Please accept our sincere appreciation for you taking time to sign and support the petition. The results here build on signatures collected across the Macedon Ranges Shire, which together will be presented to the Parliament of Victoria soon. The petition - and your support - is timely as Melbourne's urban growth boundary is proposed to be extended within about 1 km of Macedon Ranges southern boundary, which will place the Shire under immense development pressure.
Again, thank you.
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.
Background To The Petition
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.
To the Legislative Assembly of Victoria
The petition of the people of Victoria and of Macedon Ranges Shire
Points out to the House
Macedon Ranges Shire currently has its own planning policy, Statement of Planning Policy No 8 – Macedon Ranges and Surrounds 1975 [the ‘Macedon Ranges policy’], to protect its environment, towns and rural land from over-development.
The ‘Macedon Ranges policy’ is no longer underpinned by State legislation and has been downgraded to local policy in Macedon Ranges planning scheme. Residents’ campaigns since 2004 and a 2004 Council resolution have called for the ‘Macedon Ranges policy’ to be reinstated as State policy.
The Victorian Department of Planning has now, without consultation, ordered this policy be removed from Macedon Ranges planning scheme, opening the door to the same metropolitan over-development the policy was introduced to prevent.
Without government action, this outstanding, irreplaceable natural asset, its rural character and environment, will be lost for future generations.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Assembly of Victoria act to:
• Immediately withdraw the Department of Planning and Community Development’s order to remove Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 from Macedon Ranges planning scheme.
• Immediately protect Macedon Ranges through application of interim planning controls that uphold Statement of Planning Policy No. 8.
• Elevate Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 to State policy.
• Introduce legislation to support, and permanent planning provisions to implement, Statement of Planning Policy No. 8.
The Keep Macedon Ranges Rural petition to Legislative Assembly of Victoria was written by MRRAssociation and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.