Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that is not addressed in these FAQs, please e-mail the Toondah Harbour project team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include your question and our response here.
About the Project
Why does Toondah Harbour need to be revitalised?
Moreton Bay and the Bay islands offer natural and recreational attractions and their accessibility is a key contributor to Redland City’s growth potential.
Toondah Harbour is the gateway to these attractions with regular ferry services already bringing significant numbers of visitors to the area. However, the existing infrastructure lacks amenity and continuing growth of user numbers is placing pressure on these facilities, particularly the car parking. Redland City Council’s Tourism Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2020 highlights a number of issues:
- lack of higher end and large scale accommodation to support groups, conferences and functions
- lack of jetty/boating infrastructure
- parking issues, particularly around ferry access points
- lack of a clear identity for the Redlands and its past – no destination identity
- lack of quality visitor information services
- lack of public boat moorings/berthing
- limited bay access
- limited quality dining.
The delivery of a dedicated tourist precinct through the revitalisation of Toondah Harbour is a key action in council’s Tourism Strategy and Action Plan.
What are the roles of Walker, Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) and Redland City Council in the project?
Walker Group Holdings Pty Ltd (Walker) has secured the rights to develop the state and local government land at Toondah Harbour and is responsible for designing, financing and constructing all development and associated infrastructure and for marketing the project.
Economic Development Queensland and Redland City Council are the landowners and will work closely with Walker to implement the vision throughout the life of the project.
How did Walker become involved in the Toondah Harbour project?
Economic Development Queensland and Redland City Council sought a private sector proponent, through a competitive tendering process, to develop state and council landholdings at Toondah Harbour.
After responding to an expression of interest, Walker submitted a detailed proposal and was selected as the preferred development proponent by Economic Development Queensland and Redland City Council.
Has Walker considered alternative project locations?
Walker has not considered alternative project locations as the development opportunity is tied to specific state and council landholdings within the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area.
What is Walker proposing to deliver at Toondah Harbour?
Walker proposes to deliver a vibrant master planned community at Toondah Harbour that incorporates:
- a new ferry terminal with multiple barge and passenger terminals, ticket and tourism office, plaza, premium bus stop, ferry car parking and opportunities for a hotel/convention centre and charter boat operations
- residential development including detached houses, terrace houses and apartments, with no development higher than 10 storeys
- convenience and boutique retail that will complement the Cleveland CBD offering
- a marina with up to 400 berths, to be delivered in stages subject to market demand
- a substantial increase in public open space including the marina plaza, boardwalk, foreshore parklands and proposed conservation areas
- recreational boating facilities.
How is Walker’s proposed master plan different from the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Development Scheme structure plan and why?
The original concept for Toondah Harbour featured three reclaimed landforms extending into the Bay, with extensive dredging required to create the marina basin and second navigation channel. This is consistent with the structure plan incorporated in the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Development Scheme that sets out the land uses and indicative areas for land reclamation.
Walker’s proposed master plan delivers land use consistent with the development scheme and specific commitments such as no net loss of open space in GJ Walter Park and no net loss of ferry car parking. However, it differs from the structure plan in the proposed land form. Our master plan features one landform (instead of three) embracing a sheltered marina.
Surplus dredge material from the marina bed is proposed to be used on site to create extensive foreshore parklands, providing more useable public space and a more naturalised edge to the Bay.
Why will there be dredging and land reclamation as part of this development?
The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Development Scheme structure plan anticipates extensive dredging to allow for two navigation channels and a marina, with some of the material to be used for three planned reclaimed landforms. Initial investigations by Walker identified off-site removal of a substantial volume of surplus dredge material would be required.
Any proposed development that is consistent with the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Development Scheme vision will require dredging and reclamation to be undertaken. One of Walker’s design objectives is to achieve a cut to fill balance if practicable, with the aim of minimising off-site removal of surplus material by utilising surplus dredge material to create the proposed new parklands on reclaimed land.
How many dwellings are proposed?
Walker’s proposed master plan allows for approximately 3,600 dwellings in a variety of forms from detached houses and townhouses to apartments, with buildings ranging from one to ten storeys. This number of dwellings accounts for nearly 14% of the forecast 26,000 additional dwellings required between now and 2041, to cater for the population growth anticipated in the draft Redland City Plan 2015.
How many people will live at Toondah Harbour?
