"Why didn't council follow its Community Consultation Framework?," asks Macedon Ranges Shire Council's information Bulletin 2 regarding the proposed Hanging Rock development; "The Framework was followed in that council has made a decision in line with the direction pursued by the Hanging Rock Development Advisory Committee."
The Hanging Rock Advisory Committee is made up of several groups and representatives including councillors, shire employees, sporting clubs, and Friends of Hanging Rock.
The committee met four times in 21 months, including the night before development proposal was first presented to council. This briefing outlined for the first time the scale of the proposed development, which had increased significantly from the original Racing Club multi-purpose venue.
The HRDAC committee asked in December why they weren't briefed until the night before or given more time to advise council, "It was indicated that council is the committee of management and it is appropriate that information is provided to council in the first instance - council can then elect to consult with and seek further advice from the committee as required. "
The clubs support this proposal; all have been promised facility upgrades as part of the deal, as confirmed by shire representatives on ABC Radio this week. No more bake sales, no match day raffles or grant applications. A level of subsidy unsurpassed across the shire and a great deal if you can get it.
Newham Landcare members who recently secured $157,000, partly for Hanging Rock, and who volunteer at the reserve, have repeatedly applied for and repeatedly been denied representation on the HRDAC in the interest of keeping the committee "manageable and to maintain a balance".
At the latest HRDAC meeting, the Daylesford Macedon Ranges Tourism Board was recommended for its second seat on the committee, as a shire representative also sits on that board.
What type of manageable balance is the shire looking for at Hanging Rock?