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Twitchers ready for action against Toondah as report nears release


Birdlife Australia has joined the fray in the protest against the Redlands Toondah Harbour development, with a draft environmental impact statement expected to be released within weeks.

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The group is helping organise a protest this week against the project coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar treaty.

The treaty, of which Australia is a signatory, aims are to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain. Australia has 66 sites designated as wetlands of national importance including Moreton Bay, which includes Toondah Harbour.

However, Walker Corp has a $1.3 billion redevelopment plan for the harbour, including 3600 apartments, which was supposed to start in 2017 and was touted as a source of employment for workers made redundant from sand mining on Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).

Birdlife Australia said local residents planned to make a human outline to celebrate World Wetlands Day and protest plans to build luxury apartments in the Moreton Bay Ramsar site at Toondah Harbour.

Using COVID-safe social distancing and shot by aerial drones, local Cleveland residents and bird lovers will stand in the shape of huge letters spelling “50 – Ramsar”.

The local protest will accompany a national day of action on World Wetland Day next Tuesday, which will encourage supporters to share an image of their favourite wetland.

Walker Corp began to submit its draft environmental impact statement the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for the project in December.

A full draft is expected to be completed within days but it is then up to the Minister to approve the public release of the draft EIS which Walker would do via advertised public notices.

A decision from the minister is expected in August.

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