SAP Article - Privatising KNP

Dropbear

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What do you all think about this article?

John Barilaro is privatising Kosciuszko National Park​

https://www.michaelwest.com.au/john-barilaro-is-privatising-kosciuszko-national-park/

Or, more specifically, are there any planners here who can comment on this?

"The Snowy Mountains Special Activation Zone Precinct (SMSAP) 40-year Master Plan is an overly ambitious plan put out by the NSW Department of Regional NSW and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment that effectively wrests control of developments In Kosciuszko National Park from the Minister for the Environment, currently Matt Kean, into the hands of the Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro."

Source: https://www.michaelwest.com.au/john-barilaro-is-privatising-kosciuszko-national-park/

The SAP proposals suggest that the "Alpine Precinct" remains under an amended Alpine SEPP. The current consent authority is the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, and I can't find a reference in the SAP for any proposals to change that...

(Is that dodgy though - shouldn't the consent authority instead be listed not as the minister but as DPIE, to reduce the ability for a planning minister to unilaterally approve a development application?)

I've looked at the NPWS Draft Amendment to the Plan of Management, but apart from all the highly objectionable proposals like helicopters, commercial vehicles on the Summit Trail, and the lack of new camping areas that don't have a "glam" prefix, I don't see any dodgy planning back doors there...

(But I may have missed them - it's a horribly unreadable document!)

Anyway, so while I don't trust Barilaro to hold my half-eaten vegemite sandwich, I don't see the planning mechanism that Michael West is referring to that would give Barilaro influence in the KNP, either as a consent authority or in some other fashion? Am I missing something?
 

Legs Akimbo

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Mr West seems not to have noticed existing development in the place. My take is that the resort areas are rooted for conservation purposes, and have been for 70+ years. If controlled up-rooting of those limited areas can generate income for grossly under resourced parks it's a tradeoff I am prepared to make. My only caveat is that the CEO of every resort has to take a drink of water from downstream of the sewage treatment plants at least once a day.
 

crackson

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Telemark Phat

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What do you all think about this article?

John Barilaro is privatising Kosciuszko National Park​

https://www.michaelwest.com.au/john-barilaro-is-privatising-kosciuszko-national-park/

Or, more specifically, are there any planners here who can comment on this?



The SAP proposals suggest that the "Alpine Precinct" remains under an amended Alpine SEPP. The current consent authority is the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, and I can't find a reference in the SAP for any proposals to change that...

(Is that dodgy though - shouldn't the consent authority instead be listed not as the minister but as DPIE, to reduce the ability for a planning minister to unilaterally approve a development application?)

I've looked at the NPWS Draft Amendment to the Plan of Management, but apart from all the highly objectionable proposals like helicopters, commercial vehicles on the Summit Trail, and the lack of new camping areas that don't have a "glam" prefix, I don't see any dodgy planning back doors there...

(But I may have missed them - it's a horribly unreadable document!)

Anyway, so while I don't trust Barilaro to hold my half-eaten vegemite sandwich, I don't see the planning mechanism that Michael West is referring to that would give Barilaro influence in the KNP, either as a consent authority or in some other fashion? Am I missing something?
The process which created the previous POM is being overridden by the development agenda of the SAP. Barillaro is in charge of the SAP and will be able to relatively easily change the SAP to make development easier in the parts of the park identified in the SAP.

From a planning perspective the SAP districts have been excised from the park.
 
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Telemark Phat

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Mr West seems not to have noticed existing development in the place. My take is that the resort areas are rooted for conservation purposes, and have been for 70+ years. If controlled up-rooting of those limited areas can generate income for grossly under resourced parks it's a tradeoff I am prepared to make. My only caveat is that the CEO of every resort has to take a drink of water from downstream of the sewage treatment plants at least once a day.
You need to look more closlier at what is living in the SAP districts. They are full of significant ecologies.
 
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Dropbear

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Barilaro won't last and any successor will can it and redo their own plan.

Sort of... Sure, Barilaro won't last forever. But the SAP changes will have more long-lasting effect. Besides, Snowy Hydro can only be sold once... surely?! (Even though only a proportion of the Snowy Hydro Fund will go into the Snowy SAP).

It's a plan to pay planners for plans indefinitely.

There's certainly a lot of that going on at the moment. "Streamlining" the planning system seems like the flavour of the month. But that appears like a race to the bottom, on the assumption that doing the minimum amount of assessment would somehow be better for everyone!

