Wheels to turn on parking woes

By Marie Blanch

A GROUP of Maleny residents, with the firm financial backing of the new owners of the town’s IGA, are formulating a plan to ease Maleny’s traffic and parking woes.

The innovative idea is to fund an electric bus with the purpose of transporting locals around the hinterland town.

“A half-full 12-seater bus with a loop twice daily could take a dozen cars off the road, and save as many hard-to-find parking spots,” Maleny local and convenor of the Maleny Community e-Bus Working Group, Andrew McLean, said.

“But that really can’t happen successfully until we alleviate the choking traffic.”

Dustin Pereira, chief executive officer of Seasons IGA, which has taken ownership of the Maleny outlet, said he was fully onboard.

“We love the cause and are thrilled to be part of an initiative that will make this community better,” Mr Pereira saids.

“We are new to Maleny, but already feel so welcomed.

“We will always go out of our way to support the wonderful people of this beautiful community.”

Mr Pereira has pledged to match dollar-for-dollar any funds raised.

Mr McLean hopes that the service can be offered free with enough financial support. The whole project has been costed, including the purchase of a 12-seater electric bus at around $125,000.

“We are elated that Seasons IGA Maleny is willing to provide half the funds as a starting point,” he said. “But we need to take this idea to the wider community to find volunteers and funds.”

Maleny Forums is hosting a community discussion on September 20 in the Community Centre, starting at 5.30pm to test community response.

Register at www.trybooking.com/CCOLE

“We encourage everyone to come,” Mr McLean said.

 “The residents need to be in the driver’s seat for this idea to take off.”