Toondah and the virus of coastal development

Outrage continues over plans for construction of 3,600 apartments on mudflats between the Grand View Hotel and Toondah Harbour, where ferries depart for North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).

Have your say about Toondah Harbour, or anything else, by emailing a letter to

Birds threatened by development ‘virus’

Critically endangered Eastern curlew feeding on mudflats near Toondah Harbour.
Critically endangered Eastern curlew feeding on mudflats near Toondah Harbour – Photo: Chris Walker

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has caused and is causing major disruption and significant loss of life around the world.

Whilst the world has experienced worse pandemics in history, this pandemic is probably the first for a century that has had such an impact, either direct or indirect, on such a large part of the world population.

The distressing statistics are that worldwide just over 11 million COVID-19 cases have been reported and there have been more than 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths.

Some of the brightest intellects around the world are working towards a vaccine and the world waits hopefully for a breakthrough.

Imagine a situation that was far worse, a virus that killed 6% of the world population annually for 30 years. 

That would be absolutely catastrophic. On the basis of a current world population of approximately 7.8 billion people, that would represent a loss of approximately 470 million human lives in the first year.

Well, that is what has been happening to the global population of the Eastern Curlew for the past 30 years, with massive loss of habitat or habitat degradation resulting in a 6% population decline annually.

The global population of Eastern curlews is now estimated to be less than 50,000. What has caused this massive and continuing decline? 

According to the Threatened Species website, one of the key drivers is 

extensive loss of intertidal mudflat … Causes of mudflat loss are multiple and include: coastal developments, which ‘reclaim’ soft, food-filled mudflats using seawalls and convert them into solid land; a reduction in sediment deposits from rivers that have been extensively dammed; and escalating sea-level rise.

Unfortunately, this loss cannot be ameliorated by so-called “offsets” in a world that is experiencing rising sea-levels. 

One way to protect critically endangered species such as the Eastern Curlew is to protect their remaining habitat with the same commitment and diligence that has been applied by government and society to containing the coronavirus. 

That means that we, governments at all levels and society, must all protect the remaining habitat, including Toondah Harbour.

We must protect these precious and unique creatures from further exposure to the virus of coastal, intertidal mudflat development. 


Does anyone think Toondah plan reasonable?

Artist's impression of Toondah Harbour development by Chrissy Ford
Artist’s impression of Toondah Harbour development by Chrissy Ford

Whether you live in Cleveland or any suburb of Brisbane and especially Stradbroke Island I am sure you will be horrified about the Toondah Harbour proposal for 3,600 units on a wetland protected by RAMSAR.

This proposal, if it goes ahead, will destroy a wildlife area where shorebirds fly from Russia and feed here. Not only will it destroy the environment but will change the face of Cleveland.

Traffic congestion will escalate!

How can ANYONE think this is a reasonable proposal?

We have a glut of units already!

Find out more about this and give your voice against it!

North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah)

Editor’s note: Toondah inquiry petition

One way to give your voice against 3,600 apartments next to Toondah Harbour is to sign the petition to Queensland Parliament calling for an independent inquiry.

Toondah Inquiry petition to Queensland Parliament
This petition has already attracted more support than any other E-Petition about a Redlands issue since E-Petitions were introduced by Queensland Parliament in 2002.

More letters to Redlands2030

Jack Mundey, Planet of the Humans and Toondah

Moreton Bay science, ABC cuts, home builder grants and Lang Park in letters

COVID-19 implications in letters to Redlands2030

Cover photo

Sunrise over mangrove pneumatophores (aerial roots) on the Toondah mudflats - Photo: Chris Walker
Sunrise over mangrove pneumatophores (aerial roots) on the Toondah mudflats – Photo: Chris Walker

Redlands2030 – 5 July 2020

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