Letters this week focus on Redlands’ woeful infrastructure planning and impacts of the proposed Toondah Harbour mega development.
Possible consequences of the new Mt Cotton hard rock quarry on the health of locals – particularly children – are also discussed. A letter from an informed resident questions why dust emissions and plumes from hard rock quarries aren’t being measured by responsible authorities.
Letters can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been a resident of Redland City since 1993. I moved to the Redlands from inner-city Brisbane because of the bay lifestyle, village atmosphere and natural landscapes.
During the past 24 years, I have witnessed the burgeoning (and at times, frenzied) development of various suburban areas-−from the construction of free standing dwellings as part of new residential estates through to the construction of multi-storey high rise units.
While development is necessary for sustained economic growth, the lack of a prior consideration of the need for parallel infrastructure during the planning phase of such developments is a real concern for many Redland City residents.
A prime example of this is the proposed development of Toondah Harbour in Cleveland. The developers have had 3, 600 units housing up to 10,000 residents approved. This mega development is surely a recipe for disaster both from an environmental and an infrastructure level.
The protected wetlands and its wild life in this part of Moreton Bay will be irrevocably and irreversibly damaged.
The Toondah Harbour development will also have a disastrous impact on the surrounding roads and traffic congestion in and around the Harbour and surrounding streets. Other negative consequences of this development include economic, lifestyle and social ramifications.
I am sure that many residents, like me, who live close by, are blissfully unaware of the magnitude of this proposed mega development. Therefore, as a community, we must continue to oppose and speak out against this hideous development and raise residents’ awareness of its impacts on the Redlands environment and to the wider community.
Many informed residents have written letters and blogs and will continue to do so to ensure that local and state politicians need to start listening to their constituents rather than ignoring their wishes, as in the case of Toondah Harbour.
I suggest Redlands’ residents use their vote to make a change.
Better roads are needed now
I have lived in Cleveland for the past 24 years and watched the traffic problems grow and grow and there seems no end in sight. I am really concerned the Council has no answers other than to add more houses and even more developments, thereby increasing the daily traffic chaos which is exacerbating poor driver behaviour.
I can’t believe the planning of the past has given us the traffic of today. From where I sit, the planning of today i.e. the much touted Redland City “City Plan 2015” (sic) seems certain to deliver even more congestion on to our already crowded roads.
It is such a pity the Council has not taken note of some of the excellent estate planning carried out in Europe, particularly The Netherlands, where due to space constraints of high density living, infrastructure of roads, pedestrian paths, cycle paths, green recreation areas are well planned and executed avoiding much of the congestion and frustration experienced in the Redlands.
I think better roads are needed now – not after more development occurs! Public opinion ought to be heeded.
Mt Cotton quarry
I write to alert the community about one of the insidious impacts of the new Mt Cotton Quarry development. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommends a maximum exposure level to PM2.5 dust of 10 micrograms per cubic meter.
PM 2.5 Dust is described as inhalable microscopic dust particles, with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and WHO includes them as a Group 1 carcinogen. These particulates are deadly having the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood streams, causing permanent DNA mutations and inflammatory responses that increase the risk of heart attacks and premature death. There is no established safe level.
Any increase in PM2.5 correlates directly to an increase in morbidity and mortality in exposed populations – additionally children are especially at risk to respiratory disease.
Hard rock quarries (like the new Mt Cotton quarry) are a significant source of PM2.5 particles and importantly the composition of dust from such quarries is over 40% quartzite (5-10 times higher than coal dust). PM2.5 emissions from hard rock quarries is being grossly underestimated by National Pollution Inventory (NPI) as they only consider diesel fuel as a source and ignore dust from crushing and other activity!
Importantly, the dust from Mt Cotton hard rock contains naturally high levels of heavy metals (e.g. lead 17ppm) which is also ignored by NPI monitoring.
A 2006 report by the NPI’s Technical Advisory Panel claimed uncertainties at that time in determining PM2.5 emissions in dust. Since that time, there has been a substantial amount of new published epidemiological data detailing the impact of PM2.5 dust on populations and children.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation cited these levels need to be properly considered by both Commonwealth and State Governments. Regulators need to start properly monitoring PM2.5 emissions from hard rock quarries and modeling impact on communities before any new development. Importantly there is no established safe level for PM2.5 emissions, so why are new quarries being approved in established communities?
In November 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Australia ratified the CRC in December 1990. The Commonwealth of Australia has a duty to ensure (and report otherwise) that all children in Australia enjoy the rights set out in the treaty. Article 6 and 24 detail children’s rights to develop healthily and in a clean environment. Additionally, the Commonwealth has a fundamental moral obligation to protect all citizens.
Given the Commonwealth’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the toxicity and mobility of PM2.5 dust; and the close proximity of families to the new Mt Cotton hard rock quarry:
• Why are PM2.5 dust emissions from hard rock quarries not now being recorded by NPI?
• Why are heavy metals in dust plumes from hard rock quarries not now being recorded by NPI?
• What health risk impact assessment was done on children of neighbouring families surrounding Hard Rock quarries?
• Has the Commonwealth properly investigated and reported on the exposure of children to PM2.5 dust pollution from quarries/mines?
It is tragic that Australia has one of the highest incidences of childhood respiratory disease in the developed world, yet lags behind other developed countries by failing to address the obvious by at least requiring the NPI to start properly monitoring PM2.5 emissions from sensitive sources such as hard rock quarries!
If you share these concerns then contact the Federal Minister ‘Josh.Frydenberg.MP@aph.gov.au’ and State Minster for health ‘email@example.com’ and ask for answers on the questions above.
AM Mt Cotton