New offer for Rock paddock

The public can soon weigh in as a new offer from the Victorian Government has emerged to purchase Hanging Rock's East Paddock. Photo: Bruce Hedge and Kyneton Aero Club

Will Macedon Ranges Shire Council agree to sell Hanging Rock’s East Paddock and at what cost?

The public can soon weigh in as a new offer from the Victorian Government has emerged to purchase the community asset.

Council’s acting director of corporate and community, Gina Lyons, said the proposed sale price was yet to be finalised and at this time remained confidential.

“It has been assessed by the Valuer-General Victoria and is based on a current market valuation taking into account all the assets and infrastructure on the land,” Ms Lyons told the Express.

“The council has also obtained its own independent valuation from a suitably qualified and registered valuer to assist with the negotiations.

“The Victorian Government has requested that the offer remain confidential. The price has not yet been finalised, and it is preferable that negotiations remain in-confidence at this point in time.”

The former Newham and Woodend Shire Council purchased the 22.95ha east paddock in 1990.

Since then, it has become a regular concert venue for international artists including Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John.
Discussions of the sale follow the Victorian Government’s announcement in October 2018 that it was purchasing the East Paddock “to provide greater protection to the precinct”.
An independent valuer for the council assessed the East Paddock’s worth at $3.065 million in October 2019 but previous government offers have not reflected this.
The council rejected a DELWP bid in May 2020, which it described as “significantly below” council’s valuation of the land. DELWP kept its valuation and offer confidential.
At that time, a valuer’s conference revealed the main difference in valuation came down to site improvements.
Ms Lyons told the Express last week that both parties had now “used an agreed valuation methodology, enabling respective valuations to be more within acceptable market ranges”.
Both sought an updated valuation in June last year and the council has now received a formal letter from DELWP for the purchase.
Discussions with DELWP have indicated that if the sale proceeds the council will continue to have an ongoing role in the management and operation of the site.
The management and governance model is currently being reviewed.
Have your say
The council has not yet made a decision on the transfer of the East Paddock land. This will be informed by feedback from the community.
Community members will have the chance to speak to councillors at an in-person meeting scheduled for Thursday May 12.
Submissions can be made online and will close on Friday April 22.
For more information visit:
A full report with the results of the community feedback is expected to be presented to the council in May.