SAP Proposals


One of Us
Aug 4, 2010
Northern Beaches
Aside from the problem with Pork Barilaro overseeing the SAP, it should be a positive thing to strategically plan for the Snowy region as a whole. So here are a bunch of ideas and critiques of the actual proposals in the SAP.

Please make sure you make your own submission to the SAP here and to the KNP Plan of Management here. Submissions close Monday 23 August!

  • The government should identify precisely how much of the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Fund is being used to fund the SAP. Otherwise, there can be no way for the community to know if it's getting value for money.

Public Interest
  • The SAP should not give public assets to private interests without realising a public benefit.
    (See Western Lake Jindy and camping and glamping comments below).

  • It is inadequate for the SAP to omit consideration for environmental threats to the national park. Considering the SAP's interest in the environmental attractions of the snowies as the basis for increased summer and winter tourism, is vital that the SAP actively works to reduce litter, reduce snowgum dieback and regenerate snowgum forests, and control feral animals.

  • It is highly inappropriate for areas in the Alpine Precinct to have "streamlined" planning processes that reduce environmental scrutiny and waive public exhibition requirements. "Activated Development Applications" should not be implemented.
  • Given the need for more affordable housing, the SAP should apply Inclusionary Zoning to create a fund for at least 5% affordable housing in the Jindabyne area.
  • If the SAP does make any increase to beds in the Alpine Precinct, this should also apply Inclusionary Zoning to support the provision of at least 5% non-profit ski club accommodation.
  • SEPP 65 (and the Apartment Design Guide) should be included in the Alpine SEPP to ensure a minimum standard of apartment amenity in alpine areas.

  • Splitting the Sports and Education Precinct away from Jindabyne with the new Southern Connector Road is a very regressive idea, and will be to the long-lasting detriment of Jindabyne. Despite the SAP's objective to create "a pedestrian focussed green street network", this planning arrangement will reinforce car-dominance for most sports and education-related trips. A pedestrian bridge proposed across the new road won't be sufficient to sufficient to encourage children to walk to the new school, for example.
  • Any private or car parking redevelopment of the old school site would be a massive shame. This site should be retained for community use.

Western Lake Jindabyne Sub-Precinct
  • It is very good that the SAP proposes that the Lake Jindabyne foreshore is to be rezoned for open space as Public Recreation RE1.
  • However, the land in the Western Lake Jindabyne Sub-Precinct should not be rezoned SP3 Tourist unless the foreshore strip is publicly dedicated as Public Recreation RE1 land. Any new development should enable the foreshore of the lake to be secured in public ownership. A reference to "green infrastructure" for this land is not sufficient.
SAP Draft Master Plan Appendix p9 Edited.png

Alpine Precinct
  • The proposals to increase the bed limits in the national park are highly speculative and incompatible with the environmental qualities of the park. The SAP has failed to mention the significant development potential available for Perisher and Thredbo within the current bed limits, and has not justified any necessity to expand these caps. Given the current and ongoing limitations to environmental impacts such as sewage treatment, it is more appropriate for any additional development to be located outside the national park, and for public transport to be promoted as the primary means to increase visitation to the resorts.
  • The Perisher Ranges need an independent and democratic Resort Management Board to take the municipal operations from NPWS, and to provide a forum for the collective enlivening of Perisher Valley amongst Perisher and all the local businesses and accommodation providers.
  • There should be no additional car parking in the Alpine Precinct. Building additional car parking would come at massive cost and impact, would only be used in the winter peak, and would be to the detriment of the area in all other times.

Perisher Valley
  • The proposed development in Perisher Valley needs a built form modelling study to determine what scale and massing is being proposed. It is unreasonable to propose to significantly increase bed numbers without this vital detail, especially since the current Perisher Range Resorts Master Plan 2001 is aligned with the current bed limit - so how much bigger is the new village centre now proposed to be following the SAP's intervention?
  • The Structure Plan for Perisher is of very poor quality, and needs to be completely revised, with engagement with local stakeholders. For example, there's been no attempt to connect the village centre with the existing village areas or the Nordic Centre, or to reconcile the disconnect between the existing lease areas (as shown in yellow in the plan below) with what land can realistically be developed. An isolated island of intensive development in the middle of a wide open valley will not make a thriving village centre.
  • Perisher Valley requires a catalyst investment to initiate summer activity. The village could cater to altitude training if a community centre with swimming pool and gym were constructed. DPIE and DRNSW should engage with the NSW Institute of Sport to build such a facility (and create friendly competition with the AIS in Thredbo). These training activities would provide a core of summer activity for accommodation providers and shops upon which the year-round liveliness of the village can be built.
SAP Draft Master Plan Perisher Structure Plan p50.png

Below is the structure plan sketch from SAP Technical Studies - Structure Plan Part 1 p145. It is awful. Perisher's strategic planning has gone backwards.
01 Snowy Mountains SAP Structure Plan Part 1 Perisher Sketch.png

Activities - Hiking
  • The Iconic Walk is a good proposal, but requires a missing link from Guthega to Perisher Valley to be developed to enable more loop walk options (as shown in red, below). This link can utilise many existing trails, but requires a new track from Guthega to Back Perisher via the Pleasant View Run, and another around the top of Back Perisher via the Perisher Home Traverse. (The existing summer road is not of sufficient quality for hiking to be mapped as part of the Iconic Walk).

  • The Snowy Valley Walk is also a very good proposal, but requires a new track linking from Jindabyne to the Snowy River to avoid having walkers on the increasingly busy mountain bike track.

