One of the few submissions supporting Walker Group’s proposed Toondah Harbour residential development project was made by the Infrastructure Association of Queensland.
The Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ) describes itself as the peak body representing the entire infrastructure sector across Queensland, saying on its website:
As a member organisation, IAQ provides professional representation and value to our members through government engagement, thought leadership and advocacy that supports a sustainable infrastructure industry in Queensland.
Membership of the Infrastructure Association includes many of the major Brisbane law firms and engineering consultants who earn lots of money from involvement in large infrastructure projects.
The Infrastructure Association’s submission is a lightweight summary of Walker Corporation’s marketing material.
Environmental issues are not discussed in the submission, though there is a suggestion that Walker Group has been unfairly treated “encountering 17 months of delay awaiting a controlled action decision from the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy”.
If the Association’s members had fully researched the proposed Toondah project they may have discovered why Walker Group’s original referral didn’t get a controlled action decision.
Perhaps if Walker Group had not requested six extensions of the decision making timeframe, and ultimately withdrawn the original EPBC referral, the outcome would have been a recommendation that the proposed action be declared “clearly unacceptable”.
The Infrastructure Association of Queensland’s submission is reproduced in full below.
Infrastructure Association submission on Proposed Toondah Harbour development
The Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ) expresses its support for the proposed Toondah Harbour Development to progress through to an environmental impact assessment.
We understand that Walker Corporation made the decision to modify the proposal and submit a new referral after encountering 17 months of delay awaiting a controlled action decision from the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy. We hope the new submission will see Walker Corporation progress to the environmental impact assessment stage, allowing all of the relevant scientific and technical information to be gathered relating to the project.
From discussions with Walker and a review of the initial project documentation, IAQ’s understanding of the Project is as follows:
- A new port facility, with multiple ferry and barge berths, is central to the project
- Toondah Harbour will include a vibrant new retail and dining precinct that will complement Cleveland CBD’s offering
- A hotel/convention centre is part of the precinct
- Extensive parklands, plazas and boardwalks will be delivered
- Visitor facilities and a learning centre are included
- Up to 3,600 homes will be part of Toondah Harbour, which will be home to 6,300 residents by 2031
- 200 marina berths will be delivered
- A public pontoon is part of the masterplan
- Small recreational vessel launching facilities will be delivered
- Harbour and channel improvements are part of the project
We also understand Walker estimate the economic benefits of Toondah Harbour as follows:
- $1.39 billion private capital investment by Walker Group Holdings
- $2.33 billion indirect benefits to the local economy
- Project to deliver estimated annual contribution to gross regional product: $34.8 million
- Construction employment: 1000 jobs each year
- Post construction employment: 500 jobs a year
- To attract more than 49,000 visitors each year
- Additional visitor expenditure will support an extra 500 tourism jobs in the region annually
Delivered well, this project should deliver a much-needed upgrade to ageing infrastructure at the Toondah Harbour site, boosting the amenity of the area and the capacity and safety of the marine facilities. It should also have a major positive economic impact on nearby North Stradbroke Island and the Moreton Bay tourism sector, with Walker indicating the development will support around 1000 jobs each year during the 15 to 20 year construction phase and 500 jobs a year on completion.
Chief Executive Officer
Infrastructure Association of Queensland
23 May 2017
Other submissions about Walker Group’s EPBC referral
The Government says that in response to Walker Group’s latest EPBC referral there were 1,419 submissions – 1,411 opposing and eight supporting the project.
Other submissions about Walker Group’s proposed Toondah project are discussed in these Redlands2030 stories:
- National Parks Association Toondah submission
- Straddie Chamber supports Toondah project
- Don’t take Toondah treasures from us
- Sealink profit up but Straddie route challenging