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An exciting future planned for Maleny Community Centre
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 06 March 2007

On Saturday March 3, The Maleny Community Centre’s management committee presented its members with a new concept to revitalise the Maleny Community Centre Complex.    This three staged plan envisages development of a new multi purpose building on the corner of Coral Street and Bicentenary Lane whilst creating a new Maple Street frontage for the existing Hall.    Members supported this concept which will now be taken to a Master Plan as requested by Council. Councillor Newman outlined to members the steps now needed to be taken and urged the committee to move forward rapidly so as work within Council's tight planning workload.

This was followed by a vision statement from Peter Rogers of Eyrie Escape:

Our Vision - once again to have the finest community complex

A hundred years ago Thomas Coar Dixon gifted land to the Maleny Community for a community centre. This resulted in the creation of the Maleny School of Arts described as "the finest community hall between Brisbane and Gympie".    It's now 2007, a hundred years later, and high time his dream should be taken one stage further.    Our plan is to realise the finest community centre in the Hinterland of Eastern Australia for this cultural gem that is Maleny.

Such a centre will combine the present 50 year old community hall with a new multi purpose and functional building to provide a complex right in the middle of Maleny's growing CBD.    It will enhance the beautiful Bicentennial Park and permit an environmentally friendly link between Maple St, the Park, Obi Obi Creek and the Showgrounds.

A staged development is envisaged resulting in an exciting focal point in Maleny for meetings, exhibitions, arts workshops, theatre and recreation whilst satisfying demand well up to 2026.    Our Community Centre will lead Blackall Range's future in this era of fast change whilst retaining the historic excellence and Maleny-special ambience so different from that of the coastal strip.

This vision conforms to the aims and aspirations encompassed in the rural section of the Queensland Government's South East Queensland Regional Plan 2005-2026.    It will assist the economic development of the region, enhance its social benefits and add value to the environmental education and care so beloved in the Blackall Range.    It will advantage not only Queenslanders, also visitors from throughout Australia and beyond; and fulfil Caloundra City Council's lifestyle objectives offered to, and supporting, their Hinterland treasure.

Our plan draws upon the considerable strengths of our great community with it’s over 160 groups and its arts, tourism and agricultural sectors. It will give the Range a complex equal to those recently established on the coast in Beerwah, Kawana and Noosa, whilst assisting our tourism industry to compete for visitors from areas such as Stanthorpe and Byron Bay.    The concept to be presented today will build on the hard work done by previous committees and will result in the renovated main hall and a new multi purpose complex at No 1 Bicentenary Lane.

The New School of Arts - the final realisation of Mr Dixon's dream to provide a gathering place, similar that of the Obi Obi for local Aborigines, for public use and entertainment.

What do we think our community needs are now and for the next 25 years?

Over 100 requests per year are unable to be accommodated in the present facility; that’s two a week.     In addition, as our much valued hirer the Maleny Film Society books every other Saturday in the Main Hall, the opportunity for other groups to book this very popular time slot is limited.      Two local theatre groups have confirmed that their requests for use of the space would increase substantially with availability of performance space on consecutive weekends, thus catering for a preferred performance run.     It is likely that performance groups from other regions would bring their offerings to the Hinterland far more frequently if appropriate infrastructure were available.

Barb Nye has undertaken considerable research with some of the 160 plus community groups on the Range; our group has analysed other markets ands looked at both the Byron Bay Community Hall and Noosa's new J Centre resulting in identification of potential new and increased demands as follows:

•    Weddings, Private Functions and Celebrations
•    An expanded Handcraft Markets  
•    Forums and workshops for industry
•    Trade shows
•    Concerts and Regional Arts Shows
•    An Arts School
•    Movement of existing facilities to the New Maleny School of Arts

These demands together with the continuing population growth of both the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland confirm an urgent need to provide more flexible venues using state of the art equipment.

With our new Archibald prize contestants demonstrating our community's creative excellence to Australia, we can and will benefit from new and diverse arts and cultural events generated around an exceptional space provided by the renovated hall and new multi purpose building in the heart of Maleny at 1 Bicentenary Lane.

A revitalised Community Centre Complex - locally designed and environmentally friendly

As demonstrated at our meeting by our own locals, Norm Richards and Keith Kuchenmeister, the revitalised Community Centre Complex will feel open and inviting to all in our community, in its location, arrangement of buildings, landscaping, entrances, service areas, and walkway, giving:

•    Safe, secure, accessible, & open spaces
•    Buildings that address and open to outdoor places
•    A naturally flowing connection between buildings and public open spaces – to cater for festivals and events.

A new multi purpose building to be constructed at No 1 Bicentenary Lane will include:

•    Flexible meeting spaces
•    Cinema/theatre
•    Performance stage
•    Conference facility
•    Back-of-house’ facilities
•    Wet/workshop area
•    Commercial kitchen
•    Sport & Recreational spaces
•    Centre management
•    Commercial retail/office space.

This is a high profile site, having excellent visuals from three sides to be designed with a strong relationship to the adjacent parkland.    The gentle slope of the block will be used to allow direct flat access to all parts of the building.

Working with our present community centre renovation goals, it will emphasis the Maple Street address, improve street amenity, increase commercial revenue, and strengthen the pedestrian link to Bicentenary Lane.

The Walkway

The walkway will bring people into the heart of the Community and Cultural precinct. It should be generous and inviting to link the discreet service areas of the centre and the precinct.

Additional Facilities to be included

•    Gallery space
•    Tiered seating
•    Dining areas

Planning is still in its early stage and the floor plans and images shown are conceptual and will be further developed as the project continues.

We invite the community to have its say - this is your Community Centre Complex.

A copy of the draft floor plans and images can be viewed at the Community Centre.    The committee invites you to have your say about this concept, however please remember that the floor plans are only a draft at this stage, and further work will be carried out to ensure the needs of Maleny and the Range are met.    Feed back forms are available from the Maleny Visitor Information Centre.

Further information can be obtained from the Maleny Community Centre committee by contacting Heather Spring on 5494 2055 or email

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 April 2010 )
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