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Letter from Dr. Greg Wren
about his involvment in the
Maleny Green Hills Project

Published September 08

From:- Dr. Greg Wren

Letter to the Editor

Hello Maleny,

My name is Greg Wren and I was the first President of Green Hills, and one of the first to see the merit in an idea presented to the Letters to the Editor in the Range News many years ago about taking a positive step to buy local land and preserve it for the future.

This was to be a group of locals and friends, who wanted to make sure that Maleny's rural charm was preserved by limitting the land available for suburban expansion.  

We understood the value in the land, and did not want to see the farmers, whose income is being eaten away, miss out on the chance to make some income for their land.   We wanted to offer a way to buy the land from the farmers and keep it for the locals.   How the land that we had dreamed of buying was to be used was pretty straight forward.   We would need to continue to fund our dream, and our thoughts ran to continuing the land use by farming, and have an income that could then fund further acquisitions, but do it in a nature friendly way.

This may have been a simplistic plan, but it was a plan born of devotion to Maleny, and to try to maintain our neutrality. We wanted no government funding with strings attached, we wanted no political alliances that might affect our neutrality, and we wanted no debts for the wrong reasons.

Early on during my presidency, we were offered a large parcel of land if we helped lobby the council to allow the owner to cut up the rest of the land for housing development.

As tempting as the offer of the first step towards our goal was, the strings attached meant we declined the offer.

I explain all this because I see that the goals and the tenets of the Green Hills has changed since then.   I understand that our vision was idealistic, and had little hope of working, but the pioneers of the group would be offended to find any political alliances affecting the purity of its vision, and I believe that we would rather have disbanded the group than have this happen.   Please do not use my name allied to the current Green Hills group to further the aims of a group that appears to have changed since I was a part of it.

My vision, being a father, husband, doctor, and having grown up in a rural town myself, was always that we preserve the rural character of Maleny for EVERYONE'S benefit.

This includes bush and walking trails, but also facilities for our families and children, who might not use the walking trails.   Large parcels of land should be protected for use by EVERYONE, not put aside for use by only a percentage of people, and I can't believe that such a large parcel of land could not be developed with everyone in mind including bush, walking trails, but also some sporting facilities that might help keep some kids off the streets, or some parents off their drugs or alcohol, and out on the sport venue with their kids and friends.

All I can say further to this, is that Maleny will always be my home, and the home of my sons who have grown up there, and although I now live elsewhere for family reasons, the fate of Maleny and all the people who still live there is very close to my heart.

Not living there now, I have no right to tell you what to do, but as a past local, and continued friend to Maleny, I would like to restate the original aims of the Green Hills, which was to save the rural nature of Maleny for EVERYONE to share whether young or old, rich or poor, and as there are families and children who need facilities in every worthwhile rural community, then the current parcel of land should be developed for use by as many of the local people as is humanly possible, including bushland regrowth for our earth's future, and places to play for our human future.

Greg Wren

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