You may have missed it- Music to play on at Maleny Lane

By Sonia Isaacs

This story was published on May 11 2022.

ORGANISERS of live music events at Maleny Lane have now met with Council representatives to discuss possible short and longer-term solutions to continue the Maleny Lane Music nights. It appears an immediate reprieve surrounding concerns that the popular music nights may need to cease is on the cards, with an extension to the current directive likely to be approved allowing current operations to continue.

By all accounts, creative organiser Steve McLeish, owner David Lamond, and Leasee Sue Palmer had a productive meeting with local councillor Winston Johnston and the head compliance officer onsite at Maleny Lane on Saturday April 23. Mr McLeish said he was extremely pleased with the outcomes discussed at the meeting, with some clear options to move forward. An extension is currently being sought to respond to the current directive from the Council Planning Department, which will allow the music nights to continue Friday and Monday evenings until early June.

After this date, Mr McLeish said they would be working closely with Council and their solicitor to put in an updated application, or an indication of how they plan to proceed.

In discussion with Council, Maleny Lane organisers realised that they had outgrown their previous operational licence and suggestions around a Night Club licence were totally unrealistic.

“I’m absolutely happy with outcomes from our meeting, we now have an immediate plan to apply for an extension, and then we will work with Council towards achieving the best process for the future. Following our discussions, we’ve decided a market licence would be the best way to go,” said Mr McLeish.

Chatting with GC&M News, Mr McLeish agreed that going forward a market licence to ensure compliance to continue the music nights at Maleny Lane seemed the most viable option.

Cr Winston Johnston said he felt it was a really good meeting that significantly diminished many of the fears and worries of the organisers. He said he was appreciative that the head compliance officer agreed to come out and meet on a Saturday, and that together Council and Maleny Lane organisers were committed to working through the issues.

“The Council have not been trying to shut them down, rather there was a compliance issue that needed to be responded to. Maleny is a different town to others on the Coast with a large population of artists and creatives, and Maleny Lane has been a great feeder venue for the arts and entertainment on Coast,” said Cr Johnston.

While there has been an overwhelming outpouring of community support to continue live music at Maleny Lane, with hundreds of letters and comments received and over 4,000 signatures on a online petition, not everyone is in unanimous agreement. Some locals have voiced concerns about the appropriateness of an open-air venue for concerts close to a residential area.

Mr McLeish acknowledged there had been some noise concerns in the past, however since the installation of a soundproof wall these concerns, to his knowledge, had been alleviated; and in discussion with the Council compliance officer it seemed that since the soundproof wall had gone up, residents had been appeased with no further complaints.

Mr McLeish said he had been incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support that had been displayed by the community in wanting to keep the arts alive in Maleny.