They Are At It Again
30 April 2013
Just when we thought all the controversy was over with the Maleny Community Precinct it seems certain elements with a terra nullus dominance are at it again. Now it seems, a dilapidated white fella track is a sacred site and must be preserved at all costs. Yes an old dirt track that used to run down to Obi Obi Creek about 100 years ago is now considered by some in our community to be more important than restoration of the riparian corridor along the creek. The coniving people behind this latest 'issue' are going no doubt to pull out all the stops and engage in their usual skullduggery, badgering council employees, whining to the local councillors, pulling strings with their mates in the LNP party machine. Not content with stuffing Barung to the extent they are soon to no longer have a presence on the Range, having twisted Council around there little fingers to get ludicrous amounts of funding to restore a clapped out old farm house, they now want to undermine altruistic and dedicated people intent on the restoration of land for nature. Shame on them and we hope they read this and hang their heads.
Riparian Land At Risk
18 July 2012
Within the Maleny Community Precinct, the sport and recreation groups have worked out the impracticality of trying to put millions of dollars worth of playing fields on sloping land in the flood prone riparian bend in Obi Obi Creek across from Erowal retirement village. However sensible it might seem to just revegetate this environmentally sensitive and important stretch of degraded creek bank, we have heard that Council seems to believe it is best to delay any action on this land due to the pressures from some right wingers who still want to keep this land 'out of the hands of the greenies'. It is time for the people of Maleny to write to Council expressing their wishes for this land to be completely revegetated. Please take the time to write to the CEO expressing your views on this important issue. Email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on map for larger version
Golf Get Their Development Approval
27 June 2012
A look at the PD Online Council website (see link below) has revealed that the Maleny Golf Club have been granted their development approval. The latest approved map is very dissapointing as all the land grab intentions of the golf club have been accepted by Council. They are being allowed to build tees on land outside of their lease area - go figure how that happened.
A source inside Council has alleged that considerable pressure was put on staff by a certain right wing Councillor to let golf have everything they wanted. This must all be sailing very close to the wind of due process being interfered with by politicians and may be activity which could interest the CMC. Professional staff should not be having their careers threatened for doing what they are paid to do, in accordance with proper process and the planning regulations. And all this so the planned nine holes AND driving range can be squeezed into an area where logic and the physical lay of the land shows they plainly do not fit.
So golf can now proceed, but the big question - the elephant in the room - still remains. Where is the golf club going to find the many millions of dollars that are needed to construct their golf course? Inside sources in Council have informed us that no sign of a viable business plan has been presented and that the golf club are still a 'long way off' from having their lease approved.
Perhaps the intention is to have 'mates with dozers' construct the course on weekends over a few slabs of beer? Perhaps they will build 'one hole a year' until they finish?
A quick look over the internet reveals dozens of struggling golf courses in regional Australia, here are a few stories:
If Council is going to hand over $450,000 of rates payers money to the golf club as a loan, they better be very very certain that they will be getting the money back and that they are not left with a multi-million dollar white elephant.
The suggestion that the land will 'end up as farm forestry for Council in the long run' made by a source in Council is looking more and more likely.
Opinion by Leeuwin P. Rail III
Further Major Funding Success For Maleny Environmental Groups
14 June 2012
We have learned that the Maleny District Green Hills Fund has been awarded a major federal grant of $175,000 from the Biodiversity Fund for riparian tree planting along the bank of Obi Obi Creek in the Maleny Community Precinct. We have also heard from reliable sources that Council is now possibly being obstructive in not allowing all of the area to be revegetated, due to pressures from the sports lobbyists. Can this be true, common sense says it must be a furphy. Time will tell.
Maleny Community Precinct to be Greened
21 May 2012
Good news from Unitywater who have announced that they will be constructing a series of wetlands and large areas of rainforest will be revegetated in the Maleny Community Precinct, partly for treated effluent dispersal, and partly as a community parkland. The concept designs they have shown are very similar to those of the friends of Obi Obi Parklands. And the good news is that this land is now safe from any potential backflip by Council to give the land over for pink zone development... Details on the Unitywater announcement are here:
Sports Groups Rethinking Where They Wish To Be Located
8 February 2012
Chinese whispers doing the rounds of Maleny are saying that the sporting groups consortium planing to use a large area of the Maleny Community Precinct have given up their stake on the precinct, and that the swimming club also seek to locate elsewhere. Maleny Voice sees this as good news and finally common sense has prevailed. For a long long time we have argued that the location made no sense due to infrastructure reasons - the costs of building roads, carparking, installing utilities such as town water, sewerage plumbing, electricity, phone lines, and footpaths to all the venues would have been in the millions. And that before a single dollar was spent on the facilities themselves.
