Mountain Journal reported recently that Parks Victoria had released its final Master Plan for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing: a five day serviced hiking opportunity in the Alpine National Park. In the state budget for 2018/19, there was an allocation of funds to help make the project a reality.
The proposal has been widely criticised because it will help open up previously undeveloped areas near Mt Feathertop and allow private development within the Alpine National Park.
In a statement made just after the budget was released, the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) said:
The final plan actually has less detail than the draft, but it flags more new track construction and the possible addition of large group lodges as well as cabins at each of the four ‘overnight hubs’.
The plan still includes a range of buildings on Diamantina Spur towards the summit of Mount Feathertop, Victoria’s only sizeable free-standing mountain, and so far an undeveloped peak. These huts (and a lodge?) would be serviced by helicopters bringing fresh bedding and food to the occupants.
Parks Victoria claims the track, which will only ever be used by a small number of visitors to the Alpine National Park, will generate 130 full time service jobs! It will cost $34 million to construct, and an allocation of $2 million in the current budget appears to be for further planning. The anticipated delivery date is 5-10 years away.