Comments made by Macedon Ranges Shire Council's manager of recreation and culture should not go unanswered ('Hanging in the balance', Midland Express, October 1, 2013).
A simple review of the council's financial report to June 30, 2013, clearly indicates that a profit of $102,215 was made by Hanging Rock. Not 'balanced', not a loss - but a significant profit.
It is also claimed that Hanging Rock needs an estimated $300,000 annually to pay for infrastructure and environmental works at the Rock, but no detail has been provided on how this figure has been derived or to what purpose the funds will be used. What we have are vague generalisations.
In the Hanging Rock Strategic Review (2008) the estimated required budget for infrastructure improvements, path improvements and revegetation works was a total of $25,000 per annum - five years later this appears to have grown by an additional $300,000 per annum.
Of course it would be nice to get $300,000 per annum to spend on the Rock, but surely the community is entitled to know the details of how this extra money will be spent and for how long.
Council is refusing to provide any detail.
Council is effectively saying 'Don't you worry about that...trust me'.The environment and mystique of Hanging Rock is at risk from a major development intrusion and no proper analyses or justification has been given to the community.Of course none of this detail or rationale was included in the council papers for the meetings on August 28, 2013 or September 4, 2013 either, so how could councillors make a wise and considered decision on proposed Hanging Rock developments? Beats me!