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About The Walker Group

The Walker Group, founded in 1934, specializes in primary and excess workers' compensation, professional liability and other niche P&C lines. In addition, The Walker Group serves as a Group Manager operating and managing several safety groups within the New York State Insurance Fund.

The Walker Group Headquarter Location

Syracuse, New York,

United States

Latest The Walker Group News

Protesters demand 3600-unit wetlands project be sent back to drawing board

May 9, 2021

Advertisement The Queensland government should call in the controversial Toondah Harbour proposal – to build 3600 units on internationally recognised wetlands at Cleveland – because it now varies considerably from the way it was first explained to the Redland community. Masterplanning company the Walker Group has, for almost a decade, promoted the development, which also includes a marina where the current island ferry connects Cleveland to North Stradbroke Island. A giant shorebird puppet was the figurehead of a protest against 3600 units and a marina at Toondah Harbour in Cleveland on the weekend. Credit:Stuart Shephard, BirdLife Australia The $1.3 billion Toondah Harbour project would be built on the internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands , which are habitat for several endangered species of wading birds, some of which migrate from Siberia, Japan and the Arctic. The Walker Group has recast the project design three times to try to answer environmental concerns, and it is about to lodge a fourth version as an environmental impact study on which the community can comment. The project, which was first given the go-ahead by the National Party in 1989, was scrapped by the Wayne Goss government then eventually ticked off by the Palaszczuk government in June 2015 . Redlands2030 community group held a candlelight protest on Saturday evening – World Migratory Bird Day – against the project, arguing the environmental concerns were too great. Redlands2030 president Steve MacDonald said the group believed the project should be reconsidered by the government. “We still have concerns about the whole process,” Mr MacDonald said. “This was sold to us as an 800-unit development on the land [in 2014] and somehow, somewhere, it blew out from 800 units over the land to 3600 units over the water.” Advertisement Mr MacDonald said it was unfair to judge a $1.3 billion project for 1600 units on the basis of consultation done in 2014 for 800 units over the land. “It is just ludicrous. The consultation planning was a farce, and the planning was a farce,” he said. “They should now redo the planning and redo the consultation.” The proposed Toondah Harbour at Cleveland. Credit:Artist’s impression Mr MacDonald said both the state and federal governments had gone quiet on the development, which he said was not appropriately linked to future planning of the Redlands area. The Walker Group, he said, lodged its most recent submission with the federal government, which is reviewing it “because it is released for public comment”. Mr MacDonald said Redlands2030 believes it will be several weeks before the environmental impact study is released to the public. Judith Hoyle from BirdLife Australia said Queensland government economic development legislation allows the state to call in the project if environmental concerns cannot be resolved. “It should really go back to the drawing board,” Ms Hoyle said. “The development is on a Ramsar site,” she said, referring to a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. “Nothing can be done to ameliorate the fact that they want to build 3600 apartments out onto a reclaimed Ramsar site. “It is an inappropriate development. It always has been and always will be.” Ms Hoyle said if the development was land based and “off the Ramsar site”, it could be considered. “But this is the line in the mud here. “We cannot ever negotiate a path to say a private development in any part of a Ramsar site is OK, because it is not. It sets a precedent for Ramsar sites – not only here, but internationally as well. “This is a shameful example to the rest of the world that if an affluent country like Australia can develop within Ramsar wetlands, we are opening the floodgates for it happening anywhere in any Ramsar site around the world.” The Walker Group says all environmental concerns will be addressed. “A comprehensive environmental impact statement, which is currently being finalised, will ensure all potential social, economic and environmental impacts have been considered, including environmental, construction and traffic management plans.” The group says the project will provide 1000 construction jobs and accommodation for 4000 people when it is complete in 10 years’ time. It says it will provide a more contemporary destination to a region that could host several events during the 2032 Olympic Games, if Queensland’s bid is successful. Save

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