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Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Bright

Please express your views about gold-mining in the Alpine Shire

The Facebook group objecting to gold mining in the Ovens Valley has launched a survey to get Alpine Shire people’s views towards the future of gold-mining in the Alpine Shire. 

It comes as a gold exploration company has been drilling in the Havilah Valley in recent weeks.

There are many exploratory licences applicable to the upper Ovens Valley. And there are 2 applications for gold exploratory drilling waiting for approval covering areas south of Yackandandah, Wandiligong, all the upper Ovens Valley to Harrietville and a strip down the western side of Kiewa Valley near Mt Beauty. 

“We were getting clear indications many people in the Alpine Shire were not happy with the exploratory drilling and the prospect of new gold mines in the area” said Col Finnie, administrator of the group. “But we thought it was time to find out what ratepayers and residents of the Shire think, hence launching a Survey Monkey survey.”  

Continue reading “Please express your views about gold-mining in the Alpine Shire”

Taungurung Indigenous Land Use Agreement in ‘Limbo’

An Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) between Taungurung Land and Waters Council and the State Government is in ‘legal limbo’ after the Federal Court found it was registered incorrectly.

The land use agreement was finalised in October 2018 as part of a broader settlement agreement largely under the auspices Victoria’s Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010. The settlement agreement formally recognised the Taungurung people as the traditional owners of more than 20,000 square kilometres of land in north central Victoria from Kyneton in the west to Bright in the east. The agreement includes a number of national parks, including sections of the Alpine National Park and Buffalo National Park.

Federal Court proceedings concluded earlier this month, with Justice Debra Mortimer finding errors in the way the agreement was registered with the National Native Title Tribunal.

It is not yet clear whether this will impact on the agreements regarding the Alpine national parks.

Continue reading “Taungurung Indigenous Land Use Agreement in ‘Limbo’”

Bushfire recovery funds for alpine and valley communities

Ten projects in Indi (north eastern Victoria) have received funding through the federal governments Local Economic Recovery (LER) program for bushfire recovery.

Local Member for Indi, Helen Haines, says: ‘They will bring new jobs and attract tourism, and I’m so proud to see the hard work and initiative of our region recognised by this investment.

‘It is fantastic that the Alpine resorts have received $7 million for three transformational projects. The resorts were hit hard by the fires and then COVID-19, and yet inexplicably, the Government had initially excluded them from the bushfire recovery funding.

‘There is also great news for tourism in our region here. $5 million for the Great River Road, upgrades to the Alpine Hotel and Bright Velo will help position our region for a strong economic recovery, creating sustainable jobs by bringing tourists to our wonderful region’.

Continue reading “Bushfire recovery funds for alpine and valley communities”

One year on from the DEC 31 fires

In late November 2019, fires started in East Gippsland as a result of lightning strikes. As noted by Peter Gardner, many of these went on to become major blazes. November 21 was a Code Red Day, causing fires across the state. On December 30, fires tore through the township of Goongerah in East Gippsland. By 30 December 2019, the fires started in November had grown into three active fires in East Gippsland with a combined area of more than 130,000 hectares, and another in the north-east of the state near Walwa, which was heading south-east towards Cudgewa.

And on new year’s eve, lightning storms passed across the state and started another set of fires across the Victorian mountains, and fire season came to the Alps with a vengeance.

Continue reading “One year on from the DEC 31 fires”

No Gold Drilling for the Upper Ovens Valley

An Exploratory Licence application for gold is with the Victorian government’s Earth Resources department for the upper Ovens Valley. The deadline for objections is 23 December. The best time to stop a destructive project is before it gets going. Please add your voice to the strong community campaign against this proposal.

Governments and companies often dismiss opposition to exploration, saying that ‘any environmental issues will be considered’ if the proposal moves toward a mining application. But the more money the miner puts into the project, the more they will push through with the proposal to commercialise. The best time to stop it is before exploration starts. And if a project has no social license to operate, why approve exploration? There is strong local opposition to gold exploration in the Upper Ovens. In a time of climate change, where water flows are expected to decline over time, the river systems that rise in the Victorian Alps will become even more important for downstream communities and environments. Why would we risk such a significant river system for short term gain for a mining company?

