The Redland City Council and State Government have not adequately considered the serious environmental impacts of the proposed Toondah Harbour PDA development scheme.
The proposed development scheme envisages a road through G.J. Walter Park, right next to a recognized koala movement corridor. Koala numbers in Redland city have declined enormously over the past decade. Major threats to their survival include ongoing tree clearing and vehicular traffic. The proposed road would have a high risk of contributing to increased koala mortality in the Redlands.
Coastal and marine impacts
A large marina north of Toondah Harbour would impact on or destroy up to 50 hectares of marine and coastal ecological communities including mangroves, tidal mudflats and seagrass beds. The area for the planned marina is located in the Moreton Bay Marine Park Habitat Protection Zone. It is also part of the internationally significant Moreton Bay Ramsar site.
These habitats are protected because of their rich ecologies and because they support species which have conservation requirements. Notable examples include the dugong, green turtle and loggerhead turtle which are all regarded as vulnerable or endangered. The proposed development area is also frequented by many migratory shorebirds such as the vulnerable eastern curlew listed in various bilateral conservation agreements between the Australian Government and other countries.
As part of its planning process the Council commissioned a report from BAAM into ecological issues. This report contains some useful information about the ecological characteristics of the area and various matters of environmental significance. Unfortunately, the terms of reference were very narrow which meant that BAAM was not asked to offer advice about the overall ecological value of the proposed development area. Instead, they were asked to just comment on the relative impacts on two alternative designs.
In addition to the direct impacts of any development, we should be very concerned about secondary impacts. If a large marina were to be built in this part of the Bay then the significant increase in boating traffic would have further environmental impacts such as boat strikes on dugongs and turtles.
We need a more thorough examination of the area’s environment and the impacts of possible developments.