Moun­tain of pub­lic in­put to guide Falls

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - By SI­MON CRASE scrase@ne­

A PIV­OTAL doc­u­ment out­lin­ing a strate­gic vi­sion for the Falls Creek re­sort has been crafted on the back of a moun­tain of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

‘Path­way to the Fu­ture’ has been fi­nalised and re­leased to the pub­lic this month af­ter a lengthy and ex­ten­sive process, which Falls Creek Re­sort Man­age­ment Board (RMB) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) David Her­man has hailed as be­ing a re­sound­ing suc­cess to this point.

He is con­fi­dent the strate­gic vi­sion will be the most in­clu­sive doc­u­ment RMB has pro­duced and will be a guide for the re­sort for the next five to 10 years.

“Falls Creek RMB was re­ally com­mit­ted to giv­ing it a sig­nif­i­cant level of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion,” he said.

In mid-May, RMB con­tacted about 250 stake­hold­ers tak­ing in Falls Creek and neigh­bor­ing ar­eas to gar­ner thoughts, sug­ges­tions and ideas to make the ‘Path­way to the Fu­ture’ as com­pre­hen­sive as pos­si­ble.

Mr Her­man said the de­ci­sion was taken to ex­tend the con­sul­ta­tion process over the open­ing weekend (June 8-10) be­cause there were a lot of peo­ple com­ing to the re­sort with a strong con­nec­tion to the place and it was im­por­tant as many peo­ple could have a say if they de­sired to have in­put.

At Falls Creek, the unique points of dif­fer­ence pro­vided a foun­da­tion for the strate­gic di­rec­tion, in­clud­ing the vil­lage be­ing the only ski-in-ski-out vil­lage, the coun­try’s largest cross-coun­try ski trail net­work and Rocky Val­ley Lake.

When com­pleted, the con­sul­ta­tion phase at­tracted 35 for­mal sub­mis­sions to be worked into the draft ‘Path­way to the Fu­ture’ plan and the feed­back and com­ments were very en­cour­ag­ing.

“We feel that’s a pretty good num­ber and are pleased with re­ceiv­ing the feed­back with a com­mit­ment to tak­ing it on board,” Mr Her­man said.

He said the RMB, stake­hold­ers and Falls Creek had made “huge strides in the last 12 months” and come to­gether know­ing the key to suc­cess in the fu- ture was a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach.

“It was es­sen­tial for us ev­ery­one was on the same page and head­ing in the one di­rec­tion,” Mr Her­man said.

‘Path­way to the Fu­ture’ comes at a time when re­sorts need to en­sure their plan­ning can max­imise the po­ten­tial and the re­sorts can meet greater State Gov­ern­ment scru­tiny and the key pa­ram­e­ters im­posed to en­gen­der ef­fi­cien­cies within the in­dus­try.

With Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change, Ryan Smith, an­nounc­ing the need for each re­sort to cre­ate a mas­ter­plan, Mr Her­man said the ‘Path­way to the Fu­ture’ would com­ple­ment the yet-to-be de­vised Falls Creek mas­ter­plan due in the next 12 to 18 months.

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