Controversial road development angst

INCREASED TOURISM: The Mt Buller Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board argues the construction of a $5 million road from Mt Buller to Mt Stirling will become an appealing touring circuit, increasing year-round visitor presence.

PLANNING Minister, Matthew Guy, has used ministerial privilege to decide on a proposed $5 million road from Mt Buller to Mt Stirling, rather than allowing the issue to be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Although there is no current application to develop Mt Stirling as a resort, there are already objections to the proposal, fearing unconstrained development will follow its approval.

The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) has damned the minister’s decision, saying it has effectively cut down public scrutiny of the controversial road development.

VNPA executive director, Matt Ruchel, said late last year the organisation met with the Mt Buller Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board (ARMB), asking why a road was thought necessary and what the business case was.

“The VNPA has asked repeatedly for some sort of justification as to what value the road would serve in the case of emergency, but has heard nothing substantive from the road’s proponents,” Mr Ruchel said.

“We are deeply concerned the road is just the forerunner of a much broader commercial development, further fragmenting the bush.”

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