The Victorian government is proposing a major shake-up of North East Alpine resort management to improve a governance structure that is “complex and ineffective”.
The discussion paper, preluding the establishment of a climate change adaption strategy, offers two new models.
The first proposes a single authority for all six resorts in the state, headed by one chief executive.
The other would split the northern resorts (Falls Creek, Hotham, Buller and Stirling) and the southern (Baw Baw and Lake Mountain) into two similar bodies.
In both cases, the Department of Land, Water and Planning would serve as the principal source of policy advice.
In the current structure, four separate management boards, of which there are 27 members all up, report to the Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council.
Among the ARCC’s roles is to review the performance of the management boards.
As half the council members are also chairs of the management boards, “there is a conflict … council members who are also ARMB chairs are effectively assessing themselves.”
The paper also outlined other reasons for scrapping the two-tier management, including over-complexity and “internal role conflicts” in balancing commercial and public interests.
A DEWLP spokesman said the sector, under current governance, had found “the achievement of a broad range of public goods” challenging.
“For example, as outlined in the discussion paper, there are a range of issues regarding equity and access to the resorts,” he said.
“The highest proportion of visitors to the resort has household incomes of $100,000 to $149,999, compared with the Victorian mean of less than $80,000.
“Ninety-two per cent of survey respondents described themselves as white or Caucasian at all resorts, except at Lake Mountain (71 per cent) and Mount Buller (75 per cent).”
The DEWLP spokesman said the size of the new authority would be determined following sector consultation, but boards of between seven and nine members were often considered optimal.
“Under both options the governing entity will be a skills-based board,” he said.
“Priority skills for each recruitment process will be determined through consultation between the Minister (for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio) and, where possible the chair, in accordance with current government policy.”
Written submissions on the discussion paper can be made at www.engage.vic.gov.au until February 17.