The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby jamesmccormack » Fri 20 Aug, 2021 8:54 am

Hi All. It’s James McCormack, Editor of Wild Magazine. I hope this doesn’t break any forum rules by posting about some of our content here, but I think it’s genuinely relevant and will help the community in fighting the highly troubling elements of these proposals.

We’ve put up a page on our site
https://wild.com.au/opinion/your-mountains-need-you/
that gives a primer on what’s at stake here with these developments, and has links to other blogs on the subject like the fine ones from Cam Walker at Mountain Journal, and by Jed Coppa. We’ve urged Wild readers and the community in general to make submissions, and to do what they can to fight this. Virtually none of us here want swarms of choppers buzzing overhead, want vehicles along walking tracks in the high country, want the quiet ambience of Island Bend shattered, or want 'skywalks' like the one highlighted by Zapruda at the start of this thread. And that's just a few of the many egregious developments proposed. Anyway, our page also gives links to how and where to make submissions.

And while we’re at it, on an entirely related issue, for those who may have missed it, here are the links for a two-part story ‘Luxury Lodges = Wilderness Lost’ we’ve run over recent issues fighting developments and privatisation within national parks, in particular, the creation of luxury lodges, both private and public.
https://wild.com.au/conservation/luxury ... ness-lost/
https://wild.com.au/conservation/luxury ... st-part-2/.
Together they form a massive piece of work, more than 11,000 words in total, that goes beyond just the issue of lodges, and looks at the forces at work attacking national parks around the country, the same forces that are shaping these KNP proposals. I genuinely think that those who haven't read these two pieces yet will find them illuminating. And will probably make them quite angry, too.

Thanks, James.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 20 Aug, 2021 9:56 am

James, thanks, very useful. Our wild places are under attack on many fronts.

In case the computer dies or the internet explodes I sent my submission a few minutes ago. Does anyone know if NPA wants submissions to be sent to them?
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Zapruda » Mon 23 Aug, 2021 1:30 pm

I made my submission yesterday.

Don't forget that submissions close at midnight tonight
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby johnw » Mon 23 Aug, 2021 2:55 pm

Zapruda wrote:I made my submission yesterday.

Don't forget that submissions close at midnight tonight

Yes, got mine in last night.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 23 Aug, 2021 4:45 pm

Care is needed with submissions close to the deadline. Ive had emails delayed, sent at, say, 3 pm one day and arriving at noon the next day. I have no idea what is happening. Also, some agencies say that while submissions must be made by a certain day, they take this to mean 5:00 pm on that day. I always make my submissions a day or two ahead of the deadline.

There's some backup with legislation. The Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 provides
13 Time of dispatch
(1) For the purposes of a law of this jurisdiction, unless otherwise agreed between the originator and the addressee of an electronic communication, the time of dispatch of the electronic communication is—
(a) the time when the electronic communication leaves an information system under the control of the originator or of the party who sent it on behalf of the originator; or
similar provisions.

13A Time of receipt
(1) For the purposes of a law of this jurisdiction, unless otherwise agreed between the originator and the addressee of an electronic communication—
(a) the time of receipt of the electronic communication is the time when the electronic communication becomes capable of being retrieved by the addressee at an electronic address designated by the addressee; or
similar provisions.

Other jurisdictions have similar legislation. Regardless, it's a good idea to avoid sending important information close to the deadline.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby crollsurf » Mon 23 Aug, 2021 9:01 pm

jamesmccormack wrote:Hi All. It’s James McCormack, Editor of Wild Magazine...

And while we’re at it, on an entirely related issue, for those who may have missed it, here are the links for a two-part story ‘Luxury Lodges = Wilderness Lost’ we’ve run over recent issues fighting developments and privatisation within national parks, in particular, the creation of luxury lodges, both private and public.
https://wild.com.au/conservation/luxury ... ness-lost/
https://wild.com.au/conservation/luxury ... st-part-2/.
Together they form a massive piece of work, more than 11,000 words in total... And will probably make them quite angry, too.

Thanks, James.


Luxury Lodges = Wilderness Lost are great articles, thanks James for your effort.

I didn't want to say this until after submissions closed because those submissions do count but...

Recently a Ben Boyd Management Draft was announced and over 200 submissions were made. As I understand it, no responses to those submissions have been received. There was no public discussion and the plan has been accepted, without any changes. (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Lets hope this isn't the case here, but that's this Government's recent track record. Lets see what happens but I'm thinking it's time for some good old fashioned, boots on the ground protests. They have succeeded in the past and if anyone is planning such activities, I'd be happy to get involved.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby johnw » Wed 25 Aug, 2021 12:30 pm

crollsurf wrote:I didn't want to say this until after submissions closed because those submissions do count but...

