STIR campaign against Walker Corporation’s Toondah Harbour dredging project

Discussing the STIR campaign at Creative Alice

Discussing the STIR campaign at Creative Alice

They gathered in the picturesque gardens of “Creative Alice” and they looked like a group of old friends gathering to tell stories about the “good old times” over tea and coffee.

20160519_115153But the members of the old Secure Toondah’s Invaluable Resources (STIR) committee did not come together to discuss the weather or the good old days….they came together to get down to business, again.   They came together, determined as ever…to protect Toondah’s invaluable resources from the mega residential development now threatening Toondah Harbour.

 STIR formed in 1988

20160519_115318The STIR get together was their first in about 28 years. In the shadow of the Raby Bay development the STIR members fought to stop the plans of Brisbane Shores Pty Ltd for a massive canal development that would have reclaimed 130 hectares of sea bed and pushed development 2 kilometers into Moreton Bay. The STIR team put together a petition of 12,000 people and the development was finally abandoned in 1989.

Today they are dismayed that the Government’s commitments in 1989 have been disregarded and that their work from years ago was being trashed.  Attending the STIR get together were former Redland Shire Division 2 Councillor Frank Bradley, former senior citizen of the year (in 2010) Esme Whitby, and Brian and Sue Whitelaw. Friends and supporters also attended, with a view to carrying on the STIR legacy.

At the time, Local Member and then Minister for Justice, Paul Clauson conceded the project would be abandoned because, he said “it was unacceptable”.

In 1990, Darryl Briskey was elected to State Parliament and in his inaugural Parliamentary speech paid tribute to STIR, he said

We owe it to our children to protect and to learn to live in harmony with our environment. We must all work together to leave a better world for them.

For the members of STIR that was job done, until the new LNP Government acted to flout established planning laws and devised the Economic Development Act and its the crude development tools: Priority Development Areas (or PDAs).  The Toondah PDA was planned for 800 residential apartments and a 300-400 berth marina. The return of the ALP to power in 2015 saw the number of planned residential apartments on reclaimed land in Moreton Bay grow to 3,600, combined with a 400 berth marina.  The change in the scale of the development flies in the face of all public consultation.

STIR meets again

The view of the STIR members is that the Walker Corporation’s plans for Toondah are no better than that proposed by Brisbane Shores in the late 1980’s.

STIR member, Sue Whitelaw asked why plans for a massive Toondah development have come back again after State Government assurances in 1989? Do Government assurances mean nothing?

She concluded “Toondah is being threatened as an environmental disaster…again”


Members of the Toondah STIR Committee reunite …and prepare for another battle

Frank Bradley, former Councillor for Division 2, and previously a professional fisherman, said that at the time of STIR he was very concerned at the loss of mangroves and impacts on fish stocks. This week he said “I am concerned again, and that if dredging proceeds the silt plumes and acid sulphate soils will likely destroy the marine life in the bay, including the corals.  

More broadly, he is well aware of the refuge that koalas take in the coastal strip that follows the Eddie Santaguliana walkway. And he went on to say, “the worse thing Council is doing is the way they are treating the koalas.  

Well known, and long term Cleveland resident, Esme Whitby said “the proposal is wrong, very wrong. High rise buildings, marina and the impacts on Cassim Island and GJ Walter Park are wrong. STIR is still here, and will be making our views known.

Brian Whitelaw said “STIR thought we had resolved the Toondah development over 25 years ago with both levels of government. And now we have to do it all again. He reminded colleagues that at the time of the STIR campaign the Shire’s strap line “keep the Redlands clean and green” and that “it is sad so much of the green is being destroyed”.

Brian concluded “the Toondah PDA is a big threat to the remaining green” and he questioned “would the Federal Government fill-in part of Lake Burley Griffin for a high-rise development and a quick buck?” 

Calling all STIR campaigners

As the discussion among STIR members picked up they discussed the deeds of the past, the actions and commitment needed to collect signatures of 12,000 petitioners and the names of other members of the original STIR committee and its supporters. The level of concern among the STIR members echoed more recent community concerns about the plans for the Toondah Harbour precinct.

It Version 2remains a mystery as to why todays planners of the Toondah PDA (in 2014) seemed ignorant of the work of STIR and of the community reactions to a residential and marina development in Moreton Bay.

