Tanya Plibersek and her proposed Toondah decision – letters

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek announcing her proposed Toondah decision

A proposed decision by Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to refuse Walker Group’s Toondah Harbour development set of a flurry of activity by local letter writers.

Letters can be emailed to theeditor@redlands2030.net

Toondah’s PDA, The Power That Comes With Wealth

Tanya Plibersek and her proposed Toondah decision - letters
Artist’s impression of multi-story apartments

It beats me how money can blind those who seek it and the power that comes with wealth.

So many people come to Moreton Bay because of the environment, not high-rise flats or man-made structures.

Why can’t residential accommodation be built where the infrastructure is already available like Capalaba etc?

Don Brown doesn’t or won’t say, and Henry Pike is ignoring the obvious alternatives of where to build accommodation for the lower income, and first home buyers.

Isn’t Toondah now a State matter since the Federal Minister has already made her known preference! Where does the Federal Government even get involved?

Importantly, what is Walker’s Plan B?


The Tanya Plibersek decision

Tanya Plibersek and her proposed Toondah decision - letters
View over the proposed development area

The Federal Environment Minister’s “pending decision” on the mega apartment development in a protected part of Moreton Bay tidal wetlands near Cleveland was the right one for many reasons. It went beyond the protection of shorebirds. Let’s hope it is sustained.

The areas near Toondah Harbour has become highly densified over the last ten to twenty years, with traffic, boating noise, congestion, vegetation and wildlife loss. The sum of this is destroying the quiet, country, coastal feel of an area whose basic unpretentious characteristics should be protected as much as possible. It is after all what makes Cleveland … Cleveland!

The Toondah residential development would significantly add to the negative outcomes for the Bay so the Minister’s decision is a breath of fresh air in the ongoing debate but one consistent with the power of the people!!!

Well done to the thousands of people who spoke up.

An exclusive, expensive, elite 3600 apartment mega development of crass, countless cookie cutter, high-density towers, built in a Ramsar Area on the waters of Moreton Bay and on tidal wetlands was not fit for this slice of natural beauty.

The unobscured views of the bay, its islands, its wildlife, will stay free for all to enjoy into the future. That is important!


Thank You Tanya Plibersek

It was with a great sigh of relief to hear that Tanya Plibersek announce her intended Toondah decision. She made it clear that building units at Toondah Harbour is unacceptable.

What a relief we would have when this is finally signed off, but the decision by Walker’s to withdraw their application makes the future uncertain.

It’s appalling that Redland City Council still feels that “losing” this development will be detrimental to the city.

How could it be detrimental to lose this development? It would only be detrimental if it went ahead! To talk about this development as an improvement to the port is naive, to say the least.

Our Ramsar listed, internationally recognised wetlands, support shore birds, many of whom are threatened and it must come first and be protected. Also acknowledging Indigenous rights is essential if we’re to move forward.

The mention of tourism being a drawcard – of course it is, provided it is kept in the form of true eco-tourism and is compatible with the area’s natural state.

Development of 3,600 units, which would take well over 20 years to build, cause disruption for 20 or more years was never acceptable.

Added to this, we never wanted thousands more cars on the roads of Cleveland!!!

Raby Bay canal repair work

Look at similar areas such as Raby Bay which stands out as a problem for the City Council years after it was built by a developer. This development has gone through all sorts of failures related to construction, filling and canal development and these are still causing problems. It seems the cost of these failures will be picked up by ratepayers

When will our Council learn?  At least we can learn from the Raby Bay experience by saying no to the Toondah Harbour proposal.

About the housing problems,  homeless people cannot afford these units so the issue would not be solved.

As ratepayers, we applaud the Minister Plibersek’s decision. 


“Hands off” G.J. Walter Park

G.J. Walter Park next to Toondah Harbour

As a person who visits North Stradbroke Island frequently, I have often enjoyed walking and relaxing in G.J. Walter Park so it was an absolute joy to learn of Tanya Plibersek’s Toondah decision. We can now all enjoy the park and its amenities for years to come.

I am so glad that Tanya Plibersek has decided this proposal to build units at Toondah Harbour must not go on.

Apart from the concerns around shore birds, environmental issues and maintaining the ecology, it will be lovely to see families enjoying this beautiful area for years to come.

I look forward to welcoming the shorebirds back after their long flights. This time it will be with added enthusiasm, knowing that the shorebirds can continue to do so.

North Stradbroke Island

Jobs, housing and the Tanya Plibersek decision

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has announced a proposed decision to refuse an application for a development on Toondah Harbour. While this has been widely applauded there is a prominent comment that ’…hundreds of job for local tradies and thousands of homes blocked in the middle of a housing crisis’.

Housing is a major issue; jobs are always important. But it is too simple to say that stopping Toondah will cost jobs and housing. 

  • The 3,600 dwellings proposed for Toondah are factored into the long-term planning target of 17,200 extra dwellings in the Redland Housing Strategy 2011 -2031 which is incorporated into the South-East Queensland Regional Plan.
  • Hence there is every expectation that these dwellings will built elsewhere in Redland City if they are not built at Toondah. 
  • The alternative of building the proposed 3,600 dwellings somewhere else in Redland City should have been considered in the Toondah Harbour Environmental Impact Statement. 
  • The logic of cost-benefit analysis as required for the EIS is to compare alternatives. So is the imperative stated in the relevant Ramsar Convention Handbook on impact assessment that ‘particular emphasis should be given to the development of alternatives’ .

A separate matter is that the EIS quite possibly over-exaggerates the number of construction jobs. Even so, the EIS puts the number of construction jobs at ‘390 in the peak year’ compared to the developer’s claim that ‘More than 1,000 full-time equivalent jobs will be supported each year during the building phase’.

Around the same number of construction jobs will be created wherever in Redland City the dwellings planned under the existing strategies are built. The houses are needed and the jobs will be created because of the overall need to supply more dwellings in Redland City.

Toondah was estimated to take 20 years to complete. Quite possibly the new housing will be built sooner if done somewhere else than Toondah. It might also be housing more readily affordable and accessible to the majority of people. Indeed, the State Government and Redland City Council would be well advised to seriously consider innovative ways of funding and building high-quality social or cooperative housing.

That would be a much better outcome for looking after people and the environment.


More Letters To Redlands2030

Birkdale whitewater and Toondah wetlands proposals – letters

High rates, Olympic brand damage, Ozpolitik and vandalism – letters

Toondah Proposal Opposed By Locals – Letters

Redlands2030 – 27 April 2024

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