Recently a Ben Boyd Management Draft was announced and over 200 submissions were made. As I understand it, no responses to those submissions have been received. There was no public discussion and the plan has been accepted, without any changes. (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Lets hope this isn't the case here, but that's this Government's recent track record. Lets see what happens but I'm thinking it's time for some good old fashioned, boots on the ground protests. They have succeeded in the past and if anyone is planning such activities, I'd be happy to get involved.

If your understanding is confirmed it may be worth considering lodging a complaint through the NSW Ombudsman:

https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/complaints

https://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/news-and-publications/publications/fact-sheets/state-and-local-government/complaint-assessment-criteria

"A. Complaints given preference

Preference is generally given to complaints identifying:

systemic (structural or procedural) deficiencies in public administration
individual cases of serious abuse of powers
an agency’s failure to properly deal with complaints
issues which, if investigated, are likely to lead to recommendations resulting in significant changes or amendments to law or policies
significant cross-jurisdictional issues (ie. issues involving or concerning the conduct or policies of two or more agencies or their staff)
sensitive issues which are unlikely to be (or be seen to be) properly addressed by the agencies concerned (due to such factors as the seniority of the staff the subject of the allegations, conflicts of interest on the part of the agency or its senior staff, significant sensitivity, etc), or
serious maladministration or detrimental action as defined in the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.
"
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby crollsurf » Tue 31 Aug, 2021 1:51 pm

NPWS has released a long awaited "Exhibition Report" that responds to the submissions made re Ben Boyd. A few changes which shows, the submission process has helped. Didn't change much though. Addressed some concerns that weren't clear in the draft and a win for bushwalkers wanting to camp at Mowarry Point.
https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/Parks-plans-of-management-other-documents/ben-boyd-national-park-light-to-light-walk-public-exhibition-report-200128.pdf
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby tom_brennan » Wed 01 Sep, 2021 4:28 pm

For anyone who is interested, the NPA submission to the Kosciuszko NP Plan of Management Amendment can be found here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1e2WUtV ... acbd8a50ec

Unsurprisingly, it is scathing.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby peregrinator » Wed 01 Sep, 2021 6:54 pm

Thanks for posting this. A scathing response is well deserved.

I'm glad that the convoluted governance stuff was dealt with. I had trouble trying to understand a lot of that. Still do, actually. At the time I made a submission, I wondered whether a lot of it was intentionally designed to deter people from making a submission.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 01 Sep, 2021 9:49 pm

Scathing is a good word. I too struggled to comprehend the two NPWS reports. The Falls to Hotham Draft Management Plan was easy and quite long, just needed to keep slogging through the mistakes and try not to laugh at them. My submission was quite long. Halls Island was much simpler and much shorter. KNP was confusing and hard. One thing I forgot to say in my submission was that I supported NPA.

I'm advised that NPA does not want to see submissions. Hopefully the submissions will be public documents. Some Falls-Hotham submissions were private.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby tom_brennan » Thu 02 Sep, 2021 8:43 am

peregrinator wrote:I'm glad that the convoluted governance stuff was dealt with. I had trouble trying to understand a lot of that. Still do, actually. At the time I made a submission, I wondered whether a lot of it was intentionally designed to deter people from making a submission.


As an individual, it's rarely easy to make submissions on large Planning documents, particularly when whole sections are objectionable. It often seems overwhelming.

In the case of ones relating to National Parks, the NPA will almost always make a submission. So from an individual point of view, our job is to mainly put some icing on that cake, and not to worry too much about the cake itself! Any submission is a good submission (well, almost)! The only bad submission is no submission!
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby hikingoz » Thu 02 Sep, 2021 11:37 am

The Charlotte Pass car park needs an upgrade because of the increased visitation of off season walkers. Cars are parking on the steep verge right down past the village turnoff and occasionally getting stuck. Is this part of the proposal? I haven't read it but I'm aware that some park infrastructure is exceeding capacity.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 02 Sep, 2021 1:04 pm

Tom, I rather like your advice "The only bad submission is no submission!" At Charlotte Pass it may cost less to have parking lower with a shuttle service, similar to Cradle. A day shelter and toilets may be useful.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby johnw » Fri 03 Sep, 2021 8:27 pm

hikingoz wrote:The Charlotte Pass car park needs an upgrade because of the increased visitation of off season walkers. Cars are parking on the steep verge right down past the village turnoff and occasionally getting stuck. Is this part of the proposal? I haven't read it but I'm aware that some park infrastructure is exceeding capacity.

