New walking trail paves way for environmental discovery

Sunshine Coast Council

Nature lovers can explore more of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, with new trails opening at the Maleny Community Precinct wetland, accessible off Porters Lane.

With more than two kilometres of trails, the network offers an easy walk through the wetlands with the chance to spot dozens of native bird species, frogs and other water-loving wildlife.

The Maleny Community Precinct is a 126 hectare lot of former agricultural land near Porters Lane. It is divided into a range of land uses including environmental education, sport and recreation, community facilities, ecological parkland, environmental protection areas and housing. It is also home to the Maleny Golf Club and the aquatic centre.

Division 5 Councillor Winston Johnston acknowledged the efforts of former local councillor Jenny McKay and retiring Unitywater chairman Jim Soorley in bringing the trails to fruition.

“Jenny McKay and Jim Soorley were instrumental in sourcing funding and support for the trail network,” Cr Johnston said.

“The Unitywater wetlands were established in the precinct in 2014 as a natural way to filter out nutrients, pollutants and sediments from treated water passing through.

“Council and Unitywater have worked closely to construct the trail network and install signs, which opens up even more of this special precinct to our community.”

Unitywater Chairman Jim Soorley said a $17 million upgrade to the Maleny Sewage Treatment Plant was undertaken in 2014.

“As part of the works, we established the wetland and planted an irrigated forest which form part of the sewage treatment process – the wetlands take up treated effluent discharged from the STP and remove nutrients and sediments,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful way we can use nature to help us do our job. The added benefit of this process is that we can provide a beautiful recreational area for locals and visitors to enjoy.

“Our contribution to this precinct is just one of the ways Unitywater gives back to our communities and through our commitment to innovation, we’ll continue to deliver sustainable solutions to complement our traditional water and sewerage services.”

Visit adventure.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for trail details

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