History of the Toondah PDA Consultation

To assist people to make their own assessment, Redlands2030 has documented many of the events and issues that caused concern or alarm during the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) community consultation process.

Walker Group plan 2015

The facts speak for themselves but others may have more of the history of the sad affair. The flawed public consultation brings into question the efficacy, veracity and adequacy of the community consultation processes undertaken by Council in partnership with the State Government.

At this stage Redlands2030 is convinced that the Public Consultation on the Toondah Harbour PDA was flawed, erroneous and a failure.

Latest News

VIDEO – A Terminal Case
(Currently without links due to Concerns Notice by Mayor Williams).
  • 27 January 2019: Save Straddie Facebook page calls for public inquiry to investigate Frydenberg Toondah decision. Lists chronology of environment department advise to Minister, developer donations to Liberal Party, and startling revelations by our federal MP Andrew Laming.

The record on the Toondah Harbour PDA and its public consultation

  • 28 April 2012: Karen Williams elected Mayor after saying in her campaign that she would “listen to the people” and do what they wanted (Bayside Bulletin).
  • 21 June 2013: (RCC Minutes p.16) “At Council’s request, the Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared under the Economic Development Act (EDA) 2012″.
    • The Redlands Community was not informed prior to any delineation of the PDA.
    • The EDA signed off by Council in effect removes all community rights to the delineated Priority Development Area. This action was made without any community input.
    • The effect is to hand the community’s planning powers to the State Government without any community consultation or scrutiny. It was clearly a high handed and unilateral decision and the public interest arising from that decision has never been explained.
    • The arguments as to why would our Council give away the community’s planning power remains a mystery.
A typical ‘low-rise’ harbour development as visioned in key consultation findings.
  • July-August 2013: Numerous community information and engagement sessions conducted by Council to advise the community of the implications of the PDA declaration and to seek community views and issues. Key findings were published by Council in its Toondah Harbour Consultation  Engagement Report (BACKUP COPY). Key findings –
    • Better Car Parking seen as the greatest issue/constraint.
    • Preferred Uses of Toondah Harbour: 
      A typical ‘low-rise’ harbour development as visioned in key consultation findings.  
  • There was greatest preference for:Barge and ferry services
    • Tourism
    • Car parking
    • Cafes and restaurants
    • Parks and open spaces
    • Boardwalks and bikeways.
  • There was some support for:
    • Apartments
    • Commercial development
  • People made comments that any apartment and commercial development should be :
    • (a) low-rise – less than 3 stories, and
    • (b) that residents and commercial uses should be separated to manage noise complaints.
  • Balance development with ecological values: There is significant recognition and love for the ecological value of the Bay (including water, wetlands, wildlife and sea grasses) and that any development should be consistent with these values.
  • 20 November 2013: Council Statement “Following comprehensive studies, including advice from urban designers, economists, traffic engineers, ecologists and marine engineers, and input from state and local government officers, the proposed development scheme was ready for consultation. Council unanimously endorsed the proposed development scheme for public notification.”
  • 10 January to 24 February 2014: Council Minute: Council undertake comprehensive and thorough public consultation. Consultation was to include: speaking directly with key stakeholders, holding engagement sessions on the mainland and islands, receiving hundreds of online comments, community mail-outs, advertisements in local and State wide media, posters and other advertising at ferry terminals and on ferries, articles in city wide Council magazines and e-newsletters.
    • The period for consultation was the recognised peak period for residents to take holidays!
800-boat marina and buildings 15 storeys high are part of the vision

