Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 06 May, 2018 5:11 pm

I'm attempting to get the raw data. The latest PV report is based on a TNE report which is based on a TRA report. I hope to give the Minister cause to question the figures. Change is fine, and as one person said on
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/fhac- ... 005/page-8
or an earlier page, the more people that see the place the more they will love it. This is good but at some stage the numbers will diminish the experience.

Can someone please advise me of the location of the proposed Diamantina Spur lodge? I've walked over it a few times but did not note the location. Two reasons may be that descending I was too busy hanging on to stop and coming up I was in an advanced state of decay. An altitude and distance from The Razorback track would be nice.

This is a picture from Derrick Hut log book showing Diamantina Spur.

Log Diamantina S.jpg


Entries over a year ir more said that it was steep.
1.1.16 Diamantina Spur very hard.
13.1.16 Diamantina Spur sucks.
5.3.16 Previous entries correct. Get to one hill, there's another. Get to that etc etc. Better name would be SOB Spur. Definitely rates highly on difficulty.
26.1.17 Diamantina Spur a disgrace following clearing with scrub all over the steep rock track.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby andrewp » Sun 06 May, 2018 5:48 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Can someone please advise me of the location of the proposed Diamantina Spur lodge? I've walked over it a few times but did not note the location. Two reasons may be that descending I was too busy hanging on to stop and coming up I was in an advanced state of decay. An altitude and distance from The Razorback track would be nice.

As far as I can tell it is at about 1750m and 400m from the Razorback track. It's difficult to know because their documentation has it all over the place.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Mon 07 May, 2018 7:06 am

The plan also admits there would be very few of the target market going up Diamantina spur because it is so hard. Most will head out via Dibbins or Machinery spur vehicle track so why the need to put a helicopter serviced hut there? No need unless the agenda is not the walk at all.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 07 May, 2018 7:38 am

Xplora, can you please give a part and page reference for the non-use of Diamantina Spur ascents?
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby north-north-west » Mon 07 May, 2018 9:55 am

Lophophaps wrote:5.3.16 Previous entries correct. Get to one hill, there's another. Get to that etc etc. Better name would be SOB Spur.

Sorry, that name is already used elsewhere in the ANP.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 07 May, 2018 11:14 am

There is indeed a place called SOB Spur, steepish. Spion Kopje, Sugarloaf and other Victorian locations are in several parts of Victoria. That said, it's best to avoid repeats. In any case the place has a name, Diamantina Spur. Maybe PV will install abseil points and fixed ropes. For some a nearby toilet is useful.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby north-north-west » Mon 07 May, 2018 3:29 pm

Lophophaps wrote:There is indeed a place called SOB Spur, steepish.


Ever tried skiing it? I walked a little way down the 4WD track a couple of decades ago, hard work. Even harder going back up.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Tue 08 May, 2018 6:41 am

Lophophaps wrote:Xplora, can you please give a part and page reference for the non-use of Diamantina Spur ascents?



p38
Alternatively, the former existing route of the Falls
to Hotham Alpine Crossing via the valley plains at
Dibbins Hut and Swindlers Spur up to Mt Hotham
offers an ascent less challenging than Diamantina
Spur.


p89
In order to increase the appeal for walkers that
currently do not visit the region, the Falls to
Hotham Alpine Crossing will cater for the walker
profile specified as ‘experience seekers’ with all
facets ranging from the independent, experienced
walker to those seeking a level of comfort within a
natural setting.
There is a substantial supply gap to fill for the
‘comfort in nature’ market, interested in booking
fully catered and guided walking experiences. This
is a major opportunity for Licensed Tour Operators
utilising the Hiker Camps and private licensees of
the Operated Huts.
With this in mind, the degree of difficulty along
the trail needs to be addressed, with all of the
experience seeker segments preferably being
Grade 2 / Grade 3 trails with Grade 4 options.
Diamantina Spur, for example, with its steep
grades and rock outcrops that can be hazardous,
particularly in wet weather, discourages the
majority of potential new walkers.


