Posted 28/4/15

 

MRRA Submission to Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning [DELWP]

20/4/15

Central Victoria Landscape Assessment Study reports:

 

Draft Landscape Character Types & Draft Landscape Significance and Views

1    Introduction

 

The Association previously made a submission in the February 2015 consultation phase.  We thank you for this opportunity to comment on these second phase draft documents.  This submission provides an overview of the Association’s findings (at 2); discussion and comment on the exhibited documents (3), landscape character types (4), and significant landscapes and views (5), and requested actions (6).

Note:  The Association’s comments primarily respond to the Central Victoria Study Area documents as they relate to the Macedon Ranges Shire.

 

2    Overview of Association Findings

 

We expected the current phase of the draft Central Victoria Landscape Assessment Study [the Study] would re-affirm the existing (long-recognised) State-level landscape significance of the Macedon Ranges and their Surrounds.  We find it instead redefines the “Surrounds” landscape significance as being solely the area within the Significant Landscape Overlay, Schedule 1 [SLO1] applied to Hanging Rock and some parts of the central Macedon Range. This repeats the failed 2014 Localised Planning Statement’s attempt to shrink the significance of the Macedon Ranges and Surrounds area to a manufactured Rural Conservation Zone-based “Range and Rock” area. Lightning now having struck twice, diminishment of the area’s long-standing landscape significance now appears to be an objective of this project.

The Study’s cut-and-paste approach, and application of generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ landscape types – both within and across Study Areas – produces confusion, errors, inconsistencies, and inclusion of material that relates to other Study Areas.  These landscape character types include characteristics that don’t exist (and fail to describe some that do), and are not reconcilable with the land to which they are applied. 

The Study then assesses significant (big ticket) landscape features rather than landscapes, but fails to identify or assess all of those it nominates.  The reader is referred to other Study Areas’ documents to obtain information relevant to the Central Victoria Study.

 

Additional deficiencies include factual and typographical errors, lack of local knowledge, gaps in information, and failure to consult relevant, available reference documents.  Note:  Study bibliographies don’t include key documents such as the Macedon Ranges Cultural Heritage and Landscape Study; Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 – explanatory report and policy; Macedon Ranges Habitat Quality and Conservation Significance;  Land Conservation Council, Melbourne Area 1 report and recommendations (note: LCC is referenced in the South West LAS).  There is also no tangible recognition of community values, and at times the documents sound something like a cross between a tourist brochure, a growth wish-list, and a farmers’ federation manifesto.

For Macedon Ranges Shire at least, the result is incomplete, inadequate, inaccurate and often confusing documents that are short on gravitas, relevance and reliability, and don’t establish a credible relationship with the land and features they address.  In its present form it is unclear what purpose this Study is intended (or fit) to serve, but we note its association with the Loddon Mallee South Regional Growth Plan (which this community wasn’t consulted about), and fear the worst.

The Association does not support these draft documents, and considers significant review, revision and correction is warranted.  Requested actions are included at Section 6 of this submission.

3    Issues with Exhibited Landscape Type and Significance Documents

 

3.1.1    The Study Isn’t A Stand-Alone Document 

 

The Study lacks completeness and is not a stand-alone document.  This is a major failing which produces total confusion.  For Macedon Ranges Shire, the reader is expected to research reports for at least two other Study Areas (South West, and Lower Hume and High Country), as well as other landscape character types, to obtain information about the Central Victoria Study Area.

At Significant Features and Views (page 7), the Study does include a note that the Lerderderg State Park and Wombat Forest are addressed in the South West LAS, but does not say the McHarg Ranges and Mt. William (located in the Central Victoria Study Area) are addressed only in the Lower Hume and High Country Study.   The reader has to guess.

The Coliban (Water) System is an example of crossovers between landscape character types.  The Central Victoria Study identifies the reservoirs in “Rolling Foothills”, but not the system of which they are part – both reservoirs and system (“Coliban Reservoirs/main channel”) are instead ‘features’ of the adjoining Goldfields landscape character type. 

