Robinson strikes out in Cleveland!



Despite the absence of community support or any publicly available business case, Cleveland MP Mark Robinson has been a consistently vocal supporter of a large real estate and marina development at Toondah Harbour. Why? Is it a safe bet?

In baseball, its three strikes and out. Lets look at Mark Robinson’s three strikes on Toondah and whether Cleveland is home “safe”.

Strike 1: Failing to represent the community on the timing of public comment.

On 10 January 2014 a draft Development Scheme for the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) was released for community comment – during the summer holiday period when many people are away from the area.

The proposed scheme was significantly different from concept that had previously been up for consideration. Information made available for consultation was totally inadequate, lacking any of the detailed technical studies. Yet the Member for Cleveland, Mark Robinson supported the proposed development scheme with its proposed 800 berth marina and building on G.J. Walter Park.

He said “I was pleased to be able to work proactively with Mr Seeney to bring this to fruition for the greater benefit to the people of Redlands”.  

The timing of this consultation was an insult to the community and the local member did nothing about it.

Subsequently, the Redland City Council voted unanimously to seek an extension of a month for consultation. There was no public statement from Mark Robinson endorsing this request. When the request was refused by Minister Jeff Seeney, Mark Robinson announced his “support for the Minister’s decision”.

For more information about the consultation process read Toondah PDA-consultation or deception? 

Strike 2: Failing to represent the community values in the PDA planning process.

Initially, local views on the Toondah project were documented by the Redland City Council during  community consultation completed in August 2013, this was reported in the  Community Engagement Report 2013.  Community values were also well documented in the Redlands 2030 Community Plan. The importance of the Community Plan has been discussed in “Why is the Redlands Community Plan so important?  and Redlands Community Plan

At the time (and for some time after) people asked Mark Robinson what was meant by “work proactively” given the disparity between the scheme and the engagement report and the documented values of the Redlands2030 Community Plan .  There is no record of his response.  At face value it seems Mr Robinson put more value on working “proactively” with Mr Seeney than representing his consituents.

Many residents who saw themselves to be adversely impacted by the new development scheme felt sure their local member would protect their interests.   A few even told him of the 12,000 people who signed a petition against a similar proposal in the late 1980’s. This petition was a massive expression of community concern (and values).  The elderly “guardians” of the 1980’s petition were incensed by the Toondah decision.  In the 1980’s the then (Coalition) Government not only backed down but promised the petition organisers the development would never occur.  A broken promise.

Others felt that their long affiliation with the LNP would ensure there voices would be were heard by the local member and the party’s bigwigs.  Most were soon disillusioned and remain so to this day.

The property rights, lifestyle and views of nearby residents would be adversely affected by the LNP’s proposed development around Toondah Harbour. This was discussed in  Are Seeney’s sods turning?

Strike 3: Misrepresenting community submissions and comment

Finally, Mr Robinson made an  statement to Parliament (Hansard 8 May Page 1459) about the Toondah Harbour  and Weinam Creek PDA.  In Parliament he claimed “over 2,000 people from the Redland city area provided feedback in some form — mostly positive — showing high levels of community awareness and strong levels of support for the project.”

Mark Robinson has never provided the community with any evidence of “strong level of public support’ for the proposed Toondah Harbour development.

580 submissions and content referred to in consultation report; more than 1,200 people sign a petition to the Speaker (calling for the Government to withdraw the Toondah Harbour plan);  the 300 people who came to protest against the scheme; and the over 500 people who signed the on-line petition.

At the very least, we can observe that arithmetic is not one of Mark Robinson ‘s strong points.

What can we do?

In baseball, three strikes and you are out. What will be the result of Mark Robinson’s three strikes on Toondah Harbour?

With an 18.2% margin at the last election, will he be able to retain his seat and keep pushing for a development with no publicly available evidence of community support?

And what will be the future costs to the Redlands community when Walker Corporation, one of Australia’s most “experienced” property developers, concludes an “infrastructure agreement” with the Redland City Council?

Marginal seats get better government

Surely, if Cleveland had been a marginal seat, the Government would have treated its electors with more consideration and respect.

The benefits of being a marginal seat are evident, especially just before elections when political promises of project funding are being made. The narrower the margin, the more generous the promises. The Premier has promised over $18m for projects in his electorate of Ashgrove (5.4% margin), on top of an estimated $100m his Government is reported to have spent in that electorate over the last three years.

And what has Cleveland been promised by its MP Mark Robinson?

Apart from the economic and environmental uncertainties of the Toondah Harbour PDA development, the Cleveland  representative has provided very little.

