Environmental study next step in Toondah project

Deputy premier Jackie Trad with Redland mayor Kare Williams, right, meet Walker Corporation general manager Peter Saba and Capalaba MP Don Brown at the Cleveland ferry terminal. PHOTO: Chris McCormack

Deputy premier Jackie Trad with Redland mayor Kare Williams, right, meet Walker Corporation general manager Peter Saba and Capalaba MP Don Brown at the Cleveland ferry terminal. PHOTO: Chris McCormack

CONSTRUCTION of a $1.3billion 300-berth marina and retail precinct at Toondah Harbour is set to start in 2017.

Deputy premier Jackie Trad with mayor Karen Williams, left. PHOTO: Chris McCormack

Deputy premier Jackie Trad with mayor Karen Williams, left. PHOTO: Chris McCormack

The date was unveiled when construction firm Walker Group met with deputy premier Jackie Trad at the ferry terminal on Friday.

Walker Group general manager Peter Saba also promised Ms Trad the development would not impinge on a nearby Cleveland foreshore park.

He said GJ Walter Park would remain in tact with no net loss of open public space, which he claimed would increase four times under the project.

"There will be retail opportunities, a central plaza that we are looking to incorporate into the community on Middle Street," he said.

"There will be boardwalks and around about 300 berths in the marina and we really are opening up the foreshore to the public, taking on board community concerns."

Ms Trad said the overhaul would create 1000 construction jobs and make up for job losses on North Stradbroke Island after sand mining ended in 2019.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the local community and the communities in the bay islands," she said.

"As job opportunities arise here at Toondah Harbour, people residing in those communities can come and access jobs on the mainland."

It will be the first facelift for the ferry terminal in more than 48 years.

Mayor Karen Williams said garnering the support from the state and the deputy premier made it a "red letter day" for her city.

She said the project would be funded by the Walker Corporation - not ratepayers - and council would donate the land.

However, she said there was still a lot of work for Walker Group to do to get state and federal development and environmental approvals.

Although no timeframe was set for the works, Cr Williams said it was likely the state and federal environmental assessments would take at least 18months.

She said the Economic Development Act, which allowed the state to declare the area a priority, also sped up the process making it an attractive investment by bringing all government departments and agencies together.

"This is going to be an incredible gateway to the beautiful North Stradbroke Island and let's no underestimate the value that has in the broader economy," she said.

“It’s been a long journey but it’s been a concerted effort by council to work with the state and Economic Development Queensland to get this project on track.

“This is not going to mean Toondah Harbour will be built tomorrow but it is the first step to making it a very attractive investment.

“All the planning processes will be dealt with by the state which will mean they will be quick and efficient before council gives final approval."

Cr Williams said she had also worked closely with Bowman MP Andrew Laming to ensure state and federal assessments were done concurrently to speed up the processes.

Mr Laming said results from an SMS survey asking Cleveland residents what they wanted at Toondah Harbour would be known by Monday.

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