Club hits back

Hanging Rock Tennis Club's Gloria Crozier, Anne Runnalls, Cheryle Crozier and Heather De Mack are fighting to keep their club.

Hanging Rock Tennis Club's Gloria Crozier, Anne Runnalls, Cheryle Crozier and Heather De Mack are fighting to keep their club.

Hanging Rock Tennis Club members are hitting back in a bid to save their club.

Members have launched a petition and campaign to keep their courts as Macedon Ranges Shire Council considers the viability of the facilities that have occupied the Rock Reserve for more than 30 years.

Three out of four options for sporting facilities in the draft Hanging Rock Master Plan Options Paper involve relocating the club and/or removing the tennis courts to revegetate the area.

"We have been using the tennis courts at Hanging Rock for more than 30 years and it hasn't caused a problem," said Gloria Crozier, club treasurer.

"This is a unique site. We love coming out, having a hit and socialising but a lot of members have already said once that is no longer an option here they will not continue to play."

The club is home to about 25 members, ranging in age, but this figure changes with the health of the facilities which are now due for resurfacing - something the club has been fundraising towards.

The draft Hanging Rock Master Plan Options Paper assesses the facilities and courts as "run down and would require significant investment to upgrade".

Council has opened up conversations between Woodend and Hanging Rock tennis clubs about a possible merger, however, both clubs would still like to see the Hanging Rock courts remain.

Woodend Tennis Club president Tony Hanegraaf said Woodend had reached capacity with rapid growth over the past three and a half years - growing from 40 members to 270.

"We're at absolute capacity and expanding where we are is difficult. We're at the stage where we need more courts," he said.

Mr Hanegraaf said the Woodend club had expressed interest in amalgamating with the Hanging Rock club to support the HR club and open the option of sharing facilities, under the proviso that the courts were upgraded with lighting facilities for night games.

"It would be a massive loss to see the loss of the Hanging Rock tennis courts. We would rather see the courts improved than removed," he said.

"Improving these courts is a very cost-effective way of getting more people involved in tennis."

A council spokesperson said views of user groups were welcomed as part of the options paper consultation process and all feedback is now being considered in drafting the final master plan, likely to go before council in early 2018.

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