It may mean the upgrades to the track are necessary if this part of the walk is to appeal to their target market but it is also an admission this section is going to be difficult regardless and not suited to many. What percentage of the people they are trying to attract will take the easier options? So is there any point building on High Knob when your only catering for a very small percentage of the target market? It would make that particular operation much less desirable to the private licensee unless it can be offered to others not doing the walk which makes the walk (and the concept of building the huts for the target market) pointless.

There is at least one LTO offering fully catered glamping trips now. Nothing to carry but your lunch and water and a guide to take care of you along the way. They are doing very poorly. Is this market really there or are these operators not marketing well enough? I would have thought TNE would have been behind them. The resorts have been included in one operation so the last night is spent in Hotham and then a walk to Feathertop and down Bungalow the last day. I would be happy enough to accept this sort of operation as it packs up after each trip.

The GOW is also targeting the 'experience seeker' who prefers 'comfort in nature' and after reading the last trip report on the GOW it would appear these people have little regard for the area with toilet paper and faeces all over the track. Perhaps they ought to be referred to as self indulgent experience seekers. Perhaps it is up the the guides to pick up after them.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 08 May, 2018 11:57 am

Xplora, many thanks. The PV report is rather faint on my screen and it's hard to read. I cannot understand why PV has a report in this format.

You have written a good summary. PV are saying that the number of people going up Diamantina Spur will be minimal, thus negating the need for the lodge. Your comment about the existing LTO not getting much custom is useful. Going down to either Westons-Blairs or pole 267 to get to Dibbins and hence Hotham Heights makes sense. Then they could stay at Hotham and go on a day trip to Feathertop-Bungalow-Harrietville. Bon Accord does not have much appeal.

This is the website that with methodology
https://www.tra.gov.au/Research/Domesti ... ethodology
It's a phone survey. TRA contacts people and asks where they went and what they did. This is not a good basis for extrapolating FHAC figures.

At part C page 93 PV say that There were 4400 to 7300 people on FHAC in 2017. (Take 293,000 and multiply by 1.5%, 2.0% and 2.5%.)

Part C page 93 table.png


I cannot see how international overnight, domestic overnight and domestic day trip use translates to FHAC now or in the future. The alpine region is only a small part of the Alpine Country

I counted log book entries, and there were 34 people. Even if there were five times the number in the log book the PV figures of 6400 to 10,700 are out by 35-60 times. This is a huge number of standard deviations out, or maybe the writer was drinking heaviliy at the error bar. Instead of citing surveys that cover a wide geographical region outside the alps, why not use hard data like log books and platform bookings? It very much seems to me that the reason is that log book entries and platform use information do not support the PV goal - build it.

High Country map 2.png


Does anyone have an easy way to calculate how much of the misnamed High Country region is above and below 1200 metres? The poor standard of the maps does not assist in locating towns, roads and mountains. My estimate is that the alpine region is less than 20% of the High Country shires.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 08 May, 2018 2:48 pm

I camped at the High Knob campsite where the Glamper hut complex is intended to be built. I camped up there in Dec. 2017. It is about 500 M . from the Razorback track junction on the Eastern side of High Knob , just inside the tree line. Building anything there is just wrong. The premise for building the whole FHAC is false and the whole thing is a Trojan Horse for the Mt. Hotham Resort 's extending its ski operations and domain in winter.
I will write some snail mail letters to various M.P.s about this whole scheme/scam.
Being an election year they seem to mysteriously develop a cure for their tin ears.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 15 May, 2018 7:12 am

On 14 May PV advised:
"Please find attached a flyer informing you of an upcoming information session at the Bright Library on the recently released Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Master plan. Parks Victoria staff will be available at the Bright Library Tuesday 22nd May to answer any questions and discuss aspects of the plan.
Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm
Date: Tuesday 22 May 2018
Address: Bright Library, 14 Ireland St, Bright"

The attachment said
"After a 2-year, 3-stage stakeholder consultation process, the Victorian Government recently released the completed Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Master Plan (click on the image above). Parks Victoria would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the development of the plan.

