Survey shows strong community opposition to Toondah Harbour residential development

Plans for a massive residential development project in Moreton Bay next to Toondah Harbour are strongly opposed by both locals and visitors to Straddie according to a survey conducted recently in Cleveland and at Point Lookout.

In face to face questioning of 678 people, 85% said they were opposed to plans for construction of 3,600 apartments on wetlands next to Toondah Harbour.

Only 5% of those surveyed said they supported the proposed development with 10% undecided or not responding.

Survey of community attitude to residential development in Moreton Bay next to Toondah Harbour

This opinion survey was conducted during December 2019 and January 2020 at locations in Cleveland in and near the main shopping centres, near the Toondah Harbour ferry terminals and at the Point Lookout markets).

The survey was carried out by community group Redlands2030 in conjunction with volunteers from Birdlife Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation (Bayside Branch).

Survey results consistent with previous opinion polling

The level of opposition to the proposed residential development next to Toondah Harbour aligns closely with on-line opinion polling done by the Redland City Bulletin in December 2017 .

The Bulletin’s poll asked if the Toondah Harbour priority development area should be abandoned. In response, 86% of people said the priority development area should be abandoned. The level of support for proceeding with the priority development area was 14%.

Based on the results of the two surveys the number of people opposed to the proposed mega development has remained steady at about 85%. 

But support for the project has almost completely evaporated, falling from 14% to just 5%.

Asking the right survey question is important

It’s important to understand what questions are being asked of survey participants.

Questions such as “Do you support the upgrade of Toondah Harbour?” could be expected to yield different results to questions about support for dredging wetlands to create a canal estate development for 3,600 ten storey apartments.

Not surprisingly, the results of surveys about upgrading the ferry terminals have been misused from time to time by politicians aligned with Walker Group’s plans for residential development in Moreton Bay.

Opinion survey method

The survey of community attitudes to the proposed Toondah Harbour residential development project was conducted by community group Redlands2030 in conjunction with volunteers from Birdlife Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation (Bayside Branch). 

Seven survey sessions were held at key locations in Cleveland and North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) as listed below:

  • Middle Street, Cleveland near shopping centres, 14 December 2019
  • Middle Street, Cleveland near shopping centres, 21 December 2019
  • Toondah Harbour ferry terminal, 21 December 2019
  • Toondah Harbour ferry terminal, 31 December 2019
  • North Stradbroke Island Point Lookout Markets, 5 January 2020
  • Cleveland Woolworths shopping centre, 11 January 2020
  • Cleveland Coles shopping centre, 18 January 2020

People were identified as either a local (i.e. whether or not they were a resident of Redland city) or visitor (living outside of Redland City).

People were then asked about their awareness of the Toondah proposal (i.e. plans to build 3,600 apartments in the waters of Moreton Bay next to the existing ferry terminals). 

Finally, people were asked if they supported, opposed or if they were unsure or didn’t know whether they could express an opinion about the development.

The view of this undecided cohort was recorded as “Unknown or Unsure”. 

Qualitative data was taken from the comments of interviewees.  People showed a remarkable understanding of the potential downsides of a mega-development in “the Bay”.

The lowest level of opposition to residential development on wetlands in Moreton Bay (80%) was recorded from people entering and leaving the two Cleveland CBD supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths).

Of the 678 people surveyed, overall about 73% identified as locals and 27% as visitors.

The highest proportions of visitors in the groups surveyed were, as might be expected, the two sessions at the Toondah Harbour ferry terminals where in aggregate 71% were visitors. At the Point Lookout Markets session, visitors comprised 45% of those surveyed.

The views of visitors are considered highly relevant given the expected importance of tourism to the future of Minjerribah, and Redland City.

Detailed results

The following table summarises the findings of interviews asking 678 people in Cleveland and on North Stradbroke Island on the question of do they support or oppose construction of 3,600 apartments on wetlands next to Toondah Harbour. 

Location and dates of interviews Number surveyed % Support % Oppose % Not saying or not sure
Middle Street, Cleveland near shopping centres  14/12/19 56 0 89 11
Middle Street, Cleveland near shopping centres 21/12/19 43 7 88 5
Toondah Harbour ferry terminal 21/12/19 58 0 93 7
Toondah Harbour ferry terminal 31/12/19 102 2 86 12
Point Lookout Markets 05/01/20 93 0 91 9
Cleveland Woolworths shopping centre 11/01/20 128 8 80 12
Cleveland Coles shopping centre 18/01/20 198 9 80 12
TOTAL 678 5 85 10

Have your say

The survey found that 85% of respondents were opposed to residential development of 3,600 apartments on wetlands next to Toondah Harbour
Walker Group’s current plan for residential development in Moreton Bay

There are many ways to have your say about the proposed construction of 3,600 apartments on wetlands next to Toondah Harbour.

Redlands2030 recently initiated a petition to Queensland Parliament calling for an independent inquiry into the project. This petition can be signed by any Queensland resident.

There is also a Change.org petition Save Moreton Bay – Stop Toondah Harbour development signed already by more than 16,000 people.

Best of all, contact your current State MP and tell them what you think about the project and ask them to make sure that residential development in the bay does not happen.

There is a State election later this year and there’s nothing like an impending election to get politicians a bit more interested in what the community thinks.

More information about the proposed development of 3,600 apartments in the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area is available in:

Toondah Harbour – the illustrated history.

