In Letters this week Toondah PDA figures strongly …again. The idea being to have Governments admit failure and start again.
Redlands2030 has been asked for space for community feedback about Redland City Bulletin published letters.
One such response to a recent RCB letter about poor apartment development in Redland Bay, asks whether anyone should be surprised – isn’t it a direct result of this year’s Council election?
And there’s a letter about the need to enforce tough penalties when it comes to mangrove destruction and the apparent blind eye being shown to mangrove clearing required for Toondah Harbour.
Toondah PDA…Start again
What will it take for the State Government and Redland City Council to acknowledge the Toondah Harbour PDA process has been a mistake?
It should have been apparent from the outset that environmental and engineering constraints would serve to preclude extensive filling and development on this site.
Furthermore, expectations that $110million of harbour and other public facilities would be provided “at no cost to the community” were simply ‘pie in the sky’.
Now, with the reported tightening of lending criteria for residential apartments, the construction of over 3,500 units anytime soon looks increasingly unlikely.
In May 2013 an article “Toondah Harbour fast tracked” featured in the ‘Bayside Bulletin’ accompanied by a photo of the Mayor and then Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney. “The timeframe won’t be very long as the issues here are well known and we should be able to complete designs within six months and then move forward to the physical development side within 12 or 18 months” Mr Seeney is quoted as saying.
The reality however, is that delay after delay has occurred. In the meantime another summer has arrived and with it thousands of tourists, visitors, residents and workers experiencing the downside of limited facilities and parking.
The PDA process has not delivered on community expectations. Council and State Government should acknowledge this failure and promptly put in place a reasonable and transparent process to fix the problems at the port.
The Federal Minister for the Environment after “correspondence between the Department and Walker Group Holdings Pty Ltd (the Walker Group) demonstrating an agreement to suspend the referral decision timeframe for the Toondah Harbour Project until 17 July 2017” has yet again deferred the decision until that date.
How ironic that the Priority Development Area (PDA) was put in place to fast track the upgrading of the Toondah Harbour Ferry Terminal! This upgrade has now been delayed four years from the PDA’s original inception on 21 June 2013.
Instead of making a mockery of environmental legislation provided to protect RAMSAR sites, threatened species and marine parks, why doesn’t the Federal Government just decide: “NO, this development of 3,600 units in Moreton Bay cannot be permitted to happen – this is a protected area.”
Can we have another means for responding to community views?
Can Redlands2030 provide a page just for people to respond to Letters to the Editor for Redland City Bulletin (RCB)?
We’re in desperate need for a place for people to respond to letters on their Opinion page and quite obviously RCB will not do this. I have written to them on many occasions and never had a response, nor has anything changed.
Why the RCB insists only printing four letters – half of which are ‘thank you’ notes – and expect this to be accepted as a public forum, is questionable.
I make no secret I’ve written to them asking if they are controlled by other forces and they have never responded. I have also asked if they can move the ‘So It Goes’ to a different page as it’s got absolutely nothing to do with issues of concern from its readers. ‘Letters to the Editor’ are sent for the intention of publication and why they refuse to print these letters are questionable, don’t you think?
Editor’s Note: Redlands2030 welcomes all points of view on the matters of interest to Redlanders. Rather than reflect unsatisfied writers to the local paper, writers are welcome to send any letter they send to the Bulletin to Redlands2030…. at the same time. Given the audiences are not always aligned, we think there is room for people to have their efforts published in both.
“Apartment an Eyesore” at Redland Bay.
I would like to respond to the RCB Letter to the Editor from L.Watson, Redland Bay of 30/11/16 called “Apartment an Eyesore”.
She says the planning vandals have done it again, placing a hideous out-of-place block of apartments in the heart of Redland Bay. In the ‘heart’ of Redland Bay, I understand to mean this is a place that exists to teach and inspire generations to live whole-heartedly.
Author L.Watson says the Village Centre has, until now, been largely unspoiled. While I feel for the people of Redland Bay, surely they know it’s only just begun down there. But reading this letter, the L. Watson’s of Redland Bay appear to have no idea how bad it’s going to get.
The scariest part of the letter is the question ‘When will the council, architects, planners, and other responsible for these monstrosities think about how they will impact the local visual environment?’
Wow, if people haven’t woken up to Redlands’ future planning, which is all about numbers and cramming and nothing to do with visual or environmental impact, then they deserve this?
Sorry, but you get what you vote for and the majority apparently voted for this!
We knew at the March election when we went out to vote, we either liked what was being planned, or we didn’t – and we would vote against it. Redlands voted for what they are getting – and that’s probably why no one can respond to L. Watson’s letter to the RCB too.
Mangroves are mangroves
Here are some facts and further inconsistencies for comparison to challenge and entertain in light of recent events concerning Russell Island and Toondah Harbour.
Russell Island: Unauthorised poisoning and removal of over 100 mangrove trees in an area of 960 square meters representing protected nursery areas to 75% of fish species.
Applicable penalties: Qld Boating & Fisheries Patrol quoted fines up to $365,700.00 and RCC sign on Coochiemudlo IsIand references a $5000 fine for this same offence.
Toondah Harbour: Residents presented with a PDA Proposed application to establish a 400 dwelling development at Toondah Harbour.
Mayor Karen Williams & Deputy Premier Jackie Trad sign off and present, as local and state government endorsed, a PDA proposal for 3600 dwellings requiring dredging and reclamation of 50 hectares, directly impacting 95% RAMSAR marine park protected area – one of only five of its kind in the world, representing global ecological impacts if disrupted. Part of the collateral damage will be irreplaceable marine park nurseries and protected mangroves
There is an urgent need to address inconsistencies between actions responding to the damage at Russell Island and the intended damage at Toondah Harbour. Lawful provisions, processes and penalties are not being recognised, enforced or respected, or investigated in appropriate and responsible time frames.
1. Refuse all building approvals, and suspend any building activity for the potential beneficiaries of the mangrove stripping off Wiles St, Russell Island until the perpetrators are caught, publicly named and shamed, and charged with the maximum penalty in respect of THE LAW. Fines should be reinvested with integrity in rejuvenating and replacing the asset lost. That way, even if the fine is perceived as an acceptable risk, the perpetrators inevitably receive no joy or benefit for their action, and the site is, to some degree at least, eventually rehabilitated, as close as possible to its original condition.
2. Restore public confidence in authorities by ensuring our elected representatives adhere to the law CONSISTENTLY & RELIABLY. Publicly ENFORCE penalties and charges.
3. Ensure that all applicable penalties are consistently and persistently supported, promoted publicly and clearly understood and STAKEHOLDER UNIVERSALLY REFERENCED. There should be no cause or precedent for misunderstandings.
4. Refuse and WITHDRAW what Toondah Harbour has become, given that will breach existing laws and international treaties, has been woefully misrepresented, and has no community stakeholder qualified or scrutinised support in its current guise.
With the exception of the site location proposed for development, the application before Federal authorities has NO CORRELATION to the proposal presented for public consideration. The PDA process has been fundamentally compromised, with several current investigations pending and ongoing.