Council to request consultation extension on Toondah Harbour project

Redland City Council will ask the State Government to extend the community consultation period for the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area project to allow the public more time to have their say.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said there was clear community interest in the project and Council would write to Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Jeff Seeney requesting the community be given an extra four weeks to provide feedback.

“So far Council and the State Government have spoken with about 2000 people at 10 community engagement sessions on the mainland and islands regarding the PDAs in the Redlands, as well as received hundreds of comments via our online engagement tools,” she said.

“Council thinks it is prudent to ask the State Government, who are the planning authority and will coordinate design of the Toondah site, to extend the feedback period so the community has more time to be involved.”

The request for extension comes after a motion from Division 2 Councillor Craig Ogilvie in Council’s General Meeting yesterday as a result of community concern around aspects of the Toondah Harbour PDA. 

Cr Ogilvie said public participation during yesterday’s Council meeting showed that while there was support for Toondah Harbour being developed, there were details around the size of the development that need to be worked through.

“While feedback from the community about the need for development has generally been positive, there will always be some aspects that need to be discussed. That is the nature of planning any project and the point of community engagement,” he said.

 “Council, who will assess the private sector development applications, is listening to the local community and wants to make sure everyone has a chance to have their say.

“Currently feedback closes on 24 February 2014.”

Cr Williams the State Government through Economic Development Queensland was the overarching owner of the draft plan “so we are required to request any extensions from them”.

“The Toondah Harbour redevelopment has been mooted as far back as the 1960s but has never been able to get off the ground,” Cr Williams said. “This is a once in a generation opportunity to enhance this site, establish better access to our foreshores and North Stradbroke Island, create jobs and build tourism.

“We want to make sure we get the balance right to allow development, better access and improvements in this critical area funded by investors rather than ratepayers, but we also want to ensure its remains first and foremost an effective gateway to North Stradbroke Island.

“An appealing, well planned gateway to North Stradbroke Island is just one step in progressing away from mining on North Stradbroke to other industries including tourism.”

Cr Williams said it was important for residents to know that the amount of green space at the Toondah Harbour PDA will not reduce as a result of this plan. Council is committed to retaining the same amount of green space in the plan area.

“What has been put forward for comment are the potential uses of the site, but there is no way that all of these things can be built collectively.  

“Also, the proposed height of 15 storeys is potential height only. It does not necessarily mean that 15 storeys will be built.”

The draft plan was developed by the State Government using feedback from many stakeholders in the community from as far back as May last year following State Government approval of the PDAs.

Cr Williams thanked those who came to yesterday’s Council meeting and everyone who has been involved in the widespread community consultation on the PDAs, which has included:

– 10 community forums
– Website information
– Online submissions
– An ongoing interest register since May 2013
– Five community mail-outs
– Three direct emails to interest register
– Advertisements in local media
– Articles in citywide Council magazines and e-newsletters
– Posters and other advertising at ferry terminals and on ferries
– Library displays
– Stakeholder meetings

“Council and State Government officers have been engaging for months on the PDAs, including speaking directly with key stakeholders, and holding engagement sessions on the mainland and islands,” she said.

“The draft development scheme has also been available on Council’s website since 10 January so people can view them and provide feedback.

“The State Government are the planners and Council assesses applications against the final development scheme. Together with the State Government, we have been consulting with the community since May 2013,” she said.

5 thoughts on “Council to request consultation extension on Toondah Harbour project

  1. Peter Turnbull

    People should be aware that the Minister for Economic Development has the unfettered power to approve whatever he likes – if he feels that a development application complies with the intent of the plan and the development guidelines (which have not been seen yet), he could approve a 30 storey building. We have already seen a leapfrog from 7 / 8 storeys to 15 storeys in the allowable heights of apartment blocks, and from 400 wet berths to 800 wet berths in the proposed marina. All without any justification, or technical studies to back it up. Show us the facts and assumptions that the plans are based on ! this is just chest thumping by politicians with delusions of grandeur. Gold Coast is that way, chaps.

