Toondah Harbour

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Toondah Harbour was declared a Priority Development Area by the Queensland Government at the request of Redland City Council on 21 June 2013 to revitalise the waterfront site through mixed-use development.

Planning for the area was undertaken by the Queensland Government, in partnership with Redland City Council, and a final development scheme was approved on 29 May 2014.

Toondah Harbour was declared a Priority Development Area by the Queensland Government at the request of Redland City Council on 21 June 2013 to revitalise the waterfront site through mixed-use development.

Planning for the area was undertaken by the Queensland Government, in partnership with Redland City Council, and a final development scheme was approved on 29 May 2014.

Please review the responses below, as your question may already be answered. If you would like to ask us a new question about the Toondah Harbour project, please do so here. 

Q&A

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    Please can you confirm whether this area is in fact Ramsar listed and whether sea level rise has been taken into account. Do I see mangroves and potentially salt marsh and sea grass? what will happen to any dredging?

    Sue King asked 4 months ago

    The Toondah Harbour renewal project, as proposed by the Walker Group, is located within a Ramsar Wetland and is contingent on obtaining federal and state environmental approvals.  

    The Commonwealth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) will assess how the design and layout of the Walker Group’s proposed master plan for Toondah Harbour interacts with the international and national environmental values of the area, including consideration for potential sea-level rise, mangroves, salt marsh, sea grass and future dredging. The Commonwealth Department of Water, Agriculture and the Environment (the Commonwealth) will invite public submissions on the draft EIS once the Commonwealth decides the draft EIS is ready for public comment.

    All current and future dredging of Toondah Harbour requires an environmental authority for dredging under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) and development approval for an environmentally relevant activity (dredging) under the Planning Act 2016 (Qld). No applications for dredging associated with the Walker Group’s proposed master plan have been made to the State at this time.


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    Any further development to the wetlands at Toondah will negatively impact the very fragile and weak migratory birds when they return from Siberia and Alaska. I ask how this has progressed to this stage? There is multilayered international protections in place. Why is the council even considering this development ? Are we able to get a straight answer except for 'EIS' - Developments are short term money making exercises for private interests. Money cannot bring back a species. South Korea took out 1/3 of the migratory birds in one fell swoop - I think the council is considering the same thing here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saemangeum Honestly, Think of a critically endangered species and our following generations that will not be able to see them if this development is approved.

    Andrew Arlington asked almost 2 years ago

    The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area was declared in 2013 with the objective of supporting economic development, attracting tourism investment and enhancing the harbour as a community focal point and regional gateway to Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke Island. To support this objective mixed use, medium density development, and delivery of infrastructure such as ferry terminals and public open space by the private sector for overall public benefit is envisaged. 

    The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Development Scheme (the development scheme) recognises that Toondah Harbour and surrounding Moreton Bay are coastal environments with sensitive ecological values. The development scheme states development should seek to avoid, then minimise and mitigate impacts arising from development, and ensure that ecosystems and natural physical processes are maintained. 

    The Commonwealth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) will assess how the design and layout of the Walker Group’s proposed master plan for Toondah Harbour interacts with the international and national environmental values of the area, including consideration for migratory species such as wader birds. 

    While Council and the Queensland Government support development at Toondah Harbour for the community and economic development it can bring, this support is contingent on the Walker Group being able to demonstrate development recognises and responds to the ecological attributes of the area, and that all relevant environmental approvals and permits can be obtained.

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    I would like to know where the formal submissions at the last stages of consultation made by residents, business and public are visible? These should be of interest for the public who may or may not be overall informed enough to understand the arguments against or for the development for parties involved and concerned. Please advise, as I am interested and the public should know where others stand, apart from the government officials, the developper and organisations that are doing their own campaigning. Thanks

    Bay Islander asked almost 2 years ago

    The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared in 2013, and soon after that a draft development scheme was prepared for the PDA. Public notification of the development scheme under the Economic Development Act 2012 (ED Act) was undertaken between 10 January and 24 February 2014. 

    During this notification period community members were invited to make written submissions. All submissions received during the public notification period were considered by the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) prior to the final development scheme being approved. 

    submissions report summarising the number of submissions received and the matters raised in those submissions was prepared in 2014, and continues to be publicly available. The Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme was adopted on 29 May 2014 and is publicly available on this website and also on the Department’s website

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    Some of the migatory wading birds have flown all the way from Siberia. Already their populations are seriously threatened because 65% of their tidal flat rest and fuel stops have been filled in, polluted or affected by algal blooms in China, Korea and the other east Asian countries en-route. Do you really plan to finish them off completely by filling in these wetlands?

    Margaret Kerr asked almost 2 years ago

    The Commonwealth Environment Impact Statement (EIS) process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) will assess any potential impacts the proposed development may have on wetlands subject to the Ramsar International Convention and all other matters of national environmental significance, such as migratory wading birds. 

    The Queensland Government acknowledges the significant interest that the community has in the proposed redevelopment of Toondah Harbour, particularly the environmental function of this area of Moreton Bay. 

    Walker Group’s development proposal cannot proceed unless Commonwealth environmental approval and all necessary approvals and permits are obtained at a State and local level.

    Queensland Government agencies, Redlands City Council and the community will have the opportunity to comment on the preparation and assessment of the EIS over the coming months, before statutory decisions related to the development proposal are made by the Commonwealth or the State.

