move Beyond Coal is an Australia wide movement following on from the Stop Adani campaign.  A major strategy is to focus resources onto a selected actor, in this case Whitehaven Coal, which has proposed 4 new coal mines across NSW and Queensland. One of Whitehaven’s key investors has been the NAB and the aim is to pressure the high profile NAB not to invest in this new coal expansion program and in this way also deter other investors. 

 60 action groups have been created to target NAB branches across Australia with 2 new ones in Eastern Melbourne; one targeting the Camberwell and the other the Kew branches.  Actions include meeting with branch managers and messaging bank employees, shareholders and customers.

 In early November there will be demonstrations outside the NAB branches. to coincide with the  UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt. 

For further information see the above Move Beyond Coal Website. For updates, click on the JOIN button on the home page and select the receive message updates option.

To Join or contact the most local action group (targeting the Camberwell branch) you can join their WhatsAp chat group by scanning the QR code below.

For further info contact John by email via    john.ingamells8@gmail.com

Scan QR code to join or contact the local action group via their  WhatsAp.

Maroondah Council Bioblitz

The Great Southern Bioblitz is part of a global movement to encourage everyday people to practice citizen science all whilst enjoying their nearby natural areas. Maroondah City Council is encouraging you to participate in the Bioblitz by heading outside into your local areas to capture the range of biodiversity you can find during the southern hemisphere spring.

For more details, visit the the Maroondah council website: https://www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/Explore/Whats-on-in-Maroondah/Events-calendar/The-Great-Southern-Bioblitz?fbclid=IwAR3DGpiiE3m355e9JtU7py7mBbN58oHLg7m54RjlWbRv_zUHaV_2qig5j1c

Wanderslore Sanctuary Open day

Sunday 23rd October, 10.00am to 3.00pm

Once a year the delightful Wanderslore Sanctuary at Launching Place is open to the public. Photographers are especially encouraged to visit this bushland property on the Open Day, Sunday 23rd October, 10.00am to 3.00pm.

Donated to Trust for Nature by prior owner-artist, conservationist and teacher Constance Coleman, the property supports many species of Yarra Ranges flora and wildlife, including a koala, lyrebirds, and Satin Bowerbirds.

Everyone is very welcome!

A Win for the Local Environment

In an extraordinary community effort, the area known as ‘The Goat Enclosure’ near HE Parker has been planted out with over 3000 indigenous species plants in the last two weeks.

Beginning on Friday 29th July, Cabots employees weeded an area of the goat enclosure and planted 2000 little grasses in record time. Then last Sunday 7th August, Heathmont Bushcare, along with many enthusiastic volunteers and the 3rd Heathmont Scout Group, continued the weeding and planting. Together we chopped down Pittosporums and other woody weeds, pulled out Blackberries and dug up Watsonia bulbs whilst planting another 1100 grasses. By next spring, the enclosure should look completely different and vastly better than the weedy rubbish dumping pit it was until very recently. In the meantime, the goats will be back from time to time eating the fleshy invasive weeds as their preferred diet whilst only nibbling at the hardier indigenous grasses.

Many people contributed significantly to this wonderful outcome. Heathmont Bushcare would like to particularly acknowledge the assistance of Cabots, the 3rd Heathmont Scouts and everyone who contributed to the funds raised by the Heathmont Bush Market. And of course, everyone who turned up to help weed and plant the area. Thank you!

Help Wanted!

On Sunday 7th August, beginning at 10.00am, we would love everybody who can make it to meet at the goat enclosure, on Heathmont Rd near HE Parker, to help revegetate this site. It has been wonderful seeing the goats there, on and off, over the past 18 months or so, but now it is time for the community to get involved to help re-plant this plot of land.

Altogether we hope to plant 2000 little plants in this area and will need all the help we can get.

If you only make it to one working bee this year, try to make it to this one.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Date: Sunday 7th August

Time: 10.00am to 12.00pm

Bring: Gloves and a trowel.

Heathmont History Group projects

Greetings to everyone from the Heathmont History Group. 

Two of our current projects involve the eleven Nature Reserves in Heathmont. Our orchard tribute decals on 150 bollards in the shopping strip encouraged the Maroondah Council to invite us to decorate the 25 new ones about to be installed on the other side of Canterbury Road, outside nos.  149-163, up from Active Feet to ex-La Porchetta. We accepted, and decided to base these illustrations on the natural flora and fauna of Heathmont, with at least one from each of the eleven Reserves.

