THE proposed $1.39 billion Toondah Harbour rebuild should be abandoned, says Redlands independent candidate Peter Dowling.
Mr Dowling said the project would wreck the economic viability of Cleveland and its environmental challenges were so substantial that he doubted they would pass federal government scrutiny.
Mr Dowling said that as the member for Redlands when the PDAs were announced for Toondah and Weinam Creek at Redland Bay, he had welcomed a developer of the calibre of Walker Corp being involved.
“At that time I privately had reservations about the PDAs competing in a sense, especially when the Toondah project offers little to our city,” he said. “It will deliver an exclusive playground for the fortunate few, while at the same time drive home the final nail into Cleveland CBD as a business, retail and destination centre.
“The environmental challenges of the Toondah PDA are well documented and will struggle to pass any scrutiny.”
Mr Dowling said that by comparison Weinam Creek had the ability to address access and parking issues. The two PDAs could not be more different, with Toondah having about an 80 per cent marine area and 20 per cent land component. Weinam was the reverse.
“Toondah does not deliver for Redlands as Weinam does,” he said. “It is high time we as a community focus on Weinam Creek.”
Redlands mayor Karen Williams said that as a former LNP MP, Mr Dowling had backed Toondah and had organised and attended meetings for her with former deputy premier Jeff Seeney.
“(He) certainly supported the PDAs when he was a state member,” she said. “As Weinam was in his electorate, he wanted that to happen as a priority and actually pushed up the creek with the boundary (which was not accepted).”
Cr Williams said Mr Dowling had challenged the environmental boundaries of Weinam so she found it interesting that he was now so concerned about Toondah’s environmental credentials.
“What is his alternative?” she said. “It’s important to note that the current process requires EPBC approval and we have always maintained the environmental studies need to stack up.”
Mr Dowling said it was disappointing that three years on almost nothing had happened at Weinam. “Pull the pin on Toondah PDA and get and let’s get Weinam Creek PDA back on track.”
Mr Dowling said Toondah would result in public land being gifted to developers in exchange for 3600 units. It would have limited parking and enormous environmental and economic risks.
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