Before Christmas, the local member raised community expectations that Cleveland could get a major infrastructure project. The estimated cost of these ten projects ranged in value from $300 million to $1.5 billion. The projects that Mark Robinson put on his “pizza menu” included:

  • Redland Hospital Precinct Expansion
  • Cleveland Railway Line Duplication
  • Rickett Road Duplication
  • Eastern Busway
  • Mount Cotton Road Duplication: Thornlands to MacKenzie 
  • Cleveland University Campus 
  • Family & Community Centre – Family & Domestic Violence, Family Support, youth hub
  • Environmental Research & Education Centre – North Stradbroke Island 
  • Dunwich Harbour Redevelopment – North Stradbroke Island
  • Thornlands State High School

So far, all Mark Robinson has promised from the LNP’s pork barrel is $300,000 for an artificial reef to boost fish stocks. The minor benefit to fishermen of Robinson’s Reef would be offset by a major loss of fish breeding habitat if the 400 berth marina at Toondah Harbour is allowed to proceed.

It seems that there are no benefits for the people who live in a safe seat (for either Party). Electors are better served when the seat is marginal and the representative has to listen to the community and work hard to represent their various interests.

The solution is now in the hands of Cleveland voters. 


Election matter is authorised by Steve MacDonald of 104 Channel St, Cleveland


Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email

16 thoughts on “Robinson strikes out in Cleveland!

  1. You say above that ” despite the absence of community support ” [for the Toondah Harbour project] meaning it has little support..

    According to a survey circulated to me today by the federal LNP office of Mr Andrew Laming the project has the support of 76% of Redlanders. Personally I dont support it in its current form but if your statement IS correct there should be public outcry.

    I agree the public has been sidestepped on this issue.
    when I first saw a report in the redland times I went down to Council offices to see the proposed plan that was supposed to be on display. Forgive me I was expecting a lovely model laying it all out so we could see EXACTLy what was planned. When I found nothing, on inquiry I was told there were some plans “down there” the assistant pointed to the end of the counter where I found a booklet – not available for distribution . It was full of architect and council engineering drawings and jargon that did little to help me visualise anything.
    To me this is nothing more than a developers money making “dream” and feathers in council officer”s hats for securing employment in the area. Who is going to afford those units ovelooking the sea – not average Joe thats for sure.

    My objectiion is that -units should not be built on reclaimed land obscuring our PRICELESS VIEWS.
    A similar scheme at the Manly harbour a few years ago was squashed by residents

    Same goes for the boat harbour.Hundreds of boats moored will obscure the views from the park and are not a pretty sight. Interesting perhaps but not pretty. What could benefit the community in that spot is an enclosed pool filled with sand and naturally filled by sea but safe to swim in without fear of stingers and other nasties. What a wonderful thing for the kids when the summer heats up. This would be a lowlevel structure do most of the view would be retained. Some form of residential [ max 3 storeys ] combined with cafes and boardwalk could be nice if it did not extend into the sea.

    You might be interested to read Mr Laming’s letter and also the survey is reproduced as well .

    The results of the 2015 Queensland election are in, and the people of Redlands have spoken.

    The LNP is delighted to have secured two of the three state seats in Redlands.

    But you’d be blind not to see that the result across Queensland is a clear message to the LNP on a state and federal level.

    I’ve never been backward in saying that we could have done things better in 2014.

    This week’s leadership spill motion is behind us. I am proud to have played a key role in starting the Coalition on track to address some of our shortcomings of 2014.

    The LNP is united and ready to tackle those serious issues AND LISTEN TO REDLANDERS in 2015.

    As a member of my electorate YOUR VIEWS ARE IMPORTANT TO ME, and I want to take them to Canberra.

    Hit reply to this email and send me the issues you’d like represented to the Federal Government. Alternatively, you can meet me for coffee as soon as I return from Canberra, on Friday the 13th of February at 7am.

    Please RSVP to me at for further information.


    Andrew Laming

    So if you have been snubbed by Mr Robinson then talk to Mr Laming – he is waiting for your call and WANTS to help [ hmmm ???]

    Oh yes – and my personal gripe on the environment – I’m appalled at the proliferation of signage much of whic is council and government – no wonder I have overseas visitors comment on what I call the “Australian Ugliness ”


    From the office of Andrew Laming

    Redland’s Biggest Survey

    The results are in!

    Check out a snapshot of the data collected from Redland’s Biggest Survey.

    This annual survey tackles the big issue so that I can bring the voice of Redlands to Parliament.

    The Environment

    86% support dumping the Carbon Tax

    52% want more green energy government support.

    90% of Redlanders think Australia needs to do more to stop Japanese whaling.

    80% believe we can safely export coal without damaging the Great Barrier Reef.