"The Master Plan outlines the creation of a unique, 56-kilometre, 5-day / 4-night hiking experience between Falls Creek and Mount Hotham which makes the Alps more accessible to more visitors. A range of accommodation options are detailed within the plan, including dispersed camping free of charge, tent-based camping on platforms and operator huts with communal shelters and dining facilities. The accommodation options appeal to a broader range of walkers from guided groups to independent hikers. No new buildings are planned within the Remote and Natural Area (RNA) overlay.

"A funding allocation of $2 million has been committed by the Victorian Government in the 18/19 State budget. These funds will be used to undertake detailed investigations, further develop the design for the walk and prepare a business case to determine the full requirements of the project, before we can proceed to the next phase of implementation.

"The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is identified as one of the four walks in the “Walk Victoria’s Icons” portfolio, which also covers the Great Ocean Walk, the Grampians Peaks Trail and the Coastal Wilderness Walk.
"Parks Victoria staff will be available at the Bright Library Tuesday 22nd May to answer any questions and discuss aspects of the plan."

This seems to be PV informing rather than receiving feedback. Regardless, our position should be made very strongly at this meeting and at a Melbourne meeting. I suspect that they have the Bright meeting first to deal with the less numerous locals and prepare for the Melbourne meeting.

A few comments. There's already "dispersed camping free of charge". PV saw the need to state that there would be no buildings in the NRA. Never mind conservation zones. The 2018 PV budget was increased by $71 million over four years, or $18 million a year. The $2 million for FHAC is 11% of that. The rest of Victoria that PV manages is struggling and they allocate funds for this economic disaster? Was there not meant to be a business case and EIS before the Final Plan? PV are saying let's decide to build this and then see if the economics adds up. This is gross economic madness.

I want to focus on the main points.
1 PV says that there are 4400 people on the proposed FHAC. This is based on Tourism North East figures based on Tourism Research Australia figures for the badly named High Country, which is mainly low country, below 200 metres above sea level. There is no basis for the 4400 figure. Instead, look at log books. After years of publicity there are just 34 people a year doing the current FHAC up Swindlers Spur (which publicity says is over 2000 metres above sea level), and no evidence of anyone doing the proposed FHAC.

2 Due to this the entire economic basis of the FHAC falls in a heap.

3 There seems to be no provision for ongoing PV costs.

4 The toilets at the nodes are not big enough. There are no toilets between huts, and there will be groundwater pollution, which seems to be PV policy. There are no fire refuges. These and other items will add quite a bit to the cost. In early 2017 I said that the PV build cost of $22.4 million was too small, and it's now $34 million. Given the costs that are off the balance sheet I predict a total cost of $50-60 million, plus ongoing costs. The return on investment is dropping fast, negative, with all financial risk being taken by PV. No spin can vary this.

5 PV have admitted that not many people will do Diamantina Spur, and have provided for a route south from Blairs. So why build a lodge at the top of Diamantina Spur?

6 Why suggest ascents of Jaithmathang and Feathertop for dusk and dawn, with descent and ascent in dark?

7 PV says that there will be 6000-11,000 people on FHAC by 2027. The alps makes its own weather and terrain, and many will not be able to manage, ending badly. the last few days what can happen - snow down to 1600 metres. Bear in mind that PV says that local and international day trippers are projected to do FHAC.

Comments on and additions to the above would be valued.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Tue 15 May, 2018 12:39 pm

I received the email and will endeavour to attend the Bright meeting. We have to be careful about the argument. If we say it will not attract the numbers and then say the facilities such as toilets are not enough to cater for the numbers then we are by default saying they will get the numbers touted. This meeting may be totally different to the last and as such they may not be interested in our complaints. If that is the case then I will push them for clarity on some issues and take that to the LNP party who may block it in parliament. I have a pretty good line to my local MP and we need to get a few others on side. We would have to convince them this is an election issue and certainly 10% of the budget increase going to study the project on top of what has already been spent may be the key. Maybe getting the LNP to agree to scrapping the Iconic walks plans altogether. There is still another on the list. LNP are about jobs and growth and we would need to show this would not provide either long term.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 15 May, 2018 2:19 pm

Xplora, good points. Jobsongrowth is a good election issue, along with more prisons. My point about the toilets is that if the FHAC is built and it attracts 5-10,000 walkers a year there will need to be more toilets at and between nodes. They've got Buckley's of getting anything like this. Would the LNP be interested in downstream water pollution?