We wish the sporting clubs well in their endeavours to upgrade all the existing sporting facilities in the Maleny and Witta area. We wish the swimming club well in their efforts to secure funding for a much needed aquatic centre in Maleny town, perhaps to be built on one of the vacant lots of land along Coral Street, or in the Maleny Showgrounds.
Funding Success For Maleny Environmental Groups
23 November 2011
Welcome news from the Federal Government - Maleny District Green Hills Fund has been granted $20,000 towards restoring the riparian land near the outfall of the Southern Wetland in the Maleny Community Precinct. In addition to grant funding received by Barung Landcare and also the Lake Baroon Catchment Care Group work will be able to move forward in restoring the environmental values of this area. This project will be jointly undertaken by Sunshine Coast Council, Green Hills, Barung, and LBCCG.
Here is the project description:
The southern wetland on the Maleny Community Precinct is the last palustrine wetland in the Obi Obi catchment (VMA REC 12.3.8) (DERM ID 131692). Sunshine Coast Council’s Report (McG&E 2011) identifies the outflow as ‘actively eroding’. The outflow is adjacent to endangered gallery rainforest (RE 12.3.1). The wetland sits in open farmland, unfenced from cattle. The Obi Obi Creek is the main waterway on the Blackall Range. At the wetland junction it has no native riparian cover only weed species (lantana, blackberry [Weeds of National Significance] and woody weeds). Green Hills, Sunshine Coast Council, Barung Landcare and Lake Baroon Catchment Care Group will work together to repair the outflow, remove weeds and plant natives in the buffer zones, as part of a larger conservation strategy for the whole wetland.
Creeping Land Grab By Golf Club Threatens Young Trees
13 November 2011
Word has been received by Maleny Voice that about one third of the area planted out with trees in 2010 (see story below) is being 'land grabbed' by the Maleny Golf Club in their development application for a golf course. For many years the greener citizens of our town have battled to seek a good environmental outcome along the bank of Obi Obi Creek in the Maleny Community Precinct. In a disapointing display of human nature at its worst, at every turn the environmental movement has been stymied by a protracted dirty tricks campaign, which by death of a thousand cuts, has whittled away at the environmental buffers along Obi Obi Creek. The below map shows how the master plan pathway has slowly slipped further and further to the south east. Question: will this 40m bit of land really make such a difference to the success of the Maleny Golf Course? The golf club is now battling local council, state government, the economic climate, the national trend of small golf club closures, the land constraints, and common sense...
Golf is not the only story here. Maleny has an over abundance of playing fields and sporting facilities, given our small population, and yet a bunch of locals keep stirring the pot with their 'dare to dream' plans for yet more sporting fields on steep flood prone land in an area clearly only suited for revegetation, and clearly within the best practice riparian buffer zone. A total lack of any funding for these facilities in even the medium term and no easy way to connect the proposed sports fields to the town shows the plans as the pipe dreams they are. Lots of local people are being unfortunately hoodwinked into having unrealistic expectations. Maleny is a small rural township with a population smaller than an average sized suburb down the coast. Fancy swimming pools, state of the art running tracks, full sized rugby fields, wonderful clubhouse facilities with a gilttering social club... Yeah, right. We at Maleny Voice are actully surprised that Sunshine Coast Council has persisted with this fiasco as long as they have. We know how busy they are with more pressing issues that affect a LOT of people, not just an affluent bunch of retirees with time on their hands and nothing better to do. Perhaps it should all just have stayed as nice open farm land after all.
Just consider this: the money needed for just the access road, car parking, toilets, and utilities connection - before a single sod is turned for any sporting field or facility - would be more than enough to upgrade all the existing sporting facilities in the Maleny region. The Maleny Showground has adequate space for a nice new facility for soccer/cricket. That is where some of the money should be spent, not in a remote paddock across the creek only accessible via a long drive out to North Maleny. Come on MDSRC, please put your energies and funding resources towards outcomes which are fully achievable in the short term.
Opinion by Leeuwin P. Rail III
Click to see larger map
Maleny Precinct Tree Planting Event Held
24 October 2010
Finally some action on the Maleny Precinct for the environmentally aware members of the town. Around 400 people turned up to plant trees in perfect weather. For some it was their first opportunity to see the land.