    60% of respondents think Redland Hospital is performing as well as others in Brisbane.

    80% are happy with the performance of the Emergency Department at Redland Hospital.

    70% of Redlanders have private health insurance.

    78% of respondents want medical marijuana legalised for chronic conditions/epilepsy.


    79% of Redlanders want chaplains in schools.

    80% support removal of TAFE upfront fees.

    36% support government funding for private and independent schools.

    63% support in-home nannies for child care.

    Social Issues

    100% of respondents want big fines and longer community services for alcohol-fuelled violence.

    75% support the crackdown on bikies.

    96% want compulsory work for the dole for youth.

    40% want weekend penalty rates reduced to create more jobs.

    52% oppose gay marriage.

    Local Issues

    76% of Redlanders want cheaper island travel rates.

    23% will pay more for faster internet.

    47% want a bridge to Russell Island.

    76% support development of Toondah Harbour.

    69% want to see Weinam Creek developed.

    28% of Redlanders are confident with the economy.

    33% of respondents feel secure in their job.

    International Issues

    20% of Redlanders are happy with overseas investors buying Australian residential land.

    80% of respondents support reducing foreign aid to balance the budget.

    52% support the government’s defence budget.

    86% of Redlanders support Australia’s participation in the fight against terrorism.

  2. Through out the Toondah Harbour PDA saga we have been disappointed with Mark Robinson’s perceived reluctance to even contemplate that there could be any shortcomings in the proposal. Moreover, his apparent “head in the sand” attitude towards the depth of community feeling against the original proposal left much to be desired in our view. Given his background in marine science and the warnings given by other marine scientists, we are especially disappointed that he appears to be unconcerned at the potential the proposal has for adversely impacting Moreton Bay.

  3. Yep Mr Robinson and co are putting all of us at long term risks on this one. One has to wonder about the Qld LNP. A few weeks back Mr Seeney deputy Premier instructed the Morton Bay council (a coastal council) to remove all references to AGW and the proposed .6 meter raising of height above sea level for housing from their strategic plan. …because it might make it difficult for people to sell their land. Then it was revealed that the local member’s (who had been campaigning against them too) father had 4000 sq mtrs of property perhaps effected by that change …..Hmmm but wait, there’s more …. Seeney announced that the LNP will fast track a marina/housing development Just a short way up the coast at Coloundra ‘by one of the LNP biggest donors ! You want more ? OK you got it. A short distance the other way in the Redlands there is an unpopular housing marina development going through! You draw the obvious linking lines.
    I’m not screaming Corruption because while it’s suspicious I can’t prove it. What it clearly shows is that in the light of this article ( incompetence and probable criminal lack of responsibility/care is in the offing.
    That aside what bothers me most is the practical evidence…. Redlands has already suffered an (ACC induced) never seen before massive tidal surge causing considerable damage to private property (insurance claims) and requiring a massive council clean-up bill. The question is who is going to pick up the tab for future such tidal surges, wild sea originating winds and storms to these um marina/housing in the future? the City councils? the insurance companies ? Well yeees and no.
    There has been a recent reinsurance conference where it was strongly mooted that insurance companies are considering refusing insurance coverage for properties under the Morton Bay proposed and struck down minimum above seal level height!
    The problem may become a cause either or massive clean-ups and or litigation against councils See Ash Wednesday law suits in Adelaide against the Stirling Council. Either way all the ratepayers will be left holding the bag of LNP’s (wanton ideological causing incompetence).
    Personally this now goes way beyond political preference in one seat but in all of those that cover the Redlands. The LNP’s ideology of development at all cost is going to COST all of Us

    • PS I forgot the problem isn’t in or by 2090 but By 2030 (15 years away) in many of our life times.
      What is generally fully understood is that while now the Average planetary heat has raised by just under 1C and has already caused significant ‘abnormalities may already effecting the sea life ( fish stocks) but also food and fodder cropping . in addition to that the difference between .8C now and 1.3 ( as a GLOBAL average ) by 2030 will result in disproportionally greater problems.. savage winds may turn into significantly stronger and more damaging cyclones.
      NB the recent torrential rains and conditions had the met concerned that they might go to sea and form a category 1 cyclone . If it had it is very probable it may have returned and the damage flooding etc would have been significantly worse.

  4. If my understanding of the day’s news is correct, the only way the Cleveland electorate will receive funding for promised projects is by returning Mr Robinson. Campbell Newman’s approach seems to be “vote LNP or you get nothing!”.
    In my view, that’s a threat, and is not taken kindly by me!
    It’s certainly not a reason to return the ultra-relaxed Robinson!
    These people don’t deserve our support this time!

