Toondah proposal withdrawn. New proposal will be lodged to reduce impact on foreshore areas

PROPOSAL REDRAWN: Walker Corp's Peter Saba at the Toondah foreshore with Cassim Island in the background. A referral to the federal environment department has been revamped to lessen impacts on the island.

PROPOSAL REDRAWN: Walker Corp's Peter Saba at the Toondah foreshore with Cassim Island in the background. A referral to the federal environment department has been revamped to lessen impacts on the island.

WALKER Corp will revamp its proposal for the $1.39 billion Toondah Harbour redevelopment in an effort to kick start the project.

It has withdrawn its referral to the federal government and will resubmit a new proposal on Monday which will include better protection for foreshore areas.

It’s primary aim is to lessen the impact on Cassim Island and will see the size of the marina reduced.

The move is aimed at meeting requirements under the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland listing which is aimed at protecting foreshores and wildlife like some bird species which can survive nowhere else.

Walker’s Queensland general manager Peter Saba said the company hoped the reduced development footprint would lead to the government approving the next step – an environmental impact assessment.

Project changes would increase the buffer between the development and the shorebird high tide roost site at Cassim Island to a minimum of 100 metres and up to 200 metres.

Experts would be hired to assess impacts, with the process mirroring that which was employed to examine Great Barrier Reef World Heritage values.

“We believe the submission of a new referral is the best way to achieve a timely resolution and provide greater certainty to all stakeholders,’’ Mr Saba said.

This would allow impacts, offsets and benefits to be assessed in detail.

A federal environment department spokesman said once a referral was received, the department had 20 business days to make a statutory decision. Ten business days would be allowed for public comment.

Unless further information was required or an extension was requested by the proponent, a decision would be made on whether it would be approved or whether further assessment was required.

Mr Saba said the company would be prepared to accept an extension on the referral decision if the government had good reason to do so.

The project has already been extended six times to meet Walker and government requirements and the Redland City Bulletin understands the company has been involved in extensive negotiations in an effort to meet government concerns.

The new plan has reshaped the ferry precinct and marina but will leave the residential component untouched, with 3600 houses and apartments to be built over 15 to 20 years.

The project has been backed by Redland City Council and both sides of politics at state level but has been hammered by residents who say it is too big.

They have complained about loss of public space, impacts on koalas, foreshores, fishing and birds and on roads and public transport issues from such a large development.

Comment has been sought from mayor Karen Williams and the federal environment department.

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