  2. Chris Walker

    During the extended consultation period Council and Government should be informing the community more fully about the nature of proposed developments and the likely impacts of such development on existing residents, businesses and the environment. For example:
    • The economic, social and environmental impacts of allowing a major high rise residential centre to be developed in the G.J. Walter Park area
    • The environmental impacts of dredging and constructing a large marina in an internationally significant (Ramsar listed) coastal wetland area e.g. impacts on dugongs, turtles, migratory shorebirds, sea grass beds and mangroves
    • Likely changes to traffic and car parking arrangements for visitors to North Stradbroke Island e.g. cost of parking in multi-storey carparks

  3. Bryn

    What the Mayor and planners are single-handedly failing to answer is “Why doesn’t the title of the PDA FULLY reflect the nature of the intended scheme?”. There is more than enough evidence out there to show that this size of scheme is neither warranted nor desired.
    You can say you have consulted for a year with as many forums, methods etc as you like but unless people see the stark reality of what will happen they won’t respond.
    People see “Toondah Harbour Redevelopment PDA”. They think “That’s great, they’re doing up the grotty harbour. That’s been needed for years, I won’t comment on that”.
    People see “Toondah Harbour and GJ Walters Park Redevelopment PDA”. They’ll more likely think “What! Public park disappearing? 15 storeys? 800 berth marina, my family use that park, traffic etc..etc…..No way, I’ll comment on that”.
    It is becoming more obvious that the Mayor, most Councillors and the State MPs are deliberately using this contracted PDA title to ensure that the consultation process they are espousing is anything but consultative.
    So, the extension is welcome but this alone will not change matters. What is also required by the peddlars of this potentially disastrous scheme is truthfulness. Being political creatures this is unlikely to occur.

  4. Hedy Turner

    My concern is for the loss of an absolutely delightful recreation area, specially geared towards
    families with young children, loss of the main attraction of a very old, highly regarded hotel, namely the view from the Grand Hotel, a veritable icon in the Redlands area. If indeed the G .J. Walter Park
    is the price to pay for development, the Toondah Harbour scheme is way over-priced. Of all the
    available areas, this particular area has a recently developed attractive park which is unique in what it has to offer the people of Redland City, it is one of the places that makes Cleveland what it is, a desirable residential area, and should not come within coo-ee of being “developed”. There
    are locations away from this G. J. Walter Park and the Grand Hotel which would be suitable for this scheme without destroying one of the most accessible, unharmed and attractive areas of the local coastline! Please allow the public to come up with equally suitable, non-invasive locations.
    not come under consideration at all.

  5. Jan ( not happy)

    Are our council & government “leaders” & “experts” really that stupid!
    I am not opposed to some smaller degree of improvement & upgrade for both the Toondah Harbour & Weinam Creek areas, infact I welcome a sensible solution where the public has a real say in the outcome & not where it is simply a token gesture that has to be done to meet procedures but matters sweet nothing to the outcome but the current level of proposed development is typically ludicrous. It really makes you wonder what the … we are paying them for?
    Once again all environmental importance has been tossed aside so that some well to do investor/s can line their pockets at the expense of the local people & perhaps even more importantly the local environment that has made this place what it is.
    As some fellow P.O.R.P’S (Pissed Off Rate Payers) have already commented on, It will be us local residents that will end up suffering in the hip pocket as the project budget blows out over & over again. They will tell us it will only cost $xyz but everyone knows that government & council budgets are full of …….. & not worth the paper they are written on. The grade 8’s at my daughters college know how to do a budget better than this lot.
    Another thing that many of you may not realise is that whilst our so called leaders are busy lining their pockets at our expense, there are great youth organisations struggling to keep their doors open
    One such organisation is the Naval Cadet Unit PS Diamantina currently operating out of Victoria point High School ( a big thank you to V.P.S.H.S for this) with their activities center currently located at the Redland City Marina. As things happen, the marina is scheduled for an upgrade etc meaning the cadets are required to relocate which is fine however when approached for assistance, the council has shown absolutely no interest in helping this worth while cause. The Navel Cadets as an overall organisation provide guidance, friendship, leadership, a sense of worth, a purpose & direction etc etc for our youth in both boys & girls.
    Why is it that the council will waste hundreds & thousands of dollars on something that the greater majority of people are very opposed to & yet won’t even look at assisting an organisation that is actually helping & doing something positive for our kids.
    Mayor Williams, you started out your role as mayor in good style, it is sad to see you seem to be losing your way & have forgotten what the people want – trust us we will let you know – we are not as stupid as you think. The people are getting sick of being fed the lies & deception that you people seem to think you can feed us & that we will simply accept.
    Wake up – you’ve been told….


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