Redlands2030 – 16 February 2020

0 thoughts on “Survey shows strong community opposition to Toondah Harbour residential development”

  1. Only people power will stop this appalling project. If it is approved and legal challenges fail, then civil disobedience is the last resort of the people. I for one will lie down in front of the bulldozers if it is approved. Don’t ever forget that your mayor Karen Williams was the original proponent of this project, support by former National Party thug Jeff Seeney. And the Labor’s environmental vandal Jackie Trad waived it through and I think we all know why.

  2. Great survey by the way, congratulations to those who have given up so much time to do this important work. Majority are opposed

  3. A couple of weeks ago, on the 2nd February 2020, World Wetlands Day was celebrated at G J Walter Park and it was very well attended by over 500 people, including residents, visitors and members of various conservation groups such as Australian Conservation Foundation, Birdlife Australia, Wilderness Society, Redlands 2030 and even some of the local councillors. One person who did not attend is the Federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, yet two days earlier she inspected the site of the Toondah Proposal with Andrew Laming, the Member for Bowman. He escorted to meet some staff of the Walker Corporation, who would have given glowing accounts of the commercial proposal they hope to submit to the Environment Minister later this year. We already know that Andrew Laming is supporting the Walker Corporation Proposal for Toondah Harbour because he has sent flyers to the mail boxes of thousands of residents of the Redlands. For Sussan Ley to visit the area and not to seek views of the residents as well as the wealthy developer, exhibits an obvious bias. Andrew Laming was able to influence a previous Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, and he appears to be using the same tactics with the current environment minister. Laming has openly stated in the Redland City Bulletin that when a developer makes a generous donation to your Party, in this case $225,000, and you don’t give him something in return he may discontinue such donations. This is bordering on corrupt but we have just witnessed the rort with the sports allocations by Bridget McKenzie and that cost her position in the Cabinet. If Andrew Laming is attempting to give the environment minister only one side of the Walker Proposal this is unethical behaviour and he should be held to account. This “rort at the port” is too important to allow Laming to use unethical tactics to influence a federal environment minister.

  4. Stromgly oppose the proposal of development at Toondah Harbour! As a previous long term resident and strong advocate for The Redlands i wonder what can the Council and State Government be thinking of amid the present threat of climate changes and pollutants to our eco-system?….
    I learned a long time ago….’Power brings Corruption and absolute power brings Absolute Corruption!’ The truest lesson and the hardest to swollow!!

  5. Walker’s Toondah Harbour project… a case study of “Game of Mates”. Rich developer donates to political parties… his project proposal gets waived through at all levels despite local community opposition. No wonder Australia has slipped in the ranks of transparent democracies…

  6. Andrew Laming, our Federal Member for Bowman, had to have been convincing in selling the Toondah Harbour project to then Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. Shame on him! Sussan Ley, his successor, I recall some years ago was linked with Head of Brisbane Centrelink in some kind of Gold Coast property deal that received much attention in the Courier Mail…and after watching Q&A last evening on TV ‘do we trust politicians?’… outcome of that session was a resounding NO. Am reminded of my late husband, Paul, telling me that “we can all be bought!”….and who better than those holding powerful positions.

  7. Steve,
    My maths show that the number surveyed as a % of the population of the Redlands and location is too low to achieve an acceptable error % to be influential to the pollies.
    The question of either for or against isn’t enough .
    My suggestion would have been to ask the respondents if it would 5 to 1 wouldn’t influence their voting decision.
    Also ask who they voted for last time and their division
    Now that might put a rocket under not only the Mayor but perhaps also her support .
    One of the many reasons that excuse for a Federal member and his assorted ( push polling …. loaded questions) questionnaires fail are many and various. Ultimately they are poorly designed and responded to. In a nut shell he is wasting public money trying to hide the fact that the purpose is to get his name out there so people may vote on recognition ( electioneering ) rather than substance. His surveys are as credibility as someone , who shall go nameless, allowed the project to get this far, given the simple maths of PROBABLE sea rises and the sad history of draining wetlands for canals development don’t exist.

  8. Does everything on earth have to be destroyed for MONEY? This area is such an important area for the migratory birds and a host of other species of wildlife, why do humans have to destroy everything only for their gain, and the decimation of all other beings. We are the only REAL animals on this planet and we are bringing it to it’s knees. Government (both State and Federal) need to remember that we cannot eat money or housing. We do not need any more high density living in the Redlands!

  9. What I am about to tell you is only my opinion but it is based on facts. Back in December 2018 Redland City Bulletin (RCB) published a front page article titled “Clash on Toondah.” It showed how Josh Frydenberg, the then Federal Environment Minister, ignored his own department’s advice when they concluded that the Toondah Proposal was clearly unacceptable on environmental grounds. Frydenberg said that the proposal “had support from the state government and Redland City Council”, as though that made it acceptable in terms of the environment. Neither body had even considered the environment so Frydenberg looked weak in my opinion. He even stated that “more information might lead to mitigation or offsets of any significant environmental impact.” Andrew Laming admitted that he was acting as advisor to Frydenberg and he also showed his bias in favour of the Proposal in a flyer he posted to thousands of residents. Now Laming is trying similar tactics with the new Federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, who did not attend the International Wetland Day on 2/2/2020 but did visit Toondah with Laming (RCB: 5/2/2020) and spoke to staff of the Walker Corporation. In my view this is highly unethical and shows that Laming is once again trying to influence a Federal Environment Minister on what is known amongst residents as the “rort at the port” because no developer, no matter how wealthy, should be allowed to dredge 100 acres of the Ramsar protection zone for 3,600 units over the Bay.

  10. We are destroying Redlands. It’s all about the developers! Haven’t we done another damage! I don’t hear anything about the wildlife. Enough is enough. Disgusting council. All about the money!!

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