A short time ago I received advice that the submissions are available.
http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks ... n/_nocache
The submissions are available via the link under the heading ‘Phase 3: Draft Master Plan.’

This purports to be all non-confidential submissions. Mine seems to be missing; I searched for unusual words in my submission like "dominion dwell", no mention. This may be due to me demolishing a lot of the Draft Management Plan and PV wanting to keep a lid on it. I wonder how many other submissions were omitted due to this reason. There's rather a lot of submissions – 463 pages, plus confidential ones plus mine, and perhaps others.

There is also advice that PV said
"Privacy
"Names of groups and individuals submitting comments will be published in the final plan unless you mark your submission as ‘CONFIDENTIAL’. After publication of the approved plans, copies of all submissions received will be made available for public inspection unless marked ‘CONFIDENTIAL’."

I used the 24 November 2016 email from PV – which did not mention confidentiality – to go to the DMP link
http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks ... aster-plan

There was nothing about submissions being confidential in the DMP. I'm still pursuing this.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby andrewp » Tue 15 May, 2018 2:40 pm

Lophophaps wrote:A short time ago I received advice that the submissions are available.
http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks ... n/_nocache
The submissions are available via the link under the heading ‘Phase 3: Draft Master Plan.’

My submission is included.
Interesting reading. Where are the submissions in support? Of course I haven't read them all, but apart from one indifferent one all the rest were opposed. I seem to remember PV statign quite a large percentage were in support. I suppose they were all flagged as confidential.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 15 May, 2018 5:16 pm

Andrew, thanks. I too recall PV saying most submissions supported the FHAC. Does anyone have a date of this?

On 11 December 2017 PV advised:
"Over 260 submissions were received. They comprise in excess of 700 pages. I understand approximately 80 submissions were marked confidential."
I have not counted the number of submissions. There are 463 pages on the PV website, and based on the December advice above that means that about 250 pages are missing, less my submission is 211 pages missing. Even if they all were for the FHAC, just on page a page count it's something like 500 pages against, 200 pages for. Going a bit further, the 80 submissions of 200 or so pages means that on average these are about 2.5 pages each. My cover, contents and summary took three pages.

The usual method is to list all submissions so that people can find them. Names are included. The scan below is from the Victorian Law Reform Commission, and I reckon they know more about laws than PV. Look at the red box, 72, confidential. In passing, very few if any of the recommendations in this report have been adopted, creating major problems for guardianship and administration.

Guardianship.png

PV will not even supply a list. Not good.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 16 May, 2018 7:51 am

I've gone through the first 10 pages and they all say the same thing. Stop. Here are some extracts.


Page 1
No private huts to be sited within 500 metres of existing public huts or camping sites.

Page 2
1 – The new crossing should not take over any existing campsites thereby avoiding the need to limit the number of walkers to achieve a "remote walking" experience.
2 – The new crossing hut accommodation must be subject to full environmental assessment, should not be visible above the snowline and built outside heritage protected areas such as the Red Robin mine 

Page 3
No matter how many words like eco-tourism and sensitive are thrown around, the proposal will damage this environment and exclude less well off visitors.

Page 4
They must be protected from "development" at all costs. It is not as if "high end tourists" cannot access the Park as Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham are already tourist resorts. Instead, promote their use over summer rather than building luxury lodges along the proposed track: a route which will be ever more threatened by bushfires as global warming threatens our bushlands. 
Private operators do not have a good environmental record, so keep them outside our parks. 
The costs of lodge building, resupply,clean water and rescues of inexperienced walkers would be very great, and not worth the risks. 
I know the area well and the weather patterns which change to dangerous conditions very rapidly. Would these inexperienced walkers know what to do in a white‐out? 
The Alpine Crossing is not a good plan. Please consider other ways to raise revenue and entice more visitors. 

