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Finally, Maleny Precinct Approved

Published July 07

The Maleny Precinct was approved yesterday (5th July, 2007) by the Caloundra City Council...18 holes, community funding and facilities paid by for site sales...

Only took another four years and $300,000 plus to get right back to where we were in 2003. It is still almost exactly what the Taskforce recommended.   Which was a great plan.

Pauline Clayton

Four years and $300,000 later,
we have a community precinct approved

by Pauline Clayton

Today’s news that Caloundra City Council has finally approved the community precinct proposal for an 18-hole golf course, community facilities and funding for off-site community facilities and some housing to pay for it is cause for celebration and thanks to so many people.

First to Mayor Don Aldous who never wavered in his support of the project along with Deputy Mayor Don Smith and Landsborough councillor Dell Winkler.     Not to forget Dr Max Whitten and his Maleny Golf Club members. But especially to the original Taskforce.

This team of community elected citizens (submissions to and voted in by the Community Advisory Group), devoted nearly 18 months of their time and energy to come up with the proposal that went to council in 2003 and resulted in the purchase of Porter’s farm.

It is fair to say the recommendations of this Taskforce are almost identical to those adopted by council yesterday, 5th July 2007.   In the ensuing three years we had a $200,000 probity audit to ensure the land was purchased in the correct manner.   (I never doubted the finance committee, the mayor, all councillors and the CEO a trust proven by said audit to be correct.)

Add another $100,000 in repeat forums, public meetings, officer studies etc.etc.   Cannot help thinking I could have had the new Maleny swimming pool and associated aquatic center in the ground on that site with those funds..!

Right up to the last minute Cr Dick Newman, supported by Cr Anna Grosskreutz moved for the project to be reduced to a nine-hole golf course.   They were out voted.

I recall vividly, the night former council property manager Doug Forsyth and I attended a meeting of the Maleny Golf Club.   The group had requested use of the 64 ha council owned Armstrong’s farm for a 9-hole golf course.   Doug Forsyth suggested instead the purchase of the neighbouring 65ha combining the two and an 18-hole golf course.

Following other meetings with community groups desperate for a site or major funding assistance, it was Doug Forsyth who recommended funding from the sale of some sites on the site to go to community facilities off-site, in particular, the Maleny Community Centre in Maple St.

We estimated $3 million was required at that time to redevelop that important center. Doug Forsyth also suggested I put number 2/4 Bunya Street on the council’s property purchase list as it would be excellent for a park and an entrance to the proposed walkway along the Obi Obi to Gardner’s Falls.

Also to the flat site behind the hotel, perfect he proffered for a community swimming pool.   He also recommended in the inclusion of the site (already zoned for development) off Teak Street to ensure we maintained our Green Hills around the township.

Council knocked back my $800,000 request for 2/4 Bunya Street, and the rest is history.   Woolworth’s now stands there and the site off Teak Street is under development as was predicted by Doug Forsyth.

You win some and you lose others.

We won Porter’s Farm, which for Maleny is a huge and great achievement.   Doug Forsyth was a visionary who loved Maleny.   The Taskforce members who are all still out there also love Maleny and it is rewarding to see their vision finally achieved.

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