Hopefully this event will be the first of many, and we await the announcement for the commencement of construction of the long awaited pathway linking the township with the popular swimming hole at Gardner's Falls. Teenage kids need an independent and safe way to access their fave outdoor rec spot. The pathway will provide it for them, and everyone else in the community as well.
The Obi Obi Parklands group now has a Facebook presence as well. This is aimed at the younger set who make considerable use of online social networking. Please consider joining the group for videos and photos, updates and support.
Maleny Precinct Master Plan Complete - What Next?
3 September 2010
The Obi Obi Parklands group (part of Green Hills) held a public meeting on Saturday 28th August and they put the message loud and clear to the Council staff present that Maleny would like to see the pathway to Gardner's Falls afforded a higher priority. Restoration of the riparian zone vegetation is also a vital element of the overall precinct and this should be afforded a very high priority from Cloudwalk right through to the existing vegetation cover past the water treatment plant. We would like to see Council being more open with their deliberations for the precinct and running a full page on what they intend over the next few years in their in-house glossy magazine next issue. We are pleased to see that Barung intends to hold a major tree plant on the precinct to coincide with their next AGM. This is a welcome move forward and will be the first opportunity for many to actually do something on this long awaited public land.
Biggest Little Town - A Song About Mullumbimby
26 June 2010
In 2004-2005 Maleny went through a period of anguish when Woolworths Ltd forced a supermarket onto our town in an unwanted location. The store is now there and many who were here through the campaign refuse to shop there even 5 years later on...
Mullumbimby is undergoing a similar battle and a lovely song has been posted to Youtube to highlight the issue. Please have a look, and add your comment of support.
Our campaign archive pages detail our struggle, and offer resources to Mullumbimby and other towns with a similar dilemma. To all the good folk of Mullumbimby, we are behind you 110%.
Council Approves Maleny Community Precinct Master Plan
12 June 2010
At the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 10 June, council endorsed the final master plan, which will be used as the guiding plan for the staged development of the precinct, which will take up to 25 years to fully develop.
The Maleny Community Precinct Master Plan is a culmination of many years of community and council collaboration to provide community use facilities on former agricultural land. The site comprises of 126 hectares of former dairy pasture located within a kilometre of the Maleny Township. Bordered to the south by Obi Obi Creek, the boundary meanders with the creek as it weaves its way eastwards towards Baroon Pocket Dam. It also contains the state heritage listed Pattemore House.
The master plan recognises the site, its character and is relationship with the surrounding landscape and nearby townscape. It considers the importance of creating a ‘sense of place’ that stimulates social activity, creating a legible precinct character, and providing good connectivity from surrounding areas of human habitation. The plan embraces the importance of ecology and balances environmental protection areas with community activities and benefit. The aim is to protect and enhance significant vegetation and ecosystems, preserve and enhance the quality of storm water and natural waterways, improve habitat corridors and to create habitat cores — larger pockets of environmental protections areas that will increase regional biodiversity.
Concerns expressed earlier on this website about the viability of all the infrastructure projects mooted for the site remain. Council and the ratepayers of the Sunshine Coast have finite amounts of cash to spend in this small town. Where is all the money going to come from for all the sporting facilities, golf course, swimming pool, new parks, roads etc etc? Time will tell, and we remain skeptical as to whether some the elements of the master plan will ever occur at all...
More details are on the Council website here.
Maleny Precinct Moves Forward
10 March 2010
Below is a press release from the Council:
Council and the Maleny Precinct Working Group yesterday had a preview of the bright ideas proposed by the planning consultants designing the Maleny Community Precinct.
Sunshine Coast Division five councillor Jenny McKay said the vision for the precinct is to create an area that not only locals but ultimately the whole Sunshine Coast community and their visitors can enjoy.
“Following a number of meetings with council and the working group, the lead consultants Gamble McKinnon Green, today presented a draft of their ideas to the group for consideration,” Cr McKay said.
“This is a complex project with lots of high and differing expectations—there has been a lot of discussion to date between council, the working group and the consultants around the limitations of the site.
“But I think that the consultant’s ideas were warmly received by the working group and that good progress is being made.”
“The consultant’s are suggesting that Pattemore House becomes the primary destination for visitors arriving at the precinct.”
“They believe that the house should be conserved, and council would love to see this happen with the Friends of Pattemore House and the Historical Society working together with heritage architect Roger Todd to do this.
“Gamble McKinnon Green are also proposing that Barung Landcare now be located to the east of Pattemore House outside of the Pattemore House heritage precinct with plenty of room to expand their operations over time.
