Walker Corporation selected for Toondah and Weinam PDAs

Walker corporation signs memorandum with the Queensland Government and Redland City Council

Walker Corporation’s Lang Walker signs a memorandum with the Queensland Government and Redland City Council

Privately owned property developer Walker Corporation was today announced as the preferred development partner for the  Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek Priority Development Areas.

They were selected following an expression of interest process. No information has been made publicly available about the other five firms who submitted expressions of interest.

Agreement signed

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney, Redland City Mayor Karen Williams and Walker Corporation’s Executive Chairman Lang Walker signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Cleveland’s Grand View Hotel this morning.

Walker Corporation is one of Australia’s largest privately owned property developers whose track record includes the Hope Island Resort in Queensland.

Walker Corporation’s proposal was considered to be significantly superior to those put forward by other firms who participated in the recent expression of interest process, according to the Deputy Premier and Redland City Mayor  .

An agreement with the Government and Council will enable Walker Corporation to put forward plans for development of 67 hectares at Toondah Harbour including an area of Ramsar wetlands. They will also be able to develop on 42 hectares at Weinam Creek.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said that he hoped to see site work commencing in early 2015. A special purpose vehicle is being set up between the Government and Redland City Council to assess Walker Corporation’s plans against priority development schemes which were approved on 31 May 2014.

When asked if the community would be given an opportunity to consider Walker Corporation’s detailed plans for development the Deputy Premier said that this would not happen. He said that any development application would be assessed against the provisions of the approved development scheme which was put in place following a community consultation process. He claimed that the development scheme had public support.

Council sources indicated that it will take Walker Corporation a few months to prepare detailed master plans for the two projects.

The Government has issued the following media release announcing the Walker Group as the preferred partner for both Priority Development Areas at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek

Community concerns

When the draft development schemes were put forward for community consultation they were the subject of widespread criticism about the Council and Government’s failure to adequately consider environmental and community impacts. Of particular concern was that the Council withheld technical studies including environmental reports from the public until after the consultation period ended

Community opposition to the Toondah Harbour PDA

Community opposition to the Toondah Harbour PDA

More than 1,200 people signed a petition calling for the Government to withdraw the plan and undertake a more balanced and consultative planning process.

Hundreds of people protested against the Toondah scheme made submissions to the Government which were largely ignored.

No evidence has been made available to the community which shows any significant level of public support for the proposed scale of development in these environmentally sensitive areas.

Environmental issues

Dugong in Moreton Bay

Dugong in Moreton Bay

Much of the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area is within the Moreton Bay Ramsar site. An expanse of tidal mudflats and seagrass beds supports marine life such as turtles and dugongs. This area is also frequented by many migratory shorebirds.

These are matters of national environmental significance protected under Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

18 September 2014

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14 thoughts on “Walker Corporation selected for Toondah and Weinam PDAs

  1. Jackie, thank you for common sense comment.
    Unfortunately the slick brochures for selling apartments only have to show wonderful over-water views,beautiful people etc for the off the plan buyers. The prevailing breezes that blow their balcony beers into their lounge rooms won’t get a mention. Possibly though the Walker Corp will do their homework before they invest in making that first step into the same area that deterred the Governor so long ago?