Approximately 6,300 new residents will call Toondah Harbour home by the year 2031. The number of residents is calculated based on the proposed number of dwellings and the planning assumptions about average dwelling occupancy rates for the Cleveland Catchment in Redland City Council’s Priority Infrastructure Plan.
What is the project timeframe?
The project will be completed in stages. Walker expects the project to take 15 to 20 years, depending on market demand.
Can Walker deliver such a large and complex project?
Walker is Australia’s largest private, diversified development company. We have more than 50 years’ experience and have delivered more than 1,000 projects that span the length and width of Australia and internationally in America, Canada, Fiji and Malaysia.
We are one of the few developers with expertise across all areas of the property spectrum from residential, retail, commercial, industrial and resort living, through to master planned communities. What is most important to us is that our projects serve their respective communities well, incorporating leading edge engineering, technology and ecologically sustainable development practices. Our proven track record is evident in our many completed and iconic developments, including Hope Island (QLD), Woolloomooloo Wharf (NSW) and Broadway Shopping Centre (NSW), as well as our extensive pipeline of major transformational future projects such as Collins Square (VIC), Parramatta Square (NSW), Senibong Cove (Malaysia) and Festival Plaza (SA). For more information about Walker and our projects visit www.walkercorp.com.au.
How has Walker responded to community consultation undertaken by Redland City Council and Economic Development Queensland?
In putting together our response to the Expression of Interest and Request for Proposal phases of the tender process undertaken by Redland City Council and Economic Development Queensland, we thoroughly reviewed the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area Submissions Report from previous consultation. The table below identifies how we have responded to the overarching areas of support and concern in putting together the proposed master plan.
Walker’s response to overarching areas of support from the Submissions Report
|Areas of Support||Walker's Response|
Improvements to island access and enhancement of the area as a gateway to North Stradbroke Island
Walker proposes to design, finance and construct a new, world-class facility with multiple barge and passenger ferry terminals, public plaza, ferry car parking and queuing areas and a ticket and tourism office.
Improvements to pedestrian and cycle networks particularly where they provide increased access to the foreshore and the Bay
Walker proposes to deliver a new pedestrian and cycle link from Cross Street to the marina plaza and ferry plaza, to link Toondah Harbour with established pedestrian and cycle routes outside of the PDA. A marina boardwalk and major new foreshore parklands will increase access to the foreshore and the Bay.
Improvements to local roads and infrastructure
Walker proposes to deliver upgrades to Passage/Middle Street intersections and Shore Street North/Cross Street intersections to cater for traffic generated by the proposed development. On road cycle lanes will be provided on the upgraded sections of Middle Street to allow for strong cycle connections between the Cleveland CBD and the waterfront.
World-class facilities which attract tourists and visitors to the area and support employment opportunities
Walker proposes to design, finance and construct world-class ferry facilities including a ticket and tourism office, destination retail and dining precinct and a site for a 150-bed hotel with convention facilities that will attract visitors to the site. Economic experts Macroplan Dimasi estimate that the hotel would generate more than 76,500 visitor nights per annum, with potential visitor expenditure estimated at up to $17.25 million per annum. Based on the scale and mix of uses on the site, the project will support an estimated 500 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs per annum.
Improvement and enhancement of the public realm including delivery of a public foreshore promenade
Our proposed master plan includes a vibrant marina plaza, ferry plaza, attractively landscaped streets, extensive foreshore parklands and a boardwalk encircling the marina, in addition to proposed enhancements to GJ Walter Park. This will be a substantial increase in public open space and foreshore access.
Walker’s response to overarching areas of concern from the Submissions Report
|Areas of Concern||Walker's Response|
Concern about building heights, impact to amenity, views etc.
Based on community concerns about building heights, the draft development scheme was amended to reduce the maximum building height to 10 storeys. Walker does not propose to exceed 10 storeys with any building. The buildings within the development will also not be uniformly 10 storeys. The buildings in the north eastern part of the PDA will be mainly low rise. Taller buildings up to 10 storeys will predominantly be clustered within the village heart and/or reflect a landmark use/location, such as the hotel site.
In addition, Walker proposes to deliver an expansive view corridor from Middle Street across the marina and foreshore park to the Bay and islands.
Impact on habitat, animals, environmental processes and ecosystems
Any proposed development that is consistent with the PDA development scheme vision could have an impact on matters of national and state environmental significance. The master plan has set out to avoid or minimise impacts on habitat and species. For example, the plan includes the retention and enhancement of the koala tree corridor in the western part of the PDA and incorporates an extensive buffer between development and important bird roosting sites at Cassim Island.
