The Commonwealth Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg has today given the greenlight to progress the environment referral application for the Toondah Harbour project in Cleveland.
Walker Group will now be able to take the application to the next stage of the process, which is to have the science tested.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said: “We have always supported such scrutiny, and believe Walker Group should have the opportunity to demonstrate the acceptability of the proposal through an environmental impact assessment.
“This is a sensible approach and proves commitment to both the Redlands and our environment.
“I would also like to highlight that the Redlands community will have the opportunity to have their say during the environmental impact assessment phase.”
The harbour is the main departure and arrival point for ferry and water taxi services between the mainland and North Stradbroke Island. It is also used to launch recreational and commercial craft, and comprises of residential and open space lands.
Earlier this year, the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area project was also awarded Austrade Tourism Major Project Facilitation service status.
The re-vitalisation of Toondah Harbour represents unrivalled tourism, as well as cultural and economic growth opportunities for the region.
Toondah Harbour provides the opportunity to innovate, attract and grow tourism to North Stradbroke Island, following the cessation of sand mining in 2019. A revitalised harbour will encourage more than 45,000 additional visitors to the region every year.
This equates to a potential $21 million per annum in tourism revenue and $78 million per annum in additional retail expenditure for the region.
The project is critical to the future economic transition of North Stradbroke Island.
It will also generate more than 1000 jobs per annum during the construction phase, 500 jobs per annum post construction, with jobs supported by visitor expenditure equating to more than 250.
The project will now be assessed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for a decision.