Letter to Environment Minister – Saving Toondah Harbour

On the 2 February 2021 the Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley spoke earnestly in a video message about the importance of looking after our wetlands environment for future generations.

But soon she will have to assess an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposal to destroy wetlands next to Toondah Harbour so that a property developer can build 3,600 apartments.

This Toondah Harbour proposal is being put forward under legislation (the EPBC Act 1999) which is shown to be not fit for purpose in protecting our environment, according to an independent review by Graeme Samuel AC (the Samuel Review).

Redlands2030 has drafted a short letter (below) acknowledging the Minister’s wetlands video and confirming the views of many people (and organisations) that the EPBC review by Graeme Samuel found the existing EPBC Act to be “not fit for purpose”.

Here are some comments about the Samuel Review:

This letter asks the Minister how she expects the community to have any faith in the Toondah Harbour EIS prepared under legislation so savagely criticised by the Samuel Review.

Add your voice to widespread community concerns, by following the prompts below.

CLICK HERE to send /edit letter

Dear Minister Ley
Subject: Saving Toondah Harbour

In your video celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar convention, you invited Australians to join you in the “global celebration in 2021 of all that wetlands are, all that they have to offer and all that they will provide for future generations.”

Your celebration of wetlands has been shared over the past seven years by many in the community who are are strongly opposed to plans for destruction of Ramsar listed wetlands next to Toondah Harbour in the Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Soon the proponent of environmental destruction, one of your Party’s major donors, will unveil an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which was allowed by a previous Environment Minister despite opposition from the Department’s own scientists.

I believe that this EIS assessment should be conducted consistent with the recommendations of Graeme Samuel’s October 2020 EPBC Review. To continue the assessment under the existing EPBC Act would be inconsistent with  community expectations. Especially given Professor Graeme Samuel’s scathing comments that the current EPBC Act is “ineffective” and “not fit to address current or future environmental challenges”.

The Toondah Harbour proposal is for a massive residential development of 3,600 apartments in multi-storey towers accommodating about 8,000 people. If allowed to proceed it would have enormous implications for Moreton Bay’s Ramsar wetlands’ marine and foreshore environments. If permitted by yourself, this project would also seriously disturb the local community during its 20-30 year construction period (equivalent to ten terms of Federal parliament).

Given that the current EPBC Act has notably failed and that the proposed Toondah development is a serious (and unnecessary) risk to our environment, how could you assess the draft EIS under current legislation when you know now that this legislation is “not fit for purpose”?

This project, and the credibility of any EIS assessment, will test your commitment to the protection of Australia’s wetlands.

How will you ensure that the serious deficiencies identified by the Samuel EPBC review are addressed before any consideration of proposals for environmental destruction in Ramsar wetlands next to Toondah Harbour?

I look forward to your response.

Name and Address to be supplied

CLICK HERE to send /edit letter

0 thoughts on “Letter to Environment Minister – Saving Toondah Harbour”

  1. Dr Dennis Tafe

    Sussan Ley
    Federal Environment Minister
    Dear Ms Ley, You need to demonstrate to the Australian public that you are far more serious about your Environment Portfolio than your two predecessors were. Josh Frydenberg in particular listened to Andrew Laming rather than his own Environment Department, which concluded that destroying 32 hectares of a Ramsar protected shorebird zone to make way for a commercial development was “clearly unacceptable.” I am a retired marine biologist and I know the damage that would result from such an inappropriate trashing of protected marine environment in Moreton Bay.

  2. Dear Minister Sussan Ley
    I am a senior marine biologist and I need to assure you that there are very many senior marine biologists in Australia with world recognition for work on the Great Barrier Reef. One of the most senior of them is Prof Charlie Veron, who is known as the Godfather of Coral Reefs in Australia. He states with very good evidence that 35% of the Reef is either dead or dying as a result of global warming. The GBRMPA near Townsville has changed the status of the condition of the GBR from poor to very poor. UNESCO has recently recorded the GBR as “endangered” yet you, as Federal Environment Minister, have sought to delay that classification for political reasons only. Do you realise that this makes you look foolish to the vast majority of Australia marine biologists and to Australian citizens? Furthermore we now have an attempt to construct 3,600 units in wetlands over a Ramsar protected shorebird zone. Your own Environment Department in 2018 concluded that this would cause irreversible damage to the Ramsar zone and therefore it is “clearly unacceptable.” You need to take your Portfolio of Environment Minister more seriously than you have to date.

  3. Nicki lambert

    Is the destruction of toondah harbour wetlands and the “koalas and people and dogs parkland” an environmental crime? What about the dugong? The birds and the animals and sea life need protection NOT development running rife throughout the redlands!!! It’s an evil invader!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Web Design