South-east Queensland mayors call for prompt decision on Toondah Harbour

IN CANBERRA: Redland City mayor Karen Williams is one of the south-east Queensland mayors lobbying federal government. Photo: Supplied

IN CANBERRA: Redland City mayor Karen Williams is one of the south-east Queensland mayors lobbying federal government. Photo: Supplied

SOUTH-EAST Queensland mayors are lobbying federal government for a prompt decision on the Toondah Harbour development.

The $1.3 billion project, together with public transport and road infrastructure initiatives, top the agenda for the Redlands’ issues up for discussion at meetings between the mayors, including Redlands mayor Karen Williams, and key government and opposition representatives at Canberra.

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) stated in a federal advocacy document that the Environment Department suspended the referral of the Toondah Harbour development under environmental legislation in December.

“The timeframe for a decision on whether the proposal is a controlled action has been extended to 17 July 2017,” the document stated.

“The proposal has now been with the department for 15 months and a decision on a path forward is yet to be made.

“This decision-making process would normally take about one month and a prompt decision on this project is vital for the SEQ region.”

The document stated the revitalised harbour would encourage more than 45,000 extra visitors to the region annually, equating to $21 million in tourism revenue and $78 million in extra retail spending.

Cr Williams said the harbour was critical to building tourism opportunities for North Stradbroke Island, the rest of Redlands and further afield.

“State and local government have already invested in the project and we are keen for the federal government to push the project along,” she said.

Cr Williams said it was important that federal government made a decision on the proposal.

Other priorities affecting the Redlands include a $1.736 billion project to provide an 18 kilometre extension to the Eastern Busway to Capalaba, development of road networks between the Redlands and the port (a $360 million project) and between the city and the Gateway Motorway ($196 million) and a $180 million proposal for the duplication of the rail line between Manly and Cleveland.

The mayors are also calling for support of a $60 million aquatic and emergency precinct in the Redlands that would bring together fire, ambulance and SES volunteers, with local government and Surf Life Saving Queensland.

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