Page 5
I would like to submit my concerns about the commercialization of the Falls Creek to Hotham Alpine Crossing Proposal. I don’t like the idea of turning camping areas into so called Overnight Nodes which will require payment and booking. I believe creating this Overnight Nodes is the thin edge of the wedge and at some stage camping in non‐designated camping areas will be banned.

Page 6
National Parks have been established to conserve whats left of the natural environment. They have a value in their own right regardless of visitor numbers. They should not be turned into commercial recreation reserves.
There is no need for huts and serviced accommodation in between the resorts.
This new proposal is not about access, not about safety, not about education. It is simply greed. The cost is a devalued and degraded park.
DON'T TRASH OUR NATIONAL PARKS. NO COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.

Page 7
No more huts anywhere in our Alpine NP. The mountains must not be exploited in this way. Lets have some areas in this country that are free from private exploitation. No matter what the reasons we must not sanction this type of development. The tourist industry has generally contributed little to the conservation & preservation of high conservation areas but exploit them for all they are worth ‐ sorry but they have shown their hand throughout this country & deserve no consideration for the type of development, even when it is marketed as eco‐tourism.
Do not facilitate this type of commercial exploitation.

Page 8
I would like to add my objections and concerns in regard to the New Proposal for the Alpine National Park. To try to justify commercial development under the guise of allowing more people to share in the beauty of the park is nonsense. Put quite simply, any commercial development in this area will inevitably detract from the unspoilt landscape, add visual impediments, and ruin the areas sense of remoteness. Quite frankly I am disgusted that the incumbent state government is even allowing discussion on a proposal that is to the detriment of "average" Victorians. A couple of quotes that I have found printed in an article surrounding this topic sums the situation up perfectly. ‘It appears investment in national parks is suffering from policy tunnel vision focusing on poorly conceived overnight tracks, trails, and luxury huts aimed at untested high-end tourism markets and to the detriment and exclusion of everyday Victorian bushwalkers. AND Government agencies seem intent on implementing old, flawed Coalition policies by stealth, even though the ALP has a clear policy stance against these strategies. In the meantime core funding for park management remains seriously underfunded'. Please consider the people who have loved, visited and supported these areas for, in some cases, a lifetime and don't penalize the average person while trying to cater for those who have the means to pay for the experience.

Page 9
I have read with dismay about the proposal to open up an area of the Alpine National Park. Specifically the area between Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham, including the Razorback and Mt. Feathertop.

Page 10
I think that developing more accommodation in the falls creek area with unpredictable snow levels, climate change and remoteness will put pressure on existing businesses and impact nature is not sensible.

There are 463 pages of this. Assistance is needed to get the words from the PDF into MS Word or the like so that they can be cited. At the very least the submissions need to be counted and their views listed in the form 1-5, strongly for FHAC to strongly against. Subjective, but I cannot see any other way. Also, there are hidden codes in the text that I cannot remove. I've lifted text from PDFs for years, all okay until now. Look at some of the line endings. Help!
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Wed 16 May, 2018 9:25 am

Lophophaps wrote:
This purports to be all non-confidential submissions. Mine seems to be missing; I searched for unusual words in my submission like "dominion dwell", no mention.


I have just finished reading them. Exhausted. In all I counted only 9 supporting the concept as a whole but some with reservations. Most do not support the huts. I am pretty sure I found yours Lops. See your PM for page number as I do not want to breach confidentiality. There may be an issue with getting the opposition behind it as Kim Wells LNP MP made a comment. If this is the standard our MP's review documents then we may well be better off without them. And he was a former treasurer. There were some very good and some very poor submissions but the general theme, overwhelming and undeniable, is not consistent with what PV put out in the submission summary. Another notable support was Hotham Ski Assoc. Why? More resort accommodation in the park I would suggest.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 16 May, 2018 9:48 am

Thanks, i found my submission. Strange, a search for a few unusual words did notm work. I think that PV have done something to the format. I'm up to page 29, writing comments. All that I have seen so far are against to varying degrees. I've notified VNPA and BW Victoria. Hopefully other conservation groups will be involved.

