SOS: Leanne Walsh and her crew at Sunshine Butterflies need some urgent assistance.
SOS: Leanne Walsh and her crew at Sunshine Butterflies need some urgent assistance. Peter Gardiner

Charity hits a roadblock as it looks for a timely backer

ONE of Noosa's favourite charities is in urgent need of a white knight to help it construct roadworks at its McKinnon Drive headquarters, required as part of its planning approvals.

Sunshine Butterflies founder Leanne Walsh and her large support crew are all but at their wit's end to construct the turning lane required for its Our Backyard entrance way at Cooroibah.

"The last quote we had was $177,000,” Ms Walsh said.

She said previous efforts to have the Transport and Main Roads Department reduce the 100km/h speed limit to 80km/h to negate the need for the safety lane had been fruitless.

"Because it is a state road, council can't assist. There is a charity infrastructure fund that TMR have available ... Unfortunately it's only for people that have a turnover less than $250,000,” Ms Walsh said.

"Ours is more than that, so (Noosa MP) Sandy Bolton has been trying to get them to overturn that policy.”

Ms Walsh said this TMR funding was for just 50per cent of the road costs, so the budget for Sunshine Butterflies was out of its reach and efforts were being made to increase this to full funding or have Sunshine Butterflies' contribution donated in-kind.

"It's something we simply can't afford as a charity,” she said.

The organisation is hoping for donations or a major benefactor to help it out of its bind.

Ms Walsh said Sunshine Butterflies was due to report back to Noosa Council as to what steps were being taken to carry out the works, which are a condition of the development approval for the overall site.

"To date, council have been very fair and patient, but it's just that we're not getting anywhere,” MsWalsh said.

The charity is faced with the constant pressure to have the road completed and the cause is not being helped by repeated complaints from one individual.

This centre provides a wide range of support services for people with disabilities at its sprawling rural farm-style facility where animal therapy plays a large role.

Ms Walsh said she would not walk away from her 470Sunshine Butterfly members, plus 45 staff and 10trainees.

She added that Our Backyard also provided a valuable workplace for these trainees to skill them for long-term employment.

"We do an amazing service out here and we don't get any government funding whatsoever,” MsWalsh said.

"All we need is that road done and everything is sweet.

"All the plans have been done for the road (free of charge), it's all been engineered by Tod Engineers.”

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