At the same time, parts of another Study Area seem to be included in the Central Victoria Study Area, without notice or explanation.  See 4.1.2 (a).

 

3.1.2    Central Victoria LAS Compares Poorly with the South West LAS

 

Forced consultation of the South West LAS (to obtain information about the Central Victoria Study Area) has revealed the Central Victoria Study does not measure up to the standards, investigation, information or quality in that Study.  You can understand the South West Study, whereas the Central Victoria Study presents a confusing, incomplete, generic report that at times struggles to make sense.

The Central Victoria Study appears to selectively cut-and-paste from the South West Study format, but omitting elements, information and explanation that give life and clarity to issues in the South West Study.

Critically, the South West Study recognises differences, and splits landscape character types into numerous ‘character area’ sub-categories, while the Central Victoria Study’s makes blanket application of ill-fitting single landscape character types.  The South West Study also, for example, actually identifies and evaluates views, identifies significant vegetation and environmental issues, and seems to consider social issues comprise more than tourism.

4    Issues:  Landscape Character Types

 

The Association challenges the adequacy and appropriateness of the two main landscape character types (Victorian Volcanic Plains and Rolling Foothills) applied to Macedon Ranges Shire.[1]  These describe landscapes that are often foreign and barely recognisable.  They fail to embrace the area’s complexity, location in the Great Dividing Range, and differences both within the Shire and with other places to which these landscape character types are also applied. 

In an area noted for its vegetation in landscape (including on private land), the Study makes it sound as if the entire Shire is cleared for agriculture with isolated trees and occasional clumps in paddocks.

 

The Study also does not recognise the headwaters of three river systems, and distinctly different vegetation regimes, are located in this Shire.  On the scale provided, it is impossible to tell precisely where one landscape character type ends, and the other begins.

 

4.1    Victorian Volcanic Plains  Landscape Character Type  Pages 14 - 29

 

4.1.1    Overview

 

The Victorian Volcanic Plains [VVP] landscape character type is applied to two areas in the Central Victoria Study Area (Macedon Ranges, and also near Maryborough). 

 

The type describes the typical (flat) characteristics of volcanic plains, and at page 19 says the relatively flat terrain, fertile soils, reliable rainfall and lack of trees makes this type ideal for agriculture. Yet topography maps show very clearly that the ‘plain’ in Macedon Ranges Shire has significantly different topography and altitude, reflecting its location on the Great Dividing Range.

 

Although the Study acknowledges the Macedon Ranges’ “plain” consists of undulating and rolling hills, at page 15, views of this landscape character type are said to be long with hills and mountain ranges of surrounding character types visible on horizon while at page 21, Macedon Ranges has medium views - low rolling hills in the foreground, occasional glimpses of surrounding mountains and hills in the background.

Of the 11 photographs included for this type, 3 relate to Mitchell Shire (Beveridge and Hume Highway, outside the Central Victoria Study Area) and 5 to Macedon Ranges Shire - 2 x Melbourne-Lancefield Road, 2 x Mt. Aitken, and 1 x Mt. Gisborne – all three features identified as significant.  The reader doesn’t know what the rest of this landscape looks like. 

 

4.1.2    Examples of Errors and Inconsistencies 

a)     The Victorian Volcanic Plains maps for the Central Victoria Study Area include two additional areas (near Wallan, and north of Darraweit Guim) within the Victorian Volcanic Plains landscape character type.  Both are in adjoining Mitchell Shire, which is included in the Lower Hume and High Country Study Area (i.e. not the Central Victoria Study Area). The Central Victoria Victorian Volcanic Plains landscape character type document also includes photographs and references that relate to these Lower Hume and High Country Study Area locations (e.g. page 21 Key Viewing Corridors/Viewpoints includes the Hume and Northern Highways).  Research shows the Lower Hume and High Country Study contains Victorian Volcanic Plains but not a VVP landscape character type.  We found page 7 instead refers these two areas in Mitchell Shire - without notice or explanation – to the Central Victoria Study Area.  This creates total confusion, and compromises both the CV and LHHC Studies.