We may be able to persuade the LNP to oppose this if we can show that the figures are a large crock and that a lot of people are against it. True, thir votes are numerically small - most voter will vote on other issues - but it may work.

One key point. Where did PV say that most submissions support FHAC? If we can prove that this is not so it's a major aspect. Also, some submissions discuss communityb health loss due to FHAC driving current users away. may be useful.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Wed 16 May, 2018 5:16 pm

Lophophaps wrote:One key point. Where did PV say that most submissions support FHAC? If we can prove that this is not so it's a major aspect.


Overall there was a positive response to the
plan and its potential positive impact to the
region. Both individuals and interest groups
have raised some valuable points of critique and
provided suggestions on a number of topics of
the master plan. It was noted that the majority
of comments offered during the Stakeholder
Sessions were concerned with planning and
strategic regional investment, whereas the
the majority of comments offered during the
open Community Consultation Sessions were
concerned with track-specific issues.


found here https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/asset ... Report.pdf

another exert

Development of Roofed Accommodation within the National Park
Key Issue: Development in Parks
Comments
– There was some opposition to the
establishment of huts along the track.


There was overwhelming objection to huts not SOME. Politicians like reading summaries (a bit like Trump) so it needs to be brought to their attention the summary does not reflect what was actually said.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby neilmny » Wed 16 May, 2018 7:07 pm

I opened the FHAC-Draft-MP-submissions.pdf and did a simple search for the word "agree".
In the 463 pages the word "agree" did appear as a stand alone word a few times but some of those were accompanied by expressions such as "I do not".
Most occurances were of the "disagree" or "strongly disagree" type with the string "agree" being highlighted in that word by the simple search function.

The whole thing just seems like a whitewash. Where is the "overall positive response" coming from or is there another submissions document with all the pro arguments in it
that has not been offered for review?
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 16 May, 2018 7:16 pm

Xplora, thanks. I had not seen that report. I'll look at it in depth later. One part jumped out of the page
"A repeated concern was the steepness and roughness of Diamantina Spur. It was suggested that the Spur would require constructed improvements in order to enable access to a broader visitor group, which would potentially remove a desired aspect of physical challenge from this section. Further inquiries were made regarding extent and quality of track surfaces and infrastructures."
So far the submissions have not said this as much as "Stay away, don't change it much if at all."

I think it's time to crank things up. Readers in bushwalking clubs cold get their club and members to take action. First thing is to let as many people and entities as possible know about the publication of the submissions.
http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks ... n/_nocache
The submissions do not support what PV is saying.

There's some talk about a Facebook page. Email your state MP. The main issues are above. Avoid cookie-cutter comments. I read all 600 or so Stirling submissions and the pro forma letters dated Saturday in ski season from the ski lodges were a big yawn to me and the decision makers. Ditto petitions.

Instead, express how you feel about this. As Xplora has shown, the summary is totally false. I've read the first 40 pages and they are similar. One key point that everyone should mention is the economics. There's no business case. The purported 6400 people a year on the proposed FHAC is totally false. There are just 34 people recorded on the easier FHAC, and that is after a few years of advertising. Reason? Logistics - it's a PITA to go Falls-Hotham or reverse. There is no hard evidence of anyone doing the proposed FHAC. The November 2016 Draft Management Plan (page 92) had capital costs of $22.4 million. The April 2018 Final Plan (Part C page 103) has a total cost of $34 million, an increase of over 50%.

The total will be $50-60 million. This is an economic disaster.

Consider dangerous conditions, like the snow in the last week. Groundwater pollution from no toilets between nodes. The lack of fire refuges is a problem.

