Stradbroke's Quandamooka people back Cleveland Harbour revamp

Toondah Harbour is the gateway to North Stradbroke Island. Photo: Scott Burrows
Toondah Harbour is the gateway to North Stradbroke Island. Photo: Scott Burrows
Cleveland's Toondah Harbour is set to get a new ferry terminal, apartments, and waterfront shopping. Photo: Toondah Harbour artists impressio

Cleveland's Toondah Harbour is set to get a new ferry terminal, apartments, and waterfront shopping. Photo: Toondah Harbour artists impressio

A multi-million dollar plan to redevelop Cleveland's Toondah Harbour has the backing of the indigenous people who live on Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island.

The harbour is the main entry and exit point to North Stradbroke Island.

The project includes a new ferry terminal, apartments, parks, waterfront retail and commercial space on the 67 hectare site.

Last week the Queensland Government announced plans to phase out sand mining on North Stradbroke Island by 2019.

Many of the 280 employees who will lose their jobs with sand mining company Sibelco are indigenous people.

The Queensland Government has yet to develop a formal plan to find replacement jobs

On Friday development firm Walkers – which has developed Balmain Cove, The Wharf in Woolloomooloo, Sydney's King Street Wharf and Hope Island on the Gold Coast – on Friday released initial drawings for their Toondah Harbour concept.

The Quandamooka people – custodial owners of the Moreton Bay and Stradbroke islands - believe the harbour redevelopment offers good job opportunities.

Quandamooka CEO Cameron Costello on Monday said they had met with Walkers and supported their plan to redevelop the harbour.

"We are totally in support of an upgrade to the Toondah Harbour area," Mr Costello said.

His said the Quandamooka people's only concern was the steady progress towards native title reconciliation, some environmental issues around the size of the proposed 800-berth marina and some cultural heritage matters.

"It now has to go through the extensive environmental permit processes and if those occur – and the environmental protections are in place – the Quandamooka people believe it provides a great opportunity to provide employment."

Mr Costello said he had met with Walker Group designers to discuss plans for a Quandamooka cultural space at the revamped harbour.

"They are quite experienced in heritage design, so we feel more comfortable that there is someone of their expertise involved," he said.

"At this early stage they have engaged with us and we hope that this continues."

Mr Costello said the Quandamooka people – who have put forward strategic plans for the phase-out of sand mining on Stradbroke Island – said they hoped there could be a formal arrangement for indigenous employment on Quandamooka land.

The Queensland Government on Friday suggested 1000 jobs could be provided for construction workers and 500 jobs after construction finished.

Acting Premier Jackie Trad said the Queensland Government would move forward with the project and test its environmental qualities.

"The project will transform the gateway to Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island, supporting more ongoing jobs and business opportunities for locals," Ms Trad said.

Ms Trad said a formal development agreement would be established between Walkers, Redland council and the state government.

"The next step will be community engagement and the critical environmental impact and development assessment processes and steps."

Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams said the project was the most important in half a century for the Redlands community without ratepayer's money.

"By delivering this approach, we have ensured our community will gain all the benefits of better infrastructure, a deeper harbour and world-class waterfront boulevards and open spaces without the burden of having to pay for it," she said.

Walker Group Holdings Queensland general manager Peter Saba welcomed the milestone agreement.

"You won't simply go there to catch a ferry to North Stradbroke Island; our proposal is to create a destination in its own right," Mr Saba said.

The environmental impact assessment will inform the detailed design of the project, which could be available as early as mid-2016.

This story Stradbroke's Quandamooka people back Cleveland Harbour revamp first appeared on Brisbane Times.