800-boat marina and 15 storey buildings in Council vision
  • 13 January 2014: Council and the responsible Minister  announce the  Toondah Harbour Plan (Redland City Bulletin) – “An 800-boat marina, a public beach, a waterfront promenade with restaurants, cafes, shops and offices and buildings up to 15 storeys high are part of the vision for the Toondah Harbour area of Cleveland released for public discussion.”
  •  11 January 2014 The Member for Cleveland,  Mr Robinson,  supports the draft scheme saying “I was pleased to be able to work proactively with Mr Seeney to bring this to fruition for the greater benefit to the people of Redlands”.
    • Despite many requests from the community, the Member for Cleveland has never explained how he worked “proactively”.  It seems clear he did not ensure the documented community values were known to the Minister or the PDA project officers.
    • He had access to the Engagement Report of 2013 and the 2010 Redlands 2030 Community Plan, in which community values were well established and documented. In addition he had at his disposal the 12 000 names of the STIR petition  against a similar Harbour proposal from the late 1980s. Local people drove the collection of names and placed great faith in assurances given by the (Coalition) Government of the day.
  • February 2014: Council has Market Facts (Qld) conduct and report phone survey (since removed from RCCouncil website).
    • GoogleGroup DogsonPDA Analysis identifies the facts. See re-established Analysis on Redlands2030 page.
      • Q5 Shows 43% of respondents prefer ‘green space was preserved and building was done only in already developed areas‘.
      • Q4 Confirms the upgrade wanted at Harbour along with things to do while waiting, cafe, boardwalk. In the responses “openspace” and “no high rise” are prominent in the recorded comments.
      • Q8 Level of Support for recreational open space along foreshores is high (15:1) and on supporting small businesses ‘in the Redlands’ (22:1) and the  Level of support for any commercial waterfront development down to (1:1) .
      • Q6 How should Govt pay for infrastructure? – Replies that are ‘considered negative’  have been removed.
  • February 2014: Outcry from community that current plans ignore community values and expectations (Redlands2030 post)
    • “More than 1,200 people sign a petition calling for the Government to withdraw the Toondah Harbour plan and undertake a more balanced and consultative planning process.”
    • “Hundreds of people protest against the Toondah scheme and make submissions expressing concerns to the Government.”
    • Over 580 submissions from concerned Redland City citizens to theDepartment of Economic Development
    • Over 500 people sign an on line petition through Change.org.
  • 13 February 2014: Redland City Council asks the State Government to extend the community consultation period for the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area project to allow the public more time to have their say (RCC news).
  • February 2014:  At the second round of community forums officers invite people to make comments on large “Post-it Notes”. 
    • Questioned about how such notes would be assessed given the format did not comply with the requirements for a “properly made submission” officers again and again assured people that the notes would be compiled and added to the submissions.
    • There is no evidence of this work being part of councils submission (council made no submission) and the consultation report makes no mention of the “post-it Notes”.
    • The only conclusion being that this aspect of community input was never collated by Council and was not submitted to the State and so was given no weight in the assessment of submissions.
    • Were those people, who acted in good faith, deceived?
  • 17 February 2014: Toondah proposals unviable say experts (Bayside Bulletin).
  • 21 February 2014: Bayside Bulletin asks (rhetorically) ‘Can we do better with our foreshores?’ Providing a misleading photograph of the concrete pool at Redcliffe…a pool which has an operational cost of over a million dollars per year. The image and headline was an absurd contribution to the community debate. It also appeared in the last edition of the local papers before the submission period closed.
  •  February 2014: Mayor Williams interviewed on ABC radio by Steve Austin – – stated “people just came up (to her) and expressed support for the Toondah PDA Scheme”.
    • Council officers admit that there had been many “private” discussions between Council (Mayor and senior officers) and prospective developers/investors.
    • There is no record of these consultations in the formal record of this ‘consultation’ and no reference to these discussions in the published assessment of submissions.   Who, what, why and when remain a mystery!
  • February 2014: Redland City council officer admits making a mistake in draft maps for the redevelopment of Toondah Harbour (Bayside Bulletin).
  • February 2014: Deputy Mayor Cr Alan Beard advises constituents that “much of the confusion in the community about the Toondah PDA is understandable because the concept plan presented for consultation is seriously flawed, and in retrospect, should never have gone out for comment”.
  • 21 February 2014 :The Bayside Bulletin reported submissions on the development proposal closes on February 24 but Council has requested an extension. 
  • 24 February 2014: Bayside Bulletin reports on the “Withdraw the plan, start again” chants from protesters on the previous Sunday morning at the GJ Walter Park off-leash dog area.
    • It is reported that around 300 people, and their dogs wearing placards, came together to voice their opposition to what they said were plans to carve up the park with high rise towers and a new road through a long recognised koala corridor.
    • Some of those at the protest were long term residents of Cleveland most upset at how the Council and their local members had betrayed them and sacrificed their lifestyle to advance commercial interests.
    • Neither the Mayor nor State members attended the meeting. Both Channel 7 and Channel 9 did record proceedings.
