One Tree Hill at Maleny has been at the top of the wedding photo location list for many south east Queensland couples, but the site has now been closed to the public following a bitter battle with the Sunshine Coast Council.
For decades, landscape and wedding photographers have been able to use the site on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, in return for a donation that has seen over $50,000 raised for charities.
The owner, Florence Woods, had helped the local nursing home, the men’s shed, historical societies and naval cadets, amongst others through the donation scheme. But from today the cow paddock with breathtaking views of the Glass House Mountains will close to the council, after the council became aware of wedding ceremonies taking place on the land.
Local councillor Winston Johnston told the ABC that the council did not have an issue with photographers or small numbers of people, but that wedding ceremonies breached local council rules.
“It’s totally unsuited to wedding ceremonies and wedding parties,” he said. “There’s been complaints about cars parked all over the place — sometimes you get 20 or 30 vehicles parked and they don’t park off the road.”
“There’s no toilet amenities, there’s no car park. I know that Mrs Woods has done a fantastic job of donating all this money to community organisations, but it’s just got out of control, really.”
Mrs Woods’ son Francis Woods told the ABC that the family were exasperated by the council’s decision to issue warning letters.
“There’s nothing you can do, you just have to try and do the right thing,” he said. “It’s garbage as far as I’m concerned with bureaucracy, but the council want it.”
The Woods family have had a steady stream of professional photographers through the property since the mid-90’s. But from today the gate has been locked, with the family saying they were unlikely to seek approval to hold events on the site.
Hero image: Flickr, One Tree Hill, Queensland Australia, Lenny K Photography
Article provided with thanks to 96five.