The longstanding STIR members decided it was time to call all the original members together again. It will be a reunion to be held in a month or so and if anyone knows the whereabouts of former members they can send contact details to .

Former councillor Frank Bradley

Former Division 2 Councillor, Frank Bradley has been a long standing opponent of dredging based development near Toondah Harbour.

His concerns about risks to Moreton Bay’s fisheries from the proposed Toondah dredging project were recently reported by the Redland City Bulletin.

Mr Bradley said he had been in contact with recently elected Division 2 Councillor, Peter Mitchell and will ask Cr Mitchell to the STIR reunion to hear the concerns of his constituents.

Questions raised about Walker Corporation’s project

Mr Bradley has raised a number of questions and requests for information about Walker Corporation’s proposed development. He is hoping that Cr Mitchell can help get them answered.

  1. Details of the consent from both the Federal and Queensland governments to develop accommodation within the tidal areas adjacent to Toondah Harbour and the consent , if any conditions to that consent
  2. Details of the consent from both the Federal and Queensland governments to develop a 400 berth marina within the tidal areas adjacent to Toondah Harbour and the consent , if any conditions to that consent
  3. The results of all samples, drilling results of sample testing of the area and the depth of the expected support for foundations for this below high water mark for the areas in the intertidal areas
  4. The effect of tidal movement of any and all acid sulphate on the ecology of Moreton Bay, especially the coral colonies at Peel, Cassim, Wellington Point, Green Island, St Helena Island and Mud Island plus the likely effect on marine life within Noreton Bay areas
  5. The effect of the disturbance of the defouling paint ”Tri-Bulai Tin“ within proximity to the harbour and the intent of the developer to accomplish this task without damage to the marine life within the area.
  6. The reason given to Council to have all discussions regarding this project held behind closed doors or commercial in confidence
  7. The use of parkland adjacent to the proposed marina for parking, storage and maintenance of vessels and the treatment of all waters used in this maintenance
  8. Details of the consent from both the Federal and Queensland governments to establish an area of land with spoil from this land and conditions, if any of that consent
  9. The advice given to Councillors by Council officers in terms of the whole intertidal proposal
  10. Any and all advice given to council regarding this proposal.

Toondah Planning Forum

Redlands2030 is convening a Toondah planning forum on Sunday 5th June 2016.  The forum will bring together planners, architects, engineers and ecologists to discuss a “clean slate” planning scenario.  Details of the event and how anyone can attend will be posted soon on the website and Facebook page.


Redlands2030 – 20 May 2016

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9 thoughts on “STIR campaign against Walker Corporation’s Toondah Harbour dredging project

  1. The Frank Bradley charter should be built upon .
    These items include; Marine and Intertidal multidisciplinary studies, An independent economic study, a Planning Needs Study , A Planning Study with planning principles ,alternatives and unseen mitigation, and an Environmental Impact Study with a framework better than” Best Practice “evidenced in shadowy documents currently seen or RTI’d at 3 Levels of Government .

    The use of future integration of Consultation models by CARP , Redlands 2030 and the Harbinger Report 2011 represent a fundamental challenge to binning of public consultation and the abuse of power by all planning agencies and governments.

    The situation has the dimensions of Local Government Planning, Regional
    Planning, Coastal Planning, EPBC Act, Transport Acts, etc but virtually NOTHING IS PROTECTED because nearly all the legislation is still being gutted by Industry . (See EDO website for latest Lawjam)
    Other coastal resorts have economically threatened and spatially invaded fishing villages , coastal communities and pensioners and damaged the environment.

    The Iwasaki EIS 1978 managed to shift the Yeppoon resort proposal , recognise the biodiversity hotspot, scale it down , change the focus and keep it to low rise, knock out infeasible features and involve indigenous values, when virtually no Coastal Planning existed except BECD.

