Photo by Meve R. from Pexels

LEGISLATION was introduced into parliament last week to protect the Macedon Ranges region.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne introduced a Bill that will allow the shire to be declared a distinctive area, strengthening planning controls and protecting Macedon Ranges from inappropriate development.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said that the Macedon Ranges has a unique history spanning thousands of years and we’re giving it a safe and secure future. This is an important location not just for locals, but all Victorians.

“The Macedon Ranges boasts some of Victoria’s most picturesque settings, stunning wildlife and a renowned food and wine sector,” she said.

The Government will work with residents on the draft Macedon Ranges Localised Planning Statement, ensuring policy reflects the community’s vision for the future of Macedon Ranges.

The statement includes settlement boundaries around townships in the area, ensuring development doesn’t encroach on valued natural and rural landscapes. The settlement boundaries will apply to the townships of Romsey, Riddells Creek, Lancefield Gisborne, Kyneton, and Woodend. They will be subject to the same protections of Melbourne’s permanent Urban Growth Boundary – and will require parliamentary approval to amend them.

The Bill will provide a model for how other parts of Victoria can be protected from inappropriate development. The Macedon Ranges Protection Advisory Committee was set up in 2015 to work with the community and the council on how best to protect what makes the Macedon Ranges special.

The Committee made 12 recommendations that were incorporated into the draft localised planning statement in partnership with the Macedon Ranges Shire Council and the Traditional Owners of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and the Wurundjeri peoples.
Minister Wynne said that the landmark legislation would lock down the treasured natural landscapes that should never be encroached on and encourage development in appropriate areas to ensure townships grow sustainably.

“The Macedon Ranges is one of Victoria’s most picturesque destinations and we’ll ensure its renowned beauty and other natural attributes are protected for generations to come,” Mr Wynne said.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has invited community comment on the draft Macedon Ranges Localised Planning Statement. The draft statement is also available online at planning.vic.gov.au/macedon-ranges-protection.