Protest group Redlands 2030 has written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urging her to reopen a 2020 petition calling for an investigation into the Toondah Harbour development proposal.
The group’s request comes on the 10-year anniversary of the site being declared a priority development area (PDA) under the Campbell Newman LNP government on June 21, 2013.
More than 6000 people signed the Redlands 2030 petition during the six months it was active in 2020, backing the group’s call for a commission of inquiry to look into the development plans.
Principal petitioner and Redlands 2030 president Steve MacDonald listed several items for inclusion in the requested investigation, including why the PDA had been allowed to overlap with a Ramsar area.
Walker Corporation’s plans for the site, which covers about 67 hectares of land and water at Cleveland, includes 3600 dwellings, waterfront cafes, recreation areas and a Southbank-style swimming lagoon.
Several local politicians have backed the plan, with Capalaba MP Don Brown doubling down on his support for the proposal in a recent letter to Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.
He said the development would enhance the diversity of housing in Redlands, boost supply and provide a strong pipeline of local jobs, including in the retail and hospitality sector.
Redland City News also revealed in a recent report that the Queensland planning department had prepared its own submission during public consultation for the draft EIS late last year.
It noted that environmental impacts should be balanced against the “economic benefits of the proposal and the project’s contribution towards meeting housing supply issues”.
The submission was supplementary to feedback lodged by the science and environment department on behalf of the state government.
The Redlands 2030 petition requests that an investigation look at the adequacy of early planning work, studies and community engagement, and assess the project’s costs and benefits to the community.
Many of the requests listed in the petition relate to the PDA’s creation and the initial planning period.
The petition fell flat in 2020, with former state Development Minister Kate Jones writing in her response that a commission of inquiry was not being considered.
Mr MacDonald, in a fresh appeal to the government, voiced concerns about unanswered questions and “inadequate community consultation”.
“This year is the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Toondah Harbour,” he said.
“That’s 10 years of uncertainty and thousands of hours of work by members of the Redlands community in their quest for proper and transparent governance in this matter.”
In the letter, Redlands 2030 also rejects claims that the development would help address housing supply issues in Redlands.
“How credible are these statements given that, as a reclamation project, no dwellings will be built for some years, according to the EIS,” Mr MacDonald said.
The state government has confirmed it is supportive of revitalising Toondah Harbour, subject to rigorous environmental assessment.
“Should the Toondah Harbour development be approved, it will play a role in helping to ease housing pressures in Redlands into the future, with the proposed master plan allowing for approximately 3600 dwellings in a variety of forms,” a state government spokesman said.
“In the case of Redlands, the Queensland Government is also developing a housing supply and diversity strategy to meet forecast growth, well beyond just Toondah Harbour.
“The strategy will consider strategies to meet targets for a diverse mix of dwellings including houses, apartments and other typologies responding to evolving demographic and household needs.”
Walker Corporation did not respond to requests for comment.