Toondah Harbour FAQs
The cost of upgrading the public infrastructure at Toondah Harbour, including the ferry terminal and deepening and widening the navigation channel, is $116 million. This was too great for Council to independently fund, therefore in late 2014, Council undertook a rigorous expression of interest process for delivery of the PDA project. As a PDA and under the infrastructure agreement, ratepayers and the community reap the benefits of much-needed infrastructure in the area, at minimal cost to Council and with no impact to their rates over the long-term.
In early 2016, Council, Walker Group and Economic Development Queensland entered into a Development Agreement and an Infrastructure Agreement. As with many commercial agreements, the Development Agreement contains confidential commercial information and is therefore a confidential agreement.
The Infrastructure Agreement is available at https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/info/20271/priority_development_areas/850/toondah_harbour_infrastructure_agreement
While Council endeavours to operate with as much transparency and accountability as possible, this needs to be balanced with the benefits of contracting with the private sector and cost-effective outcomes.
If Council contracts with the private sector and hopes to negotiate competitively, it will need to keep details in contracts confidential to ensure that it does not give away valuable financial information to competitors and to third parties who may gain a financial advantage from the information and prejudice the financial interests of Council and the contractor.
There are many avenues of accountability for Council especially Council contracting activities, with the opportunity for most Council decisions to be scrutinised by independent authorities including the Council audit committee, the Queensland Audit Office, the Crime and Corruption Commission, the Minister for Local Government, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Integrity Commissioner and the Courts. These bodies are able to scrutinise and review the minutiae of contracts and the contracting process without the contracts being disclosed and Council's financial interests being prejudiced.
Council has considered a petition around making public the Development Agreement, with a report available at https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/meetings/meeting/159/2019_council_meeting_minutes_and_agendas
The Toondah Harbour PDA commenced the EIS phase in October 2019 and has been focused on proposed upgrades to the port, harbour and Fison Channel, as well as gathering survey data and information on migratory shorebirds. Walker Group have appointed a leading team of independent scientists, engineers and environmental experts to deliver the EIS, which is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Ensuring the assessment of the project, both under federal and state requirements is rigorous and comprehensive. Walker Group will then be required to obtain other state environment and planning approvals which is expected to take another 12 months.
The EIS phase assesses all potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed development during its construction and operational phases.
Walker Group's latest master plan is available on the Walker Group's Toondah Harbour website.
Toondah Harbour was declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) in May 2013.
Toondah Harbour was the second area in the state to be granted PDA status under the Economic Development Act 2012.
As a PDA, it will facilitate economic development and inject much-needed investment into the Redlands Coast economy, while also delivering social benefits through increased public open space.
Nearly $116 million in infrastructure will be delivered with the revitalisation of Toondah Harbour.
This infrastructure will be at no cost to ratepayers as part of the agreement with Walker Group.
Key infrastructure to be provided under the agreements includes:
- A complete upgrade of the marine channel and swing basin.
- A new ferry terminal, ticketing and information facilities.
- A minimum of 1010 car parks.
- A bus interchange.
- A waterfront plaza.
- Improvements to GJ Walter Park plus new foreshore parks and a water play area.
- Boat and watercraft launching facilities.
- Open space and wildlife corridors.
- Road and cycleway upgrades.
- Sewerage, storm water and trunk water upgrades.
The infrastructure cost at the site is $116 million. This is too great for Council to independently fund, and would in turn come at a cost to ratepayers.
As a PDA and under the infrastructure agreement, ratepayers and the community reap the benefits of much needed infrastructure in the area, with no impact to their rates over the long-term.
Environmental assessment of the project is a Federal Government process under the EPBC Act. Walker Group is responsible for producing the Environmental Impact Statement report that will address the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of the project.
Yes. You will have the opportunity to have your say.
On 23 July 2018, the Federal Government made the decision that the proposed Toondah Harbour PDA development is a 'controlled action', allowing the project to proceed to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) stage. The EIS phase will address all potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed development during its construction and operational phases.
The Federal Government issued draft environmental impact statement (EIS) assessment guidelines for public comment on 6 February 2019. The 30-day public notification period closed on 6 March 2019.
The final guidelines were issued on 3 April, 2019. Click on the following link to review the guidelines for the EIS.
There will be further opportunities for community engagement.
No. Walker Group will submit development applications once the EIS phase is complete.
There will also be a further opportunity for the community to have their say during the EIS phase.
The Walker Group proposed a master plan allows for approximately 3,600 dwellings in a variety of forms. A final number will be determined at the conclusion of the development application process.
For details on the proposed project, visit the project website.
Traffic management during and post construction will be examined in detail by Walker Group, as part of the development application process and a traffic management plan will be put in place.
Matters of national environmental significance
Matters of national environmental significance will be assessed by the Federal Government under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Walker Group has referred the project to the Commonwealth Environment Minister as a controlled action, requiring further assessment under the EPBC Act. Subject to the Minister's decision, the assessment under the EPBC Act will involve an environmental impact statement in which the impacts of the project on matters of national environmental significance will be assessed. Once the environmental impacts of the project have been assessed, the Minister will decide whether to approve the project.
Matters of state and local environmental significance
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 Planning Act 2016.
Walker will be required to submit a development application under the Economic Development Act for a Material Change of Use (MCU) with a Plan of Development (POD) over the project land within the PDA. This will be assessed against the Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme by a Local Representative Committee comprising representatives of the State Government and Council.
Walker will also be required to seek approval under the Marine Parks Act 2004 and the Planning Act 2016.
