Maleny Voice


Here are messages of support for the Obi Obi campaigners received during the campaign. This list is now closed to further comments.

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Date Who Message

16 Jul 2005Aaron GibsonHey yall in maleny I think it is a real great thing you are doing:) Big rich people wouldnt like it if we came and built buildings on there homes would they?\

Azza(Aaron) a concerned 13year old

16 Jul 2005KennyAfter what happened to Highgate Hill Gully in Brisbane thanks to Brisbane Council who has more concerned for spending billions on one tunnel.

Instead of spending the money on public transport and saving the environment I am not surprised that when money is involved.

The Local Council that covers Maleny and The QLD Environment Minister in allowing the building to go ahead has proven they have no concern for the Community and the environment in places Maleny.

And The Environment Minster don't know how to do her job and should be sacked.

Also if the people who wants Woolsucks use common sense they would not only realise there is already an 7 day a week supermarket.

But you don't move to a rural setting if you want to shop at a place like Woolsucks.

16 Jul 2005N. S.Hello. Let me say right from word go, so there is no misunderstanding, that I am employed by the "dreaded" Woolies, but NOT in a managerial or executive role. I am, however, also a member of the Wilderness Society of several years, and am 2/3rds completed my degree at uni, including subjects in social justice and environmental issues, so, please...take note, I am NOT here to push the agenda for either side, just trying to get my head around claims by sides and make an informed decision for myself, based on factual information.
It is apparent, at the risk of stating the obvious, that there are a lot of people, perhaps even a majority of people in Maleny who do not this project to go ahead. I have seen figures, ranging up to 70% of residents, opposed to the development. Before I ask my first question, I repeat my opening statement...yes, I am employed by Woolies, but I am not supporting either side, just trying to make up my mind on the issue by looking at factual information. How were these figures arrived at? I recall hearing that this was the figures put forward from a survey conducted by Woolies themselves, is this correct? If so, how was the survey conducted? Unfortunately, most surveys rely on self-reported data, and not all particpants are completely honest. In addition, surveys do not always explain the reasons people may, or may not, object, but are useful in predicting attitudes. I have asked this question to see if the method of surveing was truly representative of the community as a whole's wishes.
My second question asks to clarify the wishes of those opposed to the developement. Are you opposed to Woolies building anywhere in Maleny, or just at that particular site? If you are opposed to Woolies building anywhere in Maleny, would it have been different if the developer had a contract to build a shopping centre for Coles or Bi-Lo, Action, Aldi, Franklins or another independent supermarket?
Would any other type of development for the Woolies site been appropriate? If so, what type? Were the cattle sale yards that existed on the site before this development more or less damaging to the water quality? And if not, how would you have liked to happen to the site? If you were not oppsed to Woolies building in Maleny, but at a site that you felt was more approriate, where would you have liked to have seen the site built? On what basis would this other site been better suited?
My next question relates to the platypus colony. I do not know enough, sadly I should say, about platypus. Is it not possible for the platypus to live in the creek with a development next to their homes? This may sound like a stupid question, but I ask this based on the knowledge that I have seen platypus, tortoise, mullet, black swans and other birds in Petrie Creek, in Nambour, not too far away from Maleny,which has not only a Woolies, but a Coles, a major RSL Club, the local high school, and until recently, a sugar mill, on the banks of the creek. If it is not possible for the platypus of Maleny to live by the Woolies site due to disruption of their haitat, was this an issue when the shopping centre on the opposite creek bank in Maleny was developed a few years back? I could not find any information relating to opposition to this development, and the concrete and stone wall that reaches into the creek waters. Were the platypus living only on one side of the creek bank? Is this why there was no protest at this development? Maybe there was one, I hope to hear someone who may recall this. Again, at this point, I will remind visitors to the forum, that I am employed by Woolies, but I AM NOT supporting one side or the other, I merely wish to get the full factual information from opposing viewpoints before I can make up my mind on where I sit.
The next viewpoint I have heard mention is of the loss of Maleny's village atmosphere. I think it is great that a community feels they a certain, yet undefined, "specialness" about it. How would you define what makes a community a "village". Is it the lack of national, or international, brandnames from a town? Is it a compact town area, with retail and business enclosed in one central business area, and if so, how do you define where that area ends? Are there any examples where a "village" atmosphere may be retained, even when a national, or multi-national, corporation exists? Again, I ask this question based on personal experience, as for many years I lived in New Farm in Brisbane, which, as many would be aware, contains a large Coles supermarket, with an attached shopping centre, yet retains a distinct community feel. I stress this is my personal experience of New Farm, and others may have, and are entitled to, a different viewpoint.
Well, that is about all I need to get clarified for the moment. I would like to take this opportunity to say to the people who oppose this development, that even though I may, or may not , agree with your protest, I DO support your right to protest, as it is obvious that you feel passionately in the cause. May I ask one more thing? By all means, if you feel it is necesary to take some form of action against Woolies, then, of course, do so. This is your right. But could I ask, that when entering Woolies owned sites, please do not harrass the staff, or verbal them, or threaten incidents that may injure someone working there. Remember, the staff who work in Woolies are people too, and are honest people trying to earn a living. Believe it or not, some people DO enjoy working in retail and see long term careers ahead. Please keep your protest aimed at those who will matter, the executives who make the decisions.
Well, good luck to you all, wherever you may lay your hat in this saga. I thank you all for the chance to raise my questions.

