Questions over $1.5m park plan
FOLLOWING the press release in last week’s ‘Alpine Observer’ of a $1.5million redevelopment of the Gorge carpark and visitor area in the Mt Buffalo National Park, it appears works are already under way without any previous announcement by Parks Victoria.
This particular park precinct was subject to a major redevelopment as part of the centenary of Victoria National Parks in 1998.
Both the carpark and the then Gorge Walk were extensively upgraded to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Victoria’s second oldest National Park.
It appears now all this will be revitalised, to heighten visibility for visitors.
Both the Alpine Observer (March 7th) and the Border Mail (February 28) newspapers are indicating that works have already begun.
With the commencement of new works, Parks Victoria must have carried out an Environment Impact Statement, which should include an investigation into the heritage aspect of the Gorge.
If so, Parks Victoria have not indicated the necessary findings from that mandatory process.
Over the last nine years, sewage from the carpark has been collected in a holding tank and when required taken to the Porepunkah Treatment Plant in the valley.
The cost of this procedure must have been borne by the Victorian Government.
Will this continue at the public expense?
Also, why is a new ‘pop-up’ cafeteria appropriate, when within the precinct there is already such a facility contained in the historic Mt Buffalo Chalet?
As well, how is the essential service of electricity to a cafeteria being provided?
It is important for Parks Victoria to now indicate how they arrived at a decision to install a ‘glass walkway’ in the Gorge.
Have the necessary environmental issues attached to such a major construction been addressed?
Finally, why has the Gorge tourist facilities taken priority over the restoration of the historic chalet?
An examination of the petition to the Premier for the re-birth of the chalet now numbers nearly 10,000 signatures.
Clearly the people are indicating what is required. Bob Adams, Bright