In 2005, against the opposition of 80% of Maleny's residents, an application for the development of Woolworths supermarket in the main street of Maleny above the Obi Obi Creek, in which a platypus colony was located, was approved by the remote distant Caloundra City Council on the coast. In spite of a vigorous campaign of opposition the supermarket was eventually built, although few of Maleny's residents patronise it, prefering instead to patronise established local businesses of the kind Woolworths sets out to destroy.
Now, it seems the Woolworths development site on the bank of Obi Obi Creek was but a precursor to the main development battle looming on Maleny's horizon. Several years ago a group of concerned local citizens managed to convince the local council to purchase a large tract of land on the eastern side of the town for future use as a cultural and recreational precinct with land to be set aside for forest restoration.
A few years down the track and surprise, surprise, the local council in a closed door session decided to build an 18-hole golf course with a substantial number of houses, and most significantly, no real financial or project plan on how the golf course is to be funded and operated! It seems they are hell bent on development at all costs, even in their dying days as a local authority. (The Queensland Government recently legislated to amalgamate three local council areas into one Sunshine Coast Council - see /NoForcedAmalgamations for further information).
Despite a protracted public consultation process which clearly showed what the majority of local people wished to see happen on this site, they are sticking with their coastal perceptions of what Maleny should be.
To add to the melting pot, a local development company has put forward their own Maleny Estates concept plan for the site, with large tracts of housing, an 18-hole golf course, and little regard for the needs of Barung Landcare or the majority non-golfing public.
Maleny residents are resolved to save their parklands and the whole Obi water catchment from this environmentally damaging project which can only benefit of a few of Maleny's current residents at the expense of everybody else.