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Localised Planning Statement - Macedon Ranges loses, not gets, protection

Report about last Monday's information session on Macedon Ranges Localised Planning Statement, which represents a disaster for Victoria's iconic Macedon Ranges, immortalised in the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock. Inside find the report plus planning attachments. This kind of thing is happening all over Victoria as the government tries to insert population growth into any and all communities, including country towns and regions, whilst continuing to cram more people into the cities in a population engineering regime.

Macedon Ranges Residents' Association (MRRA) has updated its website ( with a report on last Monday’s information session on Council’s Localised Planning Statement. Council’s LPS is a disaster for Macedon Ranges. It’s not what the State government promised – to protect Macedon Ranges and keep Statement of Planning Policy No. 8. Macedon Ranges Council ‘s Localised Planning Statement does neither. This means that, without your help and ministerial intervention, the Macedon Ranges will lose what little protection they have, and be worse off than today.

MRRA has produced a Background & Action Paper about Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 (Clause 22.01 in the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme); and what you can do to stop Council replacing SPP8’s “must” policy, which has been in place for 40 years, with Council’s “may” policy (draft LPS) – designed to support and facilitate substantial development of a size, type and in locations not supported in Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 (remember Hanging Rock?). A link to downloads, and submission and contact details, is available from the top of MRRA’s Home Page (Statement of Planning Policy No. 8).

If you love Macedon Ranges’ environment, landscapes, open spaces and rural character, thank SPP8 for them still being here. If SPP8 is lost, these values will also be lost.
What you can do:
• Read Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 (Clause 22.01) – compare it with Council’s LPS “policy” (the difference will be immediately obvious).
• Make a submission to Council by August 8th (copy to all councillors): (1) rejecting Council’s LPS, (2) telling Council to replace its policy with SPP8 policy and (3) supporting application of SPP8 policy (as the LPS) to the whole Shire.
• Send a copy of your submission to the Minister for Planning Matthew Guy, and Amanda Millar MLC. Tell them we were promised State policy protection and SPP8 - if the LPS isn’t SPP8, it’s not protection.
• You can also send a copy of your submission to the Shadow Minister for Planning, Brian Tee, and Joanne Duncan MLA.
• Ask candidates in the upcoming State election where they stand on SPP8 as State policy, and protecting Macedon Ranges.
• Tell your family, friends, neighbours and social media contacts how important this is, and ask them to make a submission.
• Write letters to local and Melbourne media.

Please circulate this to your friends, family, networks and contacts. It’s important not only to Macedon Ranges but to Victoria. There’s not much point saving Hanging Rock if the rest of Macedon Ranges falls to development.


Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy suggests that 720,000 extra people will live within Melbourne’s suburban boundaries by 2031. A report on regional growth in Victoria means that until 2051 more people moving out of Melbourne to towns like Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

The report also showed the tide had turned on falling fertility rates. Mr. Guy said:

“Since the early 1970s, our fertility rate has been falling and the number of children born every year has remained virtually unchanged. But now that’s turned around, with twice as many babies expected to be born in 2050 than in 2000.”

This massive growth is because we are having "more babies"! It's a deliberate obfuscation of the truth! Victoria’s TFR in 2007 was 1.889, and in 2012 it was 1.891. This is a minute difference, a slight increase in the overall number of births per woman, on a State level. We are importing more people with higher fertility levels, but overwhelmingly our population growth is due to net overseas migration!

Predictably, the report comes from a property developers' website, with our population growth a cause of celebration! It keeps the housing bubble inflated. This means more areas in outer Melbourne, regional towns and semi-urban Mount Macedon must be "developed"! It's an oxymoron.

Tomorrow night's (tonight's - 3:36AM 24 sep 14, Ed) Council meeting will be a defining moment in the history of Macedon Ranges. Our "democratically-elected community representatives" will decide whether to adopt Council's rehash of the recently exhibited Localised Planning Statement - the one that gets rid of Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 in favour of promoting pet projects, motherhood statements and damaging development.

A revised draft LPS available from Council's website, (meetings > agendas > 24 September > item PE4 attachment 1 of 5), seems to now propose TWO policy areas. It shrinks the existing Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds policy area to about a third or less of the size it has been for the past 40 years (i.e. Council's new area includes Newham to Macedon only). It also (inanely) renames this wee scrap of land "The Range and The Rock" policy area but confusingly also calls it the Macedon Ranges and Surrounds area, and the Rock and the Ranges area). Ominously, unlike SPP8, Council's Range and Rock policy area excludes the main towns of Woodend, Gisborne, Riddells Creek, Romsey and Lancefield (i.e. towns and vast rural areas are no longer the 'surrounds' in Macedon Ranges and Surrounds). That's NOT Statement of Planning Policy No. 8.

... for more, read article on the Macedon Ranges Residents Association web-site.