The key premise of the Snowy Mountains Special Activation Precinct is to streamline planning approval through expansion of the complying development pathway.”

Source: SAP Planning Report p79

This "streamlining" involves such things as waiving the requirement for some projects within the national park to be publicly exhibited, which is highly questionable practice.
 

Dropbear

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Mr West seems not to have noticed existing development in the place. My take is that the resort areas are rooted for conservation purposes, and have been for 70+ years. If controlled up-rooting of those limited areas can generate income for grossly under resourced parks it's a tradeoff I am prepared to make. My only caveat is that the CEO of every resort has to take a drink of water from downstream of the sewage treatment plants at least once a day.

It's good to increase visitation to the park, because more people who experience our beautiful natural environments, the more people will care about maintaining, funding, and even enhancing our parks.

But it's also really important that any development inside the national park is sensitive of the environment and of people. Not only do we need to minimise the impact of more people visiting, we also need to ensure that these places are still worthy of being parks.

So even though the resorts are already scarred by land clearing, the villages inside the park need to continue to show that we can live sustainably in these sensitive places.
 

Alleve

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Barilaro has a history of not caring about the KNP. Should more development in the park be promoted? Hell yes. Should Barilaro be in charge of it? Hell no. The man literally calls himself "Pork Barrelaro".
 

Telemark Phat

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Barilaro has a history of not caring about the KNP. Should more development in the park be promoted? Hell yes. Should Barilaro be in charge of it? Hell no. The man literally calls himself "Pork Barrelaro".
If Barillaro isn't in charge of increased development in the Park it will only be another stooge of the development lobby.

Development in a National Park is destruction.
 

catzizme

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Apr 5, 2020
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I’m sharing this horrible tourism development doc again so people can see what will become of the area if the plan succeeds.

It's actually digusting isn't it, they even specifically state the purpose of their "study" is to try and extract more money out of people.

Earlier this year we went for a mountain bike trip to falls creek and I remembered being gobsmacked that for the entire 3 days there no one was asking me to open my wallet i.e. no charging to use the trails, free shower block, free and accessible camping, no parks fee. It was a refreshing experience.

Why does this study seem to think that "free" activities are problematic? It just seems to reinforce that they are selling KNP, and not protecting as it should be. The whole trend of "selling" nature needs to stop.
 

DPS Driver

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It's actually digusting isn't it, they even specifically state the purpose of their "study" is to try and extract more money out of people.

Earlier this year we went for a mountain bike trip to falls creek and I remembered being gobsmacked that for the entire 3 days there no one was asking me to open my wallet i.e. no charging to use the trails, free shower block, free and accessible camping, no parks fee. It was a refreshing experience.

Why does this study seem to think that "free" activities are problematic? It just seems to reinforce that they are selling KNP, and not protecting as it should be. The whole trend of "selling" nature needs to stop.
Agree but let's be honest, they're really only selling one national park. That's the disgusting bit.

I would imagine their costs to run KNP is not that much greater than any other national park. Yeah sure they've probably got more staff working in KNP, so that increases their cost base but 95% of them are there to collect fees or in some form of revenue gaining exercise.
 
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Dropbear

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To be clear, I think reasonable developments in the park are a reasonable idea...

1. Given that we have ski resorts in the national park, I'm glad that we have ski villages at the ski resorts.
  • It's beautiful experience to share living in the snow
  • The ski village footprints are consolidated in only one part of the ranges
  • Ski resorts without villages are soulless.
2. Given that we have ski villages in the national park, it's important to have a level of good development - lodges that are environmentally sustainable, well designed, and supportive of an active community.
  • Living close to nature can make people more aware of its importance to retain it
  • Sustainable (or even regenerative) development inside the park can be a precedent for more sustainable living generally (like say what if Sydney Harbour was a national park? ;) )
  • The alternative "no development" proposition doesn't mean that the place doesn't change - it just means that the buildings remain static while the people get older, until neither are relevant any more...
3. So I conclude that it's important that the planning system for the mountains is robust enough to take everyone's perspectives on board when deciding what "good development" looks like.

And that, of course, means that Barilaro should be nowhere near it.

But given that Barilaro is uncomfortably near it, and that he unashamedly admits to pork-barrelling (which is, by definition, corruption), are there any potential means for corrupt development in the national park?
 

Telemark Phat

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To be clear, I think reasonable developments in the park are a reasonable idea...