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    I have a few questions: What is the anticipated timeframe for finding out whether the development will be given approval to go ahead? Have modifications been made to the original plans to help gain approval? Are changes being made dynamically as you work with the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy? Is this a process where you are in close contact with an individual or group within the department? Was it a surprise that the plans were sent to be reviewed or was it anticipated? Thanks, I know these are a lot of yes/no questions, so if you could elaborate in your answers, that would be appreciated.

    asked about 2 years ago

    Walker Group is now required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).  Under that process, the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment will invite public submissions on the EIS.  There is no fixed timeframe for Walker to prepare its EIS, but that that would not be expected before the second half of next year.  Following consideration of the EIS and public submissions the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment will invite public submissions on the EIS.  Also, subject to consideration under the EPBC Act, there would be several opportunities for the community to provide input to or make submissions on the proposal as part of some subsequent State statutory decision processes.


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    How can I petition against the development? The "gateway to Straddie" works just fine as it is, and I strongly object to the destruction of the wetlands and further commercialisation and privatisation of the harbour. Commercial carparks is hardly a step forward. The whole plan is disgusting. Even the ferry operators don't want the development.

    Sarah Eastwell asked about 2 years ago

    Walker Group is required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).  Under that process, the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment will invite public submissions on the EIS.  Also, subject to consideration under the EPBC Act, there would be several opportunities for the community to provide input to or make submissions on the proposal as part of some subsequent State statutory decision processes.


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    When will the Public notification of the development application be actioned? What form will this public notification take?

    MikeW asked almost 2 years ago

    The Walker Group’s proposal to develop Toondah Harbour has not yet progressed to lodging a development application. At present the Walker Group has decided to focus on progressing assessment of matters of national environmental significance via an Environmental Impact Statement (or EIS for short) under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). Exact timeframes for EIS process are not currently known, but are likely to take at least 18 months. The assessment process under the EPBC Act will involve public notification stages. A development application is unlikely to be submitted prior to assessment of EIS being completed.

    As the proposed development is located in the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA), any development application lodged will be assessed in accordance with the requirements of the Economic Development Act 2012 (the ED Act). A master planned project of the nature proposed by the Walker Group for Toondah Harbour will require public notification under the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Development Scheme (the development scheme). The ED Act requires applications involving public notification to be advertised by:

    1. Publishing a notice in a local paper;
    2. Placing a notice on the land the subject of the application; and
    3. Sending letters to adjoining owners to provide notice of the application.

    Following these 3 actions the application will be available for public review for a minimum of 20 business days. Members of the public can make written submissions regarding the application during this 20 business day advertising period.

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    The Toondah Harbour area is already protected under the Ramsar Convention. How can it possibly be in the public interest to use public money to even contemplate, let alone actually endorse its development?

    Rob Conn asked almost 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. Please see the question from MikeW on 22 Nov 2018 and the response underneath the 'RAMSAR' and 'Wetlands' tabs of the Q&A section.

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    Why is this plan continuing to be considered? The Toondah Harbour area is recognised under the the Ramsar Convention as part of a hugely important Wetlands area that requires protection? It is essential for local birdlife and the world's migratory birdlife. The area is also part of Moreton Bay which is one of Queensland's most important coastal resources. The Redland City's residents have not been fully consulted. The population in Redlands city has more than doubled since the first development proposal & this growth already puts a strain on the environment.

    MikeW asked about 2 years ago

    The Queensland Government supports the redevelopment of Toondah Harbour, subject to rigorous assessment of environmental impacts and compliance with all environmental requirements.

    Walker Group’s development proposal cannot proceed unless it receives Commonwealth environmental approval. The Commonwealth environment impact statement (EIS) process will address potential impacts on wetlands subject to the Ramsar International Convention, the Moreton Bay Marine Park, threatened plants and animals, ecological communities and migratory species. To the extent possible, information requirements to address State environmental matters will be sought as part of the Commonwealth EIS process.

    Queensland Government agencies, Redlands City Council and all members of the community will have the opportunity for input during the EIS process over the coming 18 months before statutory decisions related to the development proposal are made by the Commonwealth or the State. The Queensland Government acknowledges the significant interest that residents and businesses in Redlands and North Stradbroke Island have in the redevelopment of Toondah Harbour and will ensure the community is consulted through each phase of assessment of Walker Group’s development proposal for Toondah Harbour.


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    I note your answer to 'notimpressed' from 5 months ago. You answer the question as if approval has NOT already been given? I'm sorry but this development has nothing to do with growth, there are hundreds of other places that could have been chosen. This development is being pushed and pushed by a company and a council that only cares about money. If you showed them pictures of any of the birds that live there and asked them what they were or where they come from they would be speechless(read ignorant) Here's a question to answer and no cheating on Google. Who is Geoffrey Matthews? I rest my case.

    Aristotle asked about 2 years ago

    The Toondah Harbour renewal project, as proposed by the Walker Group, is contingent on obtaining local, State and Federal environmental approvals.

    At this time, no local, State or Federal approvals have been obtained.

    Any proposal for the Toondah Harbour revitalisation needs to be consistent with Australia’s rights and obligations under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

    The Commonwealth takes the lead in assessing whether a  proposal is consistent with the Ramsar Convention through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).