Posted 22/4/08  Updated 19/11/08

 

Alert - Important Notice

Beware OF Imitations!

Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd [MRRS]

a company representing business and development interests

 

is not Macedon Ranges Residents' Association Inc [MRRA]

We ask everyone to please take care to not mix us up with them - just think of our Association as "RA", and them as "RS". 

 

 

Link to Latest News

 

New

MRRS Ltd Name Change removes "Limited" from name of company (is this so no-one will know MRRS is a company?)

MRRS Ltd Change To Directors - Kim Scales of Glen Erin Winery added

 

Introduction

Astro-Turfing

MRRA Actions

Beware Of Imitations

Got a Comment? Can You Help?

Alert To Other Community-Based Groups

MRRA Media Release

MRRS Ltd Directors & Company Extract

 

 

Introduction

 

With two full coloured ads appearing in the Macedon Ranges Telegraph recently (one a quarter page in size), Macedon Ranges Shire residents are entitled to be confused about the recent invention of a company called Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd.

 

Some people have thought MRRS Ltd is, or is part of, our Association.  It isn't. 

 

It is a company formed to represent business and development interests, yet it has mis-represented itself to Macedon Ranges' residents firstly, as suggesting it is MRRA or part of MRRA, and secondly, as a grass-roots community-based residents' organization that will act in community and residents' interests.  In MRRA's view, MRRS Ltd has acted deceptively and misleadingly. (See MRRA Media Release)

 

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Astro-Turfing

 

We have been advised this type of behaviour is known as "Astro-turfing", that is:

"The practice you're referring to is known as Astro-turfing is a neologism for public relations campaigns (eg. 'public information') that seek to create the impression of being spontaneous, grassroots community-based behaviour, ergo the reference to the artificial grass 'AstroTurf'.

 

The intent of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of the astro-turfer as an independent public/community reaction to some political entity - a politician, political group, product, service, event, etc.  Astro-turfers try to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt (‘outreach’, ‘awareness’, etc.) and covert means (ie. ‘disinformation’)."

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MRRA Actions

 

In response to MRRS Ltd's advertisements, MRRA has taken the following steps, and more action is planned: 

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Beware Of Imitations

 

There is broad-based community concern, in the current political climate, that the 'development' and 'business' takeovers of councils now being exposed in NSW may be about to happen in Victoria, or in our case, in Macedon Ranges. 

 

One of MRRS Ltd's stated objectives is to take an active part in the November Council election.  It has already spent what is - to cash-strapped community-based groups - a great deal of money to do so.  As far as we can tell, it does not intend to have an open membership - its directors will select 'like-minded' people to join it.

 

The events surrounding MRRS Ltd, and particularly the attempt to confuse residents by selecting a name almost the same as Macedon Ranges Residents' Association Inc and attempting to pass itself off as us, should be taken by residents and other community-based groups as a warning to be vigilant, particularly in this, a Council election year. 

 

While other groups have a right to form and take an interest in the November election, any such group has a moral obligation to the people to be HONEST ABOUT WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY REPRESENT.  Any other behaviour can only be seen as an attempt to deceive.

 

For this Council election, with the introduction of 4 year Council terms, with the Victorian government attempting to close down residents' rights to know about, to object to and to appeal against residential zone development - and in Macedon Ranges, with development proposals such as the 1000 lot Braemar subdivision waiting in the wings, with a Rural Living Strategy underway and some wanting to 'hobby farm' the whole Shire - it's not difficult to see that there's a lot to gain - and a lot to lose - from the 2008 Council election results.

 

Every resident owes it to themselves, and to their community, to take an active interest in the up-coming Council election. 

 

BEWARE OF IMITATIONS, BEWARE OF SINGLE INTEREST TAKEOVERS, BEWARE OF DECEPTION.

 

Be vigilant, be aware, be informed.  Make a point of challenging the credentials not only 'groups' (especially those that suddenly 'pop up') but also candidates (including any current councillors standing for re-election) and insist that they declare their interests, and who their supporters/backers are.  If they don't, name them and boycott them.

 

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Got a Comment?  Can You Help?

 

As always, MRRA Inc welcomes your comment.  We would also welcome any additional information about MRRS Ltd or its directors.

You can contact MRRA Inc by email mrra.sec999@gmail.com or phone 5427 1481 &  0411 580 363.

 

You can also help by spreading the word, where-ever you are, that this has happened in Macedon Ranges. 

 

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Alert To Other Community-Based Groups

 

To other community-based groups, we say this could happen to you too.  Please, take all steps to protect yourself, and stand ready to question and expose deception and undesirable behaviour.  We have already received some wonderful advice and help about 'where to from here' and will compile and share this information with other community-based groups asap.  Thank you for your fantastic support and encouragement.

 

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MRRA Media Release / Letter To The Editor 16/4/08

 

Last week our Association issued a media release to local papers (to appear in this week's editions).  At that time, MRRS Ltd was only a reserved company name, and MRRA did not know who was involved with it.  We now do, because MRRS Ltd registered as a company on 15th April 2008. 

 

Message From Macedon Ranges Residents’ Association Inc.

 

Re: Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd [MRRS Ltd], a body claiming to be a company, which placed full coloured notices of its ‘mission statement’ and ‘objectives’ in the 18 March and 1 April editions of the Macedon Ranges Telegraph.  Research revealed Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd was not a registered company but a reserved company name, and by holding itself to be a company when it was not, breached Corporations law.  

 

MRRS Ltd is also using a name and initials deceptively and misleadingly similar to Macedon Ranges Residents’ Association Inc [MRRA Inc], a volunteer community group established in 1995.  This ‘company’ also purports to have somewhat similar objectives, and to likewise represent residents’ interests.  In our mind MRRS Ltd is clearly trying to pass itself off as our Association, which is deceptive, because it is not. This has already misled people and created confusion. 

 

Our Association has lodged a formal complaint about these matters with appropriate regulatory authorities and, as the published notices can be read to infer this anonymous ‘company’ has an ability to act for both community and Council, and to ‘facilitate’ issues with Council, MRRA Inc has also requested clarification of connections, if any, from Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

 

As a ‘grass-roots’ activist group and an incorporated association, Macedon Ranges Residents’ Association Inc has an established reputation for credibility, operating openly and accessibly, and being up front with residents.  MRRA has put ‘runs on the board’ in representing broad community interests in calling government to account, standing up for residents’ rights, scrutinizing planning, safeguarding democracy, defending our environment, resisting over-development and unashamedly refusing to align itself with real estate and developer interests.

 

We don’t know who or what is driving MRRS Ltd, but its flawed ‘company’ status, deceptive and misleading conduct in trying to pass itself off as MRRA, its anonymity, financial resources, and its objective to influence the November Council election, leaves us suspicious of its motives.  We wonder if, as has happened elsewhere, MRRS Ltd has been formed for political purposes to surreptitiously represent development interests at the upcoming election, something this community should be on guard against.  

 

With a $12 membership fee, MRRA Inc simply cannot compete with MRRS Ltd’s full colour ads, so we take (and thank this newspaper for) this opportunity to say categorically that Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd [MRRS Ltd] is not, and is not connected with, and does not speak for, Macedon Ranges Residents’ Association Inc [MRRA Inc].  We also do not accept responsibility for any actions of MRRS Ltd, or any consequences of those actions.

 

And finally, the confusing names, which will create difficulties for the community.  We ask everyone to please take care to not mix us up with them – just think of our Association as “RA”, and them as “RS”. 

 

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 Directors  (Updated 29/10/08)

 

The directors of Macedon Ranges Residents Secretariat Ltd (as from 15/4/08) are as follows (see also latest ASIC extract):

 

 

Appointed 15 April, 2008

FRITZ MANFRED BOEGEL  (& Secretary)

3 FORBES ROAD MACEDON VIC 3440

Born: 18/02/1938 - LOETZEN GERMANY

Phone: 5426 2170

Clock and Beaver Restaurant, 40 Victoria Street, Macedon

Gisborne Rotary 

 

Appointed 15 April, 2008

LES ELLIOTT,

61 WATERFALLS ROAD MOUNT MACEDON VIC 3441

Born: 17/01/1952 - MELBOURNE VIC

Phone: 5426 4019

Builder

Egg Farm Proponent

Carlow B & B, Christian Street, Mt. Macedon (with wife Deborah Elliott, candidate)

 

Appointed 15 April, 2008

EWALD JESKE    

37 VICTORIA STREET MACEDON VIC 3440

Born: 11/08/1941 - HOCHSTADT GERMANY

Builder

Former director Housing Industry Association

Jeske Constructions Pty Ltd (37  Victoria Street, Macedon - Phone: 5426 2432)

 

Appointed 30 April, 2008

PHILIP MICHAEL MACCANA

940 MOUNT MACEDON ROAD, MOUNT MACEDON, 3440

Born: 22/6/1943 - IRELAND

Phone:  5426 4980

Note: Also at the same address: SR Stoneman Holdings Pty Ltd. Real Estate Agency, 940 Mt. Macedon Road, Mt. Macedon 3440.

 

Appointed 30 April, 2008

MICHAEL WIEDERMANN

2 CHARLES COURT, GISBORNE, 3437

Born:  9/3/1965 - SUBIACO, WA

Phone: 5428 1409, 0448 528 618

Gisborne Rotary

 

Appointed 5 August, 2008

KIM SCALES

52 BARRY STREET, ROMSEY, 3434

Born:  19/12/1967 - MELBOURNE, VIC

Glen Erin Winery at Lancefield and The Grange Restaurant   Rochford Rd Lancefield VIC 3435

Phone: (03) 5429 1041

Fax (03) 5429 2053

sales@glenerin.com.au

www.glenerin.com.au

 

Glen Erin At Romsey,  Glenfern Rd, Romsey VIC 3434 (formerly Cope-Williams)

Phone: (03) 5429 5428

Fax (03) 5429 5655

Daylesford and Macedon Produce (DM Produce)

 

 

MRRS Ltd Registered Office and Principal Place of Business: 

Noy and Associates, 26 Victoria Street, Macedon.