Letters to the editor this week slam the Federal Environment Minister’s decision to let Walker Group go ahead with environmental assessment of its proposed Toondah Harbour mega-development.
Community unhappy about Toondah plans
To me, it is scary to realise that just last month, Peter Saba, the general manager for the proposed Toondah Harbour development, seemed to be quite sure that the fact that Minister Josh Frydenberg’s decision to give the green light for the $1.4 billion Toondah Harbour project to go ahead to the environmental impact assessment stage. This would kick start extensive consultation with government and the wider community.
Does the minister think the wider community has been sitting on their hands just watching what has been happening with Toondah Harbour? How ridiculous! I would like to point out to the Minister for the Environment that the wider community is most unhappy with this whole issue.
Brian Williams of the Redland City Bulletin pointed out in his excellent article that the huge project has met with bitter opposition in the Redlands due to its size and especially its impacts on marine and bird life, transport issue, koalas, foreshores and a park.
Does Minister Frydenberg not know anything about the Ramsar Convention which covers this whole area? Does he not know that the Ramsar Convention covers not just this area in Cleveland, but many other areas throughout the world? And most countries do take notice of the Ramsar Convention. Sea birds need these areas for their flights when they migrate and they are important to most countries but it seems, not Australia, and not to Minister Frydenberg.
Last month Walker Group withdrew the original referral and submitted revised plans, reducing the size of the proposed marina from 340 berths to about 200. It also increased the buffer zone from the outer sea wall to Cassim Island in an effort to protect birds.
Toondah includes 3,600 dwellings, public space and is expected to house a minimum of 6,300 people. Minister Frydenberg, please don’t expect the people of the Redlands to be jumping up and down with joy just because you have approved this petty reduction in the number of marina berths, while still approving a minimum of 6,300 people to live on this area.
The mind boggles at how much soil and sand will need to be removed to build the columns to support the numbers of units out in the water.
It really makes me wonder how people can be so totally dumb and Minister Frydenberg, I’m sorry but I include you in this group.
Why the ‘Cone of Silence’ about Toondah?
It is interesting to note that a development like that touted for Toondah Harbour was put before the Tasmanian Government and rejected. They decided the risk of significant environmental damage was not acceptable.
Why is a similar development being considered by our “glorious” Council and our State Government?
All this and the secrecy that will eventually be put around the area is like the famous “Maxwell Smart’s Cone of silence”. Hence ratepayers will be denied any information about this development and the agreements behind it. In my view they are relying too much on so-called “commercial in confidence agreements” as a way of avoiding scrutiny.
Eventually there will be a new election for this Council and I promise there are many hundreds of people working to get rid of the current Councillors.
Why hasn’t the Council discussed the new plans for Toondah in an open meeting? Why won’t they show the community where they stand?
I worked for 10 years as a Councillor and was honoured to do so. The Toondah disaster has soured my experience.
Overseas interests in Toondah Harbour?
Recently Alan Jones stated what I had said all along about the Australian government handing over the Port of Darwin to the Chinese…being a huge mistake. He further stated that politicians in Canberra needed to wake up.
I’m reminded of what my late husband said some 40 years ago, having lived in Shanghai where he received his engineering degree, that some day we will all be gardeners for the Chinese…remembering it said that ‘when the sleeping giant awakens, you will hear her roar!’
The Mayor of Redlands is travelling overseas to Asian countries shortly, and touting her Redlands is open for business mantra among Chinese businessmen.
Mayor Williams must exercise caution and be alert to who she is lobbying and most importantly, who she is being lobbied by.
The scale of the Toondah Harbour project with 3,600 apartments is massive. There seems to be only one market big enough …that is, overseas investors.
If not from overseas, then who? Isn’t it better to have this issue resolved in the planning phase?
Hold politicians to account
We need to hold our state and federal politicians to account and if they do not listen to the electorate they lose office. We only need to look back at the last Queensland State Election. Both Campbell Newman and Jeff Seeney scoffed at our concerns for the Great Barrier Reef and for our coastal environment. As a result the LNP were booted out.
Toondah Harbour is a similar abomination…especially for Redlanders, but also the people who live near or recreate on the Bay or visit Straddie. If the Palaszczuk State Government cannot learn from the mistakes of their Opposition, they will need to be treated in exactly the same way.
We Redlanders need to spread the word across the whole State…neighbours, relatives and friends need to be alerted to what is proposed. Toondah is an attack on values that impact on all Queenslanders.
Have your say
If you have something to say about what’s happening (or not happening) in the Redlands send an email to: