Open Letter from Redlands2030 to the Hon. Campbell Newman, Premier of Queensland
Please listen to the Redlands and halt your Government’s plans for coastal real estate development at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek. The only responsible way forward is to withdraw these Priority Development Area (PDA) schemes. Your Government should then develop new plans that focus on upgrading the ferry terminals .
The slapdash (PDA) plans facilitated by your Government and the Redland City Council were put forward without any economic justification. Normal planning principles were avoided. This puts the Redlands community at risk of having to support developments which detract from existing business and residential centres. Little attention has been paid to the environmental consequences of disturbing koalas and internationally significant wetlands. The community consultation process was inept and misleading.
Following the Redcliffe by-election you said that your Government would listen. But your Government did not listen to people who called for the Toondah Harbour PDA to be withdrawn and re-done properly. Your Government did not even listen to the Redland City Council which sought an extension of the consultation period. Instead, your Government has continued to promote developments which are not suitable for this area.
Following the Stafford by-election result, your Government should now listen to the Redlands and call a halt to the PDA process. This would allow for careful review of the scope of development and its likely impact on the local residents, local businesses and the environment. The economic costs and benefits of any proposed development plan should be properly investigated and explained.
Any revised plans should be developed using a properly managed consultation process. This should be based on full disclosure of information and a genuine intent to listen to community feedback. We note that the January-February PDA consultation process denied the community access to technical studies, including environmental assessment, until after the consultation process was concluded. This deceptive behavior should not be repeated.
In light of your recent announcements about listening to communities, you should also look carefully at the operation of the Economic Development Act and the way it limits community consultation in delivering land use outcomes. The undemocratic nature of this planning legislation is just as offensive to the community as some of your Government’s other misguided legal initiatives.
We hope that you will now listen to the Redlands and act to replace the flawed PDA schemes with simple, sensible and affordable plans for upgrade of the ferry terminals in this area.