Federal Member for Bowman, Henry Pike, has written to the new Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek, requesting that the consultation period for the impending Toondah Harbour Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be extended to enable more community input.
The Toondah Harbour project is currently undergoing an extensive federal government environment assessment, which is expected to include a draft ‘EIS’ being released for public consultation in the coming months.
“I am determined to ensure that the Toondah Harbour EIS is a decision based on the evidence and free from political influence,” Mr Pike said.
“The ultimate decision on whether this development receives approval from the new federal government should depend completely on the expert departmental advice, taking into account all evidence that is presented through the consultation period.”
“That is why it is so critical that the consultation is not rushed and that locals have ample time to get their heads around the complex proposal and have the opportunity to make an informed contribution to the process.”
Under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the length of the EIS consultation period must be at least 28 calendar days. Mr Pike has requested that the Minister set a minimum of 60 days to consult on Toondah Harbour.
“This is a project that has been over a decade in the making, so there’s no need to rush it at such a critical stage,” Mr Pike said.
“My role as our federal representative will be to ensure that our community has ample opportunity to have their say on the proposal through the EIS process.”
Mr Pike said that investment in local infrastructure must be a priority for all levels of government, regardless of the outcome of the Toondah EIS.
“Whether this development is approved or not, the Redlands requires significant investment to bring our infrastructure up to the standard required to meet the needs of our growing population,” Mr Pike said.
“For too long, this has become a political football between all levels of government. I want to break this stalemate and create a more bi-partisan and outcomes-driven approach to infrastructure investment in our city.”