Steps forward for Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock's integrity will be enhanced by state government funding. Photo: Valerie Hornbuckle

Hanging Rock’s East Paddock will be purchased by the state government from Macedon Ranges Council via a $3 million commitment over the next three years to implement the Hanging Rock Strategic Plan.
The purchase will prevent any future plans to commercially develop the site, as was controversially proposed by a former council that sought private investment for a resort and conference centre on the East Paddock and parts of Hanging Rock Reserve.
It will also enable management of the site as one precinct, create greater recognition of Hanging Rock’s Aboriginal cultural significance, develop new environmental protections, maintain current infrastructure and enhance recreation opportunities for locals and visitors.
The purchase of the East Paddock is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with the funding to also support a new joint governance arrangement with traditional owners.
The council has subsequently not extended the tenure of the Hanging Rock Strategic Advisory Committee as the government’s plans progress.
HRSAG chair Nathan Alexander said his understanding was that the new governance structure was, however, still some way off.
“There is still potential for the committee to be reestablished but it’s up to the council to make that call,” he said.
Friends of Hanging Rock president Luke Spielvogel agreed, suggesting it made sense for council to extend the tenure of the existing committee until the new arrangements were in place.
“We’re excited that the government is working with the traditional owners to develop a broader governance structure, but we believe it is important that council retains the strategic advice of the advisory committee in the meantime,” he said.
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne endorsed the 50-year Hanging Rock Strategic Plan in September last year.