Recreational walkers must have equal access to the Falls to Hotham Icon Walk being developed by Parks Victoria and not be excluded to benefit commercial operators.
The Parks Victoria Draft Management Plan (DMP) currently states that there will be new restrictions on where recreational bushwalkers will be allowed to camp, and that commercial groups will have priority for booking limited campsites.
Bushwalking Victoria seeks to encourage more people to go bushwalking, but we think the restrictions proposed for the Falls to Hotham Walk may have the reverse effect.
We support the concept of Icon Walks, but are concerned these walks will exclude local recreational bushwalkers in favour of commercial tour groups.
We are also concerned that the proposal to develop a route up Diamantina Spur with luxury cabins built up high will have a negative impact on landscape values and may encourage less experienced groups to attempt to reach the cabins for shelter in dangerous inclement weather.
Commercial development, including building camping platforms and cabins, must not destroy the qualities of natural bush and alpine areas that bushwalkers visit. Some of the proposed cabins are planned to be situated for panoramic views, but the DMP says built structures should have minimal visual impact – it is extremely difficult to achieve both outcomes.
Victoria's Alpine National Park is for everyone to enjoy and we do not want to see inappropriate commercial development compromise the landscape values of the park.
Bushwalking Victoria is also keen for more funds to be allocated for the maintenance of bushwalking tracks across Victoria, not just for Icon Walks.
Peter Campbell, President
0409 417 504