The Victorian Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council (ARCC) is developing a new alpine resorts strategic plan entitled “Alpine Resorts Strategic Plan (2019) – responding to a changing climate”. The preparation of an Alpine Resorts Strategic Plan is a requirement under the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997 and will be informed by the review of the existing Alpine Resorts Strategic Plan, completed by Council in 2017.
You can make a submission to this process. But time is short, with the submission process closing on March 19.
There is an online survey available here where you will find a ‘stakeholder survey’ alongside a range of background information and links to some of the ARCC’s previous studies. There is an excellent report on the likely impacts of climate change on resorts available here.
Please note that submissions need to be in by close of business Tuesday 19th of March 2019.
The form has 15 questions. Don’t feel that you have to be an expert on climate or resorts to be involved, it is intended for all people with a connection to any aspect of the resorts. Just express your views in each question field (you need to fill them all out before you can submit the form).
Here’s a few thoughts that may help with the open ended questions:
7/ Picture Victoria’s alpine resorts in 20 years’ time. In an ideal world, describe what you would like to see.
– we hope that the resorts will have transitioned all their operations to 100% renewable energy well before 2039.
– some of them will be producing renewable energy onsite (eg micro hydro and solar PV at Falls Creek, wind energy at Hotham).
– they will have much stronger public transport links to adjacent valley communities to allow greatly reduced private vehicle use on mountain.
– threatened species (eg Mountain Pygmy Possum) are thriving.
– there has been no further expansion of the physical footprint of the resorts from the 2019 baseline.
– there has been no further loss of locally threatened alpine vegetation.
– resorts are actively managing offset areas to sustain biodiversity and limit threat of wildfire
8/ What (if anything) would need to change and/or what actions should be taken to make this future a reality?
– lift companies and commercial operators must invest in meaningful mitigation measures – transition to 100% renewables across all aspects of operations that use energy, including lifts and snow making
– public commitment to no increase in physical footprint of resorts – eg rule out terrain expansion or impacts from expanded infrastructure like dams for snow making
– lift companies to take a meaningful advocacy role to encourage state and federal governments to take action on climate change consistent with recommendations of mainstream climate science
– investigate public and private funding sources for onsite creation of renewable energy
– ensure that ‘green season’ developments do not have unacceptable environmental impacts
– maintain and increase funding for programs to ensure survival of locally threatened species
– greater emphasis on creating the infrastructure that allows customers to experience low impact holidays (eg economic encouragement for visitors to car pool/ use public transport, support local environmental initiatives such as threatened species recovery programs, support local community foundations who are investing in renewable energy, behaviour change materials in communications and across accommodation services, etc. Commercial operations must acknowledge the existential threat posed by climate change to winter rather than ignoring it.
15/ Do you have any other ideas to support the future success of Victoria’s alpine resorts?
The alpine resorts are strangely quiet on the issue of climate change. While many business sectors, including farmers, tourism operators on the Great Barrier Reef, insurance companies, banks, etc are vocal on the need to radically reduce emissions across the economy, the snow industry is essentially missing in action on the issue. ARCC could provide resources to commercial operators to facilitate them acting on mitigation and advocating for meaningful climate change policies.