Continue reading “No Gold Drilling for the Upper Ovens Valley”

Support mountain businesses this summer

As 2020 races towards Christmas and New Year, lots of us are thinking about presents and holidays. Here’s a few ideas about some of the great businesses in north east VIC that you could support. As we all know, these regions were hard hit by last summer’s fires, two rounds of pandemic lockdown and a shortened ski season.

This is like #emptyesky for gear and adventure operators.

Continue reading “Support mountain businesses this summer”

Dhudhuroa stories of the mountains, valleys and rivers

Jida Gulpilil is a proud Dhudhuroa man and in coming months will be sharing his stories of the mountains, valleys and rivers that make up his mother’s Country of the Dhudhuroa in the north east Victorian Alps. 

Jida says:

‘These sites are incredibly important to our people and need to be protected and our stories shared. Therefore, we encourage you to come a walk with us to grow a greater understanding and respect of our sites and places, culture and language, customs and ceremonies that all connect us to our totems and biodiversity. 

‘Give yourself the opportunity to truly understand this natural and cultural landscape from our perspective that will help to protect our waterways and landscapes for many more generations.

Continue reading “Dhudhuroa stories of the mountains, valleys and rivers”

Community energy hubs in north east VIC

Interested in renewable energy and how to make it happen?

There will be information sessions across north eastern Victoria soon, including mountain and valley towns like:

Cheshunt: 11 March

Mt Beauty: 20 March

Mansfield: 23 March

Bright: 26 March

Continue reading “Community energy hubs in north east VIC”

#RollOnBack to mountain towns this autumn

Finally, after affecting more than 1.5 million hectares of Victoria, all the fires are out. It’s the same story in NSW and the ACT and towns are fully ‘open for business’. Of course all mountain areas have suffered economically over summer, with lost business and less work. While some areas remain closed (for instance, significant sections of the Australian Alps Walking Track remain closed) the vast majority of mountains areas are getting on with life.

Now is the time to get out and visit mountain areas and spend up big, to help communities get back on their feet.

Continue reading “#RollOnBack to mountain towns this autumn”

Community offer on solar in north east Victoria

You can significantly reduce your energy use at home by installing a CO2 heat pump or solar hot water system.

Sustainable Upper Ovens is working with Solar Integrity, Indigo Power and the North East Community Energy Network to roll out this community offer across North East Victoria.

They will be at the Bright Community Centre at 7pm, Wednesday 28th August to tell you all about it and answer questions.

They will also be doing an information session in Harrietville in 3 to 4 weeks.

Check the Sustainable Upper Ovens facebook page for extra details.

 

All About Solar expo – Bright

14 and 15 June

Sustainable Upper Ovens is running an expo event on 14 & 15 June in Bright, and it’s for anyone interested in solar – residents with panels, residents without panels, renters and business owners. It will be an event where you can come and get all the information you need to install panels and batteries, maintain your panels, and understand how you can benefit from solar even if you can’t install panels.

There will be experts and displays on hand to answer all your questions.

Continue reading “All About Solar expo – Bright”

Drink local.

Whenever I head into the Ducane Range in the southern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair national park, I always stash a couple of beers under some rocks in the river at Narcissus hut, where the hikers ferry drops you. There are few things better than a swim and a cold beer after four or five days of camping, hiking and climbing in beautiful mountains.

I have to confess that the best beer I ever drank (so far, anyway) was at Uncle Buds hut, at about 3,400 metres in the central Rockies. It was my first overnight trip in winter in Colorado. It’s a long approach around a lake, then a long climb up a ridge, and it was a perfect, mild sunny winters day, but slow going as we broke trail through fresh snow. We got to the hut and Donny produced some beers, including a classic US dirtbag brew, a PBR, and we sat on the verandah looking at the highest peaks in the state as the sun slid behind Galena Peak. We skied some insanely good powder the next day, but that’s another story.

There’s nothing quite like a beer after a long days ski, ride, hike, climb or paddle. And of course, if you’re out bush or in the hills under your own steam, that means cans. Which recently got me thinking about the environmental impact of cans vs bottles.

Continue reading “Drink local.”

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