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Toondah Harbour

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not addressed in these FAQs, please e-mail the Toondah Harbour project team at 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 the 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:

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.

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 Resort (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.

Has Walker considered alternative project locations?

The proposed redevelopment of Toondah Harbour is not a market led proposal - it did not originate from Walker Group Holdings. In June 2014, Economic Development Queensland and Redland City Council called for expressions of interest from the private sector to redevelop certain public lands in the Toondah Harbour PDA.

Walker has not considered alternative project locations as it has entered into a binding commercial agreement with Redland City Council and the State Government that is tied to specific land within the Toondah Harbour PDA.

Why will there be dredging and land reclamation as part of this development?

The public expression of interest issued by Economic Development Queensland and Redland City Council for the Toondah Harbour PDA required the successful tenderer to undertake capital dredging to straighten and widen the Fison Channel and extend the existing turning basin.

The Fison Channel is 2.55 kilometres long and typically 45 metres wide. It extends from the turning basin in front of the existing barge berths, via three significant bends to exit into deeper water approximately 1.5 kilometres past Cassim Island. The turning basin’s existing diameter is well below the accepted minimum of 1.5 times the maximum length of vessels currently utilising the harbour.

Walker has addressed the requirement for capital dredging as part of an integrated design concept that:

The current concept has been developed by marine infrastructure and engineering experts. It will be subject to detailed modelling and coastal processes and environmental investigation as part of the environmental impact assessment process.

Preliminary engineering analysis indicates that a minimum of 500,000 cubic metres of material would need to be removed from the channel. Removing and disposing of this material at land or marine-based disposal sites outside of the PDA would be costly and presents significant environmental and logistical issues. If reclamation is not carried out dredged material would need to be transported offshore or to a new on-land facility for disposal.

The National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging 2009 state: “It is important to recognise the potential value of dredged material as a resource. Possible beneficial uses include engineered uses (land reclamation, beach nourishment, offshore berms, and capping material) agriculture and product uses (aquaculture, construction material, liners) and environmental enhancement (restoration and establishment of wetlands, upland habitats, nesting islands, and fisheries).”

Walker proposes to beneficially reuse dredged material to reclaim land for urban development and to create new intertidal habitat, rather than transporting material to an alternative marine or land-based location. The project is designed to achieve a net balance between dredging and reclamation. This approach will be rigorously tested through the environmental impact assessment process.

Fison Channel and the turning basin are already subject to intermittent maintenance dredging which extends significantly into the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland. In 2013 the Department of Transport and Main Roads received approval for a Material Change of Use for Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) 16-(1c) Dredging >100,000 tonnes but <1,000,000 tonnes year, to dredge the channel to a depth of -2.5m Lowest Astronomical Tide (LAT).The works were carried out in 2014. No environmental impact assessment process has been undertaken for previous dredging events.

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 two to ten storeys.

This number of dwellings was put forward by Walker in its financial proposal for project and has not varied.

How many people will live at Toondah Harbour?

Approximately 6,300 new residents will call Toondah Harbour home when the site is fully developed in 15 to 20 years. 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 from the commencement of construction, depending on market demand.

How tall will the buildings be at Toondah Harbour?

The maximum building height allowable under the Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme is 10 storeys. The buildings within the development will not be uniformly 10 storeys. The proposed development will deliver a variety of buildings with heights ranging from two to 10 storeys. The taller buildings will be stepped well back from the high tide roost sites at Cassim Island and Nandeebie Claypan, and any buildings directly facing the roost sites will be in the two to three storey range.

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. There will be:

Proposed enhancements to the park include:

Who will construct, own, operate and maintain the marina?

The marina will be designed, funded and constructed by Walker and then sold out of State Government 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, landscaped plaza, bus interchange and ticket and visitor information 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.

Who will construct, manage and maintain the new 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.

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. It also discharges small recreational vessels into the path of the commercial ferries. Walker proposes closing this boat ramp and providing:

Economic and Social Impacts

What are the economic benefits of the project?

Preliminary analysis by economic experts suggests that 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:

Detailed assessment of the potential economic impacts of the project will be undertaken as part of the environmental impact assessment process.

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 is expected to support and reinforce the Cleveland CBD in a variety of ways including:

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 social impact assessment for the project will be undertaken as part of the environmental impact assessment process. This 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 the community and government to develop management strategies for any potential impacts that are identified, both positive and negative.

Environmental Impacts and Approvals

What is the current status of environment assessments and approvals?

The new Minister for the Environment has issued draft guidelines for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The EIS guidelines determine the scope of the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) assessments.

The draft guidelines are now open for public comment. To have your say visit www.environment.gov.au/epbc/public-notices.

We’ll be rolling out a suite of community and stakeholder engagement activities including community newsletters, listening posts, mobile shopfronts, pop-up displays, an information and feedback hotline, website updates and much more.