1. Given that we have ski resorts in the national park, I'm glad that we have ski villages at the ski resorts.
  • It's beautiful experience to share living in the snow
  • The ski village footprints are consolidated in only one part of the ranges
  • Ski resorts without villages are soulless.
2. Given that we have ski villages in the national park, it's important to have a level of good development - lodges that are environmentally sustainable, well designed, and supportive of an active community.
  • Living close to nature can make people more aware of its importance to retain it
  • Sustainable (or even regenerative) development inside the park can be a precedent for more sustainable living generally (like say what if Sydney Harbour was a national park? ;) )
  • The alternative "no development" proposition doesn't mean that the place doesn't change - it just means that the buildings remain static while the people get older, until neither are relevant any more...
3. So I conclude that it's important that the planning system for the mountains is robust enough to take everyone's perspectives on board when deciding what "good development" looks like.

And that, of course, means that Barilaro should be nowhere near it.

But given that Barilaro is uncomfortably near it, and that he unashamedly admits to pork-barrelling (which is, by definition, corruption), are there any potential means for corrupt development in the national park?
The current bed numbers were a compromise for development with the last POM in 2006. The environmental values of the resorts haven't changed, the SAP is simply a mechanism to demand more compromise.

It doesn't matter how "sustainable" a development is, it will create disturbance and it will provide room for invasive species. The most cats, mice, bunnies, rats and foxes in the Park are in and around the resort villages. More beds means more municipal services, with a greater impact, and greater consequences if there is an accident.

How the park is managed is an expression of our values. I value the environmental values of one of the less disturbed Parks in Australia with one of the most unique environments. I also value having space which is managed for the environment first and the convenience of people second.

If you value recreation in a human space more that is fair enough. We all value different things, but please don't imagine that increased development will not result in more destruction of a very special corner of Australia.
 

Alleve

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Jun 17, 2019
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To be clear, I think reasonable developments in the park are a reasonable idea...

1. Given that we have ski resorts in the national park, I'm glad that we have ski villages at the ski resorts.
  • It's beautiful experience to share living in the snow
  • The ski village footprints are consolidated in only one part of the ranges
  • Ski resorts without villages are soulless.
2. Given that we have ski villages in the national park, it's important to have a level of good development - lodges that are environmentally sustainable, well designed, and supportive of an active community.
  • Living close to nature can make people more aware of its importance to retain it
  • Sustainable (or even regenerative) development inside the park can be a precedent for more sustainable living generally (like say what if Sydney Harbour was a national park? ;) )
  • The alternative "no development" proposition doesn't mean that the place doesn't change - it just means that the buildings remain static while the people get older, until neither are relevant any more...
3. So I conclude that it's important that the planning system for the mountains is robust enough to take everyone's perspectives on board when deciding what "good development" looks like.

And that, of course, means that Barilaro should be nowhere near it.

But given that Barilaro is uncomfortably near it, and that he unashamedly admits to pork-barrelling (which is, by definition, corruption), are there any potential means for corrupt development in the national park?
John Barilaro is one of the most unqualified people you could have running things in KNP. I'm not sure if he even realises that his corruption is wrong - it would certainly explain why he likes to try and hide it in plain sight. How he's even in office is a mystery to me. Given his record with the brumbies, conveniently changing his tune dependent on who's paying him with no care whatsoever for his constituents or the KNP, or even his record of pork-barreling and perjury as a whole, I'd say the chances of corrupt development when he's at the helm is 100%.
 

Dropbear

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The current bed numbers were a compromise for development with the last POM in 2006. The environmental values of the resorts haven't changed, the SAP is simply a mechanism to demand more compromise.

It doesn't matter how "sustainable" a development is, it will create disturbance and it will provide room for invasive species. The most cats, mice, bunnies, rats and foxes in the Park are in and around the resort villages. More beds means more municipal services, with a greater impact, and greater consequences if there is an accident.

How the park is managed is an expression of our values. I value the environmental values of one of the less disturbed Parks in Australia with one of the most unique environments. I also value having space which is managed for the environment first and the convenience of people second.

If you value recreation in a human space more that is fair enough. We all value different things, but please don't imagine that increased development will not result in more destruction of a very special corner of Australia.

These are really good comments, cheers!

Even though I think some 'good' development can be a good thing, I don't think the SAP studies have given us enough information to determine whether the amount of development they're proposing is appropriate. For example, there's been no built form study to determine how large the new developments will be.

Also, I can't see how the proposed new carrying capacity was established.

The SAP's Carrying Capacity study talks about "KNP values and objectives", such as environmental, social, and cultural objectives... But then it derives the proposed new bed limits not from these values, but from the Structure Plan!