For information on State Government environmental assessment and development approval processes visit the FAQs on the Toondah Harbour website.
The proposed master plan for the Toondah Harbour PDA was published by Walker Group in late 2015. Walker Group's master plan is consistent with the Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme [PDF, 1.0MB].
The Development Scheme itself was subject to extensive public consultation with the public notification and submission period held from 10 January to 24 February 2014.
The Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme submissions report [PDF, 1.0MB] dated May 2014, summarises the community engagement undertaken.
The Toondah Harbour PDA Development Scheme submissions report [PDF, 1.0MB] dated May 2014, summarises the community engagement undertaken.
The report states that the community engagement undertaken included:
- Redland City Council and State Government officers undertook engagement on the PDAs from May 2013, including speaking directly with stakeholders and holding engagement sessions on the mainland and islands.
- Both the Council and Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP) websites and a dedicated developer's website Redlands Open for Business and Investment included frequently asked questions and information about the project. The DSDMIP website also provided an online submission portal and the proposed Development Scheme for download.
- Hundreds of online comments were received via the DSDMIP online portal, Council's Your say Redland City website and through the interest register, which was established in May 2013.
- More than 20 meetings have been held with key stakeholders for both Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek to discuss issues, concerns and opportunities since June 2013.
Other community consultation included:
- 10 community forums;
- website information;
- online submissions;
- ongoing interest register;
- five community mail-outs;
- advertisements in local and state-wide media;
- posters and other advertising at ferry terminals, on ferries and at stakeholder meetings;
- articles in city wide Council magazines and e-newsletters using Australia-first technology that allows a 3D view of the potential development in each PDA;
- telephone survey of 300 people regarding the Planning Scheme;
- radio interviews (Bay FM and ABC);
- display of the proposed development schemes throughout the statutory consultation period at 14 local libraries and three major Redlands Coast shopping centres;
- Three community information forums were held for the Toondah Harbour PDA Proposed Development Scheme, which were well attended. Details follow:
- Saturday, 1 February 2014, 1pm - 3pm at Island View Cafe, Toondah Harbour Ferry Terminal.
- Friday, 7 February 2014, 3.30pm - 5.30pm at Island View Cafe, Toondah Harbour Ferry Terminal.
- Saturday, 8 February 2014, 1pm - 3pm at Dunwich Community Hall, Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island.
- Other speaking engagements and presentations to key stakeholders were also provided to explain the development scheme.
The Walker Group proposal was subject to public notification during the EPBC referral process in 2015 and 2017. The master plan will also be available for public consultation during the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and development application process.
No. No variations have been made to the PDA boundary. The initial PDA boundary was declared on 21 June 2013 by the Queensland Government. The PDA boundary was included in the Development Scheme and was subject to extensive public consultation.
No urban development was originally proposed or is currently proposed for outside the PDA boundary.
Walker's master plan for the Toondah Harbour PDA, published in late 2015, included additional land outside the PDA boundary that would comprise foreshore open space and migratory bird habitat.
Walker's master plan is a conceptual plan and intended as a reference document for the forthcoming public EIS process. Following the EIS, Walker will be required to submit a range of applications under State planning and environmental legislation. The final development footprint will be based on the findings of extensive technical analysis or conditions placed upon the project after the federal and state regulators have reviewed the proposal.
Walker's master plan is a conceptual document and intended as a reference plan for the upcoming public EIS process. The plan may be amended throughout the approvals process, in response to findings of extensive technical analysis or conditions placed upon the project by federal and state regulators.
The preparation of the Development Scheme was informed by specialist consultant advice, including economic advice.
The PDA specialist background reports are publicly available on Council's website.
In addition, an environmental impact assessment process, which has not yet commenced, will be undertaken by Walker Group and assessed by the Federal Government. This process will entail an examination of all expected, likely and potential environmental, social and economic impacts of the proposal during pre-construction activities and construction, operational and post-operational phases.
The preparation of the Development Scheme was informed by specialist consultant advice including economic advice. The PDA specialist background reports are publicly available on our website.
Walker Group's proposal is consistent with the Development Scheme. Further due diligence on Walker Group's proposal was undertaken by independent experts and endorsed at the Council General Meeting on 25 March 2015. The due diligence reports are confidential as they contain commercial in confidence information.
Council is satisfied that the necessary care and diligence has been undertaken on the proposal.
It is important to note that, as yet, approval for the project has not been granted. There is still an extensive public EIS process examining all social, environmental, and economic impacts of the proposal to be undertaken. This assessment will be undertaken by the Federal Government.
All community infrastructure to be provided as part of the project will benefit existing residents and people who use the ferry terminal.
Walker's proposal places more car spaces within a shorter walking distance than are available now. In addition, the walk between all car parks and the ferry terminal will be more direct and safer, especially after hours.
Walker Group is being charged the standard infrastructure charges, which would also apply if the development area had not been declared a PDA.
For details on the proposed project, visit the Toondah Harbour website. The staging of the development will be determined through detailed studies as part of the environmental impact assessment process.
It is premature to withdraw support prior to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) where the proposal will be assessed by leading environmental and wetland experts, public submissions and the Australian Government over the next 18 months.
The masterplan will be assessed during the EIS phase and also when the development application for the project is lodged. The final scale of the development will be determined during both phases of assessment.
Council is a party to a Development Agreement with Walker Group and Economic Development Queensland.
As is the case with any contract, the financial impact upon Council and consequently, ratepayers, would be significant if Council were to withdraw from the Development Agreement prior to assessment of the project, as per the request outlined in a petition presented to Council in November 2017.
Updated 7 March 2019