b)   Page 15   Study[2]:  volcanic plain extends from south western with small areas protruding through Goldfields character type, and has numerous shallow lakesNot in Macedon Ranges.

c)   Page 17   Study: Heavy basaltic soils, support a variety of vegetation communitiesThis statement neither recognises areas of sedimentary soils within this landscape character type in Macedon Ranges, nor identifies vegetation communities.

d)    Page 17  Study:  Major rivers include Avoca and Loddon.  Neither Jacksons nor Deep Creeks are recognised as key waterways in Macedon Ranges, or as headwaters of the Maribyrnong river system.  

e)    Page 17  Study: “The few rivers and streams that do cross the plains... are often saline”  As waterways in Macedon Ranges are headwaters, salinity is not a dominant characteristic - degradation of water quality from agricultural activities, works, lack or loss of vegetation and human effluent is.

f)    Page 17  Study: Original grasslands species have been replaced by exotic pasture species and monoculture crops.  Page 15 confusingly says grasslands are a characteristic of volcanic plains, and page 26 Landscape Morphology says the Victorian Volcanic Plains consist mainly of natural grasslands.  

g)    Page 19  Study: rural living and farmsteads are the dominant housing typology.  Landscape dotted with isolated properties – farm houses, old close to road are a feature of the landscape.  Modern farmhouses often set back and screened by exotic trees; and at page 26: Denser settlements occur in south eastern area close to major arterial roads leading to Melbourne such as the Calder Freeway - this landscape character type includes areas in Mitchell Shire, one of which is within the metropolitan Urban Growth Boundary. The Study fails to describe how ‘denser settlements’ impact landscape values, just that they occur.

h)    Page 21  Study: Key viewing corridors/viewpoints, The Calder Freeway - is included as a key viewing corridor but not as a scenic route, while the Bendigo to Melbourne railway line is included as a historic and social element but not a key viewing corridor.

i)    Page 22  Study: Notable Landscape Areas – fails to include the Jacksons Creek escarpment

j)   Pages 24 25  Study:  Key historic (and social) elements – The Study fails to distinguish which VVP areas these are relevant to, leaving the reader to assume they occur universally.

i)   Study: Melbourne to Bendigo railway line – Agreed, but why isn’t this also a key historic/social element in the Rolling Hills landscape character type? 

ii)    Study: Dry Stone Walls (scattered throughout the area) – These feature in the northern parts of the Shire, but are not generally noted as a “key” element in the Gisborne–Romsey area.

iii)    Study: Gisborne Railway Station complex – While of State significance, so too are the Riddells Creek and Clarkefield Stations/complexes which are not included here.

iv)    Study: Wallen Station complex – This appears to refer to Wallan railway station complex, in the Lower Hume and High Country Study Area. If not, what?

v)    Study: Deep lead mines and worker infrastructure  - These are not noted as “key” features in the Gisborne-Romsey area

The Calder Freeway / Highway, and the Black Forest – associated with the goldfields – are notable omissions.

k)    Page 24  Study (environmental / scientific)  Gisborne Flora Reserve – This is more commonly called Gisborne Racecourse Marshlands Reserve, as is the December 2013 management plan for it - New Gisborne Conservation Mgt Plan (endangered and nationally significant values). 

Jacksons Creek and Deep Creek are not included, nor are the State significant grasslands along the railway line around Riddells Creek and Clarkefield.

l)    Page 26 Sensitivity to Change, Study: high sensitivity due to flat nature of landscape.  There are also more elevated areas (e.g. escarpment) and more elevated corridors and views in Macedon Ranges Shire.  The area’s sensitivity, and the detrimental effect of even small change and development on landscape values, is already clearly evident.    

