Council rates and Toondah in letters to Redlands2030

Those concerned for the future of Redlands are making their voices heard. Let us know what you think by emailing a short letter to TheEditor@redland2030.net

The bla! bla! bla! of the Council rates excuses

How predictable, our new Council increases rates then spends the rest of the meeting trying to justify and rationalize why it had to be happen. True to script, they have milked the cash cow again and they will do it again and again that is the fate for us ratepayers. The phony excuses and mitigation rhetoric were palpably laughable and right on queue the new Mayor, who has been in the job for five minutes admonishes a councillor for nothing in particular while Councillor Mitchell does his best in explaining nothing and blaming everything bar Donald Trump on inflation. Talk about buck passing at its very best and the highlight had to be the CEO among others telling us how much savings had been made by trimming the fat. So why the need to jack up the rates if you have money to save? The answer is that they can.

What is patently clear is that this new version of Council is going to carry on business as usual just like the last lot and precisely because the same debt spend hungry factions are still alive and well. It is therefore incumbent on all ratepayers to mobilise and find out where our money is being siphoned off to. Let’s get to the bottom of the big glam projects that are sucking up our money. Let’s find out who is getting the Council contracts what the real role of the RIC actually is and what if anything they have achieved. As was expected, there is nothing about the wastage on the glam projects and the failed Toondah project in which the RIC is heavily involved. 

The Council have made it clear that its going to be business as usual. We need to tell them it’s not business as usual we want should I say, demand accountability and transparency and value for money. Let’s show them who pays their wages. The adage do nothing and nothing changes.

Mr Ontheball
Wellington Point


Retract the Priority Development Area (PDA) for Toondah

Toondah Harbour and surrounding area

PDAs are areas of land within Queensland where development is prioritised by the Minister for Economic Development Queensland because the project is expected to deliver significant economic or community benefit.  

When an area is declared to be a PDA or a Priority Development Area the land within the area will cease to be assessed under the standard process prescribed under the Planning Act 2016 (Qld). Development will instead be subject to the faster process provided by the Economic Development Act 2012 (Qld). (Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government, and Planning , ‘Introduction to priority development areas’, Economic Development Queensland (Factsheet, June 2019) 4.)

This means that developments will not need to be referred to other state agencies for interest checks and third parties (including nearby landowners) will not have the opportunity to appeal the development. (Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government, and Planning , ‘Introduction to priority development areas’, Economic Development Queensland (Factsheet, June 2019) 4,)

An applicant can only appeal against a nominated assessing authority condition. If necessary, the Minister can introduce by-laws that apply within PDAs which would replace existing local laws (Economic Development Act 2012 (Qld) s 54(3).)

In June 2013, Toondah Harbour was declared a Priority Development Area (PDA)under the Economic Development Act 2012, which was in response to a Queensland Government and Council commitment to reinforce Toondah Harbour as the regional gateway to Moreton Bay and the islands.

The Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme was adopted by the Queensland Government in May 2014. In late 2014, Walker Group was selected by the Queensland Government and Council as the preferred development partner for the PDA project.

In 2018 the Toondah Harbour PDA was declared a ‘controlled action’ that required referral and assessment under the EPBC Act, with assessment via environmental impact statement Walker Group submitted the final EIS to the Federal Department of Environment and Water for assessment. 

Following the announcement on 9 April 2024 of Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek’s proposed decision to refuse the application for the Toondah Harbour redevelopment, and now Walker Group have chosen to withdraw their application. This outcome for the Controlled Action over the Toondah Harbour Development under the EPBC Act has now brought the existence of a PDA over this area into serious question; there has been a complete absence of the benefits such a declaration was to deliver to the region.

As has been shown by the extent of the sustained public opposition to the Toondah Development proposal, it is imperative that any further proposals for the Toondah Harbour be open to full public consultation. As explained above, this cannot take place while the PDA umbrella remains in place.  It is time for the Council and the Minister for Economic Development Queensland to retract the PDA and as proposed by the Kinhill Cameron McNamarra Report to Council, 1993, have “the sympathetic revitalization of Toondah Harbour” in a redevelopment plan “which expresses its role and function in the local and regional context”. 

How can there be any prospect of a Toondah Mark 2 until the future of the PDA itself is resolved?

J.M.
Cleveland 


Are Toondah Proponents still looking for “cargo cult” solutions…?

Toondah Harbour ferry terminal

As regards the Toondah Proposal, those who spoke in favour of it need to be held to account for their limited thinking on the issue.

Eventually, the Walker Corporation’s EIS on Toondah was shown to be flawed. It was a very poor document and did not stand up to scientific evaluation.  In my view, the marine section alone was littered with errors. 

Are the current Redland City Council making the same mistake (this time about the Birkdale White water facility)! They are not sharing their investigation of the financial aspects of the white-water proposal and not taking the community into their confidence?

Is it that some of the councillors, have a liking for confidential and secret dealings away from the prying eyes of the local community?

Just as with the inappropriate Toondah Proposal the infrastructure considerations and financial aspects seem more a search for a “cargo cult” than a real solution. 

D.T.
Sheldon


More Letters To Redlands2030


Toondah Harbour – celebration, and learning from mistakes

Whitewater viability, election questions and Toondah – in letters to Redlands2030

Tanya Plibersek and her proposed Toondah decision – letters

Redlands2030 – 7 July 2024

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