Mark Robinson, Member for Cleveland was way off the mark when he said in State Parliament on May 8 that the community and stakeholder views about the proposed Toondah Harbour scheme were “largely positive”.
I question his statements that:
“Over 2000 people from the Redland city area provided feedback in some form—mostly positive—showing high levels of community awareness and strong levels of support for the project.”
“Stakeholder groups, including those representing community, business and environmental interests, have also had their say and have been largely positive.”
Publicly available evidence does not indicate community support for the Toondah scheme.
A petition to parliament calling for Toondah Harbour plans to be withdrawn attracted 1,200 signatures in about three weeks. More than 380 people support a change.org electronic petition calling for the Toondah Harbour scheme to be withdrawn.
The Bayside Bulletin has published letters and comments from many residents about Toondah Harbour which collectively indicate widespread community concern about the scheme and its impacts.
Redland Council claims it received feedback about Toondah Harbour from more than 2000 people including 583 formal submissions. However, the report to the Council meeting on 19 March was silent about the public’s attitude to the scheme.
The Council’s “Community Research Report”, unveiled at the end of the consultation period, does not provide any credible information about community attitudes to the scheme. Survey questions were structured to obtain positive responses to vague notions rather than finding out what the public thinks about the proposed scheme and its likely consequences e.g. environmental impacts on internationally significant Ramsar wetlands.
If the Member for Cleveland has any credible evidence for claiming that the Toondah Harbour scheme received mostly positive support during the consultation process then he should immediately make it publicly available.
Otherwise, electors are entitled to think that their views have been misrepresented to Parliament.
- Chris Walker, Cleveland