  2. Say you are the kind of person who enjoys an outing to have a coffee, meet friends, maybe do a bit of shopping, wander around the waterfront, doodle in the sunshine.
    If you had a choice between a place raked by keen south-easterly winds 300 days a year, that overlooks expansive mudflats exposed at each low tide, or alternatively a wide sheltered, north-facing sandy stretch of waterfront, which place would you prefer to be?
    If you could comfortably walk to Raby Bay from the railway station or CBD, rather than drive 2 kilometres from the station to Toondah Harbour, contending with barge traffic in both directions, then find somewhere to park on the already cramped site, where would you prefer to go?
    If you decided to downsize and move into an apartment with waterfront views, would you like a balcony where you could comfortably open the doors and not be blown back inside? Would it bother you to live where the substrate of the building you occupied was toxic and the site flood-prone? If you could, would you choose a less aggressively corrosive marine environment? A Toondah address would be one of the most challenging of residential undertakings, with maintenance a perpetual treadmill.
    Objections to development at Toondah Harbour are based on informed knowledge that the site cannot sustain the type and scale of development planned.
    Objectors to this development, just like everyone else, want places in the Redlands where people can go, relax, be entertained, have fun in the sun. They know a better location for mixed development exists at Raby Bay: ideal orientation, scope for over-water structures, a kilometre of existing waterfront park, close to public transport and the CBD.
    Does Walker Corp realise this?
    The quality of opportunity at Raby Bay raises questions why Toondah was ever considered for high-density development. Clearly it is the more difficult, more environmentally challenging, more expensive site to build on, and offers less lucrative, less viable returns – not to mention substantial ongoing future maintenance and infrastructure legacies for residents and rate payers.
    What Toondah Harbour urgently needs is an upgraded port facility and provision for thousands of cars during most weekends and school holidays.
    This essential harbour upgrade can be achieved – without interfering with the Ramsar values of the wetlands or disturbing toxic residues on the land and in the water; without creating additional traffic congestion and requiring road upgrades; without having to invest millions sinking foundation piles to a depth of 80 metres in order to build – by devising a simple development-benefit exchange between Raby Bay and Toondah Harbour.
    If the people of the Redlands and Walker Corp are both to have their place in the sun, surely it’s at Raby Bay?
    This is not rocket science.

  3. At last some development in the Redlands. I am sure the finished articles will be places well worth visiting for a stroll, coffee etc. If the people below had the final say, we would still be living in trees.

  4. Mayor Williams, Jeff Seeney and Lang Walker – a polygamous marriage made in heaven. I wonder who is giving and taking?
    Use any search engine and type in “Walker Corporation ICAC”

  5. Andrew Lamming (when told via email that the PDA process would categorically deny any further public consultation once approved) “you don’t go on holiday and come back and find a Sydney Harbour Bridge built across your land, of course the plans will be put forward to the public for consultation”.
    Where is he now?

    • Well, I’ve just returned from holiday and nothing seems to have changed ….. Andrew Laming has been invisible since he was last elected! So what’s changed????

  6. How could the Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek development schemes have public support, as Mr Seeney asserts, when the public has not even seen what is planned to be built? What happened to council assurances that the developed scheme would be made public for comment early in 2015? Let’s be clear: there is no public approval for this environmentally devastating development. The so-called consultation process was a crude stage-managed sham. Here we Joh again Redlanders. A travesty of democratic principles.

    • Andrew Laming, when told that the scheme would categorically deny any further public consultation once approved, said ” you don’t go on a holiday and come back to find a Sydney Harbour Bridge built behind your property, the plans will be published for further consultation”
      Mark Robinson also said the same thing.
      Where are they now?

    • Hope Seeney gives us the answer to that great question Deb, would answer lots of questions, fancy putting all your eggs in one basket, two huge projects to one company, ?…await due diligence

    • Just checked online, ‘Walker Corp political donations’, and this popped up from The Age, July 7 2008, ‘With strings attached’:

      Money and politics can be an explosive mix. An Age investigation reveals almost all donations from the property world to Labor in Victoria are from companies that have either sought, or won, Government favour. Here are a handful of notable cases. …

      WALKER CORP

      SYDNEY-based property baron Lang Walker is said to boast he can “buy and sell” any government in Australia. So it would seem he costed the Bracks Government at $100,000 in September 2006. Just over a year before, in June 2005, Walker Corporation was chosen as the preferred developer for the $400 million transformation of Kew Cottages into upmarket housing.

      But by mid-2006 negotiations with Major Projects Victoria were bogged down and bitter. A state election was looming and the Liberals had vowed to scrap the controversial Kew project. Enter Walker mate and lobbyist Graham “Little Richo” Richardson. The Age believes Richardson used his contacts — including then Bracks staffer Tim Pallas — to crash through and demand a deal be struck.

      Later Richardson also lobbied to allow Walker to on-sell the project at substantial profit to rival bidder Mirvac.

      On September 4, Walker donated $100,000 to the Victorian ALP, the second-largest corporate donation for the 2007 financial year and the company’s only gift to Bracks’ ALP since $55,000 in 2000.

      Within weeks, and on the last working day before the Government went into caretaker mode before the election, a development agreement was signed to ensure the project proceeded.

      Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/with-strings-attached-20080706-32ns.html#ixzz3Dq1OUepO

      Perhaps we can draw some conclusions from this pattern in relation to Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek?