Take the paddock off the table

 The Friends of Hanging Rock would like to see the East Paddock incorporated into Hanging Rock Reserve.

The Friends of Hanging Rock would like to see the East Paddock incorporated into Hanging Rock Reserve.

Macedon Ranges' Draft Hanging Rock Master Plan Options Paper could be a chance for the community to take the East Paddock off the developers' table for good.

The plan was developed with community consultation in 2016 and is now open for public comment on the future layout and events at the historically and culturally significant landmark.

It outlines a range of possible activities and upgrades to the Hanging Rock precinct including a new visitor centre, new café and changes to the location of the entry. Other options include upgrades to trails, environmental improvements, improved parking, sport facility options and event opportunities.

But, according to Friends of Hanging Rock, there is one more item that could be added to the mix.

President Luke Spielvogel said the group would like to see the East Paddock incorporated into Hanging Rock Reserve.

"It was always the intention in the acquisition of the East Paddock which was borne out in the PPB management review," Mr Spielvogel said.

"We want it to become Crown land and attract all of the protection that comes with that, that really needs to be part of any master plan.

"As the process is driven by the council administration I have concerns about the long-term recognition and protection of our shared cultural heritage and conservation values. But we'll see."

The Friends of Hanging Rock will launch a new book, a comprehensive history of Hanging Rock later this year.

Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said Hanging Rock was an iconic and well-loved site, which is why she made a commitment in 2014 to protect it "and to make sure the community is actively engaged in its management and the activities that happen there".

"The final master plan will take into account the community's feedback and all the cultural, environmental, heritage and social values that this significant site provides to the community," she said.

"The site is culturally significant for the Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung people so, importantly the project team will engage further with these traditional owner groups to ensure their feedback is included in the final master plan."

The Options Paper can be viewed online at mrsc.vic.gov.au/yoursay or at Macedon Ranges Shire Council's office at 40 Robertson Street, Gisborne. Submissions can be made online or by writing.

There will be a community forum about the Options Paper in late August or early September.

People have until Friday, September 15 to provide feedback on the options paper. This feedback will be collated, reviewed and will guide the final Hanging Rock Master Plan, which will be finalised by the end of the year.

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