This week’s letters keep the spotlight on planned development in the Redlands.
Doug Jones writes about Toondah Harbour’s biodiversity and the Clay Gully residential development in Victoria Point is discussed by Joy and Mike Rowe.
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More development in Victoria Point
It seems Ausbuild have now set their sights on bringing on their development of land to Victoria Point near Clay Gully Road and Brendan Way.
Ausbuild have placed two one-page advertisements in the Bulletin saying that they have increased the block sizes and decreased the number of blocks.
In fact in the application and the public notice they are still applying for 289 blocks, with sizes as small as 312 sq.m.
According to the Redland City Bulletin, they have increased the blocks backing onto Barcrest Ave and Clay Gully to 800 sqm. However, it seems these blocks could then be split into 400 sq.m. blocks and so community voices are being ignored, again.
Joy & Mike Rowe
Biodiversity around Toondah Harbour
I have been a resident of Redland City for forty years and over the past 35 years have lived in Cleveland. Each morning, when I am at home and weather permitting, I walk with my wife down to Oyster Point. The natural beauty of the foreshore and the views across Moreton Bay and to G. J. Walter Park never cease to inspire me. It is, quite simply, a regenerative experience!
Some mornings there can be as many as several hundred birds wading on the foreshores at Oyster Point. I am aware that some of them are migratory, often travelling enormous distances to Oyster Point. Egrets, pelicans and cormorants are common sights.
In addition, the mangrove foreshore between Oyster Point and Toondah Harbour is the habitat for Eastern Ospreys and White-bellied Sea-Eagles. I’ve seen a juvenile Channel-billed Cuckoo make its presence known through its incessant demands for food. These cuckoos are the largest parasitic birds in the world and on one particular morning, the juvenile cuckoo was demanding food from a crow, which may well have been the host parent bird that unknowingly raised it from a chick.
So it is not simply birds such as curlews that migrate to Oyster Point. The Channel-billed Cuckoos migrate from New Guinea and Indonesia to eastern and northern Australia at the start of summer to breed and return to New Guinea and Indonesia in late summer. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the area is quite significant for bird and other life, including marine life (e.g. breeding grounds for crabs and other marine crustaceans.
The whole coastal mangrove environment from Toondah Harbour south to Victoria Point comprises some of the best and most well preserved mangrove habitat in Moreton Bay and it was only right and proper that the whole area was included in the Moreton Bay Marine Park when it was gazetted.
Anyone taking the time to understand and value this amazingly diverse ecosystem would also realize that the area is, from time to time, the home of carpet snakes, koalas and quite a range of lizards.
This whole foreshore area is valuable for its aesthetic and environmental value! Since the development of the Eddie Santagiulana Way, a growing number of people have taken the opportunity to experience the beauty and the “bush-like” feel of this great foreshore environment, even though they may not appreciate fully the biodiversity of the area.
It is against this backdrop that I continue to write to express real concerns about the new Toondah Harbour development.
I believe that improvements can and should be made to the current facilities at that harbour, but to imposed an anthropocentric vision which is what the Proposed Development Scheme amounts to, onto an area with incredibly rich biodiversity and natural beauty is simply a travesty. It also sets aside some forty years of growing public awareness underpinned by state and federal legislation that has moved the wider community towards a more biocentric approach to development planning and habitat preservation.
I regret that the Toondah Harbour development has moved another step forward without the community truly understanding the true impact that its large-scale reclamation will have on the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
Meaningful and detailed community consultation must occur to seriously consider what can be done to lessen the massive impact on the environment that this enormous development, which will house another 10,000 people, will have.
I have refrained from commenting on a number of matters in this letter such as the arrogant assumption that any government, be it local, state or federal, can ride rough-shod over a community’s love of communally-owned open spaces (that is, parks), the perversion of democratic process (setting aside the Redlands 2030 Community Plan), and the use of economic development as the primary prism through which to view reality.
Surely, the past forty years have taught us just how destructive approaches to development have been, resulting in many cases in sterile environments bereft of biodiversity and natural aesthetics.
I am not opposed to a reasonable upgrade to Toondah Harbour but the Proposed Development Scheme could hardly be described as reasonable when assessed against environmental, aesthetic, democratic and communal well being criteria.