Redland City’s Mayor says: The $1.4 billion Toondah Harbour redevelopment will see the tired ferry terminal transformed into a regional tourism attraction, but will it?
Reality test for Toondah
In 2011 Redland City Council (RCC) documents refer to a provision of 200 dwellings to support 200 wet berths and 350 dry berths to service a Toondah Harbour development. This project is now the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA).
The PDA lodged with the state government received none of the “extended and extensive community consultation” it was subsequently awarded for. It was presented “sight unseen” in its PDA lodged form, and proposed an unpublished land mass almost 10 times the published land mass of 6.8 Hectares, including several SIGNIFICANT amendments never made publicly available for stakeholder or community scrutiny.
One sacrifice was the proposed surrender of international treaty protected Ramsar wetlands that attracts qualified recreational revenues and tourism, as well protected Aboriginal Middens and one of the largest remaining colony of koala’s in South-East Qld, neither of which, I note, is recognised as such on RCC Maps, despite being located within a protected Historical and Cultural Precinct.
The Bay is an economic driver!
Interestingly, the fact that Australian Cities Reports has estimated that 52% of Queensland’s economy relies upon a healthy Bay, has also been cheerfully ignored, as has the smell that will impact a 5 kilometre foreshore, making it difficult for residents to tolerate living here, let alone encourage tourist visitation, if this specific development is to proceed.
Poor and misleading consultation…
The Mayor has consistently and publicly denied any reason to revisit public consultation on the issue, despite such rescission being a legislated requirement in accord with The Economic Development Act 2012 Section 62, under which the PDA was enabled. The latest version submitted by the Walker Group is for 3,600 dwellings and a reduced marina of 200 berths, although conflicting accounts of a 400 berth provision also exist.
How can a Marina be a Tourism Hub, when the facility is expected to service the needs of a doubled Cleveland residential population, when in reality, the Walker Corporation proposes a Marina with fewer Berths than those required to service the Councils 2011 Toondah proposed population of 200 dwellings? How can it service its own needs let alone those of a Tourist population?
The size of the exaggeration speaks for itself, as do job claims.
Jobs jobs jobs
The Mayor says:
This project will generate more than 1000 jobs per annum during the construction phase, 500 jobs per annum post construction, with jobs supported by visitor expenditure equating to more than 250.
The reality is that in creating a development of 3,600 dwellings, presumed to accommodate an average 2.5 people per dwelling, with provision for 500 permanent and 1000 temporary jobs there will be a JOB DEFICIT, no matter how bad your maths is.
In fact the Toondah experiment will not deliver jobs, jobs, jobs but rather commuters, commuters, commuters!
The Mayor says:
A revitalised Toondah harbour will encourage more than 45,000 additional visitors to the region every year. This equates to a potential $21 million per annum in tourism revenue and $78 million per annum in additional retail expenditure for the region
I have attended Austrade Workshops, and enjoyed being a National Workplace Assessor, conducting national workshops and participating in International Australian Trade Shows to support our Tourism Industry. I am aware of a number of opportunities capable of attracting far better qualified business and employment to service residents and deliver essential infrastructure here (none of it specified, such as the requirement for 2 new schools offering 3 classes per grade).
There are alternative opportunities offering annual returns greater than Walker Group itself is alleging to deliver in 20 years. I echo the invitation to the Mayor to substantiate the figures presented here, because I can’t. I welcome the education, if one can be substantiated on these figures, on this development, as proposed.
The simple fact is, that we can deliver Walker Group’s 20 year result, and better on an annual basis, without surrendering the health of our bay, ecosystem and waterways to do it.