Poll comes down heavily against Toondah Harbour

A REDLAND City Bulletin poll run during the state election has come down heavily against the proposed $1.3 billion Toondah Harbour redevelopment.

DEVELOPMENT AREA: The Toondah Harbour PDA area as defined by the state government.

DEVELOPMENT AREA: The Toondah Harbour PDA area as defined by the state government.

The poll asked if the Toondah Harbour priority development area should be abandoned.

PDAs are parcels of land identified by the Local Government Department for accelerated development, with a focus on economic growth.

The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area was declared at the request of Redland City Council on June 21, 2013. 

A total of 843 people voted in the poll, with 723 or 85.77 per cent saying the PDA should be abandoned.

A total of 120 or 14.23 per cent said it should not be dropped.

Such online polls are not scientific but merely reflect the interests of those who take part.

The Local Government Department says the Toondah PDA seeks to reinforce Toondah Harbour as a gateway to Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island, with residential, marina and retail development.

It covers 67 hectares, including 17.5 hectares over land and 49.5 hectares over water and has been opposed by nearby residents and scientists because of its potential to impact on migratory bird species, water quality, corals, koalas and traffic issues.

Redlands independent state election candidate Peter Dowling came out against the project during the election, prompting complaints from residents who said he had supported the PDA when he was an LNP member and councillor.

Redlands mayor Karen Williams said that as a former 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 (including the Weinam Creek redevelopment) 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).”

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.

He said he had welcomed developer Walker Corp becoming involved in such a project but privately had reservations about the PDA.

“The environmental challenges of the Toondah PDA are well documented and will struggle to pass any scrutiny,” he said.