Toondah awards suggest a parallel universe

Group shot Toondah announcement 18 September 2014
“Lets give ourselves lots of awards.”

Redlanders would have felt great pride, I’m sure, when they read Redland City Council’s recent Toondah Harbour  PDA news release.

In case you missed it, here is a link: More award recognition for PDA projects.

Once again, our Council has accepted an award for the quality of community consultation embodied in this project. Our Mayor is reported to have said:

This is yet another major coup for these two exciting projects, at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek, and highlights Council’s commitment to engaging the community during every phase of these billion-dollar developments.

This is a project for the community, by the community, which is why our team has gone to incredible lengths to make this process as transparent and collaborative as possible.

Am I living in a parallel universe to the one inhabited by the Mayor and her PR team?

The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) project is not complete. In fact it hasn’t really started. The community consultation undertaken to this point has been poor at best, with much of the community’s input ignored or downplayed.

This Council took matters out of the hands of the Redlands community by having PDAs declared by the State Government. Decision making is now totally in the hands of the State Government and the community’s consultation rights have been treated with disdain.

A community consultation activity conducted by Redland City Council in August 2013 was pointedly ignored when the PDA consultation process took place. The local residents must have got the wrong answer !

The community still has no idea about the scale and true nature of what has been planned. Transparency – almost none.

Having treated the community with such contempt, any person or organisation accepting awards for community engagement must be way out of touch with reality.

How many more silly awards will this project get in its parallel universe, where the opinions of local residents don’t seem to matter?

It is a bit like “every child gets a prize”.

Doug Cox – 16 May 2015

Community Action:

Redlands2030 views on the Toondah PDA community engagement process were set out in Toondah PDA – consultation or deception?

If you are concerned about the current proposal for Toondah Harbour development, consider signing this petition to Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.

You could also email the Deputy Premier and ask her to make sure that any necessary redevelopment of Toondah Harbour is properly planned with genuine community consultation.

Ms Trad’s email address is:

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

9 thoughts on “Toondah awards suggest a parallel universe

  1. Maybe Karen and her Councillors should get onto this site and read what we really think. You can’t misinterpret the written disdain for her decisions. I vote we save the wetlands and shore area for the animals that migrate here and for the people of the Redlands to enjoy. We don’t need a whole lot of development that’s going to change that area for the worse. Once it’s developed, there’s no going back! I must say that it’s probably a good thing she’s organising her own awards for Toondah, because I can’t see she’d be getting any from the Redlands constituents who she works for. I vote to sack her and bring someone in who’s going to actually have a fair discussion and who will take time to research all aspects of our community prior to deciding on anything…. you know what Councillors and Mayors are supposed to do!!! I must say that Redlands rate payers want to keep our Redlands uniqueness and whilst development is inevitable, there are ways that you can mesh the old with the new so you don’t lose your identity and become just another overcrowded, concrete mass of YUK! Our Mayor and Councillors, whilst having to make tough decisions that are not always going to please everyone, have obviously found this too hard to do via proper communicative processes and now somehow live in a fairytale where self promotion and congratulations are the theme for the day… and the next day… and the next day. Wake up Councillors, we want honest action!

  2. The height of hypocrisy of this mayor is unbelievable! How can she say, less believe, such utter misrepresentations of what has happened with this so-called Toondah Harbour PDA, which has very little to do with Toondah Harbour, and has ignored and trounced community opinion and input! Utterly despicable!! Jackie Trad needs to get on top of this before she’s led up the garden path by shameless planners.

  3. apparently the people who gave the awards only look at the submssion given to them They don’t investigate the claims. The Council spends more money on employing spin doctos and the PR machine pumps out all this garbage and no checks – except Redlands 2030 ! Good on you for shining a harsh light of community scrutiny on these shonksters – shame on them !

  4. Appears Mayor Williams likes the Tony Abbott (aka Phoney Rabbit) style of repeating dogma and hoping everyone will believe it if I say it enough. The Toondah Harbour “consultation” process was phoney.

  5. I can’t believe what I have just read!!! Another award for these two ridiculous PDA’s. What a load of codswallop!!
    And to read that Council is commended for its community consultation! I am speechless which is perhaps just as well.

  6. Your post sent me back to look for a Letter to Ed that I wrote in November 2014 after the Planning Institute of Australia had commended Council for its community consultation on Toondah PDA. Were they for real?
    Back then I thought PIA might have been impressed by the new style consultation:
    ” Locals had picked the flaws and even ran a community workshop led by top planners and architects to point out the shortfalls and show better ways to achieve the outcome.”
    But not to be: self-serving praise by the Redland City Council’s CEO and the responsible Government minister made it plain the PDA would deliver the outcomes that were sought by a Council and Government strongly influenced by property developers. ”
    If it wasn’t the innovative bit then about the community leading in a consultation, for free, then maybe it might have been that developer and council found out what they had to dodge around.
    More likely though the award “was based on an innovative process used in consultation where the 100 or so people at the first community forum were marched 500 metres in 30 degree heat to the site and then were asked to share the single iPad to view images.…. in broad sunlight (an impossible task).
    It proved an excellent way to disperse a growing crowd, but a pathetic effort at community consultation. Many of the experienced observers were embarrassed for the fumbling presenters and their presentations.”
    Now I’ve just read Council’s own Spin Column : thank you for providing the link.
    Do those people making the Awards really know? Did they bother to check it out?
    Or do they simply put a hand in the hat and draw out all the self-nominations?

  7. Regarding Toondah and Weinam: As my beloved grandfather used to say, bullshit baffles brains. By any logical analysis — environmental, planning, economic, social — the PDA is bullshit. The ‘consultation’ process was bullshit. It was neither transparent nor collaborative. You have to keep asking the ultimate question: who benefits? It’s not the community or the ratepayers. It’s not the environment or the Marine Reserve. It’s not future generations. It’s not the local economy. So that narrows it down to a very few who stand to benefit from this travesty of ‘progress’ being planned in our name for Toondah. Ditch the plan. Ditch the Council.

    • The whole process was a sham, Williams is so focused on spin she has lost reality. The Karma will kick in soon, hopefully

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