Recent media coverage of a proposal to stimulate economic activity in Mount Buffalo National Park has thus far centered around the concept of developing a skywalk above the Mount Buffalo Gorge.
However, the ‘Vision for Mount Buffalo’ document submitted to Parks Victoria earlier this year also includes plans to develop and reopen the iconic Mount Buffalo Chalet and its many outbuildings, with shops, wedding chapel and function rooms, and build a new 47-room day spa and hotel, including a roller skating rink.
The result will be a privately owned and run mountain resort-style ‘village’ on top of Mount Buffalo
The proposals are driven by the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group (MBDAG) , which has the stated aim of developing ideas that will see the Mount Buffalo Chalet reopened, having been closed since bushfires swept through the area in 2007.
David Jacobson, a member of the Mount Buffalo Destination Advisory Group, recently told The Age, that it was essential the chalet be rejuvenated and reopened to the public.
“It’s the largest timber building in the country we understand. And apart from its historic value, it has intrinsic emotional value to generations of families, five and six generations, even more.
“Luminaries like David Syme, who created The Age, used to holiday there, Sir John Monash, Percy Grainger, Arthur Streeton. It was their refuge from Melbourne,” Jacobson said.
The ‘Vision’ document also includes development plans for nearby Lake Catani, Dingo Dell and Cresta Valley, however the most significant works will take place on Mount Buffalo itself.
As a result, the MBDAG have suggested that the government consider excising the land from the proposed village from the national park, turning it over to private ownership.
‘If the parcel of land that contains the Mount Buffalo Chalet was excised out of the National Park and made available to lease under this Policy, ‘ownership’ of the asset could be created,’ the document states. ‘With ownership comes certainty, which paves the way for investment.’
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