16 Jul 2005GPETER BEATTIE-You and your Govt are hereby put on notice that we will do everything within our power and influence to dismiss YOU and YOUR 'fence sitting' attitude, not to mention YOUR incompetent, inept and arrogant Environment Minister and the cosy relationship between YOUR Police Minister and the developer, shades of BjelkePetersen revisited!!
A Labor Premier - in NAME only! what a joke!
To quote one of you heroes who once ran a dictatorship in this State " You can't walk with one foot on either side of a barbed wire fence "
As you've got no now , Im sure you won't miss them .
Our kids will remember you, we'll make sure of that!!

16 Jul 2005Tony Yorkston MalenyI have the utmost admiration for all the people whom I have seen protesting in many various ways.
Simply by being there, they have made their presence felt. This is an unjust imposition on our beautiful town & the latest refusal to accept our proposal to buy was a cynical exercise, a brutal lie and a flagrant abuse of power. I will never shop at Woolworths anywhere. They are un-Australian! So much for a fair go! Well done Maleny Voice!

16 Jul 2005AndyWoolies are Bullies

16 Jul 2005KennyIf only Greg Quinn and only some who he thinks wants Woolworths.

Respected the truth and use logic then they would realise that Maleny does need another supermaket when there is already one there.

But in saying no Platypus will be harmed (Courier Mail 16/7/2005) Greg has proven is no Platypus expert.

Also having large shopping centres in Kuranda, Bega Valley, Wagga's Lane Cove, Double Bay, Thornleigh etc etc

Has Woolworths prove they rather care for money then the community?

16 Jul 2005KennyQuestion for N.S 16 Jul 2005 why would Maleny need another supermarket when there is already one there?

A supermarket that gives money back into the community where we know where Woolworths would send there money.

16 Jul 2005Barbara, Rhayader, Wales, UKI have a personal interest in Maleny. I think it is terrable that the people are not being listened to,
Are the profits of the construction giants more important. Once habitat is destroyed, it is for ever.

17 Jul 2005karasave the paltypus they are unique to australia and will be eventually wiped out.

17 Jul 2005Horse Woman via Stef BennettI am Clan Mother of Big Horn Lenape Federation Wolf Band Ohio, USA. Do the Pipe Ceremony to protect your people against those who will damage your life's village. Call upon the Ancients for they will hear you. Wanishi.

17 Jul 2005Chief Big Eagle via Stefanie BennettYou can survive on the land if you treat it right. You can't if you grab it and develop it. I have an old saying - I wonder if the ground is listening to what is said? I wonder if the ground would come alive to what is on it? The Earth Mother is all we have. "Onenh." Paugussett Sachem, Maine- USA

17 Jul 2005White Fawn via Stefanie Sun EagleThe Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation is the oldest and smallest in the United States. We are saddened to hear of the developments and are praying native for you. Shoran White Fawn, Chief's daughter, Connecticut Reservation

17 Jul 2005Weeasayha, Clan Mother, CherokeeI have spoken with Stefanie by telephone. You are in our hearts and prayers here in PA, America. May the women walk in beauty and the men in peace. All my relations.

