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Toondah Harbour

Although it’s not in the Maiwar electorate, many west side locals love Minjerribah/Straddie and Moreton Bay. But since 2015, the Bay has been at risk from the 3,600-apartment “Toondah Harbour” development proposed in Cleveland.

For a quick summary of the Toondah Harbour development and how it progressed over the years with Labor and LNP support, check out this speech I gave in Parliament

The proposal has attracted international attention and concern, because of: 

  • Staggering environmental impacts 

Experts have said the development would have irreversible impacts on internationally protected wetlands, threatened species, including koalas, and migratory shorebirds. Read more about the impacts here.

  • Lack of accompanying infrastructure

This privatisation of publicly owned foreshore would make Toondah Harbour Queensland’s most densely populated area, and there’s already a lack of accompanying public infrastructure in the area.

  • Inadequate community consultation

There have been multiple petitions, rallies and opposing submissions on the development, but locals have been ignored. The developer has refused to hold proper consultation listening sessions, instead opting for “drop-in sessions” to tell the community about their plans. 

  • Dodgy donations

The developer, Walker Corp, made significant donations to both Labor and LNP that coincide with milestones in the approval process. For example, Walker donated $25,000 to the Federal Liberal Party one month before lodging its first Federal referral for the project. Then, a month after the Federal Environment Department said it intended to advise the Minister that the Toondah plan was "clearly unacceptable", Walker donated a further $200,000. After this, the Minister moved the project to the next stage of assessment. 

  • Secret development agreement 

The Queensland Planning Minister, Redland City Council and Walker Corp have signed a confidential project development agreement for the proposal. Local community group Redlands2030 submitted a Right to Information application to Council to release the agreement, but they refused. Following appeals, the Office of the Information Commissioner said the agreement should be released. The developer and the Minister then appealed this decision, and the State government spent taxpayer money in court to keep the Toondah agreement secret.

Queensland Greens position

  • We fully support the development of a new ferry terminal (in public hands, not private) but with any necessary link to new residential buildings
  • We support the modernisation of tourist facilities as part of the ferry terminal.
  • We do not support any encroachment on G.J. Walter Park and its associated wetlands.
  • We call for full protection of the Ramsar-listed site.
  • We believe it is possible to have responsible development but this is a blatant money grab by private interests.
  • We call for a review of this whole planning process for a development that is not wanted, needed or justifiable, and for responsible, sustainable development that supports positive community and environmental outcomes

Next Steps

In 2024, Walker Corporation withdrew its application for the Toondah Harbour development after the Federal Environment Minister said they intended to reject it. This was a huge win for the community campaign to save the Bay, but it’s not over yet: the Labor State Government still hasn’t rescinded its Priority Development Area (PDA) over the site, and have refused to rule out supporting future private development there. 

If you’re concerned about this proposal, email the Premier ([email protected]) and the Planning Minister ([email protected]) and ask them to ditch the PDA, rule out private development on the wetlands, and just fix the ferry terminal instead. 

Community groups like Redlands2030, Save Straddie, the Redland Greens Branch & BirdLife Australia have been working incredibly hard to save the Bay, so please follow them to stay up to date on the development and what you can do to help.

This development is also emblematic of problems with Queensland’s Planning Act. Check out this page to read more about those problems, see what reforms I’ve proposed and sign my petition to overhaul the Act.