WAITING GAME: Steven Lang and his granddaughter Helen on the site of the revegetation project in Maleny.
WAITING GAME: Steven Lang and his granddaughter Helen on the site of the revegetation project in Maleny. Warren Lynam

$200,000 at risk as council stalls for developer

FEDERAL funding for a project to plant $340,000 worth of trees in Maleny could be in doubt after a stoush with the Sunshine Coast Council.

Maleny District Green Hills Fund president Steven Lang has been in dispute with the council over the group's plan to plant a 40-metre vegetation buffer.

The project received $200,000 from the Federal Government, as well as $140,000 from other organisations, including the council.

Most of the planting has been on hold with the council wanting to allow an adjacent developer to lodge his application before allowing planting along about six metres of the boundary line.

Mr Lang said the council had undercut the size of the area identified for the planting to make it "unviable".

The Federal Government funding body wound up at the end of June and insisted if the funds were not used, they should go back "into consolidated revenue".

"We have to demonstrate the project is under way and we can keep the fund up until December 31," Mr Lang said.

He approached council at the end of April to ask them to "pull their finger out".

The council said it was encouraging Green Hills to continue planting "as soon as practically possible".

"Council has asked Green Hills to refrain from revegetating six metres, or two rows of plants, of pasture immediately adjacent to the sport and recreation area until the lease is finalised, hopefully within a few months," a spokeswoman said.

The council said it would continue to help Green Hills achieve its grant obligations.

A frustrated Mr Lang resigned as president of the project last week.


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