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to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Maleny works together
for a bright future
by Cameron Outridge

Member for Longman Mal Brough last Thursday launched the Maleny Working Together Project in Tesch Park.

Through extensive consultation, including one-on-one interviews with Maleny residents, the Project aims to identify the needs and aspirations of the community. The footwork for the project was to commence this week.

Mr Brough said he admired the initiative of organisers for taking action to control their own destiny. “Maleny has provided so much inspiration for other communities and groups,’’ he said.   Organisations like the Maleny Credit Union and MENA were leading the way for other communities to follow, he said.   “Maleny is a community that actually does what it talks about doing,’’ he said.   “It’s about people taking control for themselves – rather than governments telling them what to do.”

Mr Brough said the project would collect valuable information that would otherwise lie unearthed.   “Only one percent of people will come and see Mal Brough or (state member for Glasshouse) Carolyn Male. The majority of people sit at home and we don’t hear from them. To be able to dig down and get this information brings up many new opportunities and information to build on and to act on.

“We have a good story to tell here in Maleny and we need to let people know what makes the community special. I think we will dig that out with the Maleny Working Together Project.”

The project also has the support of sponsors the Maleny Credit Union.

“As a regionally based financial institution the Maleny Credit Union is naturally very interested in community capital in regional areas,’’ said MCU manager John Ford.

“For some time now there has been evidence of decline in some Australian regional communities that is placing the very sustainability of those communities under threat.

“Comparatively, the Maleny community has remained resilient and prosperous in many respects. We can be thankful for our natural and human resource for that.  “But that is not to say our community is not changing and that better social, environmental and financial outcomes can be achieved in the future.

“By our actions in sponsoring the Maleny Working Together project the Credit Union hopes to learn from the community.  “Should just one good idea and plan emerge for improved regional co-operation then our time in supporting this project will have been worthwhile.   More importantly, we will be well on the way to achieving a better and more sustainable regional community for the future.

Working Together ... Mal Brough, left, hands over a cheque to Credit Union manager John Ford and the team at the launch on Thursday.

Director takes swipe at Commonwealth authority

Maleny Credit Union director Peter Searle couldn’t help himself on Thursday.  With federal minister Mal Brough and the media in attendance Mr Searle made a point about the Commonwealth’s handling of the MCU/Maleny Co-op/Upfront Club joint venture.

“The Board of Directors have constantly tried to involve members and the wider community in innovations that affect the community,’’ he said.  “These innovations are becoming a more widely known-fact, the reputation of our Credit Union is well known in many countries overseas.

“One disappointment for me is how the Commonwealth Financial Authority – APRA has virtually denied our Credit Union involvement in a joint venture with two other Cooperatives, in the development of a site in the centre of Maleny.  Denied us the chance to show the world, just what good design, involving member participation can be.   “Oh well – perhaps the two dynamic ladies, carrying out this special “Maleny Style Audit” of community Needs can steer this all bracing community of ours to a wonderful future.”

Working Together outcomes from Youth Week

The young people of Maleny certainly showed that they had a lot to say during Youth Week. Two members of the Maleny Working Together project team, Jodie Smith and Troy Brown, took the opportunity to survey youth who participated in the activities at the Youth Café held at the Community Centre on April 12 and also surveyed 200 students at the Maleny High School.    Some issues were obviously a major concern for young people, such as their future employment prospects in the Maleny district.   The valuable information obtained from these surveys will contribute to the information being collected from the community. 

The Maleny Working Together project team would like to thank all the young people who participated in the surveys conducted during youth week.   They hope you will be happy with the project outcomes.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.