"It stinks": Residents air concerns about Shoreline southern Redland Bay wastewater treatment plant amid infrastructure designation request

SITE: An aerial view of the Shoreline development site. The proposed plant is 1.5 kilometres south. Photo: Lendlease
SITE: An aerial view of the Shoreline development site. The proposed plant is 1.5 kilometres south. Photo: Lendlease

A CONTROVERSIAL wastewater plant proposed for southern Redland Bay could be a huge step closer to the finish line if a request for a Ministerial Infrastructure Designation is approved.

The plant - part of Lendlease's Shoreline project, but located 1.5 kilometres south of the development area - has attracted criticism from some nearby residents who say the plan creates risk of flooding, mosquitoes and decreased property values, among other potential impacts.

Residents have until Friday to make a submission to Planning Minister Steven Miles, who will decide whether to make the designation.

A designation would mean no further planning approvals are needed for the plant, and residents would be unable to appeal a decision. The process is used to assist the development of community infrastructure.

A membrane bioreactor plant would be built on Longland Road with treated wastewater travelling through 10 hectares of constructed wetlands to the Logan River.

While the mangrove wetlands matures - about five years - treated water would be used for irrigation and other purposes.

Lois Edwards, who is among a group of residents concerned about the plant, said an MID would further tip the playing field against residents, some of whom felt they had not been heard throughout the process.

"The whole thing stinks from the head down because of the way it's been handled," she said.

Shoreline development director Ian Murray said community consultation had taken place before and during the MID process, including briefings in late 2019 and community information sessions earlier this month.

Residents can make submissions to the Planning Minister by March 5.

Nearby resident Jorma Ahokas has raised concerns about the plant since 2019, saying it would increase the risk of flooding and was not a good look for the southern entrance to the Redlands.

"If you come from the Gold Coast, Sydney, NSW and other southern states by road, your entrance is at ... Serpentine Creek," he said.

"It is the gateway for all those tourists heading for Stradbroke Island and other bay islands. Redland City's southern facade will be sewage treatment plant."

In a Logan City Council meeting last week, Cr Miriam Stemp raised her fears about the project, citing a letter she had written to Infrastructure Minister Steven Miles in December.

She said the project - which borders the Logan suburb of Carbrook - had a number of potential negative impacts on residents on and operators on either side of the river.

Residents were worried about water causing flooding of low-lying areas already prone to inundation.

"The flood and storm tide overlays clearly outline significant flooding into Serpentine Creek," she said.

"(There are) potential adverse effects on local properties during peak summer floods and high tides."

When asked about the flood concerns, Mr Murray said hydrology modelling supported the Longland Road site.

Cr Stemp's letter also raised concerns about noise, odour, traffic management from the Shoreline development, mosquitoes in the constructed wetlands, and impact on property values.

A community forum on February 20 saw residents raise similar concerns with Lendlease representatives and experts.

Mr Murray said options - including upgrading the nearby Mount Cotton treatment plant - had been considered but the Longland Road site was deemed to be the most efficient and viable.

"Council's existing wastewater infrastructure network does not have capacity for the Southern Redland Bay catchment, nor is it feasible to upgrade existing facilities," Mr Murray said.

"The proposed Southern Redland Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant will have the capacity to treat wastewater from the entire developable area in the Urban Footprint at Southern Redland Bay."

Control measures and buffers would be in place to deal with noise and odour, he said.

"Open space buffer zones (like) well-drained marine couch or samphire habitat will be present to prevent breeding sites for mosquitoes."

Mr Murray said the plant would provide a net improvement in water quality in the Logan River.

For more information on the plant or to make a submission, visit planning.dsdmip.qld.gov.au.