4.2    Rolling Foothills Landscape Character Type  Pages 30 - 43

 

4.2.1     Overview

 

The Rolling Foothills type is applied almost exclusively within Macedon Ranges Shire in the Central Victoria Study Area.  Its stated characteristics have some nexus with the north of the Shire but lumping “ranges” into this description doesn’t cut it.  Topography maps confirm higher overall altitude, and clearly show strong differences within the unit. 

 

For example the Lerderderg State Park, and Wombat State Forest, are located in Macedon Ranges Shire but are only addressed in the South West LAS.  That LAS’s entire eastern boundary with this Shire is “Uplands” landscape character type (predominantly 500 – 1,200 metres elevation, with three character areas).  Despite corresponding topography, “Uplands” is changed to “Rolling Foothills” in the Central Victoria Study Area.  Why?

 

The more vegetated south western, central and north eastern parts of the Shire seem to be studiously ignored, and there are also significant, unrecognised areas of volcanic soils and characteristics.

 

This landscape character type (e.g. Landform, page 33 – dominated by low rolling hills and steeply sided peaks and moderate ridges) does not adequately or accurately describe the landform or landscapes of most of the area to which it is applied.  Its blanket application must be reviewed.

4.2.2    Examples of Errors and Inconsistencies

 

Note: the Central Murray and Goulburn Valley Study Area’s “Rolling Foothills” Landscape Character Type document has a “Central Victoria” footer identification.

a)     Page 31  Key Features, Study:  hot, dry climatemost of the Macedon Ranges Shire is notable for its colder climate (“Macedon Ranges - Naturally Cool”), as well as high rainfall (which is why pretty much all of the Rolling Foothills area is Special Water Supply Catchments for domestic water supply).

b)    Page 31  Key Features, Study:  Long open views are predominantly from elevated areas and roads – Mount Macedon and the Macedon Ranges dominate close and distant views from many different parts of the Shire, seen daily.  This resonates deeply with residents and creates a fundamental sense of place and ownership  Not recognised.

c)     Page 33 Waterform, Study:  Lauriston, Malmsbury and Upper Coliban storagessee comment at Page 3.1.1

d)    Page 33 Waterform, Study:  Rosslynne is a domestic water storage for the Maribyrnong Catchment – does not recognise location at headwaters of Jacksons Creek.

e)   Special Water Supply Catchments and the dependency of towns and regional centres on water harvested from this Shire are not recognised.  

f)    Numerous catchments, off-takes and storages on Mount Macedon are omitted and incorrectly attributed to the Cobaws (Landscape Significance and Views, page 43, Environmental/Scientific significance).

g)    Page 33  Waterform, Study:  Campaspe River – catchment has significant levels of clearing due to agriculture and mining – less so in this area, which is the headwaters of this river system.

h)    Page 33  Study:  soils are generally granitic and sedimentary – they are also volcanic.

i)    Page 33  Vegetation,  Study:  characterised by agricultural pastures and grasslands, with scattered isolated trees and open forests – yet at Page 41 sensitivity to change is rated Low (due to the hilly and irregular topography and scattered nature of the vegetation).  The Study doesn’t identify where sufficient vegetation or topography occurs to result in ‘low’ sensitivity (other than significant features).

j)    Page 33 Vegetation,  Study:  Isolated areas of dense bushland and dry forests are apparent predominantly in State/Regional parks and reserves; and narrow corridors of remnant vegetation are common within road reserves, along ridgelines and in isolated patches on private land – A variety of Vegetation Protection overlays are applied to extensive areas of the Shire.  The Study doesn’t consider (as does the South West Study) impacts of vegetation removal on landscape values.

