A big­ger, bet­ter Buller and

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NEW BULLER CHIEF: New CEO of Mt Buller Mt Stir­ling Re­sort Man­age­ment Mark Ben­netts wants to build a big­ger and bet­ter Mt Buller and Mt Stir­ling. PHOTO: Vesi Ku­pen­ova

It was good tim­ing to get it done be­fore open­ing week­end.

What are your first im­pres­sions up here to­day and tonight?

MB: My first im­pres­sions are that there is an enor­mous amount of en­thu­si­asm ob­vi­ously on the moun­tain.

The peo­ple up here are re­ally, re­ally pas­sion­ate.

In terms of the job, I have one role to play, and every­body has their role to play, and no role is more or less im­por­tant than other roles.

So re­ally my fo­cus is on how we en­sure that all the roles are click­ing to­gether and work­ing.

To­gether we will con­tinue to build on the plat­form we have here that’s been given to us by the peo­ple who have come be­fore us, all the leg­ends who have done the hard work and who have done a fan­tas­tic job.

Work­ing to­gether we will get more peo­ple, and more Vic­to­ri­ans, up here and en­joy­ing this won­der­ful place.

My im­pres­sions are that there is enor­mous en­thu­si­asm and good­will, and hope­fully I can do my part among our broader team.

An Om­buds­man’s re­port was handed down re­cently con­cern­ing the re­sort man­age­ment board.

Is there some work to be done restor­ing con­fi­dence and trans­parency in moun­tain op­er­a­tions in light of what the Om­buds­man found?

MB: I know it’s one of the things the board is look­ing for, ob­vi­ously, given the Om­buds­man’s re­port.

There’s a very clear fo­cus on be­ing very ac­cu­rate, tight, cor­rect, proper, ap­pro­pri­ate, and up­hold­ing these val­ues.

A sig­nif­i­cant part of my back­ground at RACV was in cor­po­rate ser­vices and in gover­nance re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, so I’m well aware of the need for us to say we need good gover­nance and we need com­mon sense and strong man­age­ment, so the team can say, “yeah, we are feel­ing good about our­selves”.

The team has been work­ing with­out a leader for a while and get­ting all of this stuff to hap­pen, so they are very, very ca­pa­ble.

But my role is to try and help put the struc­tures in place so that we will be do­ing the right thing all the time.

I would like us to be­come a role model in that par­tic­u­lar space.

I have no idea whether the other moun­tains are bet­ter or worse, but we need to be bloody good.

That’s on top of the list of things that need to get done.

Do you have a vi­sion for the moun­tain?

MB: If I go back to my point about team­work – I have one role to play.

My vi­sion for the moun­tain is no more or less im­por­tant than any­body else’s vi­sion for the moun­tain.

How­ever, I think the strength is go­ing to come from every­body’s vi­sion, be­cause the best one is likely to be a col­lec­tive of the dif­fer­ent points of view.

Hav­ing said that, in my po­si­tion of ig­no­rance 24 hours in, the three words I’m try­ing to think about are ‘build big­ger, bet­ter’ Buller and Stir­ling.

The “build­ing” part is re­ally about peo­ple: build­ing gover­nance, build­ing man­age­ment, and build­ing con­nec­tions with peo­ple.

Not just the staff in­side but every­body who has a role to play on the moun­tain and off the moun­tain.

In terms of “big­ger”, I don’t nec­es­sar­ily mean build­ings, I mean big­ger in terms of peo­ple com­ing here.

And this is not rocket science; peo­ple have been hav­ing a crack at this for years and years.

Vic­to­ri­ans have got to be our key tar­get.

We are three hours out of Mel­bourne, it’s the big­gest draw po­ten­tial we’ve got.

I’ll be ab­so­lutely fo­cused on how we get more Vic­to­ri­ans that have been here to come back, and those that haven’t been here to come.

We’re talk­ing all walks of life.

When you look at the eth­nic mix, we would want to con­tinue to try and work on chang­ing that.

How can we en­cour­age peo­ple to feel in­cluded, and not just an an­glo-saxon view, for ex­am­ple.

So the “big­ger” part is all around the peo­ple.

The “bet­ter” part is re­ally around, first and fore­most, snow.

I un­der­stand full well how im­por­tant the wa­ter stor­age is so we can make more snow in the face of cli­mate change.

We need to have bet­ter snow for longer if we can.

We want to have bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ences about the ac­cess to the moun­tain and the ar­rival.

So there’s a whole bunch of things like that to make it bet­ter, and I do think that if we get the team work­ing to­gether and if we do those bet­ter things, the big­ger will hap­pen.

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