A newsletter for the resorts community of
Kosciuszko National Park
ISSUE No 29
sponar’s chalet 100yrs .............P01
rock creek .....................................P02
phs dinner ....................................P03
back to perisher week..............P04
(Hotel Kosciusko) 100 years
rare sighting ................................P05
bottler of an idea .......................P05
back to perisher weekend ......P05
pinks in! .........................................P05
Congratulations to the Sponar’s Chalet (Hotel Kosciusko) and refreshments, and both winter and summer activities. website update ..........................P06
and Kosciusko Alpine Club for reaching a centenary In winter, skiing was the chosen sport and it was this
muscle and determination.....P07
milestone after an association with snowsports that introduction to snowsports on the local ‘Kerry’, ‘Grand naming the way .........................P07
commenced in 1909. Hotel Kosciusko, at Digger’s Creek, Slam’ and ‘Percy Pearson’ ski runs that inspired many who mountains of musical talent..P08
emanated from a state government push towards were to eventually form clubs and build lodges in the perisher branding update ......P08
students emu bob .....................P09
tourism in the Snowy Mountains area with a focus on 1950s - a little further up the mountain at what is today
perisher ambassador program P09
snow-based accommodation and recreation away from the Perisher Range Resorts. There were also many winters helping hand in victoria ............. P10
Kiandra. Until The Chalet at Charlotte Pass was built in when the lake in front of the Hotel Kosciusko froze over threatened community .............. P11
1930, Hotel Kosciusko was effectively the only major hitchhiker sent packing! ............ P11
and provided visitors the opportunity to ice skate and play
snakes, kids and ranger dave ... P12
tourist accommodation in the area along with the rustic ice-hockey. Summer was also a popular time with tennis, road/sewerage works update .. P12
Betts Camp that provided basic sleeping arrangements croquet, horse riding, trout fishing, bushwalking and even in these challenging times ........ P13
for those wanting a stop-over on their way to and from golf – a nine-hole golf course existed on the southern side candid camera feral cats ............ P14
vale - ron deane ............................ P14
the Main Range. The Creel at Waste Point was also part of the Kosciuszko Road. The etiquette of the period and
vegetation monitoring ............... P14
of the government’s tourism infrastructure, having been a convention for Hotel Kosciusko would require a certain recent forum success .................. P15
used for visitor accommodation after being vacated by deportment and attire around the complex, particularly keep winter cool ........................... P16
the workman who built the Summit Road to the top of during mealtimes. Those not conforming would find ems update ..................................... P16
prrems commitment awards.... P17
Mt. Kosciusko and the first phase of the Hotel Kosciusko. themselves eating in the staff dining room.
weed management ..................... P17
Unlike the accommodation further up the mountain, The
In April 1951 a fire razed most of the Hotel complex love your mountains ................... P18
Creel was primarily used for fishing during the non-winter wildlife crossing! ........................... P19
leaving only the shell of the staff accommodation. During
months. food safety ...................................... P19
this era the Snowy Mountains Scheme was creating road food, health and furry friends .. P20
The Hotel Kosciusko (colloquially called ‘the pub’) was a access deep into the mountains and European workers vale - ted winter ............................ P21
stately gabled building that provided many people the associated with the Scheme provided different visions on australiana moves in ................... P21
village shuttle route .................... P22
opportunity to experience the snow country in style, how to progress the development of skiing and resorts.
Village shuttle timetable............ P23
providing comfortable accommodation, exquisite food Proposals to the newly formed (but cash-strapped) staff contacts .................................. P24
Above: a remnant and refurbishment of the original Hotel Above: ‘A gracious gabled building’ that ‘had developed
Kosciusko (photo by Dave Woods). a sense of presence and character’ – Olive Cann (image
courtesy of the Laurie Bell collection).
NSW National Parks
and Wildlife Service
hotel kosciusko continued...
Kosciusko State Park Trust for the building of club walkers. A bar was also housed in an adjoining
lodges and some commercial ventures saw the shed which served many of the Snowy workmen.
beginnings of Perisher, Smiggin Holes, Guthega Then in 1959 former Thredbo syndicate member
and the expansion of Charlotte Pass. Although Tony Sponar obtained a lease and rebuilt the
lobbied by the ski fraternity to rebuild a hotel former staff quarters, turning it into Sponar’s
complex much higher above the snowline, the Lakeside Inn. Today Sponar’s Chalet is owned and
government baulked at this suggestion and managed by Penny Miller and Peter Abbott.
refrained from rebuilding the Hotel Kosciusko on Top right: All that remained of the Hotel Kosciusko after
the ruins or on any other site. the 1951 fire (image courtesy of the Laurie Bell collection).
