I write as a former councillor with the Shire of Newham and Woodend from 1990-1995 when my term finished with amalgamation.
When elected in 1990, the entire council was appointed as the Hanging Rock Committee which reflected the importance of the Rock to the shire.
For the five years I served as a councillor, the Hanging Rock meetings were the ones I most enjoyed.
How privileged we were as councillors to be custodians of such a unique, natural feature. I was delighted to learn that the year before, council had purchased the 'East Paddock' next to the Rock, looking ahead to provide more space for the growing number of visitors and activities, but most of all, to prevent any further building development adjacent to the Rock. It had become apparent that the community felt that the decision to allowed residential development immediately adjacent to the Rock had been a poor one and was not sustainable. Their council had listened.
Over the following years, people continued to visit and enjoy the peaceful surrounds, the beauty and the uniqueness of our shire's most popular attraction.
I now find that the original intention of the council has been rudely violated by our present councillors; our so-called 'representatives' who claim they have our interests at heart.
None of them asked us first before they invited developers to take over our East Paddock. Where was the consultation with the people of the Macedon Ranges as they contemplated restaurants, accommodation, yoga facilities, rides etc.These are all to be built in the calm, quiet, peaceful bush of our beloved Hanging Rock.I strongly urge those in the Macedon Ranges who care about Hanging Rock and wish to keep it as it is, to contact their local councillors to ensure that they truly represent our wishes.