No luxury for bush hikers

Parks Victoria acting chief executive Chris Hardman
Nanjing Night Net

The boss of Parks Victoria has denied his organisation is planning to set up “luxury” accommodation in remote bushland.

AParks Victoria and Regional Development Victoria report revealed plans to upgrade the five-day, 56-kilometre walk between Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, including cabins for”high-yield” tourists.

It was promoted as a way of allowing more people to access the walk, including those who did not want to camp, but not everyone was on board.

Bushwalking Victoriapresident Peter Campbell said he wasconcerned about “luxury cabins”near Diamantina Spur.

“Commercial development, including building camping platforms and cabins, must not destroy the qualities of natural bush and alpine areas,” he said.

The comments were reported across metro newspapers and in The Border Mail.

Parks Victoria acting chief executive Chris Hardman has responded to deny any proposal for “luxury accommodation” or banning low-spending hikers.

“The draft plan does not propose ‘luxury developments’ anywhere within its 105 pages, it proposes appropriate accommodation that minimises the impact on the surrounding environment,” he said. “After an eight-hour hike it would be welcome comfort indeed, but we do not consider hiker accommodation to represent ‘luxury’ in any way or form.”

Mr Hardman said school groups, young families orolder visitors could make use of the cabins, while there would still beopportunitiesalong thetrail for self-sufficient hikers tocamp for free.

“I encourage anyone with any interest at all in the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing to read the draft plan and to provide feedback to us,” he said. “We have an important opportunity to get this right and we want any Victorian with an interest in the area to help us achieve that.”

Submissions on the proposal can be emailed [email protected]论坛 or put in at parkweb.vic.gov419论坛/get-involved/have-your-sayuntil January 27.

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