Petition for better regulation of development in PDAs

Proposed master plan for the Weinam Creek priority development area, in Redland Bay

Russell Island Development Association (RIDA) is unashamedly pro-bridge. It has as its principal objective “To secure the development of road bridges, viaducts and short-haul vehicular ferries, to Russell Island for the benefit of the association’s members and others. 

But Council’s use of the designation of Weinam Creek as a Priority Development Area (PDA) has foisted on the community and the RIDA an arbitrary and divisive solution. A better solution long term solution would be a bridge. To that end the RIDA wants people to support its petition for Urgent legislation be enacted for people to be able to appeal decisions related to developments in Priority Development Areas

Petition for meaningful community consultation

Petition to Queensland Parliament about priority development areas.
Link to E-Petition

The preamble of the petition reads “Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that many of the 10,000 people on the rapidly developing Southern Moreton Bay Islands use any of 2093 off-street carpark spaces at the Weinam Creek PDA. The PDA development scheme vision envisages future car parking will be “sufficient to cope with predicted growth on the islands”. On 20 January 2021, Redland Investment Corporation lodged an application with EDQ (DEV2020/1143) for a master plan and development of the PDA. It would see a lesser 2,010 off-street car park spaces including 1,452 multideck carpark spaces. Public submissions will be called soon. On 22 January 20121, Redland Investment Corporation lodged another application (DEV2021/2172) to reconfigure public land at 22 Meissner Street Redland Bay into residential lots. This land is the only land suitable for additional multideck carparking to cater for the predicted future doubling of growth on the islands. If there were appeal rights in PDAs, islanders could appeal this development to be set aside as the public land is vitally needed for islander carparking as per the development scheme’s vision, structure plan and infrastructure plan.

In a nutshell this is why is RIDA petitioning Parliament “to enact urgent legislation that allows people to be able to appeal decisions related to developments in Priority Development Areas and to prohibit developers managing master plan preparation over areas they wish to develop – Ministerial intervention is sought to delay decisions on present development applications that impact on the community until master plans in PDAs are approved after meaningful public consultation.”

It is simply this! Residents of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands who have no cheap vehicular access to the islands like to park their cars at Redland Bay.  The majority park for free for extended periods of time.  But plans are afoot to contract this supply which will not grow with the islands – in our view Russell Island needs a bridge.  

Parking at Weinam Creek is a wicked problem

At 22-40 Meisner Street, Redland Investment Corporation (RIC) is applying to reconfigure a lot earmarked for parking in the Weinam Creek Priority Development Area Development Scheme into 19 terrace housing lots and a super lot for unit development.

This push for housing and unit development has in part pushed the agenda for a massive four to five level multi level parking station near the ferry terminal of 1,452 parking spaces and surface parking of 261 car spaces near the ferry terminal in addition to the 297 car spaces at Moores Road (2010 car parking spaces in all). Time limits will be imposed and islanders will be expected to pay for parking. 

This is not enough parking for islanders to park their cars at Redland Bay assuming there is no bridge to Russell Island.  With unbridged island development there will be a future need to park 4,000 islanders’ cars as the island become fully developed.  But the valuable land supply away from the foreshore has been and is been exhausted and the need for parking will be unfulfilled.  And surely no one would like to see the massive multilevel car park expand upwards to eight levels (7 storeys) the height limit under the development scheme to try to accommodate more islander cars.

A foreshore car park bigger than Lang Park

It’s a betrayal of the islands’ people and counter to a vision statement of the development scheme which clearly states  – providing appropriate infrastructure and car parking facilities in accessible locations that have regard to coastal resources and meet market expectations for safety, comfort, convenience, information and service delivery. The supply of car parking will be staged, appropriately designed and sufficient to cope with predicted growth on the islands” 

If you scale the proposed masterplan you will see that its indicative size is 130 by 88 metres.  By comparison the turf at Lang Park is 136 by 82 metres.  Potentially there could be eight floors of parking in the parking station and each floor would be 11,400 sqm eclipsing the area of turf at Lang Park of 11,152 sqm. 

Such a gigantic parking station (twice the size of Sydney’s Domain car park), should never ever be built on the foreshore of Redland Bay.  

RIDA has always suggested that if the State and Council are so intransigent to considering alternatives like short haul barges viaducts or bridges, then they should not despoil the foreshore and at least entertain the placement of a parking station away from the foreshore on Meissner Street.  If the State Government changed its attitude to support the Russell Island bridge then the Parking Station could be downsized to two levels. But the parking station would still be in the wrong place. 

Petition calls for Community Appeal Rights in PDAs

Unfortunately, RIC is determined to put a parking station with a larger footprint than the turfed area at Lang Park on the foreshore.  It would be better if this did not happen, but at least the Government should allow the community appeal rights that could be used to overturn such obnoxious and inappropriate developments. 

Petitioning is an age-old tool for people to make known a point of view known to decision-makers. This petition was instigated by RIDA in response to the high handed and top-down approach to the development by RIC. But the problems at the Weinam Creek PDA are generic where ever the way the PDA planning tool has been or will be applied. PDAs remove community rights of is a draconian step and flies in the face of the fundamental rights of people. The PDA approach is an affront to the principles of the ALP and brings us to the question of why has the ALP abandoned the community.

People across SEQ and further afield are being asked, by RIDA, to support the petition. RIDA are trying to have the government act in accordance with fundamental and long standing democratic rights. The curtailing of appeal rights is an abomination!

Please sign this petition for PDA appeal rights

PLEASE sign the Parliamentary petition titled Urgent legislation be enacted for people to be able to appeal decisions related to developments in Priority Development Areas . The closing date of the petition is 23 March 2021, so don’t delay.

Ian Olsson

Russell Island Development Association (RIDA)

Published by Redlands2030 – 11 March 2021

Editor: The loss of longstanding community rights of appeal was a massive overreach by the Liberal National Party (LNP) when they introduced the Economic Development Act in 2012.

The Labor Party slammed the Economic Development Act when in Opposition. But after winning the 2015 elections, Labor has retained these laws and declared several new PDAs.

People concerned about the PDA’s at Toondah Harbour, Weinam Creek and elsewhere in Queensland can help push the case for better regulation of development by signing the petition initiated by RIDA.

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