k)    Page 35  Land Use and Built Form, Study:  Built form is generally comprised of homesteads and modest farmhouses – there are increasing examples of dominating and damaging residential structures unrelated to agricultural use in rural zones – not recognised. Eastward views from the top of Hanging Rock confirm this.

l)    Page 35  Study:  4 photographs - none are identified by location

m)   Page 37  Study:  photograph of view from Mt. MajorThe Shire does not include a Mt. Major, this appears to be the view from the Major Mitchell lookout at Mt. Macedon.

n)    Page 37 Key Viewing Corridors/Views,  Study:  includes Melbourne/Lancefield Road, which is in the Victorian Volcanic Plains landscape character types.   Views of what?  These roads are mainly located in the central area of the Shire – are there not any views or corridors elsewhere, such as the Tylden Road, or views of several ranges visible from Romsey Road on the approach from the east of the Shire?

o)    Page 38  Notable Landscape Areas,  Study:  includes Wombat State Forest and Lerderderg State Park, as well as Tooboorac/McHarg Ranges/Mt. William, but none of these are addressed or assessed in the Central Victoria Study Area.  There is no known ‘viewing area’ on ‘Mount’ Jim Jim, it is private land.

p)    Page 40  Key Historic Elements,  Study:  quote about goldfields and Kyneton’s role – other Shire towns also played significant roles e.g. Woodend and Gisborne, but are not recognised.  The Study quotes Kyneton Business and Tourism Association documentation, but the bibliography shows hasn’t consulted the Kyneton Conservation Study in its research.

q)    Page 40 Environmental / Scientific, Study:  Lerderderg State Park, Macedon Regional Park, Campaspe River – Is that it?  Vegetation?  Water Catchments?  Rare and endangered flora and fauna?  Geology?  Wombat Forest?  Mt. William?  The Cobaws?

r)    Page 40 Social,  Study:  Hanging Rock, Macedon Ranges Wine Regions, Macedon Ranges Regional Park (camping and hiking opportunities) – no known camping opportunities in the MACEDON Regional Park.  Wine regions are economic, not social.

s)    Page 41 Landscape Morphology, Study:  Small agricultural townships are rapidly growing with urban boundaries continuously being expanded as regional living becomes a more attractive and affordable lifestyle option – sounds like a real estate agent’s spruik.  Please consult the Macedon Ranges Settlement Strategy, and please name the towns whose boundaries are continuously expanding.

t)    Page 41  Anticipated Landscape Change, Study:  significant growth and development – Please explain:  based on what?

5    Issues:  Significant Landscapes and Views

 

5.1    A Study of Features Rather Than Landscapes

 

The Study assesses and rates the significance of individual landscape features rather than landscapes. 

It claims to assess and rate features shown on maps with Regional or higher significance but does not. 

 

Some highly significant features are addressed/assessed only in other Study Areas (e.g. Lerderderg State Park, McHarg Ranges). Some are not even explained (e.g. scenic view points at Kyneton area reservoirs).

Everything in between these selected features is of local significance, apparently visually unimportant, a finding which opens the door to development recognised for the past 40 years as damaging to significant landscapes.

Features’ landscape ratings (at least in Macedon Ranges Shire) seem uncomfortably influenced by perceived tourism activities or opportunities (which are perhaps consequential to, but not, landscapes). 

 

5.2    Influence of Significant Landscape Overlays

 

The Study uses existing Significant Landscape Overlays to define significant features (e.g. the Macedon Ranges). 

It does not however include all features with Significant Landscape overlays, notably omitting volcanic features with overlays in the Rolling Foothills area – e.g. Golf Course Hill (Woodend) which like the Macedon, Cobaw and Pyrete ranges, has an SLO1 overlay. Red Hill (Woodend) has an SLO2 overlay but isn’t mentioned. Likewise, in the Victorian Volcanic Plains area, several volcanic features with SLO2 overlays aren’t mentioned, including Magnet Hill (Gisborne) which has a management plan, and Melbourne Hill (Lancefield). 

