The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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MALENY PUTS ITS CASE TO COUNCIL

by Cameron Outridge


Caloundra City councillors listened attentively on Tuesday to three key Maleny people who presented the town’s case for the council to buy the proposed Woolworths site at 2-4 Bunya Street.

After the 90-minute presentation, none of the eight councillors present spoke against the Maleny argument that the land be purchased for use as a public park.  However, several expressed concern that the price of $1.89 million asked by the developers, Cornerstone Properties and the retail giant Woolworths was too high.

Division 1 councillor Dick Newman said the Maleny presentation by Michael Erbacher, Steve Swayne and Paul Williamson, representing a core group of about a dozen people, was one of the most professional he had seen. “It was very convincing. We have seen a lot of presentations over the past two months in council.  This was just the best we have had,’’ Cr Newman said.

Mr Swayne said later the team had been frank with councillors and admitted that a substantial amount of the $700,000 that Maleny people and businesses had pledged or donated toward buying the site was subject to conditions.  He said councillors had raised the possibility of the State Government contributing to the purchase and this was being further pursued.

Another suggestion was that the buyback would be more attractive to the council if all the land did not have to be open space and a limited commercial development was possible.  This would enable to council to recoup some of the purchase price.

Mr Swayne said the way ahead for the anti- Woolworths group was to continue to seek State Government financial support; to raise more money within the community; to try to make some major sponsors’ pledges unconditional; and to continue to seek a fairer price from Cornerstone and Woolworths.

The council will decide at its meeting on July 8 whether to proceed with the purchase. July 8 also is the deadline set by Cornerstone and Woolworths for their offer to sell the site be taken up.

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