Given the resorts location in the sensitive alpine environment of the Baw Baw Plateau, it is of the utmost importance that all development and operations are undertaken in a sensitive manner thus ensuring the environment is protected at all times.
Water quality, waste management, exotic flora & fauna eradication, net gain, silt management, walking track closure, native flora revegetation, and an ongoing commitment into studies of the Baw Baw Frog are key areas therefore ensuring that we are managing our environment in an appropriate way for future generations.
Resort management is currently working on a plan to monitor all water use, energy use, waste management and carbon footprint data therefore creating a resource profile and generating baseline data from which a continual improvement plan can be implemented.
Resort Management is currently formulating a framework for revegetation and rehabilitation as required under “Net Gain”. It is envisaged that total areas revegetated/rehabilitated will eventually show an increase of species associated with Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC’S) than was present within the resort 10 years ago. All EVC’s are being considered in this program and a variety of methods are being used to collect plant and seed stock for future use. A local contractor has been engaged to research and cultivate species to be utilised for this program and a database has been implemented to ensure the required outcomes are met. This stock will be stored and maintained at the resort nursery situated on Tank Hill.
To maintain a healthy environment it is imperative that staff, are trained to ensure the boards environmental outcomes / visions are met. Key staff attend “Habitat Hectares Assessment” training with the DSE enabling resort management to plan, monitor and manage all EVC’s represented within the resort boundary. These skills will also ensure that further development and maintenance works in the future will subscribe to avoid, minimise and offset principles as outlined in the Native Vegetation Framework and Net Gain. A draft “Vegetation Slashing Management Plan” has been compiled in conjunction with the DSE. This will ensure that all exotic and native vegetation types are managed within the plan framework including subscribed intervals and methods of slashing.
Resort management also offers environmental interpretation presentations for school groups and is committed to expanding this program in future years.
Resort Management has a commitment to ensure water use is as efficient as possible throughout the resort. Areas of operations within this strategy include – snowmaking, village water use, building efficiencies and potential recycling of waste water. Data collection of current use and a “Plan for Action” will see continual improvement in water use as the resort implements strategies to reduce water consumption in the future.
Resort Management currently operates a transfer station at Neulynes Mill within the resort boundary. This transfer station ensures all waste in stored and transported off the mountain at regular intervals.
Diversion rates for recyclable material are currently at 40% of total waste generated by the resort. Resort Management has an ongoing commitment to achieve a rate of 50% within the next 2-3 years. This will be achieved through community education and consultation and will include strategies such as waste stream minimisation, improved workplace and public place recycling and additional education strategies.
DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING
Resort Management is currently developing plans for building proposals throughout the resort. These buildings have been designed to sit within previously disturbed areas on the given sites. All aspects of “Net Gain” have been considered with the “avoid, offset and minimise” principles being adhered to at all times.
Once constructed these Family Lodges will sit within the current landscape and coexist with the natural values of the area. This minimal footprint and ecological sustainable approach to planning and development will ensure this development is an important part of the resorts commitment to our sensitive alpine environment.
All other areas of planning and development are carefully designed within the “Net Gain” principles and wherever possible are developed on previously disturbed areas thus ensuring minimal disturbance to existing native vegetation.
Resort Management is currently working towards the implementation of a GIS System which will ensure all vegetation, services, drainage lines, habitat and other infrastructure is mapped in layers therefore improving our ability to successfully plan and develop in an ecological sensitive manner. This GIS System and an important tool for environmental management in the future.