Mount Buffalo Chalet still a priority

COUNCIL will continue to represent the best interests of the community in any future plans for the Mount Buffalo Chalet.

Council wrote to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith earlier in the year to request community involvement in a working group formed by the minister to investigate the future of the historic building.

Council Chief Executive Officer Ian Nicholls said that although the minister has opted not to take Council up on its offer to facilitate community input, Council would continue to advocate for the community.

“We understand how important the Mount Buffalo Chalet is to the community and we will continue to push for representation,” he said.

The working group is made up of representatives from Tourism Victoria, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Regional Development Victoria.

It will finalise a development plan late in 2012 and, subject to an affordable plan being identified, commence works in 2013.

Mr Nicholls said the minister’s response, which arrived last week, made it clear that the State Government was “keen” to redevelop the chalet.

“It is our understanding that the working group will assess the financial viability of the chalet as an accommodation provider through market testing this year,” he said.

“If there is a clear opportunity for commercial investment the plan is to put it out to tender next year.

“We consider that the State Government is now moving forward with this important issue and look forward to a resolution which will protect and enhance its important status as a national treasure.”

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