Premier, please protect the Toondah wetlands

Dear Premier will Labor rethink its plans for residential development on the Toondar Harbour wetlands?

Dear Premier, will Labor protect the Toondah Harbour wetlands by prohibiting large-scale reclamation?

Community action to protect Cleveland’s lifestyle and Moreton Bay’s environment continues in 2018, four years since the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area was announced.

We must act now to ensure that our Premier and other elected representatives do the right thing for our community, future generations and the environment.

It’s the Labor Party’s policy to protect wetlands

After gaining a solid majority at the recent election, the Labor Government can now proceed to implement its policy platform and longstanding position on protection of Ramsar sites and Moreton Bay.

The 2017 Labor Policy Platform says:

Labor will protect Ramsar-listed and other wetlands across Queensland by ensuring that nearby development does not cause adverse impacts to wetlands ecological and hydrological values. (5.48)

Labor will protect coastal and marine zones by prohibiting large-scale reclamation within marine parks and wetlands. Reclamation outside marine parks and wetlands must meet strict environmental standards. (5.87)

The Labor Government will need to make major changes to proposed plans for development of residential accommodation on dredged wetlands in the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA), to comply with its Party policies.

Write a letter to the Premier

To encourage swift action, members of the Toondah Action Group have sent letters to:

  • The Premier and Minister for Trade, The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP
  • Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure & Planning, The Hon. Cameron Dick MP
  • Minister for Environment and Great Barrier Reef, The Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP

Anyone concerned about the prospect of 3,600 apartments being constructed on dredged Ramsar wetlands in the Toondah Harbour PDA is encouraged to take similar action and send the attached letter, perhaps with additional comments, to the Premier and relevant ministers.

Simply “cut and paste” from this web post to get the ball rolling.  Copy the full content of the blue text below, and insert in an email. Or better still, use the text to word process old fashioned letters and send them in hard copy form to the Premier and suggested Ministers.

You could also send a copy to your State MP.

Redlands2030 would appreciate a copy of any letters lodged and any response received.

The suggested draft letter reads:

Dear [Premier/Minister]

Re: Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (THPDA)

The Labor Party’s State Platform 2017 document, issued in the lead up to last November’s election, commits your Party to protecting Ramsar-listed and other wetlands across Queensland and to prohibiting large-scale reclamation within marine parks and wetlands. It was pleasing to see a Party that espouses such environmental values returned to Government. Perhaps it is now timely to revisit the THPDA given the potential ecological disaster the Walker Corporation’s Proposal could cause, particularly when it is planned to dredge more spoil than at Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef. The PDA legislation, which, you’ll recall, your Party did not support at the time, was enacted by the now finally electorally rejected Newman Government.

This development should be stopped immediately. It makes no sense. Not only does it completely contradict your Party’s current policy, but documentation from the Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing notes so many species and areas protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, I wonder how the Walker Proposal could have even been contemplated in the first place. I can only assume that the then newly elected Newman Government and the Redland City Council did not appreciate the history and ecological importance of this area when the THPDA was declared. I understand that the Newman Government’s new PDA legislation was not workshopped with the majority of the Redland City Councillors before the Council committed to it.

It is not the first time a development requiring massive reclamation of wetlands has been proposed for the Toondah Harbour area. In 1988-89 a residential canal development with resort hotel was proposed and, after much community opposition (12,000 petitioners) and research, the State Government of the day abandoned the project. Some of the research concluded that “There is an urgent need to incorporate the remaining Toondah Harbour foreshores and Cassim Island area into a marine conservation zone as part of a Moreton Bay Strategic Plan” (Envirotest Health Environment and Workplace Pty Ltd Qld. Pg.38.) Subsequently, the Labor Government at the time requested the area be declared a Ramsar site and established the Moreton Bay marine park which included Toondah Harbour.

Since the Federal Government is obligated under the Ramsar Convention to protect most of the THPDA and much of the area is a marine park protected under Queensland State legislation, it begs the question:

Why have laws to protect these areas at all if they can be ignored, changed or circumvented at the whim of a developer?

While the majority of the Redlands community wants and needs an upgrade of the Toondah Harbour Ferry Terminal as a gateway to Stradbroke Island, there is considerable concern that the Walker Proposal will destroy the very elements that make passage to the Island so attractive to visitors. As a tourist gateway to the Island, where visitors go to enjoy a natural environment, its flora and fauna and peace and quiet, I do not believe it makes sense to surround this gateway by residential development including high rise, which not only is contrary to the aesthetics and ecology of the area, but will put the sensitive environment of Moreton Bay at further risk.

If you have read:

  • the Walker Corporation’s Referral (EPBC 2017/7939) to the Federal Government,
  • the 1411 submissions sent to the Federal Environment Minister opposing the Proposal, one of which was from the Ramsar Secretariat, Switzerland, and
  • the Statement of Reasons for the Federal Minister’s declaration of the Walker Proposal as a “controlled action”,

you will have noted that all of these documents consider the Walker Proposal will have a significant impact on Moreton Bay.

Considering all the history of the Toondah Harbour area and your Party’s current environmental policy, I would expect that you would honour your commitment to the electorate and withdraw this ill-conceived THPDA. Especially since, I understand, this legislation was enacted to “fast-track” projects such as the Commonwealth Games project, I question its appropriateness for Toondah Harbour.

I await your decision,


Yours sincerely,

 [Your name and address]

The Premier and Minister for Trade
The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP
PO Box 15185
City East
QLD 4002
OR you can go to her webpage and drop your letter into the comments – you need to put your name and address

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning

The Hon. Cameron Dick MP
PO Box 15009
City East
QLD 4002
OR as above

Minister for Environment and Great Barrier Reef

The Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP
GPO Box 5078
QLD 4001
OR as above

Redlands2030 – 31 January 2018

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5 thoughts on “Premier, please protect the Toondah wetlands

  1. I sent the Toondah Harbour Development letter to all politicians listed. Two were not delivered as they were suspected to be spam: the Premier and Minister for Environment.
    My advice: Maybe make the subject line less recognisable as Toondah Harbour perhaps.
    M Wilkinson

  2. I would like to see a Government actually honour its election promise with regards to protecting the environment. Come on Premier -be the first!

  3. Surely someone in the government will look at their commitments and the direction the Toondah PDA is heading. Then that person should reconcile policy commitments and precedent at the gold Coast and the Government should pull the pin on the Toondah explosion.

    No place for a development of that scale, in the Bay, at Redlands near Straddie

  4. It is insulting that the ALP policy commits to the protection of our coastline, their commitment that no development will impact on our marine parks and their support for Ramsar sites and yet they blindly increased the units at Toondah to 3600 and took money from the developer who wants to totally go against the party’s environmental policis. Everyone would expect the LNP to do this, their lack of commitment to the environment, happily wanting to block the tree clearing protection policies. When do we get to have a government that listens to the people instead of donars and developers.