Reconsider the Falls to Hotham Crossing development

Victoria’s Alpine National Park (ANP), with its powerful, spectacular, and distinctive landscape, has a special association with the Australian community because of the unique landscapes, naturalness, experience of remoteness and as one of the few opportunities for broad-scale outdoor recreation in Australia. The ANP is widely recognised by Australian’s as the ‘high country’ and many community groups have a special association with the ANP for recreation, mental health, social and cultural reasons.

The current state

The current Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing, is a 37-kilometre, three-day hike through some of Australia’s most pristine mountain scenery, crossing the Bogong High Plains in the Victorian Alps and connects the alpine resorts of Falls Creek and Hotham.

It is a stunningly isolated wilderness experience that thousands of recreational hikers enjoy every year. But it may not be any more.

What’s the concern?

I am an advocate of commercial operators who help people explore areas they may not have the confidence to. What I am not a fan of is governments, land managers and tourism organisations who develop ill-conceived plans, ignoring public opinion, to capitalise on the lucrative inbound tourism sector and drive us recreational hikers out.

The Victorian government recently announced a $15M preliminary investment in ‘upgrading’ the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing (FHAC) in the Victorian Alps. The media release was somewhat ambiguous as it did not spell out the master plan which is to spend $34M of our money on luxury, serviced accommodation, run by licensed tour operators to rival other states and regions and attract cashed-up international tourists.

The government, as custodians of our wilderness, has been appointed to protect this powerful, spectacular, and distinctive landscape. It is vital we raise our collective voices to halt the FHAC development before it is too late. We do not want or need commercial developments or an increase of cashed-up tourists in our remote wild.

What I have done

I have recently written a letter to all relevant Ministers and Parks Victoria asking that this project be halted. My reasons are both personal and for the long-term environmental protection of the areas we all enjoy. I want my kids to experience it the way I do now. I have also shared this post via as many channels as I can.

How you can help

Please view the FHAC Master Plan for more information, before forming your own opinion and making a submission to Parks Victoria.

I don’t often allow my voice to be heard but strongly believe protecting our Heritage Listed National Parks from a commercial money grab is a worthy cause.

Hoping you can help protect this stunning area of Victoria for future generations to enjoy.

Darren Edwards

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