If SLOs are a criterion, why are some features with SLOs included, and others not? 

5.3    Failure To Fully Recognise Macedon Ranges and Surrounds’ State Significance

 

The area deemed significant for Mount Macedon and Hanging Rock merely reflects the SLO1. 

Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 and the Macedon Ranges Cultural Heritage and Landscape Study both identify substantially more than the area covered by SLO1 as highly significant for landscape (overall State level) and “critical in the contemporary character of Australia”, including large areas assigned the Victorian Volcanic Plains landscape character type. 

This Study instead cherry picks a few features, drops “Surrounds”, restricts significance to the area covered by the SLO1 (ditto the Cobaws), and leaves the rest out.  This isn’t even the status quo.  It diminishes significance, and like the failed 2014 Localised Planning statement which attempted to redefine Surrounds to Rural Conservation Zone, is neither justified nor acceptable. 

The Macedon Ranges and Surrounds area is unique in the Central Victoria region.  Its State level significance has been recognised by specific State policy for 40 years, and the current State government will reinstate legislation to strengthen protection. 

The Study doesn’t recognise any of this, but must if it is to have credibility.  

Both Hanging Rock and the Mount Macedon hill stations and gardens are regarded as of National significance.  Their inclusion in this area, as State or higher significance, suggests “higher” is more appropriate i.e. National significance.

 

5.4    Examples of Errors and Inconsistencies

 

5.4.1    Mt. Aitken

a)    At Historic Significance, all four paragraphs are attributed as sourced from the Shire of Melton 2006 – is this correct?

b)    At Environmental/Scientific (attributed to Macedon Ranges Shire Council 2006), Mt. Aitken is said to have a Significant Landscape Overlay.  The small reserve atop Mt. Aitken alone has an SLO2 overlay, the rest is unprotected. 

5.4.2    Mt. Gisborne

a)    The area shown on maps as significant corresponds with the SLO2 applied to the summit, only a small portion of which is public land.  The text focuses on the reserve, but the significant viewing point is located on private land. 

b)    This area is environmentally sensitive and although community access is available it is not generally promoted.  This Study classifies it as a tourist attraction.

5.4.3    Melbourne-Lancefield Road Viewing Corridor

a)    The road may run from Sunbury but to say the ‘corridor’ does steps outside the Study Area.  Within the Study Area it runs from the Shire’s southern boundary to Romsey. 

b)    At Composition, views are exemplary but significance local.  Is this correct?

c)    At Other Cultural and Landscape values, the railway line does not run alongside this viewing corridor within the Study Area except for a short distance south of Clarkefield.

5.4.4    Mount Macedon / Hanging Rock / Jim Jim 

a)    This section tends to read like a tourist brochure:  e.g. “the area is dotted with historic structures, vibrant vineyards and local produce”, “eco-tourism hotspots”.  Such comments come across as promotional, and rather shallow.

b)    At Landscape Features, “The Macedon Regional Park protects the forest that is located along the ridge of the Range.”  Macedon Regional Park includes, and protects, more than forests on the ridge - it protects forested slopes and valleys, special water supply catchments and waterways as well. 

c)    What does “well tended sections of the forest boundary often feature homesteads... tranquil gardens... wild berries” mean? 

d)    “The presence of mature exotic specimen trees” – we hope this isn’t a euphemism for the nationally significant gardens, hill stations and rare trees within the Mount Macedon township, which the Study fails to include as key historical elements.

e)    “Mount Macedon is a standout feature in the cleared rolling landscape” - Mount Macedon sounds like an lonely island of vegetation amidst a sea of denuded land, rather than a recognised very high (extreme) bushfire risk feature in a recognised very high (extreme) bushfire risk landscape.

f)    “The landscape is composed generally of trees with a thin girth” – please define “thin girth”.

g)    The Study seems to get confused, saying here “dense forest on flowing undulating hills and rolling mountains” when this is the Rolling Hills landscape character type.

