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Jackie Trad’s public asset give-away to developer could result in hundreds of $Millions in private profit
Toondah

Jackie Trad’s public asset give-away to developer could result in hundreds of $Millions in private profit

Probably the most watched electorate in this month’s State Election will be South Brisbane. Former Deputy Premier, Treasurer, and Minister for Aboriginal Partnerships, Jackie Trad, held on to the seat in 2017 when the LNP changed its mind at the last minute and recommended voters preference Jackie Trad ahead of the Greens Amy McMahon. No doubt the LNP was pressured into that decision by property developers who had no problem with Trad. The LNP’s backflip saved Trad from defeat. This time, the LNP has again vowed to recommend voters preference McMahon ahead of Trad. But again the LNP is under pressure to backflip!

At the last election, Save Straddie published online a leaflet which was distributed in South Brisbane by a group then strongly opposed to the Toondah Harbour real estate scheme, which extends over more than 40 hectares of publicly owned Moreton Bay Ramsar protected tidal wetlands at Cleveland – where the ferries leave for North Stradbroke Island. The Toondah PDA also includes an historic waterfront public park, GJ Walter Park, and the habitat of a colony of Koalas, now known as the Toondah Koalas (google to find out more).

Koala 4.10. 20
One of the Toondah Koalas - see Help save our Toondah Koalas FB Page
Eastern Curlew 4.10.20
A critically endangered Eastern Curlew - these amazing migratory birds inhabit the Toondah wetlands.
Toondah wetlands 4.10.20
This scene will be replaced by 3,600 high-rise units if the Toondah real estate scheme proceeds
But since the last election, further evidence has emerged about Jackie Trad’s extraordinary favours to assist the political donor property developer, the Walker Group/ Corporation – see second group of (numbered) points.
 
In summary, the Toondah leaflet delivered to residents in the South Brisbane Electorate drew attention to:
 
• Jackie Trad’s shock ‘green light’ for the Toondah scheme when she was the Planning Minister;
• Labor’s backflip on opposition to the LNP’s ‘Priority Development Area’ legislation;
• In Opposition Labor and Jackie Trad had attacked the LNP’s PDA law as “an outrageous abuse of power” intended to line the pockets of “developer mates”;
• the breaking by Labor of its long term policies of protection of the Toondah wetlands, which led to the area becoming Ramsar protected in 1993;
• the massive expansion of the real estate scheme from the LNP’s 800 high-rise units to 3,600 under then Planning Minister Jackie Trad –http://bit.ly/laborbackflip;
• the threat to Stradbroke’s aquifer (from which Redlands water supply comes) from the additional requirements for an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 residents – larger than most Australian towns;
• the many threatened marine animals (dugongs, turtles, dolphins etc) and bird species (including critically endangered migratory birds) which inhabit the tidal wetlands;
• the destruction of seagrass beds and mangroves, and the threat to fish breeding grounds and the likely impact to other seagrass beds and mangrove forests via dredge spoil and other pollution;
• Walker Corporation’s long history of making large political donations to both major parties, while paying zero income tax; (Walker’s zero income tax record update – http://bit.ly/WalkerPaysZeroTax)

• the astronomical profits Walker Corp stands to make from the extra 2,800 high-rise units under Labor – with no explanation for the 450% expansion of the scheme;

This is a link to the comprehensive 2017 leaflet. The blue print contain links to sources of information. We have removed the name of the organisation and the authorising person as there have been subsequent changes to the organisation.
Since 2017, the evidence of extraordinary favours for Walker Corp from Labor and Jackie Trad has continued to mount:
 
1. The ABC reported in December, 2018 that it had obtained a letter evidencing that Trad (and then Environment Minister Steven Miles) wrote to then Federal Minister Josh Frydenberg encouraging a ‘controlled action’ decision under the EPBC Act. The State Government facilitated Toondah scheme cannot proceed without Federal approval. See the fourth heading ‘Queensland Government letter backs development bid” in this ABC report – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-06/developer-issues-legal-threat-to-minister-over-protected-wetland/10581734
 
2. That is what Frydenberg did, controversially rejecting his own Department’s experts advice that the Toondah plan was “clearly unacceptable” because “it would result in permanent and irreversible damage to the ecological character of the wetland.” Now we have the current farce of Walker Corporation preparing an Environmental Impact Statement using its own paid experts to support its plan;
 
3. The Guardian reported in February 2019, Jackie Trad (and Steven Miles) were behind another letter to Frydenberg encouraging him to change the boundaries of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site to exclude the Toondah wetlands from protection! Trad and Miles also claimed Walker Corp’s horrendous plan was in Australia’s “urgent national interests”! – the only exception to the Ramsar Convention’s obligation to protect the wetlands. See https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/01/queensland-pushed-for-wetlands-boundary-change-before-development-letters-suggest
 
4. The ABC article above reported that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk refused to be interviewed by the ABC about her Government’s decisions and actions favouring Walker Corp;
 
5. The Toondah Harbour scheme is mentioned 7 times in the so-called Economic Transition Strategy for Stradbroke Island. The ETS is controversial and unpopular and there are calls from Quandamooka Elders for an independent Inquiry into the ETS and related issues – see next point:
 
6. Two weeks ago 21 Quandamooka families and their Elders under their group name OSPREY issued a media statement calling for an independent inquiry into the ETS and other Stradbroke related issues. Jackie Trad has been closely associated with most if not all of the issues See – https://bit.ly/365GP1w
 
7. Under Jackie Trad’s influence, the money has flowed in an unaccountable way to the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC), which in return publicly backed Trad’s ‘green light’ for Toondah in mainstream media and has made a native title claim over the Toondah and Cleveland areas;
 
8. QYAC is controlled by office holders who do not live on Stradbroke and never have. They are out of step with many Quandamooka residents. And it is not just over QYAC’s and the State Government’s absurd plan to construct a whale skeleton building on the iconic and sacred Headland at Point Lookout. Building on the Headland is opposed by over 31,000 people – https://www.change.org/p/peter-mitchell-councillor-division-2-save-point-lookout-headland
 
9. In September last year, the CEO of QYAC, Cameron Costello accompanied Trad to China for meetings with property developers and investors. We understand this was without the knowledge of the QYAC board of directors. Who paid for the trip? The first photo depicts a Trad meeting with the large developer Yango Group Co. Costello is sitting directly behind Trad;
 
The Toondah Harbour real estate scheme and the recent rezoning for various types of ‘development’ of 300 hectares of bushland on Stradbroke are closely related. The potential profits flowing to “developer mates” and their “mates” at the expense of the public interest are enormous – both on Stradbroke and at Toondah. If there are decent people in the Labor Party, when are they going to stand up to Jackie Trad and her faction?