Redlands2030 president launches petition for Toondah Harbour investigation

DEVELOPMENT: A marina, harbour, commercial and residential development is planned for Toondah Harbour.
DEVELOPMENT: A marina, harbour, commercial and residential development is planned for Toondah Harbour.

THE president of lobby group Redlands2030 has started a petition calling for an investigation into plans for a $1.4 billion commercial and residential development at Toondah Harbour.

The petition - which had attracted more than 1300 signatures at the time of writing - called for a commission of inquiry to look into into development plans for the harbour, including why the priority development area had been set up to encroach on Ramsar wetlands.

Planning and community engagement processes by council in 2013 and 2014 - around the time the PDA was declared - were also called into question.

A council spokesperson said substantial community engagement had been undertaken.

"Redland City Council and Economic Development Queensland in 2014 received two major planning awards in recognition of the project work for the two Priority Development Area projects at Cleveland's Toondah Harbour and Redland Bay's Weinam Creek," the spokesperson said.

Council and EDQ won a Planning Institute of Australia award for public engagement and community planning in 2014.

The petition also requested an investigation into decisions about awarding development agreements, as well as costs and benefits of the development to the community.

The council spokesperson said in 2014, council and the state government had undertaken a rigorous expression of interest tender process before entering into development and infrastructure agreements with developer Walker Group in 2016.

"The cost of upgrading the public infrastructure at Toondah Harbour, including the ferry terminal and deepening and widening the navigation channel, is $116 million," the spokesperson said.

"As a PDA and under the infrastructure agreement, ratepayers and the community reap the benefits of much-needed infrastructure in the area at minimal cost to council and no impact to rates over the long-term."

Redlands2030 president Steve MacDonald said hundreds of people in Cleveland and on North Stradbroke Island opposed plans for the development of apartments on wetlands next to Toondah Harbour.

"We are calling for a commission of inquiry so that all of the questionable decisions made over many years by the state government and Redland City Council can be systematically investigated and assessed independently," he said.

"A properly conducted commission of inquiry would be an important step towards deciding what development and conservation may be appropriate in the area near Toondah Harbour."

A spokesperson for Walker declined to comment on the petition.