An extensive environmental, social and economic impact assessment will be undertaken to determine the extent of impacts and measures required to avoid, minimise, rehabilitate/restore and offset those impacts. In late 2015, Walker has referred the project to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and will apply to the Queensland Coordinator-General for a coordinated project declaration with the aim of a thorough EIS process that simultaneously satisfies all jurisdictions.
Traffic and parking provisions in regard to meeting the demand of the current and future population network
Walker understands the community’s concerns about car parking both for visitors and island residents. There is also a need to ensure that any additional development and tourism does not compromise the existing level of ferry car parking or secure parking, the latter currently being provided by Transit Systems. Our proposal addresses this issue by providing a net increase in ferry car parking within a consolidated footprint and allowing for additional secure parking subject to commercial demand. All development components will provide their own sufficient own site car parking in accordance with Redland City Council planning scheme rates. For more information on car parking, refer to our response to Will there be enough car parking?
Future use of GJ Walter Park, inadequate open space provision
Marina development will reduce access to the foreshore, park and impact on the park area
The marina development and associated beneficial use of surplus dredge material to create new foreshore parklands will allow for an expansion of the GJ Walter Park and will significantly increase the volume and quality of publicly accessible foreshore and public open space within the Toondah Harbour PDA. There is no net loss of public open space proposed within GJ Walter Park. Overall, substantially more public open space is proposed within the development (subject to approval to reclaim land for the proposed foreshore parklands).
Impacts of marina development, dredging and ferry movements on the ecology of the Bay
Dredging and ferry movements have been occurring at Toondah Harbour since the 1960s.
Any proposed development consistent with the PDA development scheme vision could have an impact on matters of national and state environmental significance.
In late 2015, Walker has referred the project to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and will apply to the Queensland Coordinator-General for a coordinated project declaration. An extensive environmental, social and economic impact assessment will be undertaken to determine the extent of impacts and measures to avoid, minimise, rehabilitate/restore and offset those impacts.
Additional costs may be incurred by ratepayers due to new and upgraded infrastructure (i.e. car parking), ongoing dredging of the marina and ferry services
Walker will design, finance and construct new ferry terminals and car parking and hand these assets over to Redland City Council, or its delegate, to own and manage. No change is proposed to the delivery of ferry services, which will continue to be provided by commercial operators as they are now. The number of terminals will allow for more operators to utilise the harbour facilities, including commercial tourism and charter boat operators.
Walker will design, finance and construct the marina, which will be delivered in stages subject to market demand. We will fund and undertake capital dredging of the marina basin, while maintenance of the marina, including maintenance dredging, will be the responsibility of the private marina owners.
As part of the project, Walker will undertake capital dredging to extend, widen and deepen the existing public navigation channel. Ongoing maintenance dredging of the public navigation channel will continue to be undertaken by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).
What changes are proposed for GJ Walter Park?
GJ Walter Park is a special place that plays an important role in the community and is of local heritage significance. We are committed to ensuring there is no net loss of existing public open space in GJ Walter Park as a result of the development. The cricket field and stands of koala habitat trees and Norfolk Pines will be protected. Proposed enhancements to the park include:
- new park play facilities
- new BBQ shelters and amenities
- informal kick-about and play spaces
- a fully fenced dog park
- a shared pedestrian and cycle path.
- How will traffic impacts be managed?
Technical studies indicate that road infrastructure within the immediate vicinity of Toondah Harbour is generally sufficient to cater for the proposed development. Some works within the immediate connecting roads will be required as part of the project. Intersection and roundabout augmentation works will be required on Passage/Middle Streets and Shore Street North/Cross Street to cater for traffic generated by the proposed development. On-road cycle lanes will be provided on the upgraded sections of Middle Street to connect with the Cleveland CBD and the waterfront.
Traffic management issues during and post construction will be examined in detail as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process and a traffic management plan will be put in place.
Will I still be able to see Stradbroke Island from GJ Walter Park?
The proposed master plan is designed to allow park users filtered views to Stradbroke Island through the marina and foreshore park. As one of the many important vistas, this view will be carefully considered as part of a broader visual impact assessment to be carried out during the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. The proposed new foreshore parklands will provide extensive opportunities for views to Stradbroke Island.
Will public transport be provided?
