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Mt Macedon Ranges under attack by Victorian government

(Photo:Justin Madden, Victorian Planning Minister)
Victorian Planning dictators aim at iconic Macedon Ranges (Hanging Rock region). Where will it end? Call to Victorians and the world ....

We need your help - to help Macedon Ranges.

Background

Revisionist Brumby Planning Dept airbrushes major Planning policy statement

At last Wednesday’s Macedon Ranges Shire Council meeting, Council announced it had received an email from the Department of Planning and Community Development instructing it to remove all references to Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 – Macedon Ranges and Surrounds [SPP8] from the planning scheme. This decision has been made without public consultation.

Significance of SPP8

SPP8 - the ‘Macedon Ranges policy’ – was introduced as State policy underpinned by legislation in 1975. The policy recognises how special, significant and sensitive this area is, and its purpose is to protect Macedon Ranges from overdevelopment and development that damages environmental and landscape qualities.


(Hanging Rock, iconic site of famous schoolgirl disappearance subject of film, Picnic at Hanging Rock)

Since 2000, SPP8 has been downgraded to Local Policy (Clause 22.01). As SPP8 says limit development and maintain rural character, it gets in the way of the current ‘generic’ Victoria Planning Provisions [VPPs] which the government is trying to impose undemocratically on Victorians and their landscape.

Promises, promises...
Since 2004, MRRA has campaigned to have SPP8 reinstated as State policy so it can again take precedence over other policies and sections in our planning scheme. We’ve had promises to ‘protect’ from Planning Ministers, but it still hasn’t happened.

Soviet style revisionism used for capitalist over-development

Now the Department dictates the removal of this critical policy. References to SPP8 have, without consultation, already been removed from the 2007 Gisborne Outline Development Plan. MRRA wrote to the Minister for Planning, Justin Madden, on August 24 2008 asking to discuss this, but has not yet received a response.

Residents disempowered, democracy gutted, environment unprotected

Despite difficulties implementing it, loss of SPP8 will be a mortal blow for Macedon Ranges. There will be nothing left that recognises the environmental sensitivity of this iconic and historic landscape and sets the mysterious and beautiful, geologically remarkable Macedon Ranges apart from other semi-rural places.

Australians and the world must not accept this. Don't let being outside Australia stop you from showing your support to MRRA. Democracy is a concern for responsible citizens everywhere.

SPP8 needs to become Victorian State policy again. It has to take precedence over the ‘one size fits all’ zones and controls in the VPPs, such as the Residential 1 zone and ResCode, which presently prevail. Development under these policies overwhelms local and regional diversity and human rights to self-government.

Action

The concern of Mt Macedon Residents' Association (MRRA) is so strong that they have started a “Keep Macedon Ranges Rural” petition, to the Victorian Legislative Assembly (lower house).

You can leave a brief comment on this site as well.
Hard copies are also available from secretary[AT]mrra.asn.au. Send signed petition sheets back to MRRA: PO Box 359, Woodend, 3442.

The aim is to get an MP to present the petition to Parliament in early December.

The petition sheets have spaces for signatures on the back of them, so twice the signatures can go on one piece of paper (NOTE: the petition text MUST appear on every petition sheet or the sheet will be rejected). If you print double-sided for signatures on the front and the back, make really sure the petition text appears on the front.

Victorians who would like to do more are urged to network, to link to the MRRA petition site; to send this article on to email contacts; to distribute copies of the petition form to local shops, asking them to put it on their counters; to letterbox their street; to tell friends and family and everyone – Macedon Ranges is of State level significance, (and world-famous) and what happens here is of interest to all. Consider passing the petition around and getting people at work to sign up, or even take a petition form to their friends, family or groups.

And let key politicians know what you think of this planning despotism and vandalism. Your local pollie/s is a good place to start but don’t forget some of the other key players as well, such as Premier Brumby, the Minister for Planning, the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Water. Opposition Shadow ministers and the leaders of all political parties and independents would surely appreciate hearing from you as well. Contact details for the main players are at the MRRA website

What type of Macedon Ranges do we want Victorian and Australian children to inherit: An industrial precinct? A high density, metropolitan landscape? Units or high rise on Mt. Macedon? Housing estates up to Hanging Rock?

This will be the last chance for the public to turn things around for Macedon Ranges. Once SPP8 is gone, it’s gone forever. The time to act is now. It is also a good time to act because the global melt-down has exposed for a scam the develop-and-be-damned policy of Australian state Governments.

Make as much noise as possible.
Tell as many people as possible.
Get as many signatures as possible – thousands!

Let Parliament know that the world is watching and that Victoria means it when it says “Keep Macedon Ranges Rural”.

If you need help or have questions or comments: 03 5427 1481, +61 3 5427 1481 (from overseas), secretary[AT]mrra.asn.au

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