The Macedon Ranges community has had an astonishing victory with the announcement last week by Minister for Planning Matthew Guy securing ongoing protection for Hanging Rock. This victory has been achieved by the community being aware of the extraordinary significance of the Rock, and ensuring that the issue was never allowed to fade away.
As with fighting any issue, there is always a core of people who willingly shoulder much of the load : in this case, the Hanging Rock Action Group, and specifically Luke Spielvogel, Matthew Nickson, Penny Roberts, Hilary Roberts and Natasha Gayfer. What a team! The rest of the group deserves credit also, as does our local MLC Amanda Millar, who worked tirelessly and passionately for the cause; several councillors, who fought against the odds - particularly Cr Jennifer Anderson and Cr Sally Piper. Retiring Macedon MLA Joanne Duncan has been consistently supportive, as has her replacement candidate for the seat, Mary-Anne Thomas. And who could forget Anne Lambert, aka 'Miranda'?
This is the start of an exciting new era for the Rock, and the community must have the opportunity for serious and meaningful input into its future.
Council has the chance to redeem itself over this issue, and hopefully it will do so. We should be able to anticipate a new transparency and accountability in council, but community vigilance will need to be maintained.