h)    Views to Mount Macedon aren’t described, such as those from Macedon, Calder Freeway, the railway and other roads, not to mention from towns like Woodend, Gisborne and Riddells Creek.

i)    The Study here sings the praises of enclosed views at Mount Macedon but makes no mention of those experienced in the Black Forest on the historical former Calder Highway, and other areas.

j)    At Historical Significance, Macedon Ranges Shire Council is called “Mount Macedon Shire Council”.

k)    In saying Hanging Rock is protected, fails to recognise the East Paddock is within the Hanging Rock precinct, zoned PPRZ and utterly unprotected.

l)    Mount Jim Jim – this is THE Jim Jim. 

m)   “The start of the 1900s...”  Should this not be the start of the 1800s?

n)    Major Mitchell also visited Hanging Rock, and named it Mt. Diogenes.

o)    At Parks Victoria, “sites within the park...” – is this Macedon Regional Park, or another park?

p)    “Box-ironbark forest woodlands feature significant historic gold mining landscapes...”   - ‘box ironbark’ and ‘historic gold mining landscapes’ are terms not usually coupled with Mount Macedon, Hanging Rock or The Jim Jim.

q)    At Social Significance, “All three areas are valued for their recreational opportunities” – assuming these three areas are Mt. Macedon, Hanging Rock and The Jim Jim, The Jim Jim is wrong.  It is private land, with no known recreation opportunities.

r)    “The large collection of gardens...” – where?  

s)    At Macedon Ranges Shire Council, “the significant area encompasses wine regions” – given the restricted size of the significant area, most wine regions and even vineyards fall well outside it;  and “resorts for health and wellness, spa holidays” – this is more Council’s aspiration than fact (i.e. name these).

5.4.5    Cobaw Ranges

a)    At Macedon Ranges Shire Council, “the Cobaw Forest has provided the community with significant timber and water catchments that are vital to the culture of the Shire” – while the Cobaws are partially within the Eppalock Special Water Supply Catchment, they do not contain their own water catchments (Mount Macedon and Surrounds does), and as timber harvesting is now restricted in the Cobaws, how are these elements “vital to the cultural significance of the Shire”? 

b)    At Environmental/Scientific – the Cobaws are also habitat for the endangered, State significant Powerful Owl and Tuan, and a key reason why it is a Special Protection Zone.  We suggest this fact has at least equal importance as the Lagrein grape variety, but it isn’t included.

c)    At Social, Cobaw Trail Bike Visitor Area – there is also a rifle range on private property.  Another tourist attraction?

5.4.6    Views

a)    This document is called “Landscape Significance and Views”, yet the Study does not include a graphic depiction of significant views (to or from features), or assess and rate their significance. 

b)    The Study’s maps also identify two Regionally significant viewing points near the Kyneton reservoirs but does not otherwise refer to them.  The reader doesn’t know why they are there, why they are significant or what is seen from them.

c)    Even though designated as Regional or State significance, likewise other viewing points are not separately addressed, or assessed, and others, e.g. Mt. William, aren’t even included in this Study Area’s significance assessment.

 

6    Requested Actions

  1. Departmental representatives convene community workshops in Macedon Ranges Shire before moving the Study forward, to gather local information and hear community views as a starting point for review.
  2. Replace the Rolling Hills and the Victorian Volcanic Plains landscape character units with a discrete landscape character type for the entire Macedon Ranges Shire, to maintain and recognise connections and the special landscape qualities of the area as a whole.
  3. Generate landscape sub-categories within the landscape character unit (e.g. character areas) to more accurately and completely define values and recognise differences in this unique area, and
  4. Revise the Study in line with these actions.

Footnotes: 

1  A small area of Goldfields landscape character type occurs in the northern-most tip of the Shire.

2  The Central Victoria Study Area’s “Victorian Volcanic Plains” Landscape Character Type document.