Locals fight Toondah Harbour development


A delicate Bayside ecosystem is under threat from development. Toondah Harbour is the lifeblood of dozens of types of migratory birds and marine species.

Grace Desoe reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Development giant, Walker Corporation wants to build 1.3 billion dollars worth of apartments, a hotel, a marina and a convention centre here.

But locals are fighting back.

The harbour is home to more than 40 bird species and is internationally protected.

Dr Rob Clemens, BirdLife Project Officer: “The bigger problem with Toondah and impacts to birds is the high volume of disturbance that you’re likely to produce when tens of thousands of people are living on the doorstep of where these birds occur.”

But In 2013 the site was declared a ‘priority development area.’

The Federal Environment Department was against the development proposal, but their advice was overturned by the minister.

Environmental experts says the process has become political.

Dr Rob Clemens, BirdLife Project Officer: “I think there’s a clear sense that our current environmental regulations are not working.”

But the local Federal member stands by the Government’s decision.

Andrew Laming, Liberal MP for Bowman: “I come from a part of Moreton Bay with 200km of coastline, and they’re asking to use 500 metres which is already a degraded port.”

Locals want the Government to listen, before it’s too late for the Harbour’s flora and fauna.

Locals are awaiting the next level of approval, and urging voters to vote for the birds this Saturday.

Grace Desoe, QUT News.