Plan sees new elite training base in alps

AN ambitious five-year plan would make Falls Creek the pinnacle of elite high altitude training in Australia complete with playing fields for AFL, NRL and Super 15 rugby teams.

The Alpine Resorts Strategic Plan 2012 was tabled in the Victorian Parliament this week.

Among the priorities for Falls Creek is a state-of-the-art gymnasium, pools and treatment rooms.

Nearby Rocky Valley Dam would be turned into a high-altitude training centre for rowing, a cafe or restaurant overlooking the water to complement the development.

Member for Benalla Bill Sykes says the staged approach to turning the resort into an elite summer training centre was realistic.

“The Fall Creek proposition is potentially on,” he said.

“You already have Geelong using Falls Creek.

“It is well known as a haven for elite long-distance running over January, so, yes, this is achievable.

“Turning the nordic bowl that is used for cross-country skiing in winter into level playing fields for elite footy codes is doable.

“Some work needs to be done around the land ownership on Rocky Valley Dam and if that can be done we can develop some infrastructure for high altitude water sport training.

“I can see a lot of merit in developing a high altitude training centre at Falls Creek in a staged approach.”

Mount Hotham’s big ticket item on the wishlist is the $100 million realignment of the Great Alpine Road to create a village centre at the top of the mountain.

It also wants to develop a series of gentler ski runs to complement its predominantly advanced and steep ski terrain.

Mr Sykes says that is further away than the Falls Creek plan.

“That is a much bigger ticket item; there were some estimates some years ago, before the global financial crisis, that costed it at more than $100 million,” he said.

“Certainly Mount Hotham suffers because it is bisected by the Great Alpine Road.

“The resort says a short road deviation at the entry to the village would resolve these problems and allow the development of a stronger village centre, which is seen as critical for future growth.”

Falls Creek and Mount Hotham will now be required to complete a master plan that would act as the foundation for state government funding.

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