Concerns about Australia’s Kosciuszko Tourism Blueprint

The long-term plan is to transform Australia’s Kosciuszko National Park into a major tourist destination throughout the year, with the redevelopment of the town center of Jindabyne.

At the top of Mount Kosciuszko, gravel tire crunches haven’t been heard for 44 years, but could become a reality again as new tourism plans become more widespread.

The whirlwind of helicopter rotors also echoes throughout the national park, named after Australia’s highest peak.

Thousands of extra beds will also be packed into the ski resorts Perisher and Thredbo, with seven new campgrounds and other accommodations living in a vast highland reserve.

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An overview of the Thredbo Ski Resort overlooking the noon run in Thredbo, Australia on July 9, 2009. (Stuart Hannagan / Getty Images)

Use 6,900 square kilometers (4,287 square meters) of national heritage wilderness as a year-round destination with the redeveloped town center of Jindabyne, Snowy Mountains’ main visitor hub That’s all part of the impetus.

Both revisions to the Kosciuszko National Park management plan and special activation district plans have been made public for public feedback.

A 40-year New South Wales Government change proposal aims to “address the extreme seasonality of Snowy Mountain by facilitating summer and year-round visits.”

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Deputy Premier of New South Wales John Barillaro speaks to the media on the occasion of the NRL Media at Rugby League Central in Sydney, Australia, on August 10, 2020. (MarkKolbe / Getty Images)

New South Wales (NSW) Deputy Prime Minister and Congressman John Barrymore said the Australian Alps have a lot of potential, but they need to be cautious.

“There is a desire for development and a desire for growth,” said a Nationals politician. “We really want to be able to accelerate both private and public investment, but in a very controlled way because we don’t want to lose anything special about Jindabyne and the region.”

Others are not so optimistic.

Cate Faehrmann, a spokeswoman for the NSW Greens environment, spent enough summer days on high-country hikes to appreciate its uniqueness.

“It’s great that the focus is on introducing the park’s attractions all year round,” she said. “But part of the experience is the fact that it’s remote and you can go for days without hitting anyone.”

She states that Kosciuszko’s abilities have traditionally been designed to limit human influence.

“Proposals to allow more development and people to enter the park are for economic and social reasons and will inevitably affect the value of the park’s wilderness,” Faehrmann said. .. “Curiously, new accommodations and developments are proposed to be tracked quickly through the planning approval process,” she said, simply not possible.

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Labor Penny Sharpe will speak at a debate on the Reproductive Health and Care Reform Bill 2019 in Sydney, Australia, on September 17, 2019. (Brooke Mitchell / Getty Images)

Labor Penny Sharpe isn’t against everything proposed, but suspects that the overall result may represent a victory in the wilderness.

“National parks are given the highest level of environmental protection for good reason,” she said. “They are unique and special places. Development in them needs to make sure that the environment is strengthened and not degraded. This is a test of this latest plan. It does not meet that standard. Hmm.”

Gary Dunnett, Chief Executive Officer of the New South Wales National Parks Association, is still outspoken.

“Kosciuszko already contains so much infrastructure that it is at serious risk of reducing the park’s key conservation value,” he said.

The association opposes raising the current limit on accommodation in the park without a detailed assessment of the impact.

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Skiers will head to the Eagleway on July 6, 2009 in Thredbo, Australia. (Stuart Hannagan / Getty Images)

Regarding ski resorts, there are concerns not only about the size of the chalet, but also about the increased burden on the sewage treatment system, garbage collection, parking, transportation, and light pollution.

Danette said the predictable intensification of snow sports would come at the expense of increased damage.

“It’s a uniquely valuable and fragile park, and our efforts need to shift to protecting the top of the country, not crushing it with more improper development,” he said. It was.

Access to Mount Kosciuszko itself via the old “Summit Road” has been closed to vehicles since 1977 due to habitat concerns.

It remains the main approach for people on foot and, to some point, is still used by touring cyclists.

The proposed plan allows commercial tour operators limited admission to the trail as a drop-off for pedestrians for several days.

Helicopter trips to Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Perisher are permitted for tourist commuters, although under strict agreement.

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Skiers have seen using a chairlift in Thredbo, Australia on July 7, 2009. (StuartHannagan / Getty Images)

Sites for tents, vans and cabins have been proposed for the Thred Borangers Station, Island Bend, Gutega and Krill Bay, in addition to further construction at the Yarango Billy Cave and the historic Calango mansion.

Accommodation is also located on the drawing board in Kiandra, the birthplace of skiing in Australia. Kiandra was devastated by a wildfire in the black summer.

It is also envisioned that the new modern town square will move to the foreshore of Lake Jindabyne, but locals are concerned that additional stay options further up the mountain will greatly separate visitors. It is said that.

The focus is on the development of the Alps for tourism because its fragile ecosystems face alarming dangers.

It was revealed in March that Australia’s only iconic snow gum species on the frost line was slowly wiped out by the native longhorn beetle.

Scientists are at a loss to explain why. They haven’t been able to stop it so far.

Meanwhile, a groundbreaking New South Wales University study published in May found that the park’s indigenous flora struggled to adapt fast enough to withstand warming. became.

According to PhD researcher Mina Sritalan, “Australia’s native alpine plants are facing a dark future.”

Of the 21 species surveyed, she said, with the only exception of the already endangered perennial plantain, it was found to be insensitive to hotter conditions.

John Kidman

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