  • 24 February 2014: Mr Robinson in speaking to the Bayside Bulletin “First and foremost, I want to reassure residents that all submissions and comments received on the proposed Toondah Harbour development scheme will be treated seriously prior to the finalisation of the development schemes.
  • 27 February 2014Deputy Premier Seeney refuses extension to Toondah consultation period (Bayside Bulletin)., community representatives noting that this”advice” was given after the nominal consultation had closed.
    • Mayor Karen Williams says she was ‘not concerned about the refusal and would continue to take “informal” feedback, which would be used to draw up development assessment criteria’ (Bayside Bulletin).
    • The Member for Cleveland announces support for the Ministers decision, even though it came a week after the nominal consultation period had closed. (He was aware of the widespread publicity given the Councils request for an extension and he did not speak out to warn his constituents even when a few days earlier he gave assurances about a proper consultation process.
  • 18 March 2014: Member for Bowman, Andrew Laming, in response to concerns that their concerns were being ignored advised a number of constituents to “I am suggesting you to wait to see the submissions, not to wait for outcomes. That is a subtle but critical difference. The entire anti-PDA campaign is predicated on some notion that between submission and construction the public is utterly ignored. In reality there will be exhaustive debate and scrutiny. It is impossible for it to be any other way. According to opponents, submissions can be kept secret, all eleven Councillors are sworn to silence, Governments refuse to answer any questions, there are no leaks and the local paper is shut out of the equationIt’s a ridiculous proposition and I am surprised intelligent people entertain it” (bolding by R2030)” 
  • 19 March 2014: Council considers PDA submissions received during the notification period. Council Minutes Item 13.1.1 p12 Community Consultation Report and the final sentence states  “RCC has no recommendations”.
    • “Following the end of the public notification, the 583 submissions received have been considered by officers of Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) and Redland City Council (RCC). This section presents recommendations on key issues raised in the submissions.”
      • “RCC is not statutorily required to provide recommendations on key issues raised in the submissions received during the notification period. However, if no recommendations are provided, it may infer RCC has no recommendations on the Development Scheme”.
    • No references made regarding the “Post-it Notes” submitted at  second round of community forums in February 2014.  This is in the face of the assurances given by attending officers. It appears Council has abrogated it’s responsibility for advocating its community’s concerns and issues despite being (so-called) partner in the PDA planning process.
  • 19 March 2014: Only 4 of the 11 Councillors Vote for Community expectations to be upheld.  Council Minutes Item 12.1.1 p9 NOTICE OF MOTION – CR Ogilvie Toondah Harbour PDS. Motion: That a new Proposed Development Scheme be developed that better takes into account:
    • a) The natural environment;
    • b) Economic feasibility;
    • c) Financial implications for Council;
    • d) The workings of the harbour; and
    • e) Community expectations.
    • In response, to this motion Crs Hardman, Hewlett, Edwards, Talty, Beard, Gleeson and Williams voted against the Notice of Motion to take account of community concerns and the motion was lost.
    • Cr Gleeson’s stand alarmed residents given his election undertakings were to oppose high-rise development at Capalaba. (It is alleged that, later, he stated to a concerned citizen..  that his  “high rise” principles only applied to Capalaba)
  • 30 April 2014: Toondah and Weinam Creek expert reports (many dated 2013) are finally released by Council. Among the disclosures was the comment that viability (of the PDA project) depended on ‘discounts on infrastructure charges’ and added that lenders were not supportive of marina developments. (Bayside Bulletin)The economic cost benefits have never been disclosed. In addition :
    • The JLL Toondah Harbour Market Assessment and Development Strategy Prepared for Redland City Council in August 2013 p2 states – “… confirms our initial preliminary assessment of the total size of a potential marina at Toondah Harbour is supportable at around 400 berths, which would be staged over an extended period of time”.
      • Why did Council and the State announce an 800-boat marina in January 2014 and then lower it to 400 after community outrage?’ (BCB 13 January 2014). Was it a cynical exercise designed to “give the community a win” as first put forward in the early days of the debate in the local media?  The evidence points to that being the motivation!
  • 2 May 2014: Redland City Council releases updated artist impressions of the Toondah Harbour (RCC News).
  • May 2014: Report by Economic Development Queensland on Toondah Harbour Submissions (MEDQ). 
    • Overarching areas of concern (page 9) –
    • concern about building heights identified in the scheme. In particular, potential impacts to amenity, loss of views and breezes and development which conflicts with the character of the area.
    • concerns that the impact on habitat, animals, environmental processes and ecosystems is not adequately considered and that these are not protected in the development.
    • concern regarding the traffic network and parking provisions in regard to meeting the demand of the current and future population of the area. Many submitters were concerned that the current network would be unable to support the needs of the proposed development and population.
    • significant concern about the future use of GJ Walter Park. Many residents were concerned that medium or high density residential development would be detrimental to the amenity and negatively impact the heritage and community value of the park. Concerns related to the reduction in size of GJ Walter Park and that open space provision will fall short of the demand of the area.
    • concerns that the marina development will reduce access to the foreshore, park and promenade and impact park area.
