Concern over picnic shelters at Hanging Rock


Work will begin on creating a new vision for Hanging Rock after Macedon Ranges council endorsed the state government’s recommendations for the reserve and tourism precinct.

But the Hanging Rock Action Group is disappointed that the council will press on with the construction of picnic shelters in the East Paddock.

The council said it was concerned it could lose Regional Development Australia funding if the project did not proceed.

But action group spokesman Luke Spielvogel said it was unwise to define the East Paddock with structures before work on a master plan began.

‘‘If we’re about to launch into a master plan, we need to look at the whole precinct and make sure we’re getting it right,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s only appropriate that we don’t put the first built structures on the East Paddock in the months preceding that.’’

Councillors last week decided not to begin any new works but to proceed with current projects such as the picnic shelters.

An officer’s report said the matter had been considered by the Hanging Rock Development Advisory Committee, which supported the shelter project progressing.

‘‘The new shelters will be an asset for tourism and events and will take pressure off the environmentally sensitive areas immediately around Hanging Rock,’’ mayor Graham Hackett said.

The council, which will remain manager of the Rock, will review the role and membership of the committee.