This article comes from the Bright Observer, journalist: ALEX BAIRD

Hopes are high

Group waits for government to back push to give chalet new lease of life

The Gorge, Buffalo Plateau

DESPITE no word from the State Government on the future of the Mount Buffalo Chalet, hope remains strong among members of the consortium fighting to reopen the building that a positive outcome will occur.

The Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise (MBCE) group submitted a comprehensive proposal to Parks Victoria in May, which was designed to show the merits of returning the chalet to its former glory.

MBCE executive director Mark McKenzie-McHarg said while talks were still in place, there had been no official word from the government on whether it would back the chalet, which has been closed since 2007 after a lease dispute.

“There’s no further news at this stage, but we are hoping to hear something in the coming weeks,” he said.

“We are involved in discussions and are hopeful we can come to some sort of arrangement.

“We still feel positive, we don’t have any certainty about this.

“It’s a big project and we feel it’s important to be patient.”

For any plans to go ahead to restore the famous building, Mr McKenzie-McHarg said it would need a “significant government contribution” and while the group had plenty of local support, until a government response was forthcoming, the group wasn’t getting too excited.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from a range of different community groups,” he said.

“We really need the State Government to commit, but until that happens we aren’t trying to have too big a profile.

“We think it’s important to be patient, because it’s such a big project, we’ve already submitted business cases and proposals.

“If we do get their backing, that’s when we’d go out and try and get more people onboard.”