With much drum banging, Macedon Ranges Council has delivered a massive turnaround by acknowledging, after five months of stout resistance, that the Hanging Rock Development Plan proposal to build a large internationally branded resort at Hanging Rock deserves some community consultation.
We recognise the emotional turmoil of council in admitting they were wrong to try to avoid community involvement in this significant development proposal and congratulate them for the progress made.
Unfortunately, the council has compromised its new approach by refusing to reverse the earlier motion to seek a private developer to build the resort or simply put on hold this process until the outcome of the consultation process.
We now have the curiously anomalous situation of having a six-month consultation process laid out before us to consider options for Hanging Rock while at the same time council is seeking a willing developer to build the resort.
Given the level of mistrust built up over the past six months by the council's refusal to consult or engage, we are rightfully suspicious of the lack of focus and clarity of this process.
The same councillors who refused consultation also voted against rescinding the previous motion to pursue a resort development!
Does this mean if a developer puts up an attractive proposal, council will forego consultation and take up the offer?
What resources will be taken up by pursuing two conflicting processes at the same time?