Activities - Mountain Biking
  • The SAP has not been creative enough in considering the potential for the snowy mountains to be a major destination for mountain biking. Following the success of the Thredbo Valley Trail, the Perisher Ranges and Charlotte Pass need to be connected into Jindabyne to form a regional bike network. It could be a great ("iconic"?) circuit - a climbing track from the Thredbo River Bridge up to Sponars, across the tops via Perisher and Charlotte's, over and down to Thredbo, and back to Jindabyne via the TVT. This Snowy Mountains Mountain Bike Network can become a major attractor for summer visitation, and can enable a greater variety of bike routes in combination with public buses for any uplifts or connections.
  • A series of cross-country mountain bike trails need to be developed in Perisher Valley on the existing downhill ski runs and nordic trails on Prussian Flat. These trails will offer an extra attraction for riders, as they'd be different tracks in different terrain relative to tracks in Thredbo and Jindabyne.
  • Engage with the Nordic community to discuss whether the existing Nordic Centre in Perisher Valley can be used as a Mountain Bike Centre in the summer, or if a new facility should be built to support cyclists.
  • Perisher should be encouraged to build lift-accessed mountain bike trails on Back Perisher or on Mount Perisher with the new six lift.

There is a large disparity between what the SAP says and what it does on transport. The nature of the proposals means that the SAP won't make any improvements to the current car-dominated environment and heavily congested roads.
  • Principle #8 aims for "sustainable mass transport", but the strategic indicators prioritise road and car parking developments and funding. Meanwhile, the plans for buses are extremely weak, passive, and vaguely left to future resolution "Establish an operations and management framework for future transport providers, specifically, future park and ride, water taxi, and mountain bike park shuttle services." The SAP transport plans are incompatible with Transport for NSW's "Vision and Validate" approach (TfNSW Future Transport 2056 p18) and need to be reprioritised to align directly with the SAP's priniciples.
  • Following a Vision and Validate approach, the SAP's aspiration for year-round activation means that a regular public bus service needs to operate all year round between Jindabyne and the resorts (supplemented by additional services in peak periods). Although this would involve significant government funding, it would become a backbone for summer and winter travel, including for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.
  • Buses from Sydney and Canberra need to be promoted and / or subsidised to enable more people to holiday in the snowy region without cars.
  • Transport planning provisions in the SAP need to be considered holistically. They need to include all factors in travel choice, including park entry fees, skitube tickets, fuel and car costs, car parking fees for in-resort car spaces, public transport ticket prices, convenience, environmental sustainability, and road clearing costs. In line with the Principles of the SAP, the most efficient and sustainable modes need to be the cheapest and easiest options.
  • Locating the park-and-ride area on the outskirts of Jindabyne won't be an attractive option for many unless it is substantially cheaper and easier than driving. Buses should pick up in multiple locations in town so that more car trips can be avoided.

Camping and Glamping
  • There needs to be an expansion of free camping areas on disturbed sites in the national park to accommodate the growth in visitation in a minimal impact way, for example at Island Bend and the Thredbo River Ranger Station.
  • There also needs to be a free camping area near the lake, such as at Creel Bay, to cater to existing demand for camping near Jindabyne.
  • Glamping should only be enabled where the proponent provides a public benefit - the only example I'm aware of for a potential glamping site is one that remediates the asbestos contaminated area at Island Bend. Camping in all other areas should remain free.

Objections to the SAP proposals:
  • Helicopter commuting in the national park is a disgraceful proposal that is incompatible with the park environment and the sustainability aspirations of the SAP, and absolutely must not be allowed.
  • Commercial vehicle access onto the Summit Trail is incompatible with park amenity, and should also not be allowed.
  • The Porcupine Rocks viewing platform proposal is an unsuitable development for this remote and highly visible location, and will add nothing to the quality of the view.
  • The onsen proposal is incompatible with the character of Yarrangobilly and the sustainability aspirations of the SAP.

Happy to hear people's thoughts on this, or let me know if I've missed anything?


One of Us
Jun 17, 2019
Southern Sydney
My objections to the SAP were pretty similar to yours. I wrote a scathing submission about the onsen, commercial vehicles and the helicopters. All of them are appalling ideas, and it makes me very uncomfortable that whoever came up with them is involved in planning.

Overall I think you've covered pretty much everything. I suggested to them that they should consider a gondola from Bullocks Flat to Thredbo, but I doubt it'll ever happen. Other than that, you've got every concern of mine.


One of Us
Aug 4, 2010
Northern Beaches
My objections to the SAP were pretty similar to yours. I wrote a scathing submission about the onsen, commercial vehicles and the helicopters. All of them are appalling ideas, and it makes me very uncomfortable that whoever came up with them is involved in planning.

Overall I think you've covered pretty much everything. I suggested to them that they should consider a gondola from Bullocks Flat to Thredbo, but I doubt it'll ever happen. Other than that, you've got every concern of mine.


I agree with the principle of a sustainable transport link from Jindabyne to Bullocks and Thredbo. The important thing is that there are a number of options for how that could be provided.

Yes, a long gondola is indeed a doubtful proposition, as it would be wind affected... But maybe the current tech can handle this better these days, I dunno.

Or, when you have a road already built, a very cost-effective and sustainable mass transit option is to run lots of electric buses. This idea works really well in cities as Bus Rapid Transit because it uses the existing infrastructure and can scale up so easily. If you make it the most cheap and convenient option, then lots of people would take it.
  • Like
Reactions: Alleve
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

Log in

or Log in using
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass