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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Mt Stirling

VIC gov calls for expressions of interest in Alpine Resort Management Boards

Following the recent announcement by the Victorian government that it would restructure ski resort management boards at four resorts, there has now been a call for expressions of interest for 13 positions across the boards responsible for managing Falls Creek, Mt Buller/ Mt Stirling and Mt Hotham.

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Announcing the Buller huts trail

The high range of mountains that stretch from the western end of The Bluff to Mt Howitt then north to Mt Cobbler contain some of the best alpine country in Victoria.

Long a popular hiking destination, its always tempting to want to walk from one end to the other. But the logistics of doing a car shuffle are complex – it’s a long drive between the Howqua and Lake Cobbler. There is an obvious circuit you can walk, with Mt Stirling being a good start and end point. But the Howqua and King valleys are deep and the scrub along the Stanley Name Spur can be brutal. While there are many variations that are possible, any way you do it will be a serious undertaking, requiring good stamina and navigation skills, experience in backcountry travel, and at least five or six days.

Now the ‘Buller huts trail’, which links these mountains into a seven day circuit, has been launched.

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Chair of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Board resigns

It has recently been reported in regional media and The Age newspaper that allegations had been made that members of the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Resort Management Board had misused their position and public funds.

In late March 2017, the Victorian Ombudsman released a report into the allegations of improper conduct by officers of the Board.

The report implicated officers of the resort in the misuse of public funds and public resources.

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Time to make Mt Stirling part of the Alpine Park

With a review of alpine resorts being carried out by the Victorian government, the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) has renewed its campaign to have Mt Stirling incorporated into the Alpine National Park.

There is a small window of time remaining to provide input to the review, supporting the call for the inclusion in the park. The following information from the VNPA explains how to have input into the process.

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Clean energy to power Mt Stirling facilities

The Victorian government has announced a renewable energy project at Mt Stirling, which will allow the resort to switch its system from its current reliance on diesel. Additional commitments include toilets and ‘community shelters’ at Howqua Gap and the Machinery Shed, and an ‘all- weather access track’ from King Saddle to Machinery Shed.

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A new road on Corn Hill?

Since 2008, the Mount Buller Mount Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board (MBMS ARMB) has been trying to build a Link Road between Mount Buller and Mount Stirling via Corn Hill. Mountain Journal has reported on this proposal.

In November 2015, the Planning Minister rejected the Link Road. And the Environment Minister stated “I don’t anticipate any further proposals of this nature.”

Now, Friends of Mt Stirling report:

Guess what ? We now have a new road across Corn Hill.

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Mt Stirling tree gets a nomination

If you’ve ever walked up Mt Stirling, its very hard to miss the ‘Stirling tree’ – a lone snow gum that stands towards the south peak of the mountain and is visible from the four wheel drive track that passes over the summit.

I often sit by the tree and never fail to be amazed by how many 4WD’s drive over the mountain, without the occupants ever stopping, let alone walking around. The views from Mt Stirling are superb, sitting in a huge ring of mountains that stretch from Mt Skene around to Howitt, all the way across to Buffalo Plateau. The tree draws your gaze and is a popular spot for many walkers as they wander around the summit area.

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‘Out there in the Mountains’: questions of user pays, access and equity

The following comes from Chris Harrington.

A survey is currently being conducted Mount Buller/ Mt Stirling resort management, canvassing the idea of introducing a summer resort entry fee. A recent article in the local press notes that the “Mount Buller/ Mount Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board (ARMB) has confirmed it will not be charging a summer gate entry for the 2015/2016. However, the survey being conducted is investigating resort visitation, visitor patterns and habits with the intent of considering potential summer revenue streams” (Mansfield Courier 9/12/2015). The article also notes some opposition, and some support for the introduction of summer access fees.

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‘Road to Nowhere’ rejected

Mountain Journal has previously reported on the plans to build a “Buller Stirling Link Rd” between the two mountains. It has been argued by the proponent (Mt Buller Resort Management) that the road will provide a second escape route off the mountain should a bushfire or land slide close the main road from Mirimbah to Mt Buller. There has been the argument that a link road will encourage more tourists in the ‘green season’ as it is sometimes argued that tourists don’t like going up a dead end road (this argument was used in the unsuccessful campaign to put a road in from the Baw Baw village and across the Baw Baw plateau).

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