A bus loop will service the development. Walker will deliver a premium bus stop to TransLink specifications, to be located adjacent to the ferry terminal, to provide a seamless interchange and maximise passenger comfort. Given the scale of the development, we anticipate an increase in service provision will occur over time.
Who will own, manage and maintain the marina?
The marina will be designed, funded and constructed by Walker and then sold out of state ownership into private ownership. The marina owners will operate and maintain the marina, including funding and undertaking maintenance dredging as required.
Who will construct, own, operate and maintain the ferry terminal?
A new, world-class ferry terminal, which will include multiple barge and passenger ferry terminals, vehicle queuing areas, ferry car parking, a ferry plaza and ticket and tourism centre, will be designed, financed and constructed by Walker. It will then be handed over at no cost to Redland City Council, or its delegate, to own, operate and maintain. Walker will also undertake capital dredging to straighten and widen the public navigation channel. The Department of Transport and Main Roads will continue to be responsible for maintenance dredging of the channel.
Will there be enough car parking?
Walker will ensure that there is no net loss of ferry car parking either during or post-construction.
Walker will design, fund and construct the consolidated ferry car park and then hand it over to Redland City Council, or its delegate, to own, operate and maintain. In addition, there is an opportunity to build a commercial multi-storey car park above the ferry queuing area to cater for future demand.
The residential and mixed-use/retail/commercial developments and the marina will have their own dedicated car parking provided according to Redland City Council requirements and standards. On-street car parking will continue to be available. The existing and proposed parklands will also have ample car parking provided to cater for park users.
What is happening with the Emmett Drive boat ramp?
The current boat ramp at Emmett Drive is underutilised and the extensive trailer-boat car parking is often occupied by overflow car parking from the ferry operations. Walker proposes closing this boat ramp and providing:
- a publicly accessible deep water pontoon located close to the marina plaza, with provision for disability parking
- a public launching facility for smaller recreational vessels within the foreshore parklands – the facility will incorporate a jetty, 16 boat trailer parks, 52 car parks and a boatshed
- a financial contribution to upgrade the William Street Boat Haven, which is an extremely popular boat launching site at Cleveland.
Walker has obtained the support of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Redland City Council for the closure of the Emmett Drive facility in order to consolidate the commercial ferry operations in the southern part of the Toondah Harbour PDA.
The proposed offsets are in accordance with Clause 2.3 of the Marine Facilities and Infrastructure Plan.
Who will fund, construct, manage and maintain the community infrastructure?
The marina plaza, boardwalk, ferry plaza and foreshore parklands with recreational boating facilities will be designed, financed and constructed by Walker. These will ultimately be managed and maintained by Redland City Council, as are other community spaces elsewhere in the Redlands.
Economic and Social Impacts
What are the economic benefits of the project?
The project will positively contribute to the local and regional economy in a number of ways. Examples of the economic benefits of the project include:
- The construction phase of the project is expected to have a $1.39 billion direct contribution to the local economy and an additional $2.33 billion in related economic activity.
- Post construction, based on the scale and mix of commercial uses, the value of economic output generated by the project is estimated at $96.5 million/year.
- The project will directly support an estimated 1000 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs/year during the construction phase (approximate) in construction related sectors.
- Post-construction the project will support an estimated 500 FTE jobs/year, with additional indirect employment supported in the surrounding region.
- The project will result in an increase in general rates attributed to residential development on site of approximately $5.4 million/year.
- The project will contribute to meeting Redland City’s growth targets – it will deliver nearly 14% of Redland’s forecast 26,000 additional dwellings between now and 2041 (per the draft City Plan 2015).
- The additional population accommodated by the project will generate a substantial benefit by increasing demand and need for a range of local services and facilities. One of the key drivers of demand from the new residential population of Toondah Harbour will be the additional retail expenditure generated, which is estimated at $78.1 million in retail expenditure each year. Much of this expenditure will be retained in local centres including the Cleveland CBD.
- The proposed hotel is expected to generate 76,650 visitor nights/year.
- Potential visitor expenditure is estimated at up to $17.25 million/year.
Will the project ‘kill off’ the Cleveland CBD?
No. The Toondah Harbour project will not harm the viability of the Cleveland CBD. Instead, the project will support and reinforce the Cleveland CBD in a variety of ways including:
- The project is expected to restore and strengthen connections from the Cleveland CBD to the waterfront adding to the identity and image of Cleveland.
- The retail and office tenancies will be delivered as part of mixed use development, primarily at ground floor level, to accommodate supporting tourism, entertainment, cultural and specialist services and activate the precinct.
- Convenience and boutique retail and food and beverage tenancies are expected to complement the offerings of the Cleveland CBD.
- Cleveland CBD and other local businesses are expected to benefit from resident, visitor and construction spend. The average annual retail expenditure in the local area by new Toondah Harbour residents is estimated at $78.1 million, while potential visitor expenditure is estimated at $17.25 million/year.
Will the project impact on North Stradbroke Island?
The project is expected to support the economic transition strategy for the island after sand mining is phased out by providing upgraded tourism infrastructure on the mainland and stimulating longer term economic and industry growth.
How will social impacts be addressed?
A full social impact assessment (SIA) for the project will be incorporated in the EIS, prepared in accordance with the Coordinator-General’s social impact assessment guideline (2013). The SIA will involve collecting qualitative and quantitative data to enable the existing social environment to be measured as a basis for assessing future impacts. During the assessment Walker will consult impacted communities and government to develop impact management strategies.
Environmental Impacts and Approvals
What environmental approvals are required?
Part of the proposed development extends into the Moreton Bay Ramsar site and the Moreton Bay Marine Park. The marine environment supports protected turtle, dugongs, dolphins and migratory shorebirds and has ecological and fishery values. In addition, an urban koala population has been observed utilising trees in part of the Toondah Harbour PDA.
Walker will be responsible for producing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) report that will address the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of the project. Walker has appointed the consultancy AECOM as the lead specialist consultant to prepare the project’s EIS.
As the project has the potential to impact on matters of national environmental significance under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), Walker has referred the project to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment to confirm its controlled action status and assessment methodology.
The project will also require various environmental approvals and authorities under Queensland legislation. We intend to seek a coordinated project declaration under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971. This means that, if the project is declared, the Queensland Coordinator-General would coordinate evaluation of the project.
How do I provide comment to the Federal Government on the EPBC Referral?
Walker has referred the project to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) as the first step in initiating an environmental impact assessment process. You can read our referral documents (Reference No. 2015/7612) on the Commonwealth Government’s website.
The Commonwealth Government is currently inviting written comments on our referral by close of business on 9 December 2015*. You can e-mail your comments to email@example.com. Alternatively you can post your comments to:
Environment Assessment Branch
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601.
This is the first of several opportunities for the community to have a say on the proposal. If you register to receive project updates, we will keep you up to date as and when each opportunity arises.
* Please note that if you visit the EPBC public notices webpage via a QLD server you may note a deadline date of 8 December 2015. The Commonwealth Government is working to rectify this problem, which is related to daylight saving time zones, and has confirmed the deadline date for comments is 9 December 2015.
Will the community have an opportunity to input to the EIS?
Walker’s EPBC referral will be available on the EPBC public notices webpage. The EPBC Act provides a public comment period of 10 business days, with no extensions. This provides an opportunity for relevant Australian, State government ministers and members of the public to comment on the proposed action.
If the project is declared a coordinated project, the Coordinator-General will invite public comment on the draft Terms of Reference for the EIS and, subsequently, on the draft EIS.
In addition, Walker’s Lead EIS Consultant AECOM will implement a comprehensive Communication and Community Consultation Program, which will inform the Community Consultation Chapter of the EIS.
Register at www.toondah-harbour.com.au to receive project updates and to be notified when the EPBC referral and coordinated project application have been made.
How will environmental impacts be addressed?
Walker is committed to completing an EIS as part of the approval process, through which the potential impacts to the environment will be assessed and environmental outcomes determined.
The Toondah Harbour project is at a conceptual stage and will be further developed during the EIS process. Walker will follow development industry best practice; where impacts to the surrounding environment are identified, these impacts will be addressed in accordance with the following mitigation hierarchy:
Measures taken to avoid creating impacts
Measures taken to reduce the duration, intensity and/or extent of impacts that cannot be completely avoided
Measures taken to improve degraded or removed ecosystems following exposure to impacts that cannot be completely avoided or minimised
Measures taken to compensate for any residual, adverse impacts after full implementation of the previous three steps of the mitigation hierarchy
Management plans, for both construction and operation, will be developed once environmental impacts have been determined.
What specific measures will be put in place to reduce impacts on koalas?
