Background to the Petition
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Please Sign The "Keep Macedon Ranges Rural" PETITION
PETITION HISTORY / DESCRIPTION
Please help and support us to protect Macedon Ranges and keep it rural! We are calling on the Victorian Legislative Assembly to protect Macedon Ranges so that this precious environment and the area's rural amenity are safeguarded.
Macedon Ranges, home to iconic Mt. Macedon and Hanging Rock, is the 'lungs' of Melbourne and a vital component of Melbourne's liveability. It is an area of State environmental significance - that means all Victorians have a stake in what happens in Macedon Ranges.
This sensitive environment is a unique combination of natural features and resources valued by the people and state of Victoria: striking natural beauty; high quality rural landscapes; significant geological features; drinking water catchments; groundwater and recharge areas; headwaters of important rivers; high quality agricultural soils; gold rush and rural heritage; natural recreation; State forests and parks; rare flora and fauna; high quality native forests.
Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds [the 'Macedon Ranges policy'] was introduced in 1975, supported by State legislation. Its purpose is to protect Macedon Ranges' environment, towns and rural land from over-development.
Three areas around Melbourne are of similar environmental significance, and all have Statements of Planning Policy: Yarra (Dandenong) Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, and Macedon Ranges. Yarra Ranges also has a Regional Strategy.
The current Victorian government has included Yarra Ranges and Mornington Peninsula in the Green Wedges and has strengthened their protection with legislation as well as in the State section of the Victoria Planning Provisions (Clauses 57 and 53).
Before its election in 1999, the Labor Party (now the Victorian government) promised:
"Labor will protect Melbourne's green belts and sensitive areas such as the Dandenongs, Macedon Ranges and Mornington Peninsula..." Labor Position Paper On Planning Policy, August 1998
However, despite residents' campaigns and a 2004 Council resolution calling for the Victorian government to act on this election promise, Macedon Ranges still only has Statement of Planning Policy No. 8. The policy itself is no longer underpinned by State legislation and has been downgraded to local policy in Macedon Ranges planning scheme.
The Department of Planning and Community Development [DPCD] has now ordered, without public consultation, that the 'Macedon Ranges policy' be deleted from our planning scheme.
For 35 years, Macedon Ranges' residents have said in survey after survey they want Macedon Ranges to stay rural, as indeed has Statement of Planning Policy No. 8. The Department's action will guarantee the suburbanization of Macedon Ranges. This beautiful, irreplaceable natural asset cannot be allowed to be squandered in such a wasteful and unsustainable way.