08 Carrying Capcity Framework p65 Highlights.png


And the structure plans (at least for Perisher Valley) are of woefully poor quality.

Anyway, there appears to have been a very opaque process where the Structure Planner has drawn a rough and large developable area on a plan, and then used an unpublished formula to convert this area into numbers of new beds (and new commercial space area). Then, these rough figures are post-rationalised as supposedly being sustainable by the Carrying Capacity study.

I found some info on the current takeup of beds within the existing capacity:

  • "Thredbo has utilised 4356 of its total allocation of 4810 beds, meaning there are 454 beds remaining.
  • Perisher [and Smiggin Holes and Guthega] has utilised 4089 of its total allocation of 4952, meaning there are 863 beds remaining (2 of those as unallocated staff beds at Bullocks Flat)."
Source: SAP Planning Recommendations Report "Carrying Capacity" p50.

So doing the maths....

Perisher Range: Currently Available 861 Beds (Existing)
Perisher Range: 861 + 1,906 = 2,767 Beds (SAP Proposal)
  • 115x new 24-bed lodges, OR
  • 461x new 6-bed apartments
Yep, you've convinced me, the SAP proposal is overdevelopment of the national park!
 

BlueHue

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It's good to increase visitation to the park, because more people who experience our beautiful natural environments, the more people will care about maintaining, funding, and even enhancing our parks.

But it's also really important that any development inside the national park is sensitive of the environment and of people. Not only do we need to minimise the impact of more people visiting, we also need to ensure that these places are still worthy of being parks.

So even though the resorts are already scarred by land clearing, the villages inside the park need to continue to show that we can live sustainably in these sensitive places.
Yes and the villages themselves still need to showcase and be a point of access/connection to the surrounding park and wilderness. If they become overly urbanised with so many activities removed from the surrounding natural environment you risk disconnecting visitors from what they are to see and end up with something more akin to tourists visiting a watered down disneyland. Appreciation of the place they are visiting is lost and the oppoprtunity to create advocates for the rest of the park is lost. It's a fine balance.
 

Legs Akimbo

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These are really good comments, cheers!

Even though I think some 'good' development can be a good thing, I don't think the SAP studies have given us enough information to determine whether the amount of development they're proposing is appropriate. For example, there's been no built form study to determine how large the new developments will be.

Also, I can't see how the proposed new carrying capacity was established.

The SAP's Carrying Capacity study talks about "KNP values and objectives", such as environmental, social, and cultural objectives... But then it derives the proposed new bed limits not from these values, but from the Structure Plan!

08 Carrying Capcity Framework p65 Highlights.png


And the structure plans (at least for Perisher Valley) are of woefully poor quality.

Anyway, there appears to have been a very opaque process where the Structure Planner has drawn a rough and large developable area on a plan, and then used an unpublished formula to convert this area into numbers of new beds (and new commercial space area). Then, these rough figures are post-rationalised as supposedly being sustainable by the Carrying Capacity study.

I found some info on the current takeup of beds within the existing capacity:



So doing the maths....

Perisher Range: Currently Available 861 Beds (Existing)
Perisher Range: 861 + 1,906 = 2,767 Beds (SAP Proposal)
  • 115x new 24-bed lodges, OR
  • 461x new 6-bed apartments
Yep, you've convinced me, the SAP proposal is overdevelopment of the national park!
The only proposals there that are currently undeveloped are the beds at the ranger station. Some of the beds are assigned to camping, others glamping. And no mention of Ngarigo or Diggings - what's happening there? The changes may not be as terrifying as you think. And all beds are along 2 corridors. There is a heck of a lot of park away from the Alpine Way and Summit/Guthega Roads.
 
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Dropbear

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The only proposals there that are currently undeveloped are the beds at the ranger station. Some of the beds are assigned to camping, others glamping. And no mention of Ngarigo or Diggings - what's happening there? The changes may not be as terrifying as you think. And all beds are along 2 corridors. There is a heck of a lot of park away from the Alpine Way and Summit/Guthega Roads.

Yeah it's wierd that none of the existing campsites are getting any support at all. There's only the suggestion that there should be a glamping development at Island Bend, but that doesn't help those of us who only want a place to pitch a tent or park a van.

And agreed, a couple of hundred beds in some of the smaller places around the park isn't too bad.

The Perisher Range villages, though, currently have 4089 beds, and are proposed to have 6780 beds. That's a 66% increase.