There will be adverse health outcomes from people who no longer go there. Some of the submissions are wonderful, things I had not considered. The walk is for those well off at the expense of those lower on the socio-economic spectrum.

Please do not use my words. Say it in your words. Send emails to your MP and Hon Liliana (Lily) D'Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
lily.d'ambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Thu 17 May, 2018 9:10 am

I've done a bit of research this morning trying to find the stats relied upon. I have come up with a few but not all. Some of these are more recent than that quoted in the plan but I have not had time to really read them. Others may. I also noted on page 93 they have included in the 2% share of the market for FHAC the 93000 day trippers who only travel out and back to home each day. I can find out how they managed to get figures of 7000 international bushwalkers, 193000 domestic and 93000 day trippers. I noted the demographics in one of the below showed an almost even number of white collar to blue collar workers to the Alpine area. Does that still mean richer and poorer? I know some pretty rich plumbers.

http://www.business.vic.gov.au/__data/a ... s_2018.pdf
http://www.business.vic.gov.au/__data/a ... r-2017.pdf
http://www.business.vic.gov.au/tourism- ... e-research
https://outdoorsvictoria.org.au/wp-cont ... nomics.pdf (this one says there are big gaps due to lack of data)
https://www.tourismnortheast.com.au/res ... tion-data/
https://www.tourismnortheast.com.au/wp- ... Dec-17.pdf
http://www.alpineshire.vic.gov.au/files ... 015-16.pdf (interesting in that it shows a different value to TNE and Bright figures more than Mt. Beauty)
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ricts_2011

Parks Vic do an annual visitor survey but this appears not to have been relied upon for data.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 17 May, 2018 1:14 pm

Xplora, I have some of those, and will look at the others later. There's a lot of information to assess. PV has had a team doing this for over a year so answers will not come easily for those opposing the FHAC. I'm considering seeking advice from either PV or the most senior public servant working under the minister. The advantage of this is that public servants are required to respond. Politicians can ignore anything.

I found some areas that may be of use, areas of shires and towns.
http://stat.abs.gov.au/itt/r.jsp?Region ... =ASGS_2016
They don't write URLs like that any more.

NP per cent.png


http://www.auscamps.asn.au/outdoorbusin ... oor-space/
"In Victoria a key regulation is Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 S.R. No. 178/2009.

"A proprietor of prescribed accommodation must provide at least one toilet, one bath or shower and one wash basin for every 10 persons or fraction of that number of persons occupying the accommodation."

Forget the baths, Look at the number of toilets. Also, on a map in The Plan I saw "WC", as in water closet. Surely not.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 17 May, 2018 6:59 pm

As Xplora said, reading The Plan is exhausting. I'm up to page 73, submission 41, and so far i've seen just three submissions for FHAC
Page 46, submission 29, partial support.
Page 50, submission 31, qualified support, opposes some aspects
Page 72, submission 40, An exciting project and proposal to bring significant benefits to visitors and residents alike. Well thought out and researched.

The rest are against to varying degrees, some very strongly. Submission 25 on page 39 said:
The plan struck me as being more suited to the launch of a new air freshener rather than discussing the use of precious and unique public land.

Submission 41 on page 73 has a nice form of words:
The plan reads more like an investment prospectus for a commercial development than a rigorously vetted strategy.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Thu 17 May, 2018 7:10 pm

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act is usually administered by councils. If planning approval is required for any development then it will have to go before council and this Act is then relevant. If council support the development then they can be held accountable under the Act if it does not comply. They could comply and still there is the issue of the need to change planning laws to do it all. I will ask what laws have to be changed.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 17 May, 2018 8:11 pm

Many laws at many levels will have to be changed to get this pile of poo built. I smell a rat . I smell corruption, I perceive a white wash and a crooked and evil done deal .Look at this cancer spreading. The evil empire are planning on building a Cable car to ferry in 60,000 more people a year to Cradle Mtn.
Once a place is tamed and made into a theme park then it is no longer wild. The killing of the goose that lays the golden egg is rampant.
Last edited by paidal_chalne_vala on Wed 23 May, 2018 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 17 May, 2018 8:14 pm

