Moreton Bay, which includes Toondah Harbour, in Queensland is acknowledged as Australia’s most important site for the Eastern Curlew and has been recognised as a Ramsar site under an international agreement that protects wetlands.
The Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew’s population has fallen by more than 80% in the last 30 years as its feeding and roosting habitat in coastal environments comes under increasing pressure from growing human populations.
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Australia’s largest private developer, the Walker Corporation, has proposed a 3,600 unit residential and commercial development and 200 berth marina for Toondah Harbour that will encroach on over 40 hectares of the Moreton Bay Ramsar site, and will permanently destroy Eastern Curlew feeding habitat.
Walker Corporation could upgrade and develop Toondah Harbour without negatively impacting threatened birds but instead they have proposed developing right on top of the most precious area for Eastern Curlew.
Despite significant domestic and international pressure, our national laws have failed to offer swift protection for Eastern Curlews at this important site. A final decision on this proposal has not yet been made, but the fact that a proposed development within a Ramsar site was not rejected from the outset calls into question the Queensland and Federal Government’s commitment to upholding Australia’s obligations under both domestic legislation and international agreements. If the proposal is allowed to go ahead it sets a dangerous precedent for future developments within Australia’s other 65 Ramsar listed wetlands and indeed Ramsar Wetlands around the world.
Sign up to the campaign to help protect Toondah Harbour.
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Sign our petition to the Queensland Premier.
Above: Toondah Harbour by Judy Leitch
Below: Eastern Curlew by Andrew Silcocks