Main street of Maleny
|Population||3,441 (2011 census)|
|• Density||126.04/km2 (326.5/sq mi)|
|Elevation||425 m (1,394 ft)|
|Area||27.3 km2 (10.5 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||Sunshine Coast Region|
|State electorate(s)||Glass House|
Maleny is a town and a locality in the Sunshine Coast Region of the Australian state of Queensland. It is 90 kilometres (56 mi) north of Brisbane on the Blackall Range overlooking the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Nearby towns include Landsborough, Montville, Peachester, Palmwoods and Hunchy. Nearby places of geographical significance include the Glass House Mountains and Baroon Pocket Dam.
Maleny is situated approximately 450 metres (1,500 ft) above sea level, among the characteristic rolling green hills of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Prior to European settlement, the area was covered in thick sub-tropical rainforest with huge hardwood trees. Loggers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries opened up the area seeking valuable timber, which was prized locally and in Europe. Heavy logging led to the almost complete denuding of the rainforest clad hills in the district around Maleny. Only a few pockets of forest remain in steeper terrain and in one large remnant patch (around 40 hectares [100 acres]) which now forms Mary Cairncross Reserve.
Located on the humid eastern slopes of the Blackall Range, Maleny is one of the wettest towns in Queensland away from the north tropical coast. The average annual rainfall is about 2,000 mm (79 in); however, during unusually wet years twelve-month rainfall totals of up to 4,000 mm (160 in) can be recorded, with monthly totals over 1,000 mm (39 in) and 24-hour totals up to 300 mm (12 in). Temperatures are mild and rarely get above 35 °C (95 °F) in summer or drop below 5 °C (41 °F) in winter.
|Climate data for Maleny|
|Record high °C (°F)||40.0
|Average high °C (°F)||26.7
|Average low °C (°F)||18.8
|Record low °C (°F)||13.6
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||288.3
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm)||14.2||15.2||16.2||12.1||10.4||8.1||7.6||6.2||7.1||9.3||10.5||12.0||128.9|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
The area around Maleny was originally populated by the Nalbo and the Dallambara—two aboriginal tribes of the Gubbi Gubbi language group. The area was known for its bunya feasts which happened every third year when the giant bunya tree was in fruit.
The first European to document Maleny was the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt who describes the area in his travel diary in 1844. The first European settlement followed in the wake of the Gympie gold rush of 1867. A track linking Maleny to Landsborough was cut in 1880.
An official proclamation of Maleny as a town occurred in 1891. The Maleny Butter Factory began operation in 1904. Maleny was a timber town until the early 1920s, and then was a centre of dairy production and fruit growing. Although a campaign to have a police station in the town was started in the 1920s, it wasn't until 1952 that permission to convert a house into the current police station and residence was granted. Maleny Post Office opened by February 1906 (a receiving office had been open from 1889).
Since just after the turn of the 20th century, the Maleny Community Centre has provided facilities to residents and visitors for a wide range of activities. Located in the middle of town, the original centre was established as the result of a gift by one of its residents.
The Maleny Library was opened in 1998 with a major refurbishment in 2012.
Maleny has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
Maleny has replaced its timber-cutting and dairying past with tourism with a large influx of people who wanted an alternative lifestyle. As well as being on the Hinterland tourist drive, Maleny attracts daytrippers from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast who are attracted to the various stores, art galleries and specialty shops.
Development and protests
Maleny Community Centre is a fully community-owned centre, completed Stage 1 of a three Stage redevelopment in 2010. Stage 2 was completed in 2012 and included rebuilding the Maple Street frontage and renovating the building into two storeys featuring an Queensland-style verandah over the footpath, giving much needed shelter on the main street. The Third Stage comprises the building of a new cultural centre on the MCC's second building at No. 1 Bicentenary Lane. The Maleny Community Centre renovations (Stage 1 & 2) were designed by Maleny based building designer, Norman Richards building design + interiors and built by Maleny based builder Ross Meneely.
Maleny's population growth since 2000 has brought an increase in urban development. Many local residents have resisted some of the development, the most notable being the establishment of a Woolworths store in the town. In July 2005, a rally attracted about 300 protestors objecting to the store. Many locals were opposed to the idea (79% of local residents opposed according to "Market Facts" survey of 20 July 2005). A number of motivations for the protest existed but of particular concern was that the supermarket was to be built over a significant platypus habitat and that local traders would be negatively affected. Badges and posters reading "I WON'T SHOP THERE" were seen in Maleny as part of the anti-Woolworths campaign, although the bumper stickers can now be seen in the Woolworths car park. The campaign against the supermarket achieved international coverage. Despite protests and an offer to purchase the site for A$2 million (pledged by local residents) the supermarket opened on 3 April 2006. Although many residents refuse to shop in the supermarket, nonetheless Woolworths recorded it as one of its top 30 stores in 2008. In 2013 many residents protested the construction of a petrol station and convenience store at 19 & 21 Bunya St, Maleny by the IGA Supermarket. Protestors cited proximity to the primary school as the main issue with the development proposal. The proposal was abandoned by the owners of the IGA supermarket who said "We don't want to embroil our business in something that is controversial." In 2016 Sydney based advertising executive and author David Rollins proposed a "TT Style" motorcycle race for the Maleny area. Maleny residents formed a protest group to oppose this event called "Peaceful Roads Sunshine Coast." The group protested the event citing safety, noise and access issues of concern and that the event was not in keeping with the existing tourism activities in the area. The application was withdrawn in August 2018.
Maleny is home to a large number of cooperative enterprises. There are art galleries, health food and organic produce stores, cafes, the Maleny Credit Union, a thriving business centre, rural settlements, a community golf course, alternative schools, alternative medical treatment centres, organic farms, intentional communities including the Crystal Waters Permaculture Village in nearby Conondale and the Fountainhead organic retreat and education centre (whose founder received a certificate from Senator Mark Furner for his work in helping those with depression and anxiety).
Baroon Pocket Dam
Baroon Pocket Dam constructed in 1989 is fed by the Obi Obi Creek, a significant tributary of the upper Mary River, which drains the basalt capped Maleny plateau. Water runoff statistics have been kept in this area since the 1940s showing that the average annual rainfall is 2,037 millimetres (80.2 in) and the runoff into Baroon Pocket Dam receives annually about 64,000 megalitres. Since its construction the dam has become an important recreation area for the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The Baroon Pocket Dam holds about 61,000 megalitres of water and the treatment plant supplies about 150 megalitres of treated water to the Sunshine Coast daily. There is a sailing club, naval cadet unit, fishing club, accommodation and picnic facilities.
The primary school opened as Maleny Township State School on 22 April 1913 but had a name change in 1915 to Maleny State School.  Maleny State High School opened 27 January 1987 and caters for students from Years 7 to 12.
In 2017, Jeanette Jamieson, a liberal Anglo-Catholic, became the Anglican priest in charge of the Parish of Maleny, after misconduct allegations at her previous parish. Jamieson is a strong proponent of gay rights and Progressive Christianity. The church is part of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane.
There are also a number of Protestant churches in the town: the Maleny Presbyterian Church, Maleny Uniting Church, the Church on the Rise, a Baptist church and Maleny Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council operate a library at 5 Coral Street which has a meeting room, wireless internet access, and access to a variety of books and periodicals. The library also conducts a number of public programs for community members of all ages. Plans to extend the Maleny Library are ongoing, as the library is the second smallest of the Council's libraries but one of the busiest. The Sunshine Coast Libraries Plan 2014 - 2024 recommends reassessment of car parking provisions, the interior design of library spaces and opportunities to use alternate community spaces for library activities.
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