Toondah plan still bad news for birds

BirdLife Australia
5 June 2017

  • Walker Group withdraws development proposal for Toondah Harbour and submits a new plan that is still disastrous for threatened migratory shorebirds.
  • The proposed Toondah development is part of an internationally significant wetland and the Moreton Bay Key Biodiversity Area (KBA).
  • A recent report by BirdLife Australia lists Moreton Bay [EAAF013] as a KBA in Danger due to inappropriate development.

Earlier this week, Walker Group withdrew its development proposal for Toondah Harbour in Moreton Bay. On Wednesday 11th May, they submitted a new development proposal to the Federal Government for assessment under the EPBC Act.

Walker Group claims that this revised proposal offers better protection for migratory shorebirds, such as the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew.

Sadly, this is not the case. Walker Group’s new development proposal still involves the destruction of feeding habitat used by migratory shorebirds and will likely result in the abandonment of nearby roost sites due to increased human disturbance.

Migratory shorebirds are protected under domestic legislation and international agreements. As one of the most threatened suite of species in the world, their survival depends on protecting all remaining habitat across their migration route.

Of even greater concern is that the development intends to reclaim a portion of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Site. The Ramsar Convention is an internationally binding treaty, requiring signature countries to effectively protect and manage wetlands of international significance. The deliberate destruction of a wetland protected under this treaty is unacceptable.

Ramsar Wetlands are the most important wetlands in Australia and should be protected at all cost.

Moreton Bay is also a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). BirdLife Australia recently released a report that identified the Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage KBA as ‘in Danger’ due to the proposal to encroach on the Ramsar boundary as part of the Toondah Harbour development. We are calling on the Australian Government to uphold their obligations under the Ramsar Convention and reject this proposal.

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