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#RespectRamsar

Australia must uphold our international obligations

Rule out this development once and for all

The proposed development at Toondah Harbour will permanently destroy important feeding habitat used by Eastern Curlew and other threatened migratory shorebirds. 

This development should have been immediately declared ‘unacceptable’ by the Environment Minister. Instead, it has been given the green light for an environmental assessment, with no transparent explanation. 

The decision by the Minister to go against expert advice of the Department, highlights the need for stronger national environment laws and independent institutions to ensure those laws are applied without political influence. 

Critically endangered migratory shorebirds like the Eastern Curlew rely on this internationally important wetland for their survival. If approved, Toondah will set a dangerous precedent for 2,331 Ramsar sites around the world.  

The international community is watching what happens next. 

Join us in calling on the current Minister and Shadow Minister for Environment to rule out developing this Ramsar wetland and commit to a new generation of nature laws.

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One of the most important wetlands

Historical development and increasing human population around Moreton Bay has significantly reduced the availability of undisturbed feeding and roosting habitat for migratory shorebirds.

The proposed development for Toondah Harbour will further reduce the availability of feeding habitat of the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew and other shorebird species. Also of great concern, the proposed development footprint includes over 40 hectares of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland.

As the most important wetlands in the world, Ramsar wetlands should be conserved and protected, not developed for private gains.

If the proposed development at Toondah Harbour is approved, it will set a dangerous precedent for future developments within our 65 other Ramsar Wetlands.

 

The Toondah Harbour Development

Along with upgrading the ferry terminal, Walker Group proposes to develop Toondah Harbour as a mixed use residential, commercial, retail and tourism precinct, including 3,600 residential dwellings and a 200 berth marina.

As it stands the development’s proposal area is 52 hectares, with 42 hectares within the Moreton Bay Ramsar Site (teal blue lines in below maps). Approximately 32 hectares of Ramsar wetlands will be permanently removed through land reclamation. The majority of this area is important shorebird feeding habitat.

Read the Toondah Harbour Development Project Description.

Master Plan Footprint

Shorebird Feeding Habitat

The Australian Department of Environment’s very own Wetland Section has concerns over the Toondah Harbour development. From the Statement of Reasons for declaring the proposal as a “controlled action” the Wetland Section concludes that the proposal will likely have significant impacts on the ecological character of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland. Further these impacts will “be difficult to mitigate and offset.”

The impacts include:

  • areas of wetland within the referral area will be removed or substantially modified through dredging, excavation and/or land reclamation activities;

  • impacts on the lifecycle of an ecologically significant proportion of the population of the Eastern Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit (spp baueri), as well as other listed migratory species, through the removal of, or disturbance to, foraging and roosting habitat in or near the referral area.

Read the Australian Department of Environment’s Statement of Reasons for declaring the proposal as a “controlled action.”

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Action Alert: Call on the Australian Government to respect the Ramsar Convention

The Australian Government has failed to outright reject the latest development proposal of Toondah Harbour in Moreton Bay, just south of Brisbane.

The proposal will encroach on over 40 hectares and reclaim 32 hectares of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland and significantly impact migratory shorebird feeding habitat, including Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew.   

The proposal now moves to the next stage of the approval process and is one step away from setting a dangerous precedent for future developments within Australia's 66 Ramsar sites. 

Petition: Sign our petition calling on the Australian Minister of Environment Melissa Price to uphold our international obligations and stop the current Toondah Harbour development.

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Will you stand for Ramsar?

Ramsar sites like Moreton Bay are internationally significant & should be protected. #WiseUse isn't destroying feeding habitat for #CriticallyEndangered birds! @Melissa4Durack & @Tony_Burke #RespectRamsar & commit to new #naturelaws @BirdLifeOz bit.ly/respectramsar

Images from top (C) Chris Walker (Toondah Harbour Sunrise) Duade Paton (Eastern Curlew) John Irvine (Bar-tailed Godwit) Judy Leitch (Toondah Harbour)