Archive:   Liberal Party

Last Updated  21/3/07




YES   A Liberal Government Will Protect Macedon Ranges & McHarg Ranges:  Announcement By Ted Baillieu Yesterday in Macedon, Will Provide State Strategy, State Policy, State Legislation, No Wind Turbines In This Area.  (18/11/06 - SP)

The Liberal Party yesterday pledged that, if elected on November 25, it will give Macedon Ranges and the McHarg Ranges (near Pyalong and Baynton) State level planning protection.  In part the Policy released yesterday said "The Macedon and McHarg Ranges need proper planning safeguards and to be recognised for the areas' State significance... the two areas... demand protection but are now under threat from insensitive and inappropriate development."   Ted Baillieu said a Liberal government would "move quickly" to protect the Ranges from inappropriate development and is committed providing similar protections to Macedon Ranges as are provided to Yarra Ranges - protection by legislation and State level policy.  Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds which, under the Bracks government, has languished and been mainly ignored as a Local Policy, will at last be restored to State policy under a Liberal government.   Click here to see Ted Baillieu's press release. Click here to see the policy "A Liberal Government Plan to protect the Macedon and McHarg Ranges"


MRRA Says:


To pilfer Martin Luther King's words, will it be a case of  "Free at last!  Free at last!  Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"?


The Liberals' package would mean we in Macedon Ranges could again protect our towns from suburban influences and over-development, and protecting water catchments, landscapes, conservation, recreation and tourism values would again become the primary focus of planning decisions.  At a minimum, this announcement at least means there is at least hope.  Hope of some sanity instead of the development madness the Bracks government is forcing into a fragile area that is already beginning to disintegrate under the pressure, and onto communities that don't want it.  Now, there really is an alternative to the absolute blackness of Macedon Ranges' future under the Bracks government's mindless suburban agenda.


There was a strong sense of deja-vu at the Liberal launch yesterday. 30 years ago the Hamer Liberal government gave Macedon Ranges its own State planning policy: Statement of Planning Policy No. 8.  The Policy's objectives were to resist metropolitan development pressures, keep towns rural, preserve farmland, strictly limit development in elevated, significant landscape  and water catchment areas, and protect the area's importance as a major recreation and tourism destination and as a natural contrast to Melbourne's urban environments.  Macedon Ranges lost that State policy and its protective planning scheme (which put the policy into practice) under Labor.  Yesterday Ted Baillieu and David Davis, and Liberal candidate for Macedon Robyne Head, vowed a Liberal government would give it back.


After almost 3 years of trying to convince the Bracks Labor government to act on its promises to protect, MRRA was stunned and delighted by the breadth of the Liberal commitment yesterday.  It is what MRRA has asked both the Labor party and Liberal party to provide.  Of the two, only the Liberal party has recognised our desperate need for protection.  And yet, MRRA has found there is wide-spread, cross-party support for action to preserve Macedon Ranges.  Most other candidates at next Saturday's election have confirmed they too support either State level protection or work being done to protect the area's significant natural attributes, landscapes and amenity.


MRRA reps Neil Manning (President) and Christine Pruneau (Secretary), along with local resident and former State MP for Gisborne, Seeker Athol Guy, were at the launch to witness the historic announcement.  Athol, as the then local member , strongly advocated in the 1970s for the introduction of Statement of Planning Policy No. 8.  Another who was also involved in the 1970s told MRRA they never thought "we" would ever have to fight for the Policy again.  Neither did we.  Thank you, Ted and Dave.


MRRA Puts Case For State Protection To Shadow Minister for Planning and Environment, David Davis

(3/9/06 - SP)  Shadow Minister requests more information before response

MRRA reps met this week with David Davis, Shadow Minister for Planning and Environment, and Robyne Head, Liberal candidate for the seat of Macedon, who arranged the meeting.  MRRA presented Mr. Davis with an overview of why Macedon Ranges needs State protection, and some suggestions about how that might be achieved.  MRRA has been asked to forward further documentation.  Mr. Davis gave a commitment to provide a formal response shortly.


MRRA Says:

Our sincere thanks to Robyne Head for organising the hour-long meeting, and to both for attending.


An aspect of the meeting which is deeply satisfying to MRRA is that the overview the Association has prepared of the problems  besetting Macedon Ranges once again worked well in getting that message across, and has each time we've used it.


MRRA Meets Liberal Candidate For Macedon, Robyne Head

(9/7/06 - SP)  "Protection mechanism a priority"

Former Gisborne Mayor and now Liberal party candidate for the State seat of Macedon, Robyne Head, met with MRRA recently to discuss planning issues, and in particular, the need for State-level planning protection to be re-instated in Macedon Ranges.  The Association presented background information as well as an explanation of what's happening now - from residential over-development to the need to keep the Ranges rural, and put forward suggestions about how these problems could be resolved.  Robyne says the meeting helped clarify a number of things.  For her, planning is the single most important issue in Macedon Ranges at this time - closely followed by health needs across the Macedon electorate - and she looks forward to working with the local community on both matters. 