17 Jul 2005Jim StrakerThis is an e-mail I sent to my friends and others. Please use it to send to your e-mail contact list

Good morning,

Some words to ponder as you enjoy Sunday.

Kind regards, Jim
How does a community have its say?

Maleny 16 July 2005

Today, it was a spontaneous march up the main street by about 450 people from Maleny and nearby communities..

Woolworths through their Contractor’s representative, Mr Quinn of Hutchinsons again rejected the offer to buy the site.

‘Woolworths is coming in’ was the response to a genuine offer.

The local people have been fighting a long battle (about 3 years to date) to get Woolworths to understand that they are not wanted and especially on their selected site. The site had been occupied by protestors for 395 days following the use of the infamous Deen Brothers to destroy large trees on the site. The ‘environmental assessment’ of the site accepted by the Caloundra City Council as part of the original Development Application did not even count the number of platypus or platypus burrows in a site known to be a platypus habitat. The local team have identified about 50 burrows within the site which is about 150 m x 50m.

Tuesday saw over 120 police deployed to Maleny to clear the protestors from the site. Monday had been a Rostered Day Off (RDO) for the Construction Industry.

On Thursday 14th Mr Quinn invited Jon Woodland, the spokesman for the protestors to meet with him. He advised that if the group could find the money (and even gave an estimated price) to buy the site by next evening he would take the proposal to Woolworths. About the same time as Jon introduced the financial backers with the capacity to meet this demand to Mr Quinn, it was found that the Woolworths’ property manager had also been in Maleny. This property manager did not even have the courtesy to meet any of the group opposing the development. In parallel to this, the local people raised about $800,000 in just over two hours.

Over one week previously, Mr Quinn had prematurely called off a negotiation before the agreed time line by which the community was to demonstrate its capacity to raise the funds.

That evening, the Woolworths reply was ‘**** Maleny’ – actual words.

Despite this response, and because the offer was made in good faith, it was still being pursued. Was this overture by Mr Quinn done in the same good faith, was being asked around the town.

The first hole dug on that Thursday morning hit a burrow (despite Mr Quinn being quoted in the Courier Mail that no burrows had been encountered), and caused muddy waters to enter the adjacent Obi Obi Creek. Holes were dug outside the siltation barrier in contravention to the approved Environmental Management Plan for the site. This building goes to within 4 metres of the creek boundary.

On Friday evening, following a large protest as the first of the 51 concrete piers were poured, Woolworths still indicated that negotiations were possible.

On Saturday, buoyed by this chance to try again to gain the site and express the willingness of the Maleny people and the backers to ‘put their money where their mouth was’, these determined souls met on site with Mr Quinn.

16 minutes later the disappointing response came. Then the people took to the street up and back and sadly moved off the road when asked to so do by the attending police. Were Woolworths really genuine??? The people were!!!!

It is not just about platypus. Maleny people know from the example at nearby Buderim what the coming of Woolworths will do to the amenity, the traffic, the local businesses and lifestyle of the invaded area. It has not been a protest just for the sake of a protest. The money is there and the people are genuine.

For business and their representatives, it is about honesty, trust and integrity when dealing with people. Has this been there? It is unlikely that this is the only development planned for the site and nearby land as it is understood that the adjacent bowls club, adjacent hotel and nearby houses are also being targeted for purchase. What is the real story or plan?

The police and the protestors have had a good rapport during this trying week. Each group has worked together to go about their individual roles at the site in a professional manner. No one really knows why so many police have been used. Many security people are simultaneously being employed on the site by Hutchinsons too.

Following a police car and bicycle escort from the batching plant to near the site, the concrete trucks are being given a twenty person strong foot police escort down the road and into the site between two lines of other police. Even gold does not receive this attention.

Please join the Maleny people in a boycott of Woolworths because of their intransigent big company ‘**** Maleny’ attitude. It could happen in your or their area next. So please ask your friends to consider similar action too.


17 Jul 2005Kathyi love maleny it is the best place to be don't wreak the beautiful, pretty, wonderful place that we all live in WOLLIES ARE BULLIES!!!!!!

