Community to continue with its fight

THE Macedon Ranges community is considering taking action against the shire to stop development at Hanging Rock. 

The shire acknowledged a 5000-signature petition at its ordinary meeting this week, but remains absolute in its decision to allow private development at the site. 

Mayor Roger Jukes said it was not up for debate. 

"The key point of the matter is that additional finances are needed to (preserve and enhance the environmental amenity and existing infrastructure at the Rock)," he said. 

"Council has resolved to explore one option - private investment in the East Paddock."

A groundswell of opposition formed after the shire bypassed its early stage community consultation. 

It says it will seek community input during the planning phase.

But resident Luke Spielvogel said talking with the community after decisions had already been made was too little, too late.

He said the action group was exploring options to resolve the matter. 

"We're not giving up and we will investigate other avenues of resolution now," he said. 

"It's no good for us to have a say after they've already decided what to build and where. I don't think that's genuine consultation.

"And we're disappointed that council's position hasn't changed, even after so much community opposition and a petition with 5000 signatures."

The Hanging Rock development falls into category six, which encompasses the most significant developments taking place in the shire.

"We are consulted when a toilet block is made or a bus shelter, so why haven't they consulted us on this?" Mr Spielvogel said.

"All we wanted was to be consulted before any development decisions were made.

"And as a resident and a ratepayer, I feel let down. 

"I just hope council listen to their constituency at the end of the day."

emma.schenk@fairfaxmedia.com.au