Minister must act

With the announcement of the Rolling Stones as the first concert for Hanging Rock as part of the new five-year deal by Frontier Touring and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council (MRSC), local residents have been left wondering why the proposed commercial development for Hanging Rock now needs to be considered. Especially as the MRSC has stated "The fee (from the concerts) that has been negotiated is also a substantial increase on the previous arrangement". Given that the number of concerts has doubled the revenue generated would appear to be more than enough to ensure Hanging Rock can be maintained and protected as required.This issue was recently raised in Parliament by Amanda Millar, Member for Northern Victoria, as a matter of concern. The Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, now needs to act on her and the local community's concern by implementing his own directive of Feb 2013 and establish guidelines for the proposed Local Planning Scheme for the Macedon Ranges. The Minister has stated this initiative is designed to allow a "formal community engagement and consultation process so that all voices are heard and local priorities are identified". He has even allocated $25,000 to each council for this purpose.With the MRSC continuing to ignore our community and no guidelines yet from the Minister, concerned residents are indeed in the words of the Rolling Stones "caught between a Rock and a hard place" as we wait for the opportunity for meaningful consultation.