CLEVELAND'S Toondah Harbour is set to be transformed into a transport and recreational precinct after Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney declared the ferry terminal a development priority on a visit to Redlands on Thursday.
Mr Seeney said the 67ha harbour site was the state government's second priority development area declared, behind the Commonwealth Games project ear-marked for the Gold Coast.
He set an 18-month timeframe for the state to complete plans and start developing the site, which includes 18ha of local and state government-owned land and 49ha to be over water.
"Declaring this a Priority Development Area allows the harbour to be taken out of the existing planning process so a plan can be drawn up for the area in isolation," he said.
"This allows the state to overcome a whole range of complexities that has made it difficult for previous governments who have looked at it since 1966.
"The timeframe won't be very long as the issues here are well known and we should be able to complete designs within six months and then move forward to the physical development side within 12 or 18 months," Mr Seeney said.
"That may be optimistic, but I like to set the bar high and I don't think the planning should take longer than 18 months."
Redland City Council mayor Karen Williams said yesterday's declaration would transform Toondah Harbour from an "ugly ducking" into a world-class transport hub and gateway to Moreton Bay.
She said she expected the precinct to include a convention centre, accommodation and restaurants around the terminal.
Cr Williams said changes to legislation and the Economic Development Act 2012 helped councils and the state deliver projects, which previously faced red tape hurdles under council planning schemes.
"We will work with the state to get the mix right for this waterfront development so the community gets what it wants quickly and affordably," she said.
"There has been a change in attitude in Redland City and there is a new interest from investors to look at projects such as this."
Member for Cleveland Mark Robinson said the community would be consulted about the project, which he hoped would open up job opportunities in the area.
"Economic Development Queensland officers will work closely with council to ensure the vision for Toondah Harbour is in line with community expectations," he said.
VIDEO: Redlands City Council last launched a video as part of its campaign Redlands – Open for Business and Investment