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Mt Arapiles development plans

3:23:39 PM
Page 5
"Development of visitor accommodation and tourism facilities at Mount Arapiles."
Page 30

Those who attended the last consultation on this kind of proposal may be surprised that it's full steam ahead and damn the torpedos.

6:59:43 PM
as long as camp fees stay at 2$ and the road remains dirt i guess its 'thunderbirds are go'
7:03:23 PM
"Assist an investor to facilitate a climbing and nature based lodge at Mount Arapiles in partnership with Parks Victoria."

Doesn't sound good. What can be done to stop it?
7:11:17 PM
If you can't stop it - maybe you could encourage them to put it around the back, away from the Pines? Either over the top of Bush Ranger area (pretend they get a great view of the area) or over at the other entrance near Mitre Rock?

You could also convince any investors to avoid the pines by promise of year round late night arrivals and camp fire singalongs turn brawls - if they don't believe you, print off the last week of Chockstone posts as exhibit A!
7:58:02 PM
On 16/10/2010 dave wrote:
>"Assist an investor to facilitate a climbing and nature based lodge at
>Mount Arapiles in partnership with Parks Victoria."
>Doesn't sound good. What can be done to stop it?
Campaign long and hard against it.
Good old tourism Victoria, They would rather destroy what exists if it doesn't fit their image than admit that something is working. The local council and businesses have been trying for decades to work out a way of extracting bucks from the place. They really couldn't give a stuff about the local small businesses or the people that currently use the place.
10:01:59 PM
You have pretty much summed it up Kieran. I suppose we will have to sharpen the pens for another letter writing campaign to the local paper, council and elsewhere. I can't believe how quickly this development proposal has surfaced again despite all the negatives that were pointed out in the last study. It would be good to find out a few names of the people directly responsible for launching these unwelcome and poorly thought out 'initiatives'.

11:16:28 PM
Oh dear this is genuine? not again, and so soon after the X amount of money spent on the last study which concluded along the lines of "Arapilies is used by climbers."
6:49:27 AM
On 16/10/2010 Sabu wrote:
>Oh dear this is genuine? not again, and so soon after the X amount of money
>spent on the last study which concluded along the lines of "Arapilies is
>used by climbers."

Someone from the local council brought it up again, can't remember who, it was in the local paper just before I left. Why they are so excited about it, i don't know because the last waste of $50000 did indeed conclude that the main user group of the Mt were quite happy with it as is, didn't tend to spend much money and there was limited market to attract other user groups. I thought it was getting left at some walking/cycling track devt, a new picnic ground and marked camping sites with limited numbers a la Frog/Buffalo. A private campground was also mentioned although i struggle to see how even that would be viable. It appears people lack reading comprehension skills and are at it again.

I note they are looking for a suitable investor. If we are vocal that as the main user group and as locals we don't want nature lodges and the like, people won't want to invest money. That alone makes it worth another campaign round. At the same time we could mention development that is relevant to the Mt - such as revegetation, track maintanence, weed management and sustainable camping facilities. Why do we need to haul rocks up Pharos Gully by hand to get important work done when they can find al the $ they want for these sort of things????
9:43:26 AM
Tell us where to write.

The continued private development of public lands, or over development of areas which are simply 'nice' by public agencies, shits me to tears. Once gone it's rare to get it back. Thankfully closer to my home, the GFC put a kybosh on plans to set up an 'eco-wank' holiday park at legendary south coast public reserve "The Farm" involving pumpkin-heads from Babc--k and Brown.
10:26:06 AM
Send stuff to :

Horsham Rural City Council
Civic Centre, Roberts Ave
PO Box 511
Ph: (03) 5382 9777
F: (03) 5382 1111

Parks Victoria
Level 10/535 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria AUSTRALIA 3000
Phone: +61 (0)3 8627 4699 Facsimile: +61 (0)3 9629 5563

Tourism Victoria
GPO Box 2219T
Melbourne VIC 3001
Tel: (03) 9653 9777
Fax: (03) 9653 9722

You don't have to write a thesis; short, to-the-point and personal is good.

