Fix the port but don’t kill island tourism

Written by admin on 11/07/2018 Categories: 老域名

A Redland lobby group claims a quick and properly planned redevelopment of the Cleveland ferry terminal would be a fillip for the economy on North Stradbroke Island after mining ends in 2019.

Redlands2030 group was commenting after the state government last week legislated to end all sand mining leases on the island in 2019 and set up a rehabilitation authority.

The group said the port facilities need immediate attention and upgrading but was wary about a massive housing, retail and tourism site which it said would compete with plans to attract tourists to the island.

“The current Walker Corporation proposal would destroy internationally significant Ramsar wetlands, cause traffic congestion and increase the proportion of Redlands residents seeking employment elsewhere in south east Queensland,” the group said.

“It’s also unlikely that the Walker Corp plans will happen in the timeframe needed to help with the economic transition for North Stradbroke Island, due to significant concerns about the environmental impact of the proposed massive dredging works.”

This month, the federal Environment Department extended the deadline for handing down its decision on Walker Corporation’s $1.3billion plans to overhaul the harbour.

The suspension means there will be no decision on whether the project needs formal assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act before September 2.

Sand mining on Stradbroke Island is due to end in 2019 and there are now plans to make tourism the No1 industry on the island. PHOTO: Judith Kerr

It was the fourth suspension of the decision since the plans were lodged with the federal government in December.

Parking at Toondah Harbour

The plans include revamping the ferry terminal, building high-rise waterfront residential units, dredging the harbour and using the spoils to create more than 43.5 hectares of reclaimed land.

After the suspension Walker Corp general manager Peter Saba said the extra time would allow for new technical information and more discussions with key stakeholders.

Redland City Council has backed the project, which it says will bolster tourism, provide much-needed transport facilities and ease unemployment after sand mining ceases on Stradbroke Island.

Community groups, including Redlands 2030, claim the project will be detrimental to significant wetlands and shore birds and will reduce public open space and parks.

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