Koalas are known to move through the western part of the PDA, visiting food trees that have been retained or planted in the urban environment. The local urban koala population may also visit important food trees in the larger patches of suitable habitat along the foreshore immediately south of the PDA boundary and scattered food trees in the existing urban footprint to the west of the referral area.
The master plan protects the koala corridor from GJ Walter Park to the broader habitat corridor south of the PDA. Most existing koala trees are located in this corridor. The master plan also sets out to facilitate safe movement opportunities for koalas between habitat tree patches through the planning, design and layout of roads and landscaping treatment.
Walker will implement a range of koala sensitive design measures to reduce the potential for adverse direct or indirect impacts on koalas. The extent and significance of potential impacts on koala will be fully assessed as part of the EIS.
What development approvals are required?
Before development for the project commences, relevant development approvals will need to be obtained.
In June 2013, the Toondah Harbour PDA was declared under the Economic Development Act 2012. Declaration of the PDA removes the affected land from the standard planning and development assessment processes prescribed under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA). Where project land is located outside of the PDA, assessable development will require a development approval under the SPA.
In 2016, Walker intends to submit a development application under the ED Act for a Material Change of Use with a Plan of Development (POD) over the project land within the PDA. This will be assessed against the Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme. The Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) is the assessing authority.
After the EIS process has been completed, Walker will submit development applications under the SPA for relevant tidal and operational works both within and outside of the PDA.
Will the community have a say on the development application?
A public notification period of 20 business days will apply on the development application for Material Change of Use with Plan of Development.
Will local suppliers have an opportunity to tender for work?
Walker is committed to implementing the Queensland Charter for Local Content which is aimed at delivering genuine opportunities for local businesses.
Walker intends to work with the Industry Capability Network (ICN) to define work packages for particular goods and services, which will maximise opportunities for local industry to tender for market-based contracts. Certain works packages may be specifically targeted at Indigenous suppliers. From about Quarter 2 in 2016, the Toondah Harbour Project webpage will provide information for prospective suppliers and link to the ICN Gateway.
Local content reporting will be undertaken by Walker and/or its contractors and subcontractors throughout the life of the project in compliance with the Queensland Charter for Local Content.
I would like to supply goods or services to the Toondah Harbour project. How do I register my interest?
Visit www.toondah-harbour.com.au to register for project updates. We will let you know when the ICN Gateway Toondah Harbour Project webpage is operational (circa Quarter 2 in 2016).
Weinam Creek Priority Development Area
What is happening at Weinam Creek Priority Development Area?
Developing a master plan for Weinam Creek Priority Development Area (PDA) in the hope to be selected as the preferred development proponent remains a priority for Walker. While Walker’s focus has been on its plan to revitalise Toondah Harbour, the company is keen to undertake the Weinam Creek project. Walker will submit an updated concept for Weinam Creek in due course.
Response to Open Letter to Developer
Can you please provide some clarity that the new ferry terminal and channels will be designed on a best practice basis and that local operator’s knowledge will be sought in the design process?
The current design level of the ferry terminal and channels is a conceptual masterplan. It has been developed to this point to enable further engineering and environmental assessment, and to inform the development agreement negotiations with the State Government and Redland City Council.
The ferry terminal master plan provides for three ‘vehicle ferry’ berths and two ‘passenger ferry’ pontoons. Each pontoon is capable of accommodating two vessels. All the necessary infrastructure and conveniences expected of a modern ferry terminal will be provided. Consultation with the current operators on the design and functional requirements has commenced. Walker looks forward to consulting further with the Sealink and Stradbroke Flyer operators and delivering a world class transport and tourism facility.
Is the ferry route likely to cause added travel time to North Stradbroke Island?
Based on the current Speed Limits policy of Maritime Safety Queensland, we do not foresee an increase in ferry travel times as a result of the proposed development.
How will the impact on migratory shorebirds habitat within the development area be assessed and mitigated?
Preliminary studies have identified some migratory shorebird foraging habitat within the proposed project area. The proposed project would overlap less than 0.11% of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site and result in the loss of less than 0.39% of Moreton Bay’s available intertidal foraging habit.
Walker is committed to undertaking further detailed assessment, including the development of mitigation and offset measures though an EIS. Walker has referred the project to the Federal Environmental Minister as a Controlled Action recommending that further detailed environmental assessment be undertaken. An EIS for the project would require all potential impacts to Moreton Bay, and specifically migratory shorebirds, be assessed before an approval can be obtained.
