Council to push back on Toondah Harbour decision

Toondah Harbour. | Newsreel
Redland City Council and Walker Corporation are still hopeful that the Toondah Harbour redevelopment can go ahead. | Photo: Artist's impression Toondah Harbour website

Redland City Council will push back on the Federal Government’s likely blocking of the $3 billion Toondah Harbour project saying the decision would cost 500 jobs and rob the area of vital infrastructure.

The developer, Walker Corporation, has also vowed to work with the stakeholders to try to find a way to proceed with the project.

On Tuesday, Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek announced she was proposing to knock back the development on environmental grounds. She invited comment on her proposed decision before making a final determination.

Ms Plibersek said she wanted to protect Moreton Bay from “unacceptable impacts” from the development and protect wetlands and endangered species.

In a statement, Redland City Council said it acknowledged the Minister’s decision but it was “disappointed”.

“Council has long supported the proposed development and believes the impacts of a refusal would be detrimental to the city, and a missed opportunity for significant private investment in Redlands Coast,” the statement said.

“Council will write to the Minister with a statement of ongoing support for the project.”

Walker Corporation said it respected the Minister’s proposed decision and would “now take the time to carefully review and understand the reasons behind it”.

“We will then look to work with our consultant team and Joint Venture partners to see what opportunities might exist to mitigate or ameliorate the environmental concerns that the Department has raised,” the company said in a statement.

“(We want to) ensure we provide the best opportunity for this important project to proceed to deliver housing, jobs and new State Government infrastructure whilst ensuring world’s best environmental practice.”

Redland City Council said Toondah Harbour was the gateway to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) – a significant tourism destination and home to more than 2000 people.

“If the Toondah Harbour project was refused, it would mean a $3 billion loss to the Redlands Coast economy, the loss of more than 500 jobs for locals, and the missed opportunity to revitalise an existing working port to acceptable international standards for more than one million passengers and 200,000 vehicle movements that already use Toondah Harbour,” the Council statement said.

“The jobs that would be created by this development, and the dwellings it would provide, are significant when housing and cost of living are daily impacts for many people.

“Without the investment through a private-public partnership, these and other opportunities would be lost.”