“The golf course designer has been working overtime to maximise the number of holes on the course and I think golfers will be pleasantly surprised at the proposed course layout.
“Considerable effort has also gone into achieving a balance between environmental and social outcomes.
“Council will work closely with Maleny District Green Hills to plant and develop an environment corridor and walking trails along Obi Creek and over time to develop the Obi Obi parklands in the west of the precinct.
“A lack of flat land has meant a challenge for the proposed sport facilities. However, council and Consultants are working closely with the Maleny Sport and Recreation Association to try and maximise the opportunities for field sports on the precinct.
“These ideas, along with the final master plan, will be refined with the stakeholders over the next couple of months and are expected to be presented to council in early June 2010.”
Global Climate Change Initiatives
10 December 2009
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) recently held in Copenhagen generated a global focus on the serious issue of climate change. If you visit the website you can watch replays of all the sessions and press conferences via webcast. Here in Maleny we are experiencing dryer winters, warmer summers, and a small decline in average annual rainfall. Perhaps an early sign of far more serious things to come.
IGBP Climate-Change Index
Global-change trends for the public and policymakers
Launched in Copenhagen, 9 December 2009
The IGBP Climate-Change Index brings together key indicators of global change: atmospheric carbon dioxide, temperature, sea level and sea ice. It will be released annually. The website is well worth a look.
This international index relies on key sea level data which is collated and computer modelled by the CSIRO here in Australia.
Sunshine Coast Regional Council Delays Master Plan
30 November 2009
Completion of the master plan for the Maleny Community Precinct has been delayed until the middle of 2010. Council is undertaking a major review of the entire planning scheme for the Sunshine Coast and many other pressing commitments must be holding things back. It appears that hope by the sporting groups that money will appear out of nowhere for major infrastructure and sporting facilities is dwindling.
Barung Landcare is still awaiting the final word on where they will be located within the precinct. The delays are being exacerbated by the secretive and un community-minded efforts of a few nasty right wing individuals. The Obi Obi Parklands group continues to develop their concept plans and they are trying to seek funding to get their parklands going once the master plan is approved.
The whole precinct seems to be a case of hurry up and wait. And perhaps that isn't such a bad thing, as it permits time for all parties involved in the precinct to cool off a little and perhaps come to some sort of co-operative consensus for the land. Whilst many in the community don't care one way or the other what happens with the land, many will benefit from the facilities once they are complete
Water Pipeline Looms Nearer
12 October 2009
The plans for the pipeline linking Maleny township with the SE Qld water grid are now available. The logic of the decision to pump water uphill over many tens of kilometres to a plateau with one of the most reliable rainfall patterns in Australia defies reason to many in our town.
Clearly developers have put considerable pressure on state government as the housing development ideal of 'town water' and 'town sewerage' for all new lots outweighs common sense. Not to mention aging engineers who know only pipes, pumps and dams...
The average rainfall in Maleny is over 2000mm per annum. Check out the Maleny Weather Station stats for last year. The average roof catchment area is around 200 sq m. Do the maths: 200 sq m x 2m rainfall = 400 cubic metres of water or 400,000 litres or 88,000 gallons per annum on every roof in town. Surely water tanks and kitchen tap filtration is the better solution for our region?
Those residents living along Burgum Road or North Maleny Road and particularly Tamarind Street are in for a very messy and disruptive time as the engineering works to construct the underground pipeline take place.
If you click on the small map at right you will open a full screen version to see the route the pipeline will take. We feel for those who will be personally disrupted by the engineering works outside their properties. We are very concerned about the huge costs of this project - financial and environmental. The greenhouse gas emmissions to pump so much water uphill and the embodied energy in such a huge engineering project will be immense. We fear that the next 'logical' step will be to raise the dam wall height of Baroon Dam to harvest even more water at the expense of the downstream environment...
Maleny Community Precinct Master Planning Underway
12 October 2009
The Maleny Community Precinct master planning process is now well underway. Community interest groups continue to have their opportunity to contribute in the process of business plans development and governance plan development for use of the land and Sunshine Coast Regional Council is now evaluating all submissions in the master planning process.
Maleny Green Hills have requested that this notice be appended to this website, so we are including this:
"The Directors of the Maleny District Green Hills Fund, who also maintain the Obi Obi Parklands website and are members of the Maleny Community Precinct Advisory Group, would like to advise that they are not associated with the views expressed on the Maleny Voice website. We would however like to state that other local groups and individuals are entitled to air their own views on this and other matters."