Filmmaker says think before you vote

David Hannan - award winning underwater cinematographer

David Hannan – award winning underwater cinematographer

As a Redlands resident living on North Stradbroke Island I am deeply concerned about the prospects of Karen Williams and her team of pro-development councilors being re-elected.

The current Toondah Harbour Development plan proposed by the Walker Group, in collaboration with Karen Williams and pro-development Redlands councilors and with State Government backing will have catastrophic effects on the marine habitats and flora and fauna of Moreton Bay if it goes ahead. I work closely with Australian world renowned marine scientists who have expressed to me their major concerns that the scale of the dredging proposed will devastate critically important Wetland, Mangrove, Sea grass and Coral habitats and communities in Moreton Bay with a direct knock on effect on; fisheries, dugongs, sea turtles, migratory and local bird populations and marine diversity.

Moreton Bay’s corals are at risk

Corals expert Charlie Veron

Corals expert Charlie Veron

Most scientists cannot speak out as they are gagged from commenting on the Toondah Development proposal because it is regarded as a politically sensitive issue (with the Brisbane elections in mind and the State Government’s backing of the Development) . However my colleague Dr. Charlie Veron has spoken out about the impact on corals and fisheries and he is the world’s leading scientific expert on coral reefs. Dr. Veron has stated the dredging is highly likely to wipe out all the corals and devastate fish populations in Moreton Bay as a consequence.

Think of the wildlife

So If you love the wildlife of Moreton Bay please don’t vote for Karen Williams and Pro-Development councilors. Your kids and grand kids will thank you one day.

The marine life can’t thank you but will appreciate your vote not to send them into oblivion because of a recklessly proposed Development by the Walker Group to build a massive real estate development.

Impact on fisheries

Seagrass in the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area

Seagrass in the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area

Fishing groups have been fighting coastal developments along Moreton Bay’s coastline for many years because of the impact these always have on their fisheries when Mangrove and Sea grass habitats are destroyed. The proposed development at Toondah will destroy Mangrove and Sea grass habitats across a wide area of the Bay

So if you are an amateur or professional fisherman in Redlands don’t vote for Karen Williams or Pro-Development councilors as the scale of dredging proposed and needed to build the real estate development will devastate the fish stocks in Moreton Bay

Why wait for a ferry terminal upgrade?

The Development Proposal does not prioritize upgrading the ferry terminals and car parking infrastructures at Toondah Harbour in Cleveland and on North Stradbroke Island. In fact the massive real estate development being prioritized will make things much worse for a very long time for any tourists and residents travelling to and from the island.

One of the ferry operators has said it will take up to five years before the terminal areas are ungraded . This is shocking news that will affect people who travel to Stradbroke and it will hurt tourism to the island. The massive construction project to build the real estate development and marina will cause chaos in the Toondah Harbour urban area

So If you want a ferry terminal and parking infrastructure upgrades to be the priority don’t vote for Karen Williams and pro-development councilors as these wont be addressed for many years. They should have been the priority and still can be. Make your vote count.

Opinion: David Hannan – 15 March 2016

About David Hannan

David Hannan filming corals

David Hannan filming corals

David was awarded the 2014 Tourfilm Life Achievement Award for his contribution to extending human vision beneath the sea and for his undying efforts to raise international awareness for the condition of the world´s coral reefs.

Former Life Achievement Award winners include Reinhold Messner, Jane Goodall, Eric von Däniken, Mark Inglis (New Zealand´s double amputee who in 2006 climbed Mt Everest), Michael Palin, South African Mike Horn, Travel Channel presenter Ian Wright, BBC presenter Charlotte Uhlenbruek, Bertrand Piccard, South Africa´s “Shark Man” Mike Rutzen, and last year Céline Cousteau, granddaughter of the pioneer oceanographer and OSCAR winning underwater filmmaker.

David is an Emmy award winning marine cinematographer and film producer who co-founded the Ocean Ark Alliance with Dr. Charlie Veron. The organisation offers license free media and open source scientific data bases and educational materials and programs to; primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions, public museums and aquariums, and scientific institutions and entities involved in marine park management, research and conservation.

Further Reading:

Candidates for the Redland City Council election

Faulty vision for Toondah Harbour

Community Alert: Toondah Harbour

Until midnight on 16 March, Queensland residents can sign this petition

Election material authorised by S. MacDonald 104 Channel Street Cleveland

Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email

4 thoughts on “Filmmaker says think before you vote

  1. Preserving our natural environment will never feather the nests of a few Pollies on the dodge. We need to get an ethical local government to oversee environmental protection. This is where the true wealth is for everyone.

  2. I am glad you brought this up. I am for saving the natural environment instead of just dredging it for short term gain. I don’t live in Redlands but Moreton Bay Region so affected the same by the damage to the bay further south in Redlands.

  3. This is an interesting article that includes the views of people who are knowledgeable in their fields. Many scientists are gagged. I often wish they would speak out vehemently about the impacts of projects in sensitive environments that need protection. But why should they do two jobs? It is up to policymakers to consult, call for research with academic rigour and understand research findings. They must insist upon receiving high quality research and advice from well-credentialed researchers and independent research bodies. Many policymakers cherry-pick the advice they cleave to, too often for the sake of political expediency, a quick fix and to satisfy populist voices in the electorate. It is up to voters to insist that their elected representatives, many of whom will contribute to the making of policy, possess the intellectual capacity and the critical thinking skills needed to pay serious attention to and understand complex arguments in an apolitical manner. There are urgent calls to move from short-term economic based decision making to more sustainable, long-term economic-ecological based decision making. This is particularly the case when considering schemes that have implications for the environment. An environment that is in a condition to thrive should be everyone’s concern. Trite but true: it is the only one we have.

  4. This article should be compulsory reading for all those who think that the current proposal for Toondah Harbour is a good thing. How can we MAKE the proposers and their supporters consider the eco-systems that will be destroyed forever????

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