Most of you know this already, and have offered us A3 or A4 portrait-format photos or sketches . Thankyou – many are very suitable, attractive, and indeed quite striking, so that selecting which ones to use is already a challenge. We are waiting to receive Images from a couple of the Friends groups and from invited artists.

Another of our projects requires a photo or sketch in landscape format, please. Heathmont was first named in 1923, andas part of the early celebrations of Heathmont Hundred 1923-2023, our History Group and Heathmont Bushcare are jointly producing a 2023 Centenary calendar. Here again the illustrations will feature the eleven Reserves, one for each and the twelfth for heath! 

For this project, we invite you to submit one or two of your favourite images.

Each of these projects needs printing soon, so if you can provide images within the next few weeks, that would be appreciated.

Heathmont History Group meets weekly on Tuesdays 10.15 – 12 noon at Food Coffee Friends café 151 Canterbury Road. 

There is an open invitation for anyone to drop in for a coffee/chat. We also hope to see you at the launch of the Centenary Calendar in October, where you will be able to purchase many copies of the publication to which you have contributed an image, and eventually enjoy your company at the “Walk in the Park” Centenary Reserves weekend, September 2-3, 2023!

Please contact me with any suggestions or queries about these and our other activities.

Cheers and thanks

Gerry Robinson  

Heathmont History Group     0418 867 255


Working Bee at Dexter’s Bush

Hi everyone,

A reminder that Heathmont Bushcare’s next working bee is to be held this Sunday, 5th June, at Dexters Bush, 46 Dickasons Rd, Heathmont. 

Time: 10.00am to 12.00pm.

​All are very welcome – please bring gloves and a mug for a tea or coffee afterwards.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Will Harper. ​– 
Heathmont Bushcare
email: heathmontbushcare@gmail.com


The Heathmont History Group (HHG) has been invited by Maroondah City Council to provide the decorations for 23 bollards and 2 planter boxes outside the shops on Canterbury Road up from Active Feet.

HHG are seeking at least 2-photos representing flora and fauna (with more emphasis on flora) from:

·         Dexter’s

·         Uambi

·         Dandenong Creek

·         Heathmont Park

·         HE Parker

·         Plus one for heath or orchids

HHG have a meeting next Tuesday (24 May) at their usually gathering place, ie Food Coffee Friends between 10.30-2.00 – so all are invited to attend and/or offer opinions and suggestions.   Alternatively you can email your photos to Roger.Lord@maroonah.vic.gov.auand Roger will provide the photos to HHG.

City Nature Challenge 2022


Love nature and want to learn more about Maroondah’s local biodiversity? Be part ofthe 2022 City Nature Challenge from Friday 29 April to Monday 2 May.

Maroondah is again participating in 2022 and invites you to help us make it bigger and even more successful than last year!

Even better, come along to our Heathmont Bushcare Open Day at Uambi on the morning of Sunday 1st May, and you can join us in our local Bushcare Nature Challenge!

And we can show you how – just bring your smartphone or tablet.

What is the City Nature Challenge?

The City Nature Challenge is an annual global citizen science event coordinated by the California Academy of Sciences and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, that was first run in 2016.

This year Maroondah is collaborating with 20 other Councils from across metropolitan Melbourne, along with the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, the Entomological Society of Victoria, and Scouts Victoria, to represent Melbourne on the global stage as “Greater Melbourne”.

Participating cities “compete” to see who can make the most observations, find the most species, and engage the most observers in discovering the nature that lives in and around their city.

Watch the official 2022 City Nature Challenge video to view some of the amazing observations of wild plants and animals that people around the world have made in previous challenges.

For further information: 

Visit the Maroondah Council website at https://www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/Explore/Whats-on-in-Maroondah/Events-calendar/City-Nature-Challenge-2022

Read more: City Nature Challenge 2022

Working Bee at Uambi

This coming working bee on Sunday April 3rd will be held at Uambi, beginning at 10.00am and concluding at 12.00pm.

We aim to remove some woody weeds and probably some asparagus fern.

Please BYO gloves and mug.