THE $1.39 billion Toondah Harbour project has been referred to the Commonwealth Environment Minister as the first step of a state and federal government environmental impact assessment and approval process.
It comes as the Walker Corporation, which is working in partnership with the state government and Redland City Council, on Wednesday unveiled its proposed master plan for the revitalisation of Toondah Harbour.
The plan proposes a new ferry and tourism precinct, up to a 400-berth marina, increased residential living with a diversity of housing types, a retail and entertainment precinct, range of parks, boadwalks and recreational facilities.
The maximum building height will be capped at 10 storeys with low and medium-rise development to feature strongly in some precincts.
Walker’s general manager of Queensland development Peter Saba said the project would establish the harbour as the new and improved gateway to Moreton Bay, a tourism destination in its own right.
Mr Saba said the design team had listened to community feedback and drew up plans for a public and residential space to transform an underused area into a waterfront destination, while retaining GJ Walter Park.
“We recognise the importance to the community of GJ Walter Park, which includes the dog off-leash area, the 104-year-old cricket field, koala habitat trees and the wonderful Norfolk pines,” Mr Saba said.
“There will be no change to the size of the heritage park. Walker is proposing some enhancements, such as new kick about and play spaces, as well as a fully fenced dog park.”
The 15-to-20-year project is expected to stimulate an extra $2.33 billion in economic activity and eventually mean more than $5 million a year in contributions to local government rates.
Mr Saba said the project would support 1000 jobs a year during construction, and 500 jobs a year on completion.
It is expected to deliver an extra $96.5 million a year to the local economy, including $78.1 million in retail expenditure for surrounding businesses, including the Cleveland CBD, each year.
Walker Corporation has referred the project to the Commonwealth Environment Minister for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, with the company anticipating that during next year it would prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to address potential environmental, social and economic impacts of the project.
“There will be numerous opportunities for the public to have their say and we will be actively seeking community participation,” he said.
“A 10-business day public notification period for our EPBC referral will be under way this week.”
Community consultation was previously held in August 2013 and at the start of 2014.
The state government formally endorsed the Toondah Harbour revitalisation project in June this year.