Planned building 'just a band-aid solution'
A RAINFOREST conservationist has called for a stay on a $5.7 million building upgrade for the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve at Maleny.
Jeanette Nobes claims the planned building is not functional and just "a band-aid solution" to a disappearing view.
Ms Nobes predicts the reserve's famous view of the Glasshouse Mountains will be blocked within five years by trees planted on private property across the road.
She said Sunshine Coast Council had ignored requests years ago to protect the view and building a two-storey building with a viewing deck on the reserve was not the answer.
"To think they've got it all wrong and they're going to turn around and design a building that they think is going to be high enough shows the lack of honesty as well," she said. "That Glasshouse Mountain view is right up there with all the iconic views and we're not going to have it by 2020," she said.
Should the proposed building upgrade at Mary Cairncross Park go ahead?
This poll ended on 07 April 2016.
Yes. It will be a boost for what is a great attraction.
No. $5.7m is a huge amount to spend.
It won't solve the view problem if the trees keep growing but I'm sure the view isn't the only consideration.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The Sunshine Coast Council maintains that the project has the backing of key stakeholders and will support rainforest conservation in the future.
But Ms Nobes labelled the council's handling of the reserve, its views, and the building as a "monumental disaster".
She said the planned building, with two function rooms on top, was not in keeping with the original conditions of the sale of the land to the council, that it be used for no other purpose than the protection and conservation of the rainforest and flora and fauna education.
She said the building's rectangular theatre room was the wrong shape, the volunteer room was less than 2m square.
The existing centre, earmarked for demolition, should be retained and upgraded and more money spent on managing and protecting the reserve's rainforest, she said.
Ms Nobes will hand deliver a submission to the council today calling for an interim stay on the new building until issues with its design and the management of the reserve and its views are addressed.
"We have a moral and legal obligation to get it right and we're not getting it right with this building as it stands," she said.
A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said the building design was finalised after a lengthy period of community consultation and members of key groups, including the reserve management committee, the Friends of Mary Cairncross, had input.
The spokesman said the much-loved and photographed views would be retained from key viewing points on the site.
"The planting design of the trees located on private land, across from the reserve, takes into account the steep slope and the selected species graduate in height to ensure the view lines to the Glasshouse Mountains are retained while ensuring the stability of the slope," the spokesman said.
"All of the much-loved and photographed views will be retained from the key viewing points of the reserve.
"Council has a working relationship with the property owner for the ongoing maintenance and management of the area of planting to help to preserve these views."
For a long time, the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve was said to have been gifted to the then Landsborough Shire Council by the Thynne sisters.
But in researching the history of the reserve, Ms Nobes found that the land was sold to the Landsborough Shire Council during World War Two by Elizabeth "Bessie" Thynne, who wanted to protect it from logging.
The reserve was named after her mother. Bessie worked with the council and Rotary to maintain and improve the reserve until her death in 1978 aged 92.