FALLS Creek to expand role as a high-altitude training centre with water frontage plans.
About 10 hectares of national park, including land on the shores of Rocky Valley dam and a shed once used to train Antarctic explorers, will be added to its holding under a bill before the Victorian parliament.
The area is used extensively by elite rowing squads, including national and state teams.
The trade-off is a slightly larger parcel of rugged terrain, home to an endangered skink, below Mount Mackay, that will now become part of the Australian Alpine National Park.
Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said the swap was a win-win outcome.
He said the bill offered the opportunity for private investment partnerships to develop the foreshore, while, at the same time, handing back highly valuable and relatively undisturbed environmental land.
“This will enhance Falls Creek’s potential for summer tourism and support its vision to become a high-altitude training centre for elite athletes.
“We want to encourage more altitude training, lake events, road cycling and mountain biking.
“Already in the past financial year the resort has hosted the Geelong Football Club, Melbourne Rebels and national and international cycling teams.”
Falls Creek chief executive David Herman said land that housed resort infrastructure and a road snow-clearing base would also now come under its responsibility.
“The land being added to the resort is highly disturbed, the legacy of the resort’s hydro-electric heritage,” he said.
“But it will also allow us to contemplate measured development along the Rocky Valley Dam foreshore near the shed that was once used by scientists looking to see whether they could survive in the Antarctic.
“We are continuing to look at a range of high-altitude training options for the entire resort.”
Victorian Environment and Climate Minister Ryan Smith said the Falls Creek biodiversity management system had also identified the land to be added to the national park as suitably habitable for the critically endangered alpine water skink.
The land also contains snow gum woodland.