The stately grandeur of the former building Right: An aerial view of the Hotel Kosciusko in 1946
was to languish throughout much of the 1950s, (source: SMH).
although the building was made water proof and
provided simple accommodation for skiers and
Another milestone was reached this year by
Rock Creek Ski Club which turned 50. In the
middle of Perisher Valley on the Kosciuszko
Road, Rock Creek Ski Club is built on the original
site of Rock Creek Hut – the first major structure
to be erected by staff of the newly formed
Kosciusko State Park Trust (KSPT) and arguably
the first recorded building in the history of Rock Creek Ski Club: arguably the first recorded building in the history of Perisher Valley (photo by Dave
Perisher Valley. Woods).
The motion to build Rock Creek Hut was carried out by KSPT stone mason – Giovanni the snowseason as Rock Creek Ski Club.
generated by the growing demand of tourists “Jack” Piazza – whose building legacy is still Interestingly, Sir Garfield Barwick QC MP was
who made their way between Hotel Kosciusko evident at Waste Point, Sawpit Creek, Wilson’s instrumental in the development of the original
at Digger’s Creek and The Chalet at Charlotte Valley and on some of the early club lodges Rock Creek Hut when he was appointed by
Pass. At the time when the KSPT convened around Perisher Valley. Premier William McKell in 1944 as an original
its first meeting in July 1944, only a few trustee of the Park. He supported the need for
A twist of fate literally struck Rock Creek Hut
huts existed between The Chalet and Hotel a hut in Perisher Valley, endorsed the building
on 26 January 1949 in the form of lightning,
Kosciuszko including Smiggin Hut at Smiggin code and participated in the design of the
destroying the building and consequently the
Holes, Perisher Hut at Perisher Gap and Betts building including engineering a unique pipe
resolve of the KSPT to have it rebuilt. An offer
Camp adjacent to Betts Creek. These huts draught system feeding the large fireplace. Sir
later that year by Kosciusko Snow Revellers
provided a convenient resting place for patrons Garfield maintained his role with the KSPT even
Ski Club to rebuild the hut as a private club
moving between the two main establishments, when he was appointed the Commonwealth’s
lodge was turned down by the KSPT, but in
particularly during adverse weather conditions. Attorney-General in 1958 and Minister for
less than 3 years the KSPT held a different view
Construction of Rock Creek Hut was authorised Foreign Affairs in 1961. He resigned his
on development and began accommodating
by the KSPT in January 1947 and incorporated membership of KSPT in 1964 when he became
proposals for club lodges in Perisher Valley. In
local natural stone that was part of the new Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.
1958 an application to rebuild Rock Creek Hut
KSPT design standards. The stone work was
was approved and in 1959 the hut was ready for
02 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
part of our history
Resort Round-up is a newsletter
another successful dinner for the resorts community in
for the perisher historical society Kosciuszko National Park. It
contains a range of general
Following on from the successful inaugural southern ranges, as well as the movement from
dinner last year, the Perisher Historical Society government-based tourism to a club and private interest articles, operational
(PHS) second dinner was held at the Man from industry based snowsports. Peter is soon to updates and key contacts for
Snowy River Hotel in Perisher Valley on the June publish a book on KAC history which celebrates
Long-Weekend. Fine food and beverages were its centenary this winter.
issues and projects across the
organised and served by proprietors Ann and
The Perisher Historical Society is most grateful to resorts. A summer and winter
Brian Smith and their staff. Whilst the evening
The Man from Snowy River Hotel for generously edition is prepared each year and
allowed patrons to catch-up and share stories
donating the profit of $2,100 from the dinner to
of past ‘glissades’ and après activities, it was is available on the DECC website,
also an opportunity to provide an update on
as an emailed PDF version or as
PHS projects and listen to some interesting The PHS was set up to preserve and share
history. One of the PHS projects, ‘The Ski Lodge the history of snow sports in and around the a mailed hardcopy. Please email
History Project’, was summarised by PHS Perisher Resorts (Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes,
member Donald Johnston. The project aims to Guthega and Blue Cow). If you wish to learn
capture a range of information including lodge more, participate in one of the projects, nsw.gov.au if you wish to be
building information, profiles of foundation club donate items of historical significance or included on the email and/or mail
members and unique snippets and anecdotes become a member, please contact
email@example.com or visit the website distribution list. If you wish to
that characterise each club. Donald comes well
qualified for this assignment as he is a recently at www.perisherhistoricalsociety.org.au contribute articles please contact
retired heritage architect. PHS Secretary/Treasurer Pam Woodman receives
Dave Woods (contact details on
Bert Gardner’s kind donation of home-made skis
Next speaker was the venerable ski identity
that he built in 1952 from spotted gum, including back page).
(amongst many other qualifications) Bert toe