As a lobby group the Property Council of Australia has been very effective in persuading the LNP and Labor that building stuff is more important than community consultation and environmental protection.
Not surprisingly, the Property Council made one of the eight submissions to the Federal Government supporting Walker Group’s plan to build 3,600 apartments on environmentally significant wetlands which are supposed to be protected by international agreements.
Although the proposed development site is an important feeding ground for migratory shorebirds, according to the Property Council this area is “underutilised”.
Lang Walker in the Property Council Hall of Fame
The displaced birds will no doubt be reassured to learn that any removal of their feeding grounds would be done in accordance with “world’s best practice in environmental management” under the leadership of Lang Walker AO who has been inducted into the Property Council Hall of Fame.
Lang’s company is one of the Property Council’s 12 National Members who “manage or develop property assets exceeding $1 billion and therefore play a key role within the industry.”
Here is the full text of the Property Council’s submission about Walker Group’s Toondah proposal.
Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area
The Property Council of Australia is the leading advocate for Australia’s property industry. We are a national not-for-profit organisation established to promote the work of the property industry in delivering prosperity, jobs and strong communities to all Australians.
In Queensland, the Property Council represents over 350 member companies across residential, commercial, retail, retirement living, industrial, tourism and education sectors. As Queensland’s largest industry, employing 240,000 Queenslanders and contributing 11.4 per cent of the state’s economic activity, the property industry is crucial to the economic health of the state.
The Property Council advocates for strong infrastructure pipelines and clear city growth policies to make our cities more productive and better connected communities with the jobs and services they need. We have championed the City Deal model and are collaberating with the Queensland Government and South East Queensland (SEQ) Council of Mayors to progress a SEQ City Deal that will:
- drive the local economy
- tackle housing affordability
- improve connectivity
- maintain lifestyle
The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) embodies this approach. The concept for the development of this site is a response to the shared vision of the Queensland Government and Redland City Council. In this instance, the state and local governments have worked together collegiately to established an agreed priority development opportunity supported by a common vision, streamlined regulatory framework and pooled assets.
After a rigorous public tender process for the development rights over underutilised public land in the PDA, the State Government and Redland City Council entered into partnership with Walker Group Holdings. Walker is an experienced and respected private sector proponent that has a demonstrated track record of delivering transformative projects that are economically viable while being socially and environmentally responsible.
On 31 May 2017, Lang Walker AO – Founder and Executive Chairman of Walker was inducted into the Australian Property Hall of Fame in recognition of his sustained leadership, major pioneering contribution and outstanding legacy to the property industry and Australian Community. For more than five decades, Lang has delivered over 1,000 projects including national landmarks and some of the largest and most challenging projects successfully undertaken in Australia.
It is critical to highlight that the partnership between Redland City Council, the State Government and Walker Group Holdings has strong bipartisan support in Queensland.
As proposed, the Toondah Harbour development will:
- deliver critical transport, tourism and community infrastructure for the Redlands community that will help steer the economy towards opportunities for new growth and job creation, including 1000 construction related jobs each year during the 15 to 20 year construction phase and 500 jobs a year post completion.
- improve connectivity to North Stradbroke Island and Moreton bay and help steer the economy towards new tourism focused opportunities, this is particularly significant in the context of the North Stradbroke Island Economic Transition Strategy.
- embrace world’s best practice in environmental management, while delivering much needed public infrastructure and improved amenity
- enable the development of a diverse range of new homes, including affordable housing, along with public parklands that will enable residents to enjoy the enviable lifestyle and natural attractions of the bayside.
Continued uncertainty surrounding the extended referral process is not only stalling the committed $1.39 billion Walker investment, but is delaying further crucial planning and investment by the private sector.
I am advised that Walker is seeking an administrative decision under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) , which will enable it to commence the necessary scientific analysis and environmental, economic and social impact assessments of the project. these assessments will ultimately provide a reasoned platform by which a final decision on the project can be made.
I urge you to make a controlled action decision that enables the proponent to proceed to the next step of carrying out appropriate and considered environmental and social ‘due diligence’.
Queensland Executive Director
Property Council of Australia
5 June 2017
Other submissions about Walker Group’s EPBC referral
The Federal 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:
Redlands2030 – 18 September 2017