The National Parks Association of Queensland wants the Federal Government to honour its commitment to protect Ramsar wetlands through rejecting the Toondah Harbour proposal.
The Association has been around since 1930 promoting the preservation, expansion, good management and presentation of national parks and other protected areas in Queensland.
You can find more information about the National Parks Association of Queensland on its website.
Recently, the Association has campaigned against a developer’s plan to revoke 31 hectares of national park on Lindeman Island in the Whitsundays.
In its submission about the Walker Group’s proposed Toondah Harbour project, the Association lists a number of environmental concerns and says any environmental assessment of the project should not be managed by the Queensland Government due to its potential conflict of interest.
Here is the full text of the submission made by the National Parks Association of Queensland.
National Parks Association of Queensland Submission
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Toondah Harbour Project EPBC Referral (2017/7939) and supporting documents.
The National Parks Association of Queensland (NPAQ) is dedicated to promoting the preservation, expansion, good management and presentation of national parks and other protected areas in Queensland.
Established in 1930, NPAQ is an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organisation. The association has played a pivotal role in the establishment of many national parks in Queensland. NPAQ’s purpose is achieved through advocating for the protection, expansion and good management of the protected area estate in Queensland; fostering the appreciation and enjoyment of nature through a bushwalking and outdoor activities program; undertaking on-ground conservation and monitoring work; educating the community about national parks and their benefits; and supporting the development and application of scientific and professional knowledge in advancing national parks and nature conservation.
NPAQ supports an upgrade to the Stradbroke Island ferry terminal to provide the public with improved access to Naree Budjong Djara National Park (North Stradbroke Island). However, the scale and extent of the Toondah Harbour Project is inappropriate for the sensitivity and significance of the project area given as its location is within and adjacent to the Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland, an internationally recognised protected area.
NPAQ is concerned with the direct and indirect impacts of the proposed development on the Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland, migratory birds, terrestrial and marine threatened species and seagrasses. NPAQ priority concerns include:
- Significant direct impacts on over 40 hectares of the Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland thereby undermining the environmental values of the internationally important protected wetland.
- Significant impacts on several EPBC Act listed migratory bird species including the critically endangered Eastern Curlew and the critically endangered Great Knot associated with loss of habitat.
- Significant impacts on the local koala population associated with vegetation clearing, traffic during and after construction, and other threats relating to the high proposed residential population.
- Significant loss of seagrass, which is part of migratory bird feeding grounds and is also important to for dugongs and turtles, and for fish and prawn breeding.
- Significant indirect impacts on the Ramsar wetland and the abovementioned matters of national environmental significance associated with sedimentation from dredging, litter and runoff from several thousand people residing in thousands of proposed dwellings, etc.
Declaration of international protected areas is only made following a rigorous assessment process and is made for the benefit of existing and future generations. The proposed action, which is of largely commercial interest with little public gain, provides no valid justification for significantly undermining the environmental values of the protected Moreton Bay Ramsar wetlands and other mattes of national environmental significance.
Australia’s commitment to protect Ramsar wetlands should be honoured through rejecting the Toondah Harbour Proposal, thereby providing continued protection of the area for existing and future generations. Also, the project, as a joint initiative of the Queensland government and Redland City Council, should never be considered for assessment under the Queensland environmental assessment bilateral agreement due to the potential conflict of interest.
National Parks Association of Queensland
25 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:
- Straddie Chamber supports Toondah project
- Don’t take Toondah treasures from us
- Sealink profit up but Straddie route challenging