Victorian Government

Planning Minister Media Release

Amanda Millar – Member for Northern Victoria  – Upper House

”  Hanging Rock development (Pg72)

Mrs MILLAR (Northern Victoria)—My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Planning, the Honourable Matthew Guy. In my first 15 weeks in this place there has been one issue which has loomed larger than any other, an issue about which I have been approached by some hundreds of residents of the Macedon Ranges and even far beyond, from right across Victoria, that being the proposed development in the East Paddock at Hanging Rock. This Macedon Ranges Shire Council proposal is in its early stages, but I note that the name of this state government has been invoked on the council’s website, which states:

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has resolved to work with the state government to secure a sustainable income source for Hanging Rock Reserve by using a small portion of the East Paddock to provide privately funded accommodation, conference and tourism facilities. 

These statements have greatly concerned thousands of local residents. I can tell this house that I cannot go to my general store or the local pub or drop my children at primary school without the words ‘Hanging Rock’ being spoken to me.

Community members who have spoken to me come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds but largely have similar stories. They love to see investment in their area, and most have noted that they have never been active in any cause before, but they are simply concerned about the proximity of the proposed development to this special and treasured place in the heart of Victoria.

In raising this matter with the minister I note all the good work which is being done by the Macedon Ranges Shire Council with the coalition government. We are working at this time on a range of important projects with the council and its hardworking and dedicated local councillors. But I cannot be a true representative and voice of my local community without bringing to the minister’s attention that Hanging Rock is a very special place embedded in the hearts and minds of Macedon Ranges locals. It is the subject of one of Australia’s greatest literary masterpieces in Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, first published in the year of my own birth— 1967. It reads:

On the steep southern facade the play of golden light and deep violet shade revealed the intricate construction of long vertical slabs; some smooth as giant tombstones, others grooved and fluted by prehistoric architecture of wind and water, ice and fire. Huge boulders, originally spewed red hot from the boiling bowels of the earth, now come to rest, cooled and rounded in forest shade.

This book inspired Peter Weir’s haunting film from 1974. Racegoers and picnickers have visited the site for well over a century. People have always come to the rock and appreciated its uniqueness. I can tell members that there is much excitement in the local area about the planned concert on 30March by the Rolling Stones— the rock legends come to the rock. These concerts, promoted by Frontier Touring, are a brilliant addition to our local area.

The Minister for Planning is no stranger to the Macedon Ranges. Locals are aware that he has an in-depth knowledge of the unique and significant nature of this region, so I invite the minister, together with other parliamentary colleagues, to climb the rock with me this summer, because it is only by standing on top of this iconic place at 718 metres that you can understand why this site is so precious to so many.


Responses (Pg76)

Hon.M. J. GUY (Minister for Planning

Ms Millar asked me to visit Hanging Rock and the areas around it over the summer period. I will be very happy to do that. No doubt she and I will go walking up the rock. Mr Leane can come with us. Hopefully he will not go missing; he has preselection to fight for. I will go up there with Ms Millar. She has raised a very important issue with some distinction. “