Will the dredging process address sedimentation and water turbidity and its possible effects on corals in Moreton Bay?
Potential water quality impacts associated with dredging and reclamation activities will be assessed using detailed coastal process modelling and baseline monitoring. Specifically the model will be used to assess:
- Sedimentation and turbidity impacts associated with dredging activities, material handling and placement
- Compliance with relevant water quality objectives
- Effectiveness of potential mitigation measures.
Potential impacts on coral will also be assessed through the EIS process.
How will dredge material be used, treated or disposed of as needed?
Achieving a balance of dredge material to reclamation material has been a key principle in the shaping of the proposed master plan. Rather than dumping dredge material at sea or a land-based disposal site, we propose to reuse it within the project area to reclaim land and reshape a buffer between the urban development with a more natural coastline.
Further dredging and reclamation options analysis is planned to occur through the early stages of the EIS which will consider options for the dredging method, source of fill and material disposal. The preferred option will be selected based on the detailed assessment of the geotechnical properties of the material, potential environmental impacts and feasibility in terms of costs and program.
Will issues of structural settlement under buildings and roads on reclaimed land be properly addressed?
A detailed assessment of the geotechnical properties of the proposed reclamation material will be undertaken as a key step in the design process. This will inform the reclamation approach and methodology.
What is the expected heavy traffic load on surrounding roads’ structure and capabilities and how will it be addressed and managed?
Traffic modelling of the current proposal has found that road infrastructure within the immediate vicinity of Toondah Harbour is generally sufficient to cater for the proposed development and future traffic volumes. Augmentation works within the immediate connecting roads will be required to improve the level and standard of service, and these will be delivered as part of the project. Intersection and roundabout augmentation works will be required on Passage/Middle Streets and Shore Street North/Cross Street to cater for traffic generated by the development. On-road cycle lanes will be provided on Middle Street to cater for cycle connections between the Cleveland CBD and the waterfront. This preliminary analysis will be tested through the EIS and design process. Potential impacts and management options for construction traffic will also be examined in detail during the EIS process.
Once impacts have been fully investigated, management plans (including a comprehensive traffic management plan), for both construction and operation will be developed.
The objective of achieving a dredge to reclamation balance within the project is in part driven by the desire to minimise heavy vehicle movements on local roads.
Walker Response to Wynnum Herald Enquiry - 1/4/2016
What made Walker decide to extend the development into a national park and internationally protected wetlands?
Toondah Harbour is a busy marine transport hub that connects the mainland to North Stradbroke Island, with about 570 arrivals and departures of water taxis, passenger ferries and vehicular barges occurring every week. The current facility is in urgent need of upgrading, is expensive to maintain, and will not support the desired economic growth envisaged for the Redlands – particularly the hoped for growth in eco-cultural tourism for North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay, which will become increasingly important as sand mining is phased out.
The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared by the State Government in June 2013 at the request of Redland City Council to facilitate economic development in the area. The PDA covers a total area of approximately 67 hectares, including 17.5 hectares over mostly reclaimed land in predominantly government ownership, and 49.5 hectares over water within Moreton Bay, and overlaps with the Moreton Bay Ramsar site and the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
In June 2014, Walker responded to a public tender issued by the Queensland Government and Redland City Council to deliver on their vision for the PDA which included urban development, 400 berth marina, extensive public parklands and a new port facility/tourism precinct with substantial car parking provision—all at no cost to the ratepayer or taxpayer. Walker was confirmed as the preferred development proponent after a year-long assessment period.
The Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme which regulates land use in the PDA contemplates dredging, reclamation and other activities necessary for the construction of a new port facility and marina, deepening and widening of the existing public navigation channel, as well as urban development to facilitate the economic investment required for the port upgrade. Any project consistent with the PDA vision will include these elements.
The PDA doesn’t remove the need for Walker to obtain relevant environmental approvals and authorities under the EPBC Act, Marine Park Act and other environmental legislation. An environmental impact assessment process is a key part of understanding the impacts and what measures can be put in place to offset them and to provide a scientific basis to support the regulators’ decision making.
Walker’s strategy for dealing with the dredged material is to reuse it onsite through reclamation, including creation of new foreshore parklands, and minimise the need for offsite transport or offshore disposal of surplus dredged material.