    • Doug I was shocked but not surprised when I heard Newman make those comments, nothing more than blackmail,
      Now he is saying “I will only talk about jobs and the economy”, so what happened about Health, Education, the environment, dont they matter. Is he talking about the 14,000 people who had jobs and now dont,?????

  5. I have found this whole development issue surrounding Toondah Harbour distressing . Our hard thought out submissions were never really considered and Mark Robinson personally snubbed my concerns when I expressed them yo him , in fact I felt he was rude and obnoxious as soon as he realized I had environmental concerns. The consultation process for this development appears to be flawed at both the mayoral and state level which coincidentally are both liberal , worth remembering at the election booth !!!!

    • Lara you can see Mayor Williams true colours as a LNP supporter today in the local paper with a photo of the two LNP people discussing Cleveland/Redland Bay upgrade. A state issue that Dowling should have sorted but sat on his hands

  6. Well done Redlands 2030 for exposing this MP’s complicity in such a dubious project.
    I think everyone can agree that the actual Toondah harbour is an eyesore and it desperately needs to have a makeover but the chosen methods to achieve this makeover are woeful, inept and deeply worrying for Cleveland CBD, Raby Bay and, more importantly, the environment.
    Nothing meaningful to justify the scale and methods has been put forward by any of the 3 MPs or Mayor Williams.
    When I tried to call Robinson he was rude, arrogant and refused to provide any meaningful justification.
    When someone close to me called him on speakerphone he also made some very big assumptions when they mentioned that they were in a Union (she HAS to be for her job) he dismissed her as a unionist, Labourist and against him. Very bizarre conversation and not at all what I expect from my MP.
    His track record is very questionable and I hope that enough people wake up come Election Day.

  7. I was puzzled by the online article in the Redland City Bulletin with Robinson’s promise of a $300,000 artificial reef at Wellington Point in Moreton Bay. He is obviously quite concerned about losing the fisher’s votes so he’s going for a quick fix! He won’t worry about Toondah Harbour for the moment, let the big boys worry about that. Does he think his input doesn’t really matter? Seeney et all will run with that IF they get back in and that’s a big IF…….

  8. Thank you for the comments. This area of SE Qld had 3 of the 78 or so votes in parliament and these three votes went to prop up the abysmal legislation to de-water our dry continent by taking water from the aquifers to give for free to coal and gas companies. Never mind about the farmers and the good land and the last great uncontaminated river system in the world flowing into Lake Eyre.. This might not seem a Redland’s matter but it is: we all love our sunburnt country but it is a fragile country. Federal Govt has been quick to try to devolve responsibility in environmental decisions to the States but really, what happens to our underground water systems is a national matter. Yes we have three members here and they have added their voice to giving away artesian and sub-artesian water to the miners for NOTHING.
    Three locals members voted for that.
    We need to hear where other candidates stand on the free-water-to-mines and loss of farm land and the end of country towns like Aloha and Jericho. Mining is just for today and to hang with the future.

  9. Yes, makes you wonder why we had three LNP reps in the Redland City area. What did they actually do for the City?

    • Well they were very busy the night before the last election handing out fluro wrist bands and buying drinks for the kids up at Alex Hills Pub. Not done much since except ignore what we locals want…..oh yes and they did hand out presents near Mother’s Day at some nursing homes. We haven’t even had a flyer from Robinson for the entire election campaign.

  10. The abject destruction of critical wetlands(equating to a combined 100 hectares) entombed under concrete and dredging spoil at Toondah Harbour coupled with the razing of Cassim and Sandy Island for a “ghost berth marina” situated in the most exposed location in the Internationally recognized Moreton Bay Marine Park is the most flawed project pertaining to Redland City and Mark Robinson in collusion with The Mayor is on the cusp of perpetrating unmitigated environmental vandalism for vested interest outcomes. The crumbling facades which define the Councils failure to maintain the CBD will again funnel business away from the remaining retail outlets and signal the death knell for struggling shop owners…the antithesis of the rhetoric espoused by the LNP as the bastion of small industry. The only solution is to vote Mr Robinson out of the seat of Cleveland!!!

  11. Not surprising that each of the three strikes contains the word community! Because this is where he misses out badly. My limited dealings with this MP reveal he is somewhat of a show pony and I’d only happy even he is posing for a picture on thelocal media.

    He just cannot grasp the fact that is we individual residents of the Redlands are the ones who will vote him out this coming election day because of his lack of approachability during the years he is o kng up to an election!

    Running around in the last few weeks sprouting “look at me look at me” is simply too late!

  12. Some individuals consider the growth and development mantra at any cost equals ticky tacky concrete boxes everywhere without considering one day you just may run out of coastline. Then you build higher! Nothing about the quality of life!!

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