Community groups are urging federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to step in and impose a firm deadline for Walker Corporation to submit its final Enviornmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Toondah Harbour development.
Redlands 2030 president Steve MacDonald said giving the developer a one-month window to finalise the report was “more than reasonable” given eight months had now elapsed since the end of the public consultation period.
Walker Corporation is remaining tight-lipped on the report’s progress, with questions about a potential submission date going unanswered when Redland City News approached the developer for comment last week.
Plans for the 67-hectare Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area include up to 3600 dwellings.
Also proposed is a Southbank-style swimming lagoon and water play area, 400-berth marina, restaurants and recreation spaces.
Redlands 2030, which has spent several years campaigning against the proposed development over concerns for the environment and community amenity, is among several community organisations lobbying for authorities to set an EIS submission deadline.
The request has been sent in a letter to Ms Plibersek.
It comes about a month after Redlands 2030 wrote to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urging her to reopen a 2020 petition calling for an investigation into several elements of the Toondah proposal, including why the PDA had been allowed to encroach on Ramsar wetlands.
“While the Toondah travesty is ongoing, more sensible plans for improving the ferry terminal are not being pursued,” Mr MacDonald said.
“A one-month period to finalise their story seems more than reasonable.”
A federal environment department spokeswoman said there was no prescribed timeframe for the developer to submit its Environmental Impact Statement.
The final report will include the total number of submissions received, a summary of the issues raised as well as how they have been addressed.
“Once the final EIS is submitted, the Minister has 40 business days to make a decision on whether or not to approve the proposed action,” the spokeswoman said.
The public was also given 40 business days late last year to review the draft EIS and submit a response.
Walker Corporation spokesman Dolan Hayes declared at the time that the research included in the report definitively proved the development would deliver an economic and lifestyle boost while protecting the natural environment.
“Crucially, scaremongering about negative environmental impacts to bird life, marine ecology and koalas has been proven wrong by the best, independent science,” he said.
The state government has also confirmed its position on the development since the draft EIS was released, saying it supported revitalising the Toondah Harbour precinct subject to “rigorous assessment of potential environmental impacts”.
The state planning department said it had prepared a submission on behalf of the state government during the consultation period as well as a supplementary submission identifying how environmental impacts should be balanced against the project’s contribution to housing supply.
Mandating social and affordable housing in PDAs was listed among the priority actions in the state government’s 2022 State Infrastructure Strategy and is also included in the Queensland Housing and Homelessness Action Plan (2021-2025).
When asked about affordability plans for Toondah, Mr Hayes directed Redland City News to comments published last year.
“Over a 15-20 year construction period, (we) will see a variety of detached homes, townhouses and apartments at a range of prices,” the statement read.
The federal environment department declined to comment on whether it had received correspondence from Walker Corporation about a submission date.
“It is the proponent’s responsibility to develop the Environmental Impact Statement and there is no prescribed timeframe for submission.”
The Toondah Alliance is also planning a rally opposing the development outside the National Labor Party Conference in Brisbane.