Rock registered

Hanging Rock Reserve will be listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, after the Heritage Council handed down its decision on the nomination last Thursday.

The decision provides special protection to Hanging Rock Reserve, but not the East Paddock which adjoins the reserve.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council will be required to seek a permit from Heritage Victoria for any works in the reserve that fall outside of the permit exemptions included in the Heritage Listing.

Mayor, Jennifer Anderson, said that the decision marks the state-level significance of Hanging Rock and is a great outcome for the community.

"This decision recognises Hanging Rock's important place in Victoria - for its cultural significance as a destination people have visited for a long time.

"We would like to thank community members who drove the application process for the heritage listing of Hanging Rock. There are very strict inclusion criteria, and those who put forward the proposal and spent many hours working on the submission are to be congratulated for their dedication," she said.

Hanging Rock Action Group spokesperson, Luke Spielvogel, said the group was thrilled with Heritage Victoria's decision. 

"It is fitting recognition for a local icon of international importance," Mr Spielvogel said.

Mr Spielvogel said the group, however, was disappointed and perplexed by Macedon Ranges Shire Council's opposition to heritage listing of the East Paddock, which the group believes is an important aspect of the Hanging Rock area. In May last year, following discussions with State Government, council agreed to abandon plans for commercial development in the East Paddock itself.

"Heritage Victoria chose to assess Hanging Rock Reserve and the East Paddock separately, which we disagreed with," Mr Spielvogel said.

"In practice, both are governed by Macedon Ranges Shire Council under a single management plan, and the original intent of council when it acquired the East Paddock in 1989 was always to unify it with the Reserve as Crown Land."

The action group is also supportive of Heritage Victoria's recommendation for "further research on the association of the Hanging Rock Reserve with, and its importance to, Aboriginal Victorians, particularly to the Traditional Owners of the area that includes the Hanging Rock Reserve".

"We'll persevere with the East Paddock which we believe has heritage value," Mr Spielvogel added. "We'll also continue to work with council for more positive outcomes at Hanging Rock, and advocate for meaningful community consultation throughout this process."