Lophophaps wrote:Tom, I rather like your advice "The only bad submission is no submission!" At Charlotte Pass it may cost less to have parking lower with a shuttle service, similar to Cradle. A day shelter and toilets may be useful.

I actually put this in my submission, it always terrifies me parking at Charlotte Pass. I was there in December/January and I've never seen so many cars in the 20 odd years I've been visiting.
It was ridiculous and people were parking illegally all over the place. One car was literally just left in the middle of the road.
I proposed running a shuttle service from Perisher Valley. It already has a huge car park that remains empty outside the snow season.
Likewise most of the accommodation, but that's a separate issue. CP already has toilets at the track head but no shelter (other than all the chalets etc down in the village).
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Zapruda » Fri 03 Sep, 2021 9:07 pm

NPWS told me at the AAWT conference in feb that over Xmas 2020/21 there were 1000 people per HOUR passing Rawsons pass. I had never seen cars so far back down the road at Charlotte Pass. It was actually quicker for me to park at the resort and head up hill than park and walk along the road.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 04 Sep, 2021 11:39 am

Wow, 1000 people an hour. This is getting to the point of limits being needed. A gate lower down and a shuttle would fix this. Bookings need to be made and only people with bookings can get on the bus, or the quad at Thredbo. Overnight walkers could be exempt - the numbers are not that big. A few years ago NPWS said that 100,000 people climbed Kosciuszko each year.

There are limits on places like the Routeburn and Overland tracks, so a limit for Kosciuszko seems apt.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby johnw » Sat 04 Sep, 2021 12:50 pm

Zapruda wrote:NPWS told me at the AAWT conference in feb that over Xmas 2020/21 there were 1000 people per HOUR passing Rawsons pass. I had never seen cars so far back down the road at Charlotte Pass. It was actually quicker for me to park at the resort and head up hill than park and walk along the road.

That doesn't surprise me Stef. It will be even worse after the current crisis, but with last year's lockdowns and no international travel people were looking for any travel opportunities available.
We were staying with extended family/small grandchildren in Jindabyne. I found pretty much the same scenario each visit to CP.
One of our sons was camping with friends for a couple of nights at the same time, I think initially near Twynam, then in Wilkinsons Valley. Even he said that there were more tents than usual.
On this particular day I thought I'd have to park down in the village too, but I went up to the turnaround and fluked someone leaving about 200m back down the hill. I felt like I'd won the lottery.
I had planned a long solo day hike from CP visiting the western fall. I decided to do the circuit and go up the road initially, deciding which peak/s I'd visit once past Kosci.
Well, with all the people going up the road merging at Rawson Pass with the hoardes coming along the walkway from the Thredbo quad, you couldn't even social distance in what should be a remote setting.
I got away from Kosci as fast as I could and didn't even go up Townsend as there were too many people on it. Eventually I found some peace and quiet on Alice Rawson.
To give an idea of the numbers in the area Woolworths (smallish) supermarket in Jindy reported sales of $140k on a single day.
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Re: The Exploitation of Kosciuszko National Park

Postby Bogongpeaks » Sun 26 Sep, 2021 5:58 pm

Following a recent meeting, I have some information about the community consultation process for the master plan. I think this wretched plan will still destroy KNP at this rate. Below is a SLOPES summary.

"About 40% of the input was on matters related to the national park rather than to the SAP masterplan and therefore
more relevant to the Plan of Management than to the masterplan. Submissions on the masterplan were varied but apparently nothing that is likely to change the directions of the masterplan. The masterplan may be amended in light of the comments received but not substantially. Report on submissions received and a final masterplan will be available probably by November when further engagement sessions will be held.

Anthony Evans from NPWS reported on the response to the proposed amendments to the KNP Plan of Management. The intent of the amendments is to facilitate the implementation of the SAP masterplan (changes such as allowing commercial tour vehicle access to Rawsons Pass, helicopter access to resorts and accommodation at Yarrangobilly Caves were nevertheless over and above this). About 900 submissions were received plus a large number of pro-forma letters. Mostly expressing concern at development proposals. Detailed report is in preparation on submissions and proposed response. Anthony did not suggest any likely major changes to the proposed amendments.

Next substantial step will be the drafting of the planning legislation to enable implementation of the masterplan. Three SEPPs to be amended and of particular relevance to SLOPES, the Alpine SEPP. This and the administrative arrangements for it will be of key concern. Activity expected over the next several months; enactment of the legislation anticipated during 2022, early 2023."
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