Since entering Parliament in August 2013, no issue has loomed larger for me than Hanging Rock and the proposed development in the council-owned adjoining East Paddock.
The announcement by the Minister for Planning the Hon. Matthew Guy that Hanging Rock will be protected from development and that funding of $1 million will be provided to maintain and upgrade the park's public facilities over four years is a momentous and historic one for the Macedon Ranges community.
Hundreds of locals and some from far beyond have spoken with me about Hanging Rock - entrusting me with both their dreams and thoughts about this treasured place. I have raised your voices in the Parliament on five occasions since coming into this role. I pay tribute to the people I have met on this journey. Thank you. This is your moment.
I acknowledge, as I have throughout this process, the work of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council and of our local councillors. This Council undertakes and supports many valued projects and initiatives for our community and for local volunteer groups. The Macedon Ranges Shire Council's agreement to accept this announcement on Friday is welcomed.
Finally I thank all my colleagues - most especially Minister Matthew Guy and Minister Ryan Smith for listening and delivering for the local community in this announcement - and also my predecessor, Donna Petrovich - a true local.
Hanging Rock - as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.