10:33:58 AM
I don't have an objection to one of the surrounding landowners creating something low-key providing it's part of their existing homestead area and has appropriate sewage management (the catchments around Arapiles are all closed). If they can make a go of it well, good on them.
I do object to that sort of commercial development being created in the park or adjacent to the park boundary, separate from existing dwellings.
11:51:47 AM
He cared enough to raise it in parliament in 2007 maybe with enough support he will raise it again. He might have something to say about the fact that Mr Nick Byrne, Manager Investment & Infrastructure Projects Tourism Victoria thought that the previous $50000 study was 'undercooked' (see link below). Also the fact that the link to the study no longer works - possibly taking it off the public record?

Edit: Im not even sure if David Kock is still a member of parliament.

10:58:28 PM
On 17/10/2010 Wendy wrote:
>Why they are so excited
>about it, i don't know because the last waste of $50000...
Looks as though there keen to throw another 50 grand at it. They could send me the money and I'll give 'em the last report. If that doesn't satisfy I'm sure I can make something up ($50K makes me really imaginative). 450 overnight visits per month from people who are willing to spend up to $1500 a day etc. $50K that's a lot of Coopers imagination juice.

Seriously how much more "eco" could camping in the dirt get.
7:01:24 AM
How's the Natimuk waterski & caravan park going to cope with this competition for cheap showers & washing machines??
11:58:03 AM
I can't wait for all the bargain camping gear on sale as we all move into luxury digs.

2:55:41 PM
The planning scheme that governs tourism development at Mt Arapiles.

(At the last consultation the local community strongly supported the part of this scheme that said that tourism development should take place in Natimuk. It's hard to see how the councillors who support this development are representing the community in this matter.)

Eduardo Slabofvic
3:07:09 PM
I would like to get a hold of that report from a couple of years ago to check my recollections, but I recall it saying something like a facility/accommodation would not be viable with the camping the way it is now. From that I conclude that they propose to reduce the camping at the mount so that the facility/accommodation will be viable. I just tried to search the Wimmera Mail Times for the article that was published earlier in the year that Wendy referred to but couldn't find it on line, but I recall that it did say something about closing the gums camp ground and introducing a booking system. If anyone knows more about searching for on-line articles than me ( which would be most people), then I would appreciate some help. I'll try and find a hard copy tomorrow.

I can also confirm that I attended a consultation with Council appointed consultants on the review of the Horsham Planning Scheme, and all those present at the meeting (both climber and non-climber residents of Nati) clearly told them that we did not support development at Arapiles, and that tourism development should be in Natimuk.

I would welcome a link to the last study if anyone can find one so that I can check if my recollections are correct. I consider it to be important that we check the facts from the written record before we start a letter writing campaign. I'm all for a letter writing campaign, but one that is based in facts, and no unsubstantiated claims, as the current Town Hall debate appears to be.

I also encourage everyone who participates in other climbing forums to raise this issue there. As this affects everyone who thinks they might like to go to Arapiles at some time in the future, as well as the local businesses that trade off of the visiting climbers.
3:28:30 PM
I've PMd Freepete on another thread for a copy. And here's a link to it.

8:30:10 PM
Thanks Kieran just found my old webspace password to do the same. You've saved me the effort cheers
One Day Hero
8:33:37 PM
So, after reading that document, I have even less respect for consultants than I used to.

They offer suggestions to increase the total number of visitors, mention wanting to increase the length of stays (is 6 months not enough?), and want to cut down peak numbers around easter........

I think they need to work on a marketing scheme to convince people to climb in the rain! "Come to Araps in July, freeze your arse off, slip off shit in the rain, its heaps good"...........That, and ban stupid uni groups from showing up with a hundred people and a $500 banner, farkin kooks!

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