The Australian Conservation Foundation has strongly urged Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to reject Walker Group’s plans to build a high-rise apartment and retail complex on a wetland that is internationally recognised as a migratory bird hotspot.
Minister Plibersek has 40 working days to decide whether to approve or reject the proposal after Walker Group lodged its final environmental impact documents.
Toondah Harbour, on Brisbane’s doorstep, is the single most important feeding site for eastern curlews, a critically endangered bird that flies as far as Russia and China every year.
The tidal flats at Toondah Harbour are a Ramsar wetland, recognised by international treaty.
“Eastern curlews are one of 110 priority species in the Albanese government’s Threatened Species Action Plan, released last year by Minister Plibersek.
“Walker Group’s marina and high-rise apartment and retail complex would destroy irreplaceable feeding ground for migratory birds, a big chunk of the Ramsar wetland and mature eucalypts that are home to koalas and other wildlife.
“Walker’s claims that its massive real estate project will boost local koala numbers would be laughable if we weren’t talking about Australia’s unique much-loved animal, which is now listed as endangered in Queensland because of destruction of its habitat.
“Local, state and national environment groups all oppose this outrageous bid to replace a living ecosystem with a concrete wasteland.
“We urge Environment Minister Plibersek to stand up for the wetlands, the wildlife and the community by rejecting Walker’s destructive real estate proposal at Toondah Harbour.”
Last year more than 2,200 people rallied against Walker’s scheme and in May this year more than 3,000 people took to the streets, while hundreds rallied outside the Labor national conference in Brisbane in August, calling on the Albanese government to save Toondah.
Header pic of dugongs in Toondah Harbour by Nikki Michail