Robyne added she will be targetting Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds (the State-level planning policy formerly applied to this area), or a similar protection mechanism for Macedon Ranges, as a priority and is looking for changes that will ensure community concerns are reflected in outcomes.


MRRA Says:

MRRA is pleased with the outcome of the meeting.  Sincere thanks to Robyne for taking the time to meet, and learn more about these issues.  Current lack of State-level planning protections, and the inappropriate (over) development that is occurring because of this, is a major threat to the beauty and resources of Macedon Ranges, and a cause of substantial concern to so many Macedon Ranges' residents.  Robyne's spell on Gisborne council coincided with the time when Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 was law and operated as State policy (a situation MRRA wants re-instated), and her empathy and understanding of the policy was evident.  MRRA will now also seek a meeting with David Davis, the Opposition Spokesman for Planning, in coming weeks.


MRRA Meets With Shadow Planning Minister, Ted Baillieu

(27/6/05 – SP) Association is not expecting Shadow Minister to write Letter To Editor criticizing MRRA as Minister Hulls did.

MRRA reps met last week in a two hour meeting with Ted Baillieu to discuss State protection and other planning issues relevant to Macedon Ranges Shire.  A key issue discussed was the application of Melbourne 2030 to areas outside the Melbourne metropolitan boundary, without a statutory basis for doing so.  Mr. Baillieu advised there is a current Supreme Court case which is considering a challenge to the legal status of Clause 12 of Melbourne 2030 (the part that says urban development is good that so many developers rely on, and which is doing so much damage in Macedon Ranges).  Clause 12 has not been gazetted, nor is it included in any planning schemes.  Does it legally exist?  We’ll keep you informed.   We’ll also be following up with Mr. Baillieu.


Meeting With Fran Bailey

(31/5/05 – SP) MRRA asks: is it in the national interest to preserve Macedon Ranges?

MRRA reps last week met with local MHR, Fran Bailey, who is also the Federal Minister for Small Business and Tourism.  MRRA has asked for help from the Federal government to protect Macedon Ranges now that the State government has turned its back on the Shire.  MRRA gave Ms. Bailey a Federal report which says it would be in the national interest to preserve scenic areas such as Macedon Ranges.   Ms. Bailey has agreed to look further into the matter.


State Government Finally Acknowledges Macedon Ranges Is NOT Protected by State Planning Policy Framework?

(18/5/05 - SP) Minister For Planning’s Response To Question In Parliament Conflicts With Advice From Former Minister

Shadow Minister for Planning, Mr. Ted Baillieu recently asked a question in State Parliament about the effectiveness of existing State policy (i.e. Clause 14.02-2) in protecting Macedon Ranges.  MRRA had asked that the question be raised, as local MP’s and their supporters persistently claim Macedon Ranges is already protected at State level through Clause 14.02-2 of the State Planning Policy Framework.  Minister for Planning Rob Hulls responded by letter, a copy of which has been forwarded to MRRA.  In his response, the Minister advised that “the State Planning Policy Framework is not a mechanism for controlling development” whereas former Minister for Planning, Mary Delahunty (in a letter dated 28 October 2004) told MRRA that “State level planning protection is provided to the Macedon Ranges through the State Planning Policy Framework”.    The conflicting nature of these responses again raises concerns about the quality of advice provided to Ministers for Planning.


MRRA Asks For Meeting With Ted Baillieu

(18/5/05 - SP) Shadow Planning Minister Calls On Bracks Government To Provide Protection For Macedon Ranges.

MRRA has asked to meet with Victorian Shadow Minister for Planning, Ted Baillieu, to discuss State planning protection issues.   Last October, Mr. Baillieu toured Macedon Ranges Shire with MRRA reps and addressed MRRA’s Say NO To Suburbia meeting in Gisborne, where he advocated for the preparation of a regional strategy for Macedon Ranges.   He recently called on the Minister for Planning in parliament to act to provide protection for the Macedon Ranges and to acknowledge their State significance.


MRRA To Meet With Federal Member for McEwen, Fran Bailey

(18/5/05 - SP) Meeting next week.

MRRA reps will meet with Federal member for the Macedon Ranges area and Minister for Small Business and Tourism, MHR Fran Bailey, next week.  MRRA contacted Ms Bailey after the Victorian Minister for Planning said the State government would not provide further help or money to Macedon Ranges.  Ms. Bailey previously attended MRRA’s Say NO To Suburbia meeting in Gisborne last October where she spoke about the beauty of the Macedon Ranges, the importance of tourism in the region and the need to protect its natural significance.