Looking for some perspective, Cooma in the 2016 census had a population of 6,379. So Perisher is proposed to be bigger than Cooma.
 
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skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
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Looking for some perspective, Cooma in the 2016 census had a population of 6,379. So Perisher is proposed to be bigger than Cooma.

I can’t remember, did SAP forecast how many supermarkets, medical centres, and so on would be required to support these beds?

More importantly where will the shit farm go?
 

Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
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Yeah it's wierd that none of the existing campsites are getting any support at all. There's only the suggestion that there should be a glamping development at Island Bend, but that doesn't help those of us who only want a place to pitch a tent or park a van.

And agreed, a couple of hundred beds in some of the smaller places around the park isn't too bad.

The Perisher Range villages, though, currently have 4089 beds, and are proposed to have 6780 beds. That's a 66% increase.

Looking for some perspective, Cooma in the 2016 census had a population of 6,379. So Perisher is proposed to be bigger than Cooma.
Read it again. There are campsites as well as glamping at Island Bend. I don't know, but I smell Ngarigo and Diggings closing and capacity at Island Bend being reduced.
 

DPS Driver

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Responsible development is what we all want.

We've the technology and practices to do it right. Yes it's a unique environment, we're lucky in Australia we have quite a few unique environments. We're also lucky that we can enjoy them and in the case of KNP partake in one of our favourite pastimes.

There is room for some growth to the existing alpine ski infrastructure but it needs to be limited and controlled.
 
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Telemark Phat

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Responsible development is what we all want.

We've the technology and practices to do it right. Yes it's a unique environment, we're lucky in Australia we have quite a few unique environments. We're also lucky that we can enjoy them and in the case of KNP partake in one of our favourite pastimes.

There is room for some growth to the existing alpine ski infrastructure but it needs to be limited and controlled.
We don't have the technology or the practices. Both Thredbo and the Park are regularly fined for failing to properly treat their sewerage. Perisher has insufficient sediment pondage to protect Perisher creek from contamination from the car park. This season they're even worse and they're pushing dirty snow from the car park into Perisher CK.

Thredbo is regularly chastised by the park for failing to meet erosion control standards outlined in the POM on their MTB trails.

Development is destruction. If your values give greater weight to recreation and human spaces over conservation and natural spaces thats fair enough. But don't pretend guilt free development is possible.
 

Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
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We don't have the technology or the practices. Both Thredbo and the Park are regularly fined for failing to properly treat their sewerage. Perisher has insufficient sediment pondage to protect Perisher creek from contamination from the car park. This season they're even worse and they're pushing dirty snow from the car park into Perisher CK.

Thredbo is regularly chastised by the park for failing to meet erosion control standards outlined in the POM on their MTB trails.

Development is destruction. If your values give greater weight to recreation and human spaces over conservation and natural spaces thats fair enough. But don't pretend guilt free development is possible.
Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass existed before god invented the NPWS.
 

DPS Driver

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We don't have the technology or the practices. Both Thredbo and the Park are regularly fined for failing to properly treat their sewerage. Perisher has insufficient sediment pondage to protect Perisher creek from contamination from the car park. This season they're even worse and they're pushing dirty snow from the car park into Perisher CK.

Thredbo is regularly chastised by the park for failing to meet erosion control standards outlined in the POM on their MTB trails.

Development is destruction. If your values give greater weight to recreation and human spaces over conservation and natural spaces thats fair enough. But don't pretend guilt free development is possible.
That was actually my point. The infrastructure is so old and inadequate. The technology is available to modernize the sewage treatment, the water supply, the buildings to deliver a far more ecologically viable offering.

I understand your position and I don't disagree. My position is that the unsatisfactory, environmental aspects of the resorts need to be upgraded, either as part of or prior to any allowed development.

Yes I would like to see a small and considered expansion to accommodate the growing number of guest on mountain only, ie runs, lifts. I don't agree with increasing bed numbers within KNP. Any on mountain expansion would need to be preceded by infrastructure upgrades to sewage etc.
 

BlueHue

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That was actually my point. The infrastructure is so old and inadequate. The technology is available to modernize the sewage treatment, the water supply, the buildings to deliver a far more ecologically viable offering.
Technology definitely exists, the St Mary's Advanced Water Recycling plant in Western Sydney puts out effluent so clean they have to shandy it with tertiary treated effluent from Penrith STP to achieve a conductivity high enough so as to not be toxic to native fish in the Hawkesbury River and that plant was built 15 odd years ago. The problem would be more the political will to invest the significant $$ into treatment to match the proposed bed numbers in a sensitive national park environment.
 

canestocks

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Any new beds in Park have to come with poohtubes with guests taking it with them! Hey maybe we could do this now! (Not that I am in favour of more development).

