Petition gains speed in Macedon

A PETITION opposing a decision by the Macedon Ranges Council to pass a motion to redevelop Hanging Rock without community consultation is gaining momentum. 

Luke Spielvogel started the petition after councillors voted in favour of a plan to build a conference centre, accommodation, event space and a day space.

He said the motion was passed without any opportunity for the community to provide feedback on the plans. 

Mr Spielvogel said the petition had collected more than 1580 signatures in four days. 

"I started an online petition to give people a voice and have their say," he said.

"The community has been left in the dark.

"My position is very simple, if council want to develop Hanging Rock then they should be obligated to consult the community and their constituents per their own Community Consultation Framework."

Mr Spielvogel said the redevelopment was worthy of a conversation between council and the community. 

"Hanging Rock is the pride of the local area and it is home to many successful events and concerts," he said. 

"The council, as stewards of Hanging Rock have a responsibility to the local community and to the thousands of visitors annually from all over the world to ensure the unique character and essence of the rock is preserved." 

Mayor Roger Jukes said community consultation had not been "crossed off" and would occur in the next stage of the project. 

"Any planning or development that comes from setting the direction will come back to the community," he said.

"Council set a direction for the community but any proposed decision about what is to be built does not preclude community consultation."

Mr Jukes said it was important to remember that the new development would not occur in the Hanging Rock precinct. 

He said any development would occur in Straw Lanes in the east paddock. 

"The decision was only made in August and at the moment council are preparing work that will go out to the community," he said. 

The petition can be found at www.communityrun.org/petitions/hanging-rock-for-sale-have-your-say 

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