During discussion on the nomination of Hanging Rock to the Victorian Heritage Register at the latest MRSC meeting, Cr John Letchford made reference to the former Shire of Newham and Woodend. He imputed blame on the council of that time for allowing the subdivision on the western side of the Rock, but the truth is that the council had no choice. This goes back to the mid-1960s - the first titles were granted in 1965 and the council had no planning tools to prevent the subdivision - there was not yet a Planning Scheme or even an Interim Development Order. The situation was the same in the Shire of Gisborne.
Cr Letchford also seemed to suggest that the council of 1994 had endorsed the use of the East Paddock for camping, and for the relocation of some facilities from the Reserve. This is not so. The document which Cr Letchford was referring to (and in fact had in his hand), was the 1994 Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve Management Plan, which canvassed a broad range of possibilities for the council to consider. None of these possibilities had been endorsed.
The current council has a very poor record on Hanging Rock, from 20 years of neglect, to the secretive and costly fiasco of the proposed resort development. Both the local community and the State Government have made their wishes clear regarding the Rock, but council continues to ignore them. Council's submission to the Victorian Heritage Register seeks various unspecified permit exemptions on works and buildings, and does not support the nomination of the Eastern Paddock to the Register. This is indeed curious, and might indicate that they wish to launch a new Hanging Rock development proposal, unimpeded by any heritage (or other) constraints. This must not happen.