17 Jul 2005paulTO JANE---with regard to my message of the 15 july.Is that i will not use any contractors that have worked on this site. when i build my house, im not asking anyone else to follow my lead.I work in the building industry as a sub-contractor,but i have not worked for any builder for 10 years. I live in brisbane but work on both coasts 6or 7 days a week there is plenty of work around,life is a choice, the contractors on this site have made theirs, I just do not agree with it

17 Jul 2005Jasen AndersonHi, I just want to let you know that I support your action group in every way. I sent a letter to the editor of the Courier Mail which I have been made aware will be published this week, stating that even if the development goes ahead, the final blow will be on Woolworths simply enabled by no self respecting person shopping there. I hope you are successful in your plight.


Brisbane QLD

17 Jul 2005TimeoinGood day.

i just want to take this opportunity to say that the people of Maleny are doing a wonderful job.

Keep up the great work, everyone.

It takes real guts to stand up for what you believe in, and you all are doing just that.

The lot of you deserve a medal or something!

18 Jul 2005Jan in Forster NSWMy sincere congratulations to all of you who are fighting for the platypus colony in Obi Obi Creek...may the heavens smile on you and support your dedication to the preservation of our absolutely fascinating platypus friends. I have been busy this weekend sending emails to everyone I could from the Prime Minister down, and hopefully from tomorrow will receive some word of support from them. I noticed that a Mr. Roger Corbett was mentioned in one of the reports and that you are awaiting his return from o'seas. A friend has just emailed me to say that he is not to be trusted...he's determined to have pharmacies in his outlets and close down those outside just as he did with the corner shops, etc. So, please beware the wolf in sheep's clothing. I haven't noticed anything on the site about Enviro. Min. Desley Boyle and what she intends to do about this I am awaiting a reply from her as well. In the meantime, good luck and let's keep going for the sake of the platypus.

18 Jul 2005Linda Dennis. Orange, NSWDear Residents of Maleny,

I have only just heard about the eco-disaster currently being played out in Maleny, and I have to say I am appalled with the actions of Woolworths and their cohorts and totally disgusted with both the state and federal governments for allowing this to happen.

Congratulations to you all for being so strong and fighting these huge powers.

I have already started writing letters to aid your fight, the first being to Woolworths boycotting their stores. I am a small voice way down here in NSW - but my small voice will add to yours and if the rest of Australia stands also, this fight may be won!

Good luck to you all.

Linda Dennis
Fourth Crossing Wildlife

18 Jul 2005Shinae and CaitlynHi. We are both 15 yrs old and attend Mercy College in Mackay, QLD. Our class is currently exploring this webiste and not until we read some of the other comments did we realise how big of a deal this is. Would just like to say congratulations to you all, and keep up the good work. A Woolworths in a suburb of Mackay has definately affected the small businesses and Caitlyn and I would like to encourage you to protest against further development. Keep your heads up, today you will be magnificent! Regards, Shinae and Caitlyn.

18 Jul 2005Cheryl L.Hi Maleny Friends – a copy of my letter to dear Roger (I kept my rage under wraps).
I think you are doing a wonderfully brave thing, if you could only get a
popular TV show on-side e.g. TodayTonight, 60 mins, then maybe ... is it
already too late? And what a scandal that you now have the money and they
don't back off - there is probably some testosterone mixed in with the
politics of Woolworths, who must be nervous that if they back down in one
town, other towns might get ideas! Love, Cheryl.

Dear Mr Corbett,
I reside in Brisbane and shop at Woolworths occasionally.
I personally have no strong feelings, one way or the other, about Woolworths.
But, I am puzzled why your firm is so insistent on moving in to a small town against the wishes of the people there.
Don't you already have enough small towns where you have been welcomed?
And why is that not enough for you?
I have heard that the townsfolk have raised the large sum of money needed
to buy the site, surely evidence of the numbers and intention of the local
population. Why not just agree to let them have their way, and go build your next
store where it will be welcomed?
It would seem like commonsense to me and a little more like the
democracy we are supposed to live in, but which is disappearing gradually - starting
at the top political level and filtering down through the layers.
Yours sympathetically
Cheryl Laizans

18 Jul 2005JK5You have our support Maleny.

Australia does not appear to be the "Land of the Free" that we thought it was.

