The following comes from the Victorian National Parks Association.

Media release. Thursday, 28 November, 2012

art-Lake-Mountain-Village-420x0Lake Mountain, Melbourne’s closest and most affordable alpine resort, will soon be given over to developers in a long‐term lease that effectively privatises public land.

“The Baillieu Government should not be acting like a real estate agent for land that belongs to all Victorians. It should be managing our natural heritage responsibly, for future generations,” the Victorian National Parks Association’s Phil Ingamells said today.

“The Baillieu Government’s announcement that it is handing over management of the Lake Mountain Alpine Resort to a private recreation company, in preparation for auctioning the leasehold, may be the first of many such developments. Our alpine resorts, national parks and other public land are all vulnerable to this policy,” he said.

Importantly the Alpine Resorts Act, which governs the management of Victoria’s alpine resorts, makes it clear that resorts are for the use of all sections of the community, not just the big spenders.

A recent State Services Authority inquiry into Victoria’s alpine resort management said the resorts need to provide for a far greater section of the community, not just high‐end tourism.

The inquiry also recommended that resorts such as Lake Mountain, which will be the first to lose their snow cover as global warming increases, should be placed under the management of Parks Victoria.

“But the Baillieu Government seems determined to hand our finest bits of public land over to private control, and make them playgrounds for the wealthy,” said Mr Ingamells.

“Developments in private hands inevitably grow. This is a short‐sighted move, and one that will be very hard to reverse. Victorians of the future will almost certainly look back at this time with great regret.”