After extensive consultation with community members, local businesses and tourism providers, the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve renewal project has taken an important step forward with Sunshine Coast Council taking the proposal to the concept design stage.
As part of this stage council will also seek much needed funding partners for construction.
Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay said the council decision would help the reserve strengthen its role as a centre for conservation, learning and partnerships.
“The design will be sympathetic to the existing character, charm and uniqueness of the reserve and will be developed in consultation with a community reference group.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to plan for the long term future and improve the Mary Cairncross experience for locals, visitors and site based staff and volunteers.
“Revitalizing of aging facilities will also improve research and conservation opportunities for the reserve and surrounding areas.
“The proposed buildings would feature a tea house style cafe, small gift shop and a range of engaging, interactive education spaces for visitors to learn about conservation efforts at the reserve and its cultural heritage and social values.
“The design will highlight the unique position of the facilities, which are nestled in the rainforest and overlook the nationally recognised Glass House Mountains vistas.
“Importantly, the new structures would not extend beyond the current built footprint and no part of the rainforest will be damaged – it is one of few rainforest remnants on the Blackall Range and we need to protect it.
“And as I’ve said throughout the consultation process – when the sun goes down, the lights at the Reserve will go out so the nightlife can take over.
A decision to proceed to construction will not be made by council until funding requirements are confirmed and sufficient resources are identified.