18 Jul 2005KennyPeter Thomas GM Property of Woolworths Limited ( did not say I cannot published his following reply to me in Maleny Voice.

And I was going to show also his direct line and his fax and mobile number which came with his email reply but I guess his email and head office address of Woolworths Ltd for him and the other board members (540 George Street Sydney NSW 2000) will be enough for people to reply.

So here it is the reply from P Thomas GM Property of Woolworths and note his comments where he said "to allow the community the opportunity to purchase the site, have indeed acknowledged the wishes of the community. With no action to acquire the site".

Now is he sure this is the correct information that there was no action to acquire the site?


"The reported presence of platypus on the Obi Obi> Creek is well known to both Woolworths".

If there a reported presence of platypus on the Obi Obi Creek is well known to both Woolworths then why is Woolworths going ahead?

Dear Mr Vaughan

Thank you for your comment and request expressed in
your recent visit to our website.

I am happy to provide the further background below
that does demonstrate that Woolworths have indeed tried to provide every opportunity for the community to see their desires for the future use of the site realised.

Woolworths has been aware of the sentiment of some
parts of the Maleny community against the construction of the proposed development. For this
reason, we took the unprecedented step of making the
site available for purchase by the Caloundra City Council on at least three occasions, with
Council, as the elected representatives of the
Maleny community, being the appropriate party to act to realise the expressed desire to see the land
utilised for community purposes.

These delays also allowed all avenues of consent to
the proposed development to be fully tested, and now, with every aspect of the site being tested and approved at local, state and national levels, Woolworths now intend to honour the legally binding arrangements between our company and the developer of the site to take a lease of the
premises once completed.

We believe that the several moratoria created by our
company, the delays to the normal development process, and our open willingness to allow the community the opportunity to purchase the site, have
indeed acknowledged the wishes of the community. With no action to acquire the site, we have no choice now but to respect the agreements that we are a party to on the approved development, and proceed in the manner outlined above.

The reported presence of platypus on the Obi Obi
Creek is well known to both Woolworths, the developer of the site, and most particularly, to the authorities who have categorically approved the development proposed.

The consents for development incorporate strict
conditions as to the manner in which the development is to be carried out, both in construction
technique, and timing. An independent platypus
expert has been retained by the developer to specify these particular methods, and inspect the progress of works in accordance with these conditions of consent. We note the recent comments of the Environment Minister Desley Boyle, who stated that "every
environmental requirement for development has been
satisfied, and a stringent monitoring program for the construction period is in place"
(Courier Mail - 25/6/05)

You may also be interested to know that the site
development conditions require the complete restoration of the current riverbank (removal of weed
species and replacement with specified local
species). These works will be undertaken by the developer of the site. Following completion of the site
works, the developer has committed to return to
council ownership via dedication approximately 25% of the site (being a band along the bank of the
river) to allow the community to own, access and
enjoy this area, which is presently virtually impossible due to the weed growth on the riverbank.

Thank you for making your feelings known to
Woolworths on this project. I
trust this additional information helps in your
understanding of the Maleny proposal.

Finally, I note that the actions of the construction
company are not illegal in any form, as evidenced by the actions of the police in upholding the
rights of the developer.

Yours faithfully

Peter Thomas

18 Jul 2005KennyIt is strange that Woolworths for what doing in Maleny has the following on their web site:

Help us to help the Australian environment.

As a shareholder of an Australian company, every year you are sent a number of shareholder communications via post.

Register your email address via eTree to receive your shareholder communication electronically and we will donate up to $2 to Landcare Australia to support urgent reforestation projects across Australia.

18 Jul 2005Keith PRestonI have visited Maleney on many occasions. It is one of Australia's little pockets of paradise. Someone has to say no to the corporate shopping mall/centre takeover of our heritage towns and communities... Good ON you !!
Keith Preston Adelaide

18 Jul 2005Megan - Western AustraliaI drove though and spent time in Maleny this year whilst I was discovering the parts of Qld that no guide book will ever tell you about.

Too pleasant a town to be 'taken' by big business.

I admire each of you for the stand that you have taken and hope that like the Maleny Credit Union of the past - you suceed against those who see this as a chance to take over a small community to the detriment of the engine room of the economy - small business.