The reclamation required as part of the proposed master plan impacts less than 0.03% of the designated Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland, less than 0.4% of the Moreton Bay intertidal mud flat and less than 0.01% of the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
We note that the current master plan concept is indicative only - the actual size of the potential reclamation area will be determined following detailed geotechnical and engineering studies as part of the environmental impact assessment process.
Our environmental experts do not agree that the project could pose a significant threat to the survival of the Eastern Curlew or migratory shorebirds in Moreton Bay generally. The Moreton Bay region is estimated to support over 40,000 migratory shorebirds (with estimates of up to 3,500 Eastern Curlews in 1996). Shorebird surveys conducted during the master planning of the project, identified fewer than seven Eastern Curlews utilise the site at any one time. It is widely recognised that the intertidal flats of Moreton Bay have the capacity to support a substantially greater number of migratory shorebirds than currently visit the area.
Research shows populations of migratory shorebirds in Moreton Bay have been declining for some time and that the cause is loss of critical migration staging sites in North Asia, particularly in the Yellow Sea area, which includes highly important stopover habitat for the Eastern Curlew among other species. Offsets for migratory shorebirds are considered to deliver the best ecological results when they address the threatening processes for the target species. With this technical advice in mind, Walker is in discussion with an international wetland organisation that has an intention to establish additional coastal Protected Areas in the Yellow Sea, to provide the highest value offset options for migratory shorebirds.
Walker is also investigating the potential to further integrate ecological enhancements throughout the precinct including additional roosting habitat restoration, exclusion zones to reduce disturbance of shorebirds, as well as initiatives around ongoing land management with the Quandamooka people and the local community and contribution to marine biodiversity offsets research.
Where impacts cannot be avoided, offsets will be provided. This includes establishing areas with migratory shorebird habitat value as conservation areas. Our preliminary assessment has highlighted a number of excellent opportunities across Moreton Bay and the broader region that are currently exposed to threat of development or have become degraded and represent an opportunity for rehabilitation.
This project is unlikely to set a precedent for subsequent development within Moreton Bay. The project is driven by the need to improve the ferry terminal and surrounding infrastructure. Walker recognises the importance of Moreton Bay and its natural values. This project will serve as a gateway to the Bay and as such Walker sees a need for this to be an example of sustainable development with respect for the ecological and cultural heritage values of the area.
Walker has been liaising with Birdlife Australia to set a date to meet with representatives of that organisation and the Queensland Wader Study Group in the near future to talk through their concerns and hear their thoughts on some of our proposals. We would like to work closely with these organisations to involve them in the environmental impact assessment process and the development of any mitigation and offset strategies that may be required.
We also think it’s important to look at the wider benefits of the redevelopment of Toondah Harbour, which is a major project that has strong community, local government and State Government support. The construction of the project would deliver more than 1000 jobs per annum. When completed, the project will support approximately 500 jobs on site in the office, retail, hotel, food and beverage outlets. Preliminary estimates of the broader impact of the tourism industry suggest that an extra 49,000 visitors will be bought to the region annually, bringing additional visitor expenditure of $21.64 million per annum. This will support a further 500 jobs in the regional tourism industry.
What stage in the process is the project at?
Walker has referred the project to the Commonwealth Environment Minister under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) seeking a controlled action decision and methodology for assessment. Walker will then apply to the Queensland Coordinator-General for a coordinated project declaration. If the project is declared a coordinated project, the Coordinator-General will invite public comment on the draft Terms of Reference for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
We are looking forward to getting the EIS process underway and talking to the community and environmental groups about the project as part of that process.
We have established a dedicated hotline (1800 371 758) and website (www.aecom.com/toondahharboureis) to facilitate community involvement in the EIS and design process.
Facts and figures
Area of Moreton Bay Marine Park would be reclaimed under the Toondah Harbour master plan:
The reclamation of approximately 43.5 hectares or less than 0.03% of the Moreton Bay Marine Park, which has a total area of 340,000 hectares.
Area of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site that would be reclaimed:
Approximately 36.8 hectares or less than 0.03% of the designated Moreton Bay Ramsar site, which has an area of 113,314 hectares.
Area of intertidal habitat that would be affected by the proposed development:
Approximately 19.3 hectares of unvegetated mud flats or less than 0.4% of the total unvegetated mud flat within the Moreton Bay Ramsar site.
Area of seagrass that would be affected by the proposed development:
Approximately 26.6 ha of seagrass or 0.1% of seagrass within the Moreton Bay Ramsar site.