Whitewater viability, election questions and Toondah – in letters to Redlands2030

Penrith Whitewater Stadium – Image: Google Earth, 1 April 2019
Whitewater viability, election questions and Toondah - in letters to Redlands2030

The financial viability of a proposed Redlands whitewater facility is questioned in a letter to Redlands2030. Letters also discuss the recent local council elections and the Toondah proposal’s ecological unsustainability.

We like getting letters. Please email your letter to:


Financial viability of whitewater thrills

Concept image of Birkdale whitewater facility - RCC
A concept image of the proposed Redlands Whitewater facility – Redland City Council

The Independent Review of Brisbane 2032 Olympic Venues has been delivered with the finding of there being a “sound financial model for the [Redlands Whitewater] facility”.

Yet such “sound” financials remain withheld and undisclosed from those with the greatest stake in its success or failure – Redlands ratepayers!

This lack of transparency invites speculation that decision-makers lack sufficient confidence in the model’s business case, forecasts and assumptions to open them up to public scrutiny.

Which is a pity as we could certainly do with being enlightened on some of the fundamental economics surrounding this venture.

For instance, much is made of the Facility being a legacy swiftwater training asset. 

Yet the BCP Master Plan Foundation Report states: “Public use of the whitewater facility beyond the disaster and resilience training activities is expected to be the majority revenue source“.

So, public use of the venue – with recreational rafting the most accessible attraction – is to be the main revenue source into the future. Yet consider the following:

  • Using the ride prices published for Penrith Whitewater, the cost is estimated at $160 per person for a single 90 minutes session.
  • Yet for an extra $39, you can purchase an unlimited 7 DAY Pass to 4 Major Gold Coast Theme Parks, all within 30 minutes of BCP – Movie World, Sea World, Paradise Country and Wet’n Wild (for your waterpark adrenaline action).
  • Further, an extra $59 buys you an unlimited YEARLY Pass to the same 4 Major Theme Parks!

So, what is the extent of market research that shows in the Modeling, people willing to part with $160 to participate in a paid adrenaline activity of vastly inferior value over what is competitively available within that market segment and nearby geography – and how does this value-proposition be claimed to work for the target demographic of local families and teenagers on budgets?

Or is this not the target market for sustainable public Whitewater use? And if not, who is? … and why would this market succeed when it failed to sustain Penrith Whitewater financially post-Olympics?


Division Councillors


Why did Adelia Berridge lose her seat in Division 9?

A capable, hardworking and dedicated councillor was soundly defeated in the recent election. I noticed her opponent, in his advertising, claiming to be the only candidate who lived in the division.

On election day, I was handing out Adelia’s how-to-vote cards. Behind me, I could hear her opponent’s poll workers delivering his how-to votes with a constant litany of “the only candidate who lives in the division”.

With the general public’s general disinterest in local Government, I feel this could be the main if not the only reason for Adelia’s devastating loss.

We see time and again, when major parties try to parachute an outside candidate into an electorate, their results are usually somewhat disappointing.

The lesson should be learnt, that a candidate must be a local resident or suffer the consequences


Editor’s note: Three Redland City Councillors who do not live in their divisions were re-elected at the 2024 Local Government Elections. The relevant electoral laws require that Division Councillors must live in their Local Government Area, but they do not have to live in the Division which they represent.

Development and ecology

I want to thank Minister Plibersek for making a considered appraisal of Walker Corporation’s ambitions for Toondah Harbour.

The arguments made in favour of the development were to a great degree specious; being centered around profits rather than on the lasting damage to a pristine and invaluable ecology.

To claim we need more housing when these apartments will sell only to the wealthy, is a hollow argument. The housing problem is largely confined to those on lower incomes or with reduced savings. The majority of them are working and living there would have been contingent on whatever work is to be found locally.  It’s a long commute from the Bay to places of work.

 And there is the increased volume and types of refuse, household and visitor waste generated by the the increased tourism and commercial building.

To see the value of the site only in monetary terms is why we are now suffering rapidly advancing  climate chaos.

The fundamental principle of ecology is that one thing is related to many others things, so while the focus so far has been on shore birds, dugongs and turtles, they both feed on some cyclids, and minute marine species,  but also plants which keep them under control and of course themselves provide food for a wider range of species. It is that balance that remains rarely unseen that preserves the area’s life forms.

QIMR has been studying infectious and water borne diseases. The last time I talked to any of the researchers, they were studying the possible progress of mosquito borne diseases down the coast, particularly into Redlands. They were concerned at the scale of mosquito populations in the off shore islands. Mosquitos that surprisingly are able to make 40 kms commutes to the mainland were plentiful.

These scientists considered Toondah to be at risk of mosquito borne Japanese Encephalitis, Ross River Fever, and in the future, possibly novel strains of dengue.


More Letters To Redlands2030

Tanya Plibersek and her proposed Toondah decision – letters

Birkdale whitewater and Toondah wetlands proposals – letters

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

Redlands2030 – 7 May 2024

1 thought on “Whitewater viability, election questions and Toondah – in letters to Redlands2030”

  1. White water facility

    We cannot afford to build let alone continue to pay for the upkeep of this proposed white water facility

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top
Web Design