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Concerns raised over scenic reserve redevelopment

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.
Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve. Tourism Sunshine Coast

LOCAL residents have raised concerns over Sunshine Coast Council's proposed redevelopment at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

The council said the redevelopment aimed to renew the main buildings to meet the functional needs of the volunteers, researchers and staff and enhance the experience for visitors.

But concerned resident Jan Duffield questioned the council's decision to upgrade the cafe facilities and said the money would be better spent in an upgrade of the interpretive centre.

Ms Duffield also challenged a councillor's suggestion there were workplace health and safety issues involved with the kiosk. And she raised concerns over the number of trees that would be lost during the redevelopment.

Maleny District Green Hills Fund community group member Steve Swayne said he was concerned the purpose of the rebuild was to create a cafe with an outlook over the Glass House Mountains, for the benefit of tourists.

"In recent decades I have been disappointed to see the focus of many tourist operators using the reserve has been as a place to view the Glass House Mountains and as a toilet stop," Mr Swayne said.

"(Only) occasionally to make use of the cafe facilities and very occasionally to venture into the reserve itself and undertake the half hour walk through the rainforest."

Concerns have also been raised over the roadside parking facilities as inadequate and over who was set to take on the lease of the developed tea house.

Division 5 councillor Jenny McKay said there were two renewable options for the reserve. Both include an upgraded, more engaging education centre, a viewing platform and a new teahouse. The only difference between the two options was one was on one level, and the other on two levels.

"Council doesn't see the car parking as an issue... having a certain amount of car parks does limit the number of people that visit the reserve and we don't see that as a bad thing," Cr McKay said, adding the development would not exceed the environmental footprint.

"There are some trees within the existing building precinct that may need to be removed or relocated," she said.

"Where opportunities exist, council will plant new trees around the upgraded structures."

Learn more at Maleny Neighbourhood Centre November 22, 3.30- 6.30pm.

 

THE BIG QUESTIONS

Will the redevelopment go against the original Deed of Trust?

Will the carpark be able to cater for increased tourist traffic?

To whom who will the tea house be leased?

Will the reconstruction exceed the environmental footprint?

What will the final bill be for the redevelopment?

Will the reconstruction be one or more buildings and single or double storey?

Send feedback by December 2 to: majorprojects@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.


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