Once the guidelines are finalised, a rigorous process will commence assessing all potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed development during the construction and operational phases of the Toondah Harbour development.

The EIS will take at least 18 months and involve further extensive community engagement.

Environmental, construction and traffic impact management plans will be developed as part of this process.

Why did Walker request approval from the federal Department of Environment and Energy to undertake a new EIS?

In June 2017 the Federal Minister for Environment and Energy decided the project is a controlled action requiring further assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) based on a previous referral.

Since then Walker has updated the concept master plan for the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area to include new initiatives responding to feedback from environmental and wetland experts, public submissions and the Federal Government.

In July 2018 a new referral was submitted to the Federal Government reflecting the evolution of the master plan.

Following a public comment period, the Minister made a controlled action decision requiring the development proposal to be assessed through an EIS process before the project can proceed further.

What updates were made to the master plan?

Key features of the updated plan include:

What happens next?

The community and other stakeholders will be encouraged and provided opportunities to review the draft EIS guidelines and offer their feedback.

At the conclusion of the comment period, the Federal Minister for the Environment will review the response and finalise the EIS guidelines.

The guidelines will be provided to the Walker Corporation as the Proponent and the assessment process will begin.

How will the project be assessed under national environmental law?

A comprehensive EIS report will be prepared according to guidelines provided by the Australian Government.

The purpose of an EIS is to provide information from which interested parties can gain an understanding of:

The EIS includes opportunities for further public engagement and informed comments on the Toondah Harbour proposal.

The EIS will inform the Federal Environment Minister of the ecological, cultural, social, heritage, economic and technical aspects of the proposal and other factors necessary for the Minister to decide how the project progresses.

Key steps in the federal environmental assessment and approval process are outlined in the following diagram.

A diagram outlining the steps of the Toondah Harbour EPBG Act approval process

Will the community have an opportunity to input to the EIS?

During the preparation of the draft Environmental Impact Statement, a comprehensive community engagement program will be undertaken, which will inform the Community Engagement Chapter of the EIS.

Information will be shared, and feedback sought via community newsletters, listening posts, mobile shopfronts, pop-up displays, an information and feedback hotline, website updates and much more.

Register at www.toondah-harbour.com.au to receive project updates and to be notified about upcoming community engagement activities.

What will the state government environment and development assessment processes entail?

To proceed, the project will also require various development and environmental approvals and authorities under Queensland legislation, including:

Why will the project require assessment under state and national environmental laws?

The State Government declared the Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area by regulation in 2013. It covers a total area of approximately 67 hectares, including 17.5 hectares over land and 49.5 hectares over water within Moreton Bay.

Some areas below high water mark are part of much larger areas that are protected by national and state environment laws, including:

Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland of International Importance

A declared Ramsar wetland is an area designated under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation of wetlands, through wise use and management. Australia currently has 65 Wetlands of International Importance listed under the Ramsar Convention, covering approximately 8.1 million hectares.

The implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Australia is supported by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Ramsar wetlands are a matter of national environmental significance that are protected under the Act. The EPBC Act regulates actions that will or are likely to have a significant impact on the ecological character of a Ramsar wetland.

Moreton Bay Marine Park

The Moreton Bay Marine Park totals 3,400 square kilometres and is protected by state government legislation– The Marine Parks Act 2004 and Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan 2008.

The Toondah Harbour PDA overlaps with the Moreton Bay Marine Park by 52 hectares or 0.01% of the protected area.

Reclamation in the marine park requires approval under state legislation. An application for these works will be made following the federal EIS process.

Migratory and threatened species

Preliminary ecological studies for the Toondah Harbour PDA show that the existing marine environment supports some potential habitat for protected turtles, dugongs, dolphins and migratory shorebirds and has ecological and fishery values. These values are generally associated with estuarine and intertidal habitats that include sparse seagrass beds, a small area of mangroves and mudflats providing feeding habitat for migratory birds, including threatened species.

In addition, an urban koala population is known to move through the western part of the Toondah Harbour PDA. These koalas are visiting food trees that have been retained or planted in the urban environment. Koalas 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 extent and significance of potential impacts on all flora and fauna will be fully assessed as part of the environmental impact assessment process.

How will potential impacts on the environment be mitigated or offset?

The Toondah Harbour project is still at a conceptual stage, though a range of potential mitigation and offset measures have been identified that could provide an ecological benefit at Toondah Harbour.

These measures will be further developed and refined during the environmental impact assessment process, as the results of technical studies are known.

Where impacts to the surrounding environment from the proposed project are identified, these impacts will be addressed according to the following mitigation hierarchy:

Environmental management plans, for both construction and operation, will be developed once the environmental impacts of the proposed development have been determined.

As a result of the statutory approval processes at federal and state levels, regulatory offsets may be applied to the proposed Toondah Harbour development.

Commercial Opportunities

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. Once the EIS process is underway, 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.