Reading the proposed changes to PoM regarding Yarrangobilly seem ludicrous. Creating a hot water tub could be done in Adaminaby or Tumut? Why spoil the existing ambience of the current facility?
 

Dropbear

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I can’t remember, did SAP forecast how many supermarkets, medical centres, and so on would be required to support these beds?

For Perisher, it appears as though they're only planning beds and commercial space. So the KNP areas would be reliant on the broader area - such as Jindy and Cooma for medical services.

More importantly where will the shit farm go?

The shit farm at Perisher doesn't seem to be doing too well even under current circumstances... SAP Infrastructure Study (p59 and p111) identifies a number of challenges:
  • The number of day visitors leads to high ammonia loading, which constrains capacity
  • They can't remove solid shit in winter, so they have to store it on site, hence the stench that so often emanates from there in wintertime
  • Because of the cold temperatures, they have to heat the wastewater (with LPG) to process it effectively
  • The facility is snowbound in winter
  • There's no more space available to expand the facility
  • During 2016-20, they recorded 18x instances of non-compliance with environmental protection legislation
The study says an upgrade would be required to accommodate the proposed SAP expansions, but they don't know if the existing shit farm can be upgraded or if a totally new facility would be required. They also note point out that the need for the creek to "recharge" needs to be considered, but there's been no hydrology study to determine this.

So it appears that the idea that Perisher has significant capacity for expansion (either in day visitation or in beds) is questionable. Even if they do upgrade the shit farm, they'll still have to deal with cold temperatures, storing solid waste, and the finite flows of Perisher Creek.
 

Dropbear

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Read it again. There are campsites as well as glamping at Island Bend.

Do you mean you think they're planning to retain the existing campsites, or to expand the existing campsite capacity?

While my preference is that I'd like to see an expansion of free camping, they appear only to be expanding camping facilities:

Island Bend - Structure Plan

The structure plan for Island Bend expands existing camping facilities to incorporate a central camp kitchen and hot showers and connects visitors to the proposed Snowy Valley Walk. The plan aims to rehabilitate the natural environment and provide interpretation of local Aboriginal and Snowy scheme history. The outlines opportunities for an enhanced site entry from Guthega Road complimented by a landscaped gateway and formalised wayfinding markers. Such expansion will follow site remediation works within the existing township area to ensure site suitability and user safety.

Cabin style accommodation within a ‘secluded retreat’ in the central camping area towards Guthega Road will attract visitors looking for a nature-based experience. Such development will also benefit connections to the management trail network for gravel riding enthusiasts. The establishment of lookouts and improved connections between campsites and the proposed Snowy Valley Walk are also proposed.


Source: SAP Draft p61

The only things they're promising there are a kitchen, showers, and cabins. I wouldn't expect any of those to be free.

As an aside, I have no idea what a "gravel riding enthusiast" is!
I don't know, but I smell Ngarigo and Diggings closing and capacity at Island Bend being reduced.

Yeah it's wierd that there's no mention at all of Ngarigo and Diggings in either the SAP Draft or Appendix documents.
 
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CarveMan

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Just wading in to this to enquire how the supply / demand equation is going to work out.

Population is growing, appetite for outdoor recreation is growing so that’s the demand side. If further development is restricted on environmental grounds which I can clearly understand, that restricts the supply.

So Economics 101 tells me that when demand is outstripping supply, prices must go up. Is that considered an acceptable outcome?
 

skifree

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Responsible development is what we all want.

We've the technology and practices to do it right. Yes it's a unique environment, we're lucky in Australia we have quite a few unique environments. We're also lucky that we can enjoy them and in the case of KNP partake in one of our favourite pastimes.

There is room for some growth to the existing alpine ski infrastructure but it needs to be limited and controlled.
History says we cannot do any of this.

And having sat in a few development meetings (not snow related) the topic most time is spent on is how to avoid or minimise any non core expenses. Even if that means pushing beyond legality.

The watch dogs are typically under resourced & have no teeth or are nobbled.
 

BlueHue

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Just wading in to this to enquire how the supply / demand equation is going to work out.

Population is growing, appetite for outdoor recreation is growing so that’s the demand side. If further development is restricted on environmental grounds which I can clearly understand, that restricts the supply.

