Toondah Harbour Development

 
 

Latest Rant :-)

Every once in a while I come across an item of bullshit so eloquent ( for want of a better word ) that neither the BS itself nor it's author can be allowed to go unrecognised.
Today's exponent is none other than LNP's own Dr. Mark Robinson MP.
On his website there's a whole page devoted to the Toondah Harbour development project.
Under the heading "Master Plan Released" dated December 2015 ( yes, I do get around to most things ...... eventually ) is the following -
..." This long-awaited development will create many employment opportunities for our area.
This LNP project provides a new Redlands tourism destination, a gateway to Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay, an enhanced waterfront lifestyle and community, it repects and conserves the local recreational and environmental values and will book the economy and jobs in the region. " ...
Either Dr. Robinson is completely out of touch with reality or he's just making sure his liberal party and Walker Group Holdings mates can see that he's saying what's expected and was in such a hurry to do so he hasn't bothered to proof read what he's written !

 

Sanity Prevails

It looks as though by-passing the EPBC Act didn't work out for Walker Group Holdings so it's down to the federal environment minister after all.

As I see it if this development is allowed to go ahead it will set a precedent for ( effectively ) bypassing the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 by having the Queensland coordinator general declare it a 'coordinated project'.
The content of the Queensland Government's Environmental impact assessment of coordinated projects page suggests ( to me ) that having a project so declared would be utterly counter-intuitive !! ( alarm bells of suspicion ringing out loudly in my ears)
A bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Queensland relating to environmental assessment ( the assessment bilateral agreement ) allows the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment to rely on specified environmental impact assessment processes of the State of Queensland in assessing actions under the EPBC Act.
This is clearly what Walker Group Holdings has in mind however the fact that at least 2 species of birds which would be impacted by this development are listed as critically endangered ( Eastern Curlew and Curlew Sandpiper ) changes the game a little.
These two species have separate "Conservation Advice" documents, more here ...
Update: it seems that there has been sufficient uproar and public outcry to steer Walker Group and the Queensland State Government away from this bit of skulduggery :-)
A BIG "well done" to the Save Straddie and Toondah Friends groups for staying on this issue, garnishing support and giving voice to the local residents.

 

State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971

Significant changes to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 enable the Coordinator-General to nominate a project as a "coordinated project" for which only an IAR is required if the Coordinator-General is satisfied that the environmental effects of the project, having regard to their scale and extent, do not require assessment through the EIS process.
An IAR only requires public notification where the Coordinator-General determines that notification is required, or where a subsequent notifiable approval is required.

pdfState Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971

 

Assessments and approvals

Coordinated projects

"Projects of economic, social and/or environmental significance to Queensland.
Proponents of many of these projects are required to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS), which is evaluated by the Coordinator-General."
"Since 1 October 2014, there has been no provision to declare a coordinated project not requiring and EIS. Section 26(1)(b) was amended to replace this with a project for which an impact assessment report (IAR) is required."

Note the use of the word "many" ... this clearly leaves the option to allow an IAR instead
I urge everyone to read the difference between an EIS and an IAS set out below

The Coordinated Project process

Coordinator-General projects

The Coordinator-General may:

  • declare a 'coordinated project', initiate and manage an environmental impact statement (EIS) evaluation process for public and private projects
  • control the planning and development of state development areas (SDAs)
  • approve (with conditions) or reject projects or development applications on SDAs
  • acquire land and sell or lease land or easements
  • provide development and land-access rights for 'private infrastructure facilities'
  • require a local government or other entity to build a particular project (through a 'works regulation') or a group of related projects (through a 'program of works')
  • ensure compliance with development conditions
  • use 'prescribed project' powers to ensure timely decision making by local or state government agencies.

Environmental Impact Statement ( EIS )

A draft EIS is prepared in accordance with:

pdfFact Sheet – guideline for preparing an EIS

 

Impact Assessment Report ( IAR )

An IAR process may be used if the Coordinator-General is satisfied that the environmental effects of the project do not, having regard to their scale and extent, require assessment through the EIS process.
It may be used for well-defined, low-medium risk projects where the likely impacts are highly predictable and the proponent's well-defined proposals to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset those impacts are accepted best-practice in that industry.

An IAR :


Campbell Newman's cronyism at it's finest

Barry Broe, Coordinator-General

Top Campbell Newman official got early job extension
The article referred to above from The Australian is Copyright © 2015 Nationwide News (News)

Premier Campbell Newman's man Barry Broe splashes cash on Brisbane's Executive Building
The article referred to above from the Courier Mail is Copyright © 2015 News Corp

 

Toondah Harbour Development - Migratory Shore Bird Impact

- Urgent action required -

BirdLife Australia FB Post

VIDEO: Concern coastal development is pushing migratory shore birds to the brink. Toondah Harbour Eastern Curlew count

Please sign this BirdLife Australia petition


Toondah Harbour Development

more info re migratory shorebird impact

April 6, 2016 12:00am
Ellen-Maree Elliot, Quest Newspapers

Toondah Harbour: Walker Group Holdings’s redevelopment plan could destroy migratory birds’ habitat

from the article -
"MORETON BAY’s famous migratory shorebirds could make their 10,000km-plus journeys in vain if the ­Toondah Harbour upgrade goes ahead, according to ecology experts."

A Walker Group Holdings spokeswoman said their experts disagreed the project would threaten the eastern curlew and an in-house survey found less than seven of the birds used the site at any one time.

Words fail me :-(  ... almost -

As a good comparison, during the Summer / Autumn you can go to the Sandgate foreshore and see some other intercontinental migratory birds. You might ( as I have done recently ) only see 5 or 6 of the famous "Sandgate Waders" yet there are 1000's of them in total !

Then this quote -
"Less than 0.4 per cent of Moreton Bay’s intertidal habitat, less than 0.03 per cent of Moreton Bay Marine Park and less than 0.03 per cent of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site would be used in the development."

This moronic over-simplification ignores the fact that no-one has said that the impact will be significant to the entire RAMSAR Wetland area.
The environmental objections centre around the disastrous impact this development will have in it's immediate vicinity.
Offering up off-sets as suggested in the article is a joke, please explain how you teach intercontinental migratory birds to go elsewhere.
If any bloody where else was suitable don't you think they'd go there already, no their logic tells them to rest and feed where they do currently, an instinct bred into them over millennia I'd guess !

The newspaper article mentioned is Copyright © 2016 Newscorp

 

Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area
Proposed Development Scheme

Redland City Council Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area

The Toondah Harbour Opportunity

"Toondah Harbour presents a rare opportunity to create a world class
integrated mixed use community at the gateway to Moreton Bay".

pdf  Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Proposed Development Scheme pdf

 

The Red area is the outline of the proposed development area ( as close as I could get it ).
The Green area is part of the Moreton Bay RAMSAR Declared Wetland.

Toondah Harbour Cleveland

Map Image from Google Earth

Commonwealth of Australia Dept. of the Environment

Australian Ramsar Wetlands Moreton Bay

pdf  Moreton Bay RAMSAR Wetland Map pdf

 

Queensland Government Dept. of Environment and Heritage Protection

Facts & maps - Moreton Bay Ramsar internationally important wetland

pdf  Moreton Bay—a wetland of international importance pdf

 

Queensland Government Dept. of National Parks, Sport and Racing

Find a park or forest - Moreton Bay Marine Park

pdf  Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park Management Statement 2013 pdf