I guess that i REALLY do wonder - and do not take this the wrong way - why Woollies want to move into isn't exactly the geograhic or economic centre of the regin. Look a tad more closely at what other plans are before smells a rather large mouse somewhere.

19 Jul 2005Rod from ForsterHi there. Just want to share my support in saying that I've emailed Woolworths to advise them that I will not be shopping at Woolworths anymore. How can I? My support goes to all concerned residents of Maleny. Best wishes.

19 Jul 2005Carmel from MackayHi - congratulations on your stand. I have emailed CEO Woolworths and the builder/owner.

You are an inspiration to those of us who believe in the collective power of people who work together on matters which are important to them.

19 Jul 2005Amy from IpswichHi All,
Keep up the good work, i will be writing to Woolworths to let them know of my decision to boycott their stores as i have been a regular customer until now. I believe the only reason they are not backing down is because they are scared that this people power will influence many more of their business decisions and have political backing of certain powerful people who do not want to lose to anyone for anything. Don't give up, we can win!!

19 Jul 2005Anita Johnston-Oost, BrisbaneSending you all huge positive vibes and well wishes in your struggle. thanks for the excellant website I have used it to voice my prtoest with Woolworths and forwarding to friends and family in QLD and interstate, as well as all the pollies. Maleny is well loved and supported.

19 Jul 2005Stefanie Bennett, MALENYI have e-mailed Kim Beazley and our Qld Premier and appealed for support. Anyone else feel it's worth a try? Address for Leader of the Opposition is .....
Try the Nationals too. Stefanie [thinking about it, the ALP need to be seen to be doing something. Call for an 'inquiry' into the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Police].

19 Jul 2005Helen KinniburghI have just emailed Peter Thomas at Woolworths, urging him to meet with Carolyn Male and the other parties at Maleny. I also suggested that if Woolworths decided on a new policy, of never building on natural waterways, this could turn what has been negative publicity for them, into a positive future direction.

19 Jul 2005kimone battle lost, but that doesn't mean that woolWORTHLESS has won the war. We need to keep on keeping on.

19 Jul 2005K.Yes, I totally support those opposed to building a supermarket in our town...ok, call it our town, but really this is about OUR PLANET.... WE ALL LIVE ON THE SAME PLANET....
this town's vibe is seriously affected by the overwhelming presence of police at this time...they are an omnipresent sight... particularly when you cannot get a cop in this town when you needed one prior to this the local cop shop and three out of four times, get a call centre down the Coast...
this entire issue has sadly further divided our community and is making many very nervous, for lots of reasons.
quite obviously, the rabbit hole goes very deep!!!

20 Jul 2005kennyIf people didn't see the 7.30 Report on te ABC where Woolworths wants pharmacies in their stores the following is a link to the report:

And just from a small amount that I saw it seems even it is about pharmacies.

Woolworths is acting like Gunns Timber in Tasmania we don't care if the community don't want it or bad for the environment.

20 Jul 2005SonyaKeep up the protest - you are doing an excellent job. I can't be there physically, but I am busy sending emails to Woolworths, Premiers, Quinn etc etc.

Did anyone else see the (hard to find) article about the phone survey of Maleny residents in today's Sunshine Coast Daily, page 8?

Apparently a whopping 80 per cent of Maleny people don't want Woolworths there!!

That should have been front page news!! It proves that what you are doing is right and what the majority want. Maintain the rage!!

Next they will be telling us that the photo next to that story is of a hairy wood duck, not a platypus.

20 Jul 2005SonyaWoolworths seem to be following the example of Walmart in USA.

Walmart are a one-stop-shop for all your shopping needs, which sounds great but of course in reality means lack of consumer choice, poor quality, high prices, monopoly on consumer goods and a mono-culture for our society.

let's stop this madness now

See the DVD The End of Suburbia for a glimpse into the future...

20 Jul 2005Cam Walkerdear friends

we've been inspired by the campaign. We have asked all our members/
supporters to write to Woolworths and giving your website a plug where
ever we can.

Please get in touch if you think we can help in any way.

Wishing you the best
Cam Walker

Friends of the Earth Australia