So Economics 101 tells me that when demand is outstripping supply, prices must go up. Is that considered an acceptable outcome?
Most of the conversation is around accommodation in KNP, which is a demand that Jindabyne and surrounds is being targeted as an area to provide supply, hence the argument that a significant growth in housing could and should be met outside of KNP. I think the KNP expansion of accommodation has caught many off guard as the original intent of SAP/Go Jindabyne had a strong focus on Jindabyne that seems to have overflowed to KNP. Going by the comments of some above like @Dropbear such expansion might become very difficult to do in a sensitive manner due to site specific considerations.

Personally I have a strong preference for Jindabyne growth, particularly in and around the town centre even if it means a more urbanised and less rural environment than some would like, with some smaller incremental growth around some outlying areas that does not change the character of those places ie east jindabyne, south along the Barry way. This is all dependent on strong public transport system linking Jindabyne to the resorts.

The other side of the demand/supply question is around provision of recreational activities. SAP certainly puts a strong focus on Jindabyne outside of winter. KNP is the only solution to solving ski season supply problems though. If it is a choice between allowing ski resorts to better meet wonter recreational demand or provide more accommodation, I'd choose more flexibility for resorts in meeting winter recreational needs and moving significant increases in accommodation outside of KNP in combo with a very significant investment public transport. I'm not advocating for an increase in resort lease areas rather them being better able to use what they have, for example the upper parts of Thredbos golf course bowl are ideal for expanding intermediate skiing at an elevation that supports good snow, but I doubt in its current form a lift development out there could make it through the planning process.
 

Telemark Phat

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Technology definitely exists, the St Mary's Advanced Water Recycling plant in Western Sydney puts out effluent so clean they have to shandy it with tertiary treated effluent from Penrith STP to achieve a conductivity high enough so as to not be toxic to native fish in the Hawkesbury River and that plant was built 15 odd years ago. The problem would be more the political will to invest the significant $$ into treatment to match the proposed bed numbers in a sensitive national park environment.
The poo treatment in the resorts is really difficult. Poo works generally rely on fermentation and sedimentation ponds. Fermentation is difficult because most day visitors can't hold onto their morning shit and have to go in Jindabyne. This results in too high a pod to shit ratio too effectively ferment effluent.

Sediment ponds are difficult due to the space they require.
 
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Telemark Phat

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Just wading in to this to enquire how the supply / demand equation is going to work out.

Population is growing, appetite for outdoor recreation is growing so that’s the demand side. If further development is restricted on environmental grounds which I can clearly understand, that restricts the supply.

So Economics 101 tells me that when demand is outstripping supply, prices must go up. Is that considered an acceptable outcome?
It's really difficult. Managing natural resources is tough, especially when people demand destructive access for recreation.

I did my honours in KNP. Part of that process was obtaining permission for scientific destruction. I didn't destroy much of the environment I was studying, perhaps 10m². But I still had to apply for a "license to destroy the environment."

As a society we need to weigh up equity of access and the value of the environmental values of spaces we want to spend time in.

The easiest solution from a management perspective is to ban people. This hes been done in Wollemi National Park to protect the wild Wollemi Pines. As a society we have decided that they should be protected and both commerce and recreation should be excluded.

We have created sacrificial areas such as the resorts, the raised metal walkway to Kosci and the dunnies at Rawson's Pass.

Personally I don't mind well considered development in the current resort footprints. I don't think extra on snow accommodation is well considered.
 

CarveMan

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Personally I don't mind week considered development in the current resort footprints. I don't think extra on snow accommodation is well considered.
I’ve banged on about transport for years, that to me is the best solution. Get polluting cars out of the park and if the transport is good people won’t mind staying down the valley.

It’s too expensive, but a Zermatt-style train to Thredbo with a stop at Bullocks, and increasing ski tube capacity would work well.

Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah is currently being ‘loved to death’ and they are weighing up a 3S gondola up the valley or a road upgrade to provide far greater bus capacity.
 

Legs Akimbo

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I just stated a fact. Development is destruction. Nothing is built without first destroying something else.

You should think harder about what you value, a carpark, a new lodge, or an endangered ecology
There is so much endangered ecology in existing resort areas. See my earlier comment about stuff that is already rooted and CEOs drinking downstream.

Yours is an ideal, fanciful world where parks receive limitless funding. Mine isn't.
 

Alleve

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I’ve banged on about transport for years, that to me is the best solution. Get polluting cars out of the park and if the transport is good people won’t mind staying down the valley.

It’s too expensive, but a Zermatt-style train to Thredbo with a stop at Bullocks, and increasing ski tube capacity would work well.

Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah is currently being ‘loved to death’ and they are weighing up a 3S gondola up the valley or a road upgrade to provide far greater bus capacity.
IMO the most feasible solution would be some form of ropeway transportation, like a gondola or aerial tram from Bullocks Flat to Friday Flat. Trains are prohibitively expensive and building a track will damage the environment, and widening the road only makes winter accidents and carpark pressures worse.

However, as discussed in another thread (I think in the Thredbo development bang a gong thread), even ropeway transportation is very expensive. A 13km 10 gondola would have the capacity needed, but would take at least 36 minutes (if travelling at 6m/s) and could cost the best part of $100 million. For comparison, the Cablebus, a 9.2km Doppelmayr gondola in Mexico City, cost $108 million USD. Add in annual maintenance costs, and you've got a very expensive project for the government to build and operate.

Building this infrastructure, regardless of whether it's in train or cableway or road form, puts more pressure on the resorts. They can upgrade the lifts but at a certain point the runs become full. I don't go to Perisher enough to know what it's like there, but Thredbo could easily expand into Stanleys. Put in a lift heading up the ridge and a connector lift from Merritts or FF, and you're done. Of course, this once again is very expensive and and causes massive amounts of damage to a previously undisturbed area.

The SAP said it would support both a transport system, such as a gondola, into the resorts, and it said it would support resort expansion in the future if year-round use would be viable. Thredbo fits the bill on both counts. I personally doubt any of it will happen because of how expensive it all is, and because of how much money KT is about to spend on lifts anyway.

If they're going to put in transport, which they should, it should be a ropeway. It's far too expensive for it to happen IMO. The government may push Thredbo to expand in the coming years. I hope it doesn't happen because of the damage it will cause, but it might happen.
 
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CarveMan

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IMO the most feasible solution would be some form of ropeway transportation, like a gondola or aerial tram from Bullocks Flat to Friday Flat. Trains are prohibitively expensive and building a track will damage the environment, and widening the road only makes winter accidents and carpark pressures worse.

However, as discussed in another thread (I think in the Thredbo development bang a gong thread), even ropeway transportation is very expensive. A 13km 10 gondola would have the capacity needed, but would take at least 36 minutes (if travelling at 6m/s) and could cost the best part of $100 million. For comparison, the Cablebus, a 9.2km Doppelmayr gondola in Mexico City, cost $108 million USD. Add in annual maintenance costs, and you've got a very expensive project for the government to build and operate.

Building this infrastructure, regardless of whether it's in train or cableway or road form, puts more pressure on the resorts. They can upgrade the lifts but at a certain point the runs become full. I don't go to Perisher enough to know what it's like there, but Thredbo could easily expand into Stanleys. Put in a lift heading up the ridge and a connector lift from Merritts or FF, and you're done. Of course, this once again is very expensive and and causes massive amounts of damage to a previously undisturbed area.

The SAP said it would support both a transport system, such as a gondola, into the resorts, and it said it would support resort expansion in the future if year-round use would be viable. Thredbo fits the bill on both counts. I personally doubt any of it will happen because of how expensive it all is, and because of how much money KT is about to spend on lifts anyway.

If they're going to put in transport, which they should, it should be a ropeway. It's far too expensive for it to happen IMO. The government may push Thredbo to expand in the coming years. I hope it doesn't happen because of the damage it will cause, but it might happen.
I’m only a casual observer of the NSW reports but I think the issue is similar to Buller, there doesn’t necessarily need to be an expansion of skiing capacity, the demand that is bringing m things to breaking point is snowplay
 
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Alleve

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I’m only a casual observer of the NSW reports but I think the issue is similar to Buller, there doesn’t necessarily need to be an expansion of skiing capacity, the demand that is bringing m things to breaking point is snowplay
I believe the SAP said something about providing for the snowplay crowd at Perisher and Selwyn.

Another problem with the NSW resorts is skier movement and distribution. I get the sense this is more the case at Perisher than Thredbo due to Perisher's size and lift layout, but it also happens at Thredbo. Areas like the Central Spur and the Basin are under-used and the crowds all flock to the Cruiser, causing 30 minute lines in the school holidays. These areas could be made more enticing by ditching the T-Bars, but they'd also be on windhold all the time. Simply upgrading lifts will shorten lines, but will result in more people on the slopes and more accidents.

Not that Thredbo shouldn't upgrade their lifts. I don't want to fall off the Gunbarrel.
 
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