The Dimantina spur is very scenic and wild but it could be renamed the barbed wire enema spur for obvious reasons. Put that place name in your "air freshener" advertisement.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Wed 23 May, 2018 8:38 am

Will there be any further consultation? No. Will the project go ahead? Depends entirely on the business and economic plan which will take a couple of years to put together and then it will be up to the politicians. Are there any further avenues of objection? It appears only to the politicians who will accept or reject it.
The plan is now for PV (government) to build the entire thing and lease the huts. Nobody knew which planning laws had to be changed to allow the huts to be built. No reps from TNE, the marketing company or the resorts appeared to be present at the meeting. A comment was made that Bushwalking Victoria has softened its line and Peter Campbell was mentioned by name. It would be good to hear from Peter directly concerning this as to what, if anything has changed. VNPA are still maintaining their objection. Politician take not of lobby groups and these two carry some weight. An interesting comment was made from PV that they were surprised how much traction the concept is getting with the current government. Even a change of government may not change things when you have the likes of Kim Wells supporting it. I would suggest any correspondence with politicians is kept to the core points and as brief as possible. Forget about how hard Diamantina spur is to walk up but concentrate on how the plan suggests only a few in their target market will do it so it would not be economically feasible to put a serviced hut at the top. The suggestion of Hotham being better placed to service that section of the walk means less government money has to be spent. The lack of any traditional support from the RMB's, more so Falls Creek, for promoting the area as a summer walking destination and opening services to support that is another angle. Why now are they supporting the building of structures in the park when they have not used their own effectively in the past? The government is taking all the risk by funding the entire project and leasing the huts. Private enterprise would see this as a Golden Egg type goose and if it failed they can walk away without it costing much. It is pretty clear there are elements within the parliament who see NP's as cash cows so trying to convince them this is not an appropriate use of the park would be hopeless. The next step in the project is design, economic and environmental reports. They agreed numbers of people doing the current walk are not flattering but said there were many reasons for that but did not elaborate. The current glamping operator on the track is doing well but he will never take his clients up Diamantina spur regardless of track improvements. He appeared to be the only supporter in the room and most others were bushwalkers or from outdoor background. It is certainly within the bounds of those up to the challenge of walking D spur to do that, Feathertop and back to the Alpine road or Harrietville in a day, particularly if they were only carrying day packs. This sort of person would most likely have found the rest of the walk very tame. The positive spinoff to the plan may be that it will generate money for other things in the area such as hut heritage hut maintenance and BHP road upgrade. That is just a summary. May think of more later.
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 23 May, 2018 9:03 am

Xplora, good tactics. You said that PV that was surprised how much traction the concept is getting with the current government. can you please expand on this?

My focus has been on economics and the falsity of the figures. Another major avenue is that maybe 95% of submissions oppose the plan, with a great similarity of objections. The very few "approve" submissions are mainly short. A number of the "against" submissions are quite long and very detailed.

All political parties want to be seen as good economic managers. If it can be shown that they are not then this can be an opening for the next election. When the LCC submissions for the alpine region were being considered we went to a lot of public meetings and kept asking the same questions. This lead to the parks we have today. Another one - cannot recall which - was set in stone, and we reversed it with just 76 letters. Disregard anything that seems to be fixed.

Show the falsity of the plan and we can win. Keep gently hammering those involved and see what comes up. I hope that the Liberal Party can count and make Mr Wells see reason. He needs an escape route so that he can change his mind without loss of face.

Does anyone know if the minister has signed off this issue?
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Re: Falls Creek to Mt Hotham Alpine Crossing

Postby Xplora » Wed 23 May, 2018 3:07 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Xplora, good tactics. You said that PV that was surprised how much traction the concept is getting with the current government. can you please expand on this?

That was all I got and I did not have time to go deeper.
Kim Wells is a former treasurer. Hopefully he does not get a portfolio if the LNP get back in. Can't say if it has been signed off by the minister but a number of things were changed like the green frog wombat.
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