    • concerns that the marina development, dredging and ferry movements will impact on the ecology of the bay.
    • concern regarding the public consultation period, in which many submitters voiced concerns that the community views and values were not adequately represented in the proposed scheme. Submitters were concerned that consultation was tokenistic and that their wishes would be disregarded in favour of private development.
    • concern that additional costs may be incurred by ratepayers due to new and upgraded infrastructure i.e. car parking (subsidies and facilities), ongoing dredging of the marina and ferry services.
Updated Council vision ignores published community expectations.
  • 8 May 2014: Qld Parliament Hansard reports that the Member for Cleveland, Mark Robinson, said in Parliament.  “The councillors from Redland City Council voted to support the revised scheme which was the result of a substantial consultation process and community feedback. Over 2,000 people from the Redland city area provided feedback in some form — mostly positive (bolding by R2030) — showing high levels of community awareness and strong levels of support for the project.”  
  • 16 May 2014: Member for Cleveland, Mark Robinson, challenged about his Parliamentary statements that “Feedback to date from the Redlands’ community on the scheme has been largely positive.” (in the Redland City Bulletin).  The Local Member’s response to this challenge is (still) pending.
  • 31 May 2014 : State government announces the finalised planning schemes for developments at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek ferry terminals. “Mayor Karen Williams congratulated the state for taking the community requests on board”.
  • 17 June 2014: Redlands2030 slams Toondah scheme ahead of council calling for expressions of interest (Redland City Bulletin).
    • Mayor Karen Willians “… the final design will reflect the needs of the community as outlined during the original consultation phase”.
    • MP for Redlands Peter Dowling – ““both the State Government and Council listened to the community and worked to ensure public open space was not only protected but ‘improved’  through this process”
    • Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney  “Both Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek Priority Development Areas have ‘development schemes in place’. The development schemes, which underwent community consultation in 2014, set the rules under which development can occur in these areas.”
    • Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says that the ‘community should not expect to have any further opportunity to consider Walker Corporation’s detailed plans for development’  (Bayside Bulletin).
  • 18 Sept 2014: Walker Group to rejuvenate Redland City (MEDQ Media Statement).
    • Redlands 2030 reports on the proceedings at this announcement.
    • When asked if the community would be given an opportunity to consider Walker Corporation’s detailed plans for development the Deputy Premier Seeney said that this would not happen.
    • LNP Deputy Premier Seeney said that any development application would be assessed against the provisions of the approved development scheme which was put in place following a community consultation process.
    • LNP Deputy Premier Seeney claimed that the development scheme had public support.
  • 2015 Toondah Final Design due ….. without any further opportunity for community consultation or even consideration of the elected members of the Redland City Council.
  • 3 Feb 2015: Jan31 State Election casts doubts over $1b Toondah plan (Redland City Bulletin). Despite awaiting final result of election, (LNP) MP Mark Robinson criticises Labor Party for “not releasing plans for the site”, even though he had previously remained mute when  the Redland City Council overtly decided not to release plans for the site to his constituents. 
Walker Corporation's 'Master Plan' for Toondah Harbour (click to enlarge)
Walker Corporation’s ‘Master Plan’ for Toondah Harbour (click to enlarge)
Toondah Master Plan 3d Model (click to enlarge)
Toondah Master Plan 3d Model for 3,600 apartments (click to enlarge)
  • 25 Nov 2015 : Walker Corporation, working in partnership with the state government and Redland City Council, unveil the Toondah Harbour master plan (Redland City Bulletin). The new master plan now includes 10 storey buildings (3,600 apartments), a 400 berth marina, additional land reclamation (of the internationally recognised RAMSAR marine park) outside of the defined Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area – and all with “no net loss to public car parking”.
Toondah Harbour PDA 2015 (click to enlarge)
Toondah Harbour PDA today (click to enlarge)
  • December 2015 – Redlands2030 has shared a video on YouTube: “FLYOVER– Toondah Harbour PDA Master Plan” — Model View Flyover of the Walker/Council/State Master Plan for the Toondah Harbour PDA development as at Dec 2015. The new master plan now includes 10 storey buildings (3,600 apartments), a 400 berth marina and additional land reclamation (of the internationally recognised RAMSAR marine park) outside of the defined Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area.
  • 23 December 2015 : Community Protests against Toondah agreements – video report by local journalist Peter Wear,  TV news story by Brisbane Channel 10. 
  • 1 Feb 2016 – The referral decision timeframe has been suspended for 50 business days. Council states that this is for Walker to have meetings, discuss further and get more information. 
  • 18 Apr 2016 – The referral decision timeframe has been suspended for 13 business days. [The revised statutory timeframe for a referral decision is 6 May 2016]. 
  • 4 May 2016 – The referral decision timeframe has been suspended for 85 business days. [The revised statutory timeframe for a referral decision is 2 September 2016]. 

2 thoughts on “History of the Toondah PDA Consultation”

  1. Lets Pray common sense will prevail & the locals will get on board & STOP this dreadful development that will devastate the foreshores of Toondah Harbour 🙁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Web Design