The Falls to Hotham Crossing is a lovely three day walk from the resort town of Falls Creek, across the Bogong High Plains, to Mt Hotham. Managed by Parks Victoria (PV), you need to book to use the designated campsites near Cope Hut and Dibbins hut. It is a hugely popular walk.
There are also plans to extend and reroute the Crossing, turning it a five day ‘serviced hiking opportunity’ in the Alpine National Park.
The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) opposes the commercial aspects of this proposal, and says There is already too much pressure on parks: invasive pests and weeds, increased bushfires and climate change impacts, and rapidly growing visitor numbers. That’s why they were set aside to protect nature in perpetuity. This insidious attempt to commercialise the Alpine National Park and compromise its carefully considered management plan must be stopped. But we need to work together if we’re going to protect our precious Alps.’
They say that the project raises a number of ecological issues, policy inconsistencies and undermines the integrity of our national parks estate.
Information from the VNPA:
The four proposed so-called overnight hub locations along the track includes the historic Cope Hut, Tawonga Huts region (both on the High Plains), Diamantina Creek (near the West Kiewa River) and High Knob (near the summit of Mount Feathertop).
A new track will be constructed, and existing tracks widened. This will involve up to 80 new structures, including:
- Four new overnight accommodation hubs – each with up to nine catered huts for 2-3 people / 36 (2-4 person) huts
- 31 rentable tent platforms
- Four large communal shelters
- A stand-alone 50 person hut for group gathering and cooking
- Huts for tourism operators and communal toilets.
- Nine other structures including toilets, solar panels and picnic tables and access paths
Two hubs are already funded by the state government. Parks Victoria will build and maintain the infrastructure and then outsource operations to private companies.
So far, $11 million has been allocated for the construction of two nodes; the total cost of the project is estimated at $35 million.
This sort of funding is desperately needed for the ecological management of the park, and that should be the highest priority – not a project that unnecessarily harms the park.
Voice your concerns
Public consultation for the “Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing” is now open on the Engage Victoria website.
For this important issue, the VNPA has created a special template submission.
If we’re going to stop this proposal – we need to make sure all submissions are comprehensive and direct. The state government’s “consultation” survey has been designed to focus on trivial issues. They give nature-lovers no opportunity to comment on the value of the project, or even oppose it.
We’ve made it as simple as possible. Even if you’ve never made a submission before – it’s very easy and incredibly impactful.
Once you’ve adapted or edited the submission to reflect your concerns and voice, added additional remarks and your name, upload at the link below.
You can also send your submission as an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do – please bcc: us at email@example.com.
Public consultation closes on Sunday 25 September.