    The recent mayoral proposals for a tourism recovery for NSI/Redlands based on Toondah Harbour proposals and perhaps other development appear to pre empt the State Government Inquiry , public consultation , public rights and Regional/Coastal Planning Principles. The arterials into Logan City and Brisbane are fauna killers at night and turn into car yards at peak hour.
    The Impacts are regional even if there are few public servants permitted to assess it,monitor it and refer it , advise on it or veto it.(or just tick and flick it).
    The latest Planning Legislation for 2017 has gutted the Qld Planning Provisions for Planning Schemes :;Green Space , Park Provisions , Priority Species , Bushland Contributions are gone. Koala Habitats , vegetation, Ecosystem Services, Green Fauna Infrastructure, Biodiversity and Climate Change are not defined , delineated , programmed or implemented.

    The next chances besides the above future Site Reporting /social media spinoffs and Public Consultation/rallies/events are;
    1 the 2016 SEQRegional Plan.
    2. Federal Election money & other federal monies for the studies and
    3.. federal promises on an inquiry .

    TED FENSOM Coordinator BREC

  2. It will be a major tragedy for Moreton Bay if this development, or any similar development, goes ahead.
    It should be forbidden for any amount, however small, of Moreton Bay sand flats or mangroves to be reclaimed for development of any kind.

  3. It’s a crying shame…STIR members need to start stirring again after State government assurances in 1989 declared Toondah Harbour area safe from a massive canal development reclaiming 130 hectares of seabed. Development abandoned after 12,000 signatures on petition was obtained forcing government heavyweights to listen to the people. How many hectares of seabed would Redlands lose if Walker Corporation plan goes ahead?
    It’s worrying that for past four years secret deals were made behind closed doors by inexperienced first time mayor, along with 5 followers, under influence of developers leaving five councillors in the dark. Add to this an email I received stating Lang Walker, head of Walker Corporation, boasting of having ability to buy any council/government body he wants to.
    As result of 2016 local election, we have new councillors that we, the people, are hopeful leads to robust debate on all major projects that affect our lives, in particular, the Toondah Harbour project.
    Driving home from Carindale at 8:00 a.m. this Thursday morning I noted traffic was bumper to bumper from Capalaba. Local resident told of traffic, entering Finucane Rd from Elmhurst St Capalaba has traffic banked up past Windemere Rd Alex Hills 7:30 a.m…..yet we hear nothing of how the tens of thousands of new residents, unless jobs keep them in Redlands, that further impact on our road infrastructure will be handled by State/Federal government politicians. Labor’s Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad has been advised over and over again, by Redland residents to, and I repeat again: “STOP THE RORT, FIX THE PORT’… if only..

  4. How true Murray, man wrecks everything! Humans are to blame for the loss of our native animals, especially our koalas. Access to green corridors that used to be available to wildlife, especially the koalas has been lost. Koalas are forced to move through people’s backyards (if they have any) and the laws that should be enforced to make sure dogs and cats are confined day and night are just not there unless you live on a block larger than 2000 sq. m. and how many people live on those? So along with more people moving in to big houses on small blocks, driving more cars and not controlling their domestic pets, our wildlife, especially our koalas have a snowflakes chance in hell of surviving in The Redlands.

  5. man wrecks everything, Redlands is already a concrete jungle, our native animals are pushed out for hungry developers what a human dump it has become, just like the rest of over populated Brisbane

  6. How do governments, council and planners justify the decision to go back on their word. Old fashion manners demand respect for the assurances of the past.

    Ms Trad and Ms Williams should hang their heads in shame. They put no value on the past and they show no respect and don’t honour for the past. They place no value on decisions of their predecessors.

    How do they expect people to believe what politicians say today, if they don’t honour the politicians of yesterday?

    Surely, IT’S ALL ABOUT VALUES…..

  7. What an amazing effort you folks put in to stave off the developers back in the 80s!
    It’s incredible to think that we’d be back in the same situation 30 years down the track…

  8. I am not a STIR member but completely support their endeavours.
    Any assistance I can give I am willing to give.
    I already made submissions on the Walker Group proposal and sent letters to Minister Trad and Minister Hunt.
    Still awaiting replies to my queries.
    Let’s make sure development of Toondah Harbour is just that – development of the Harbour.
    Thank you STIR for coming out of retirement and fighting the previously won fight yet again !

  9. Let’s hope the “planners” will see that their plans are completely unacceptable to the majority of residents in the area, and use their common sense to come up with a rejuvenation project to upgrade the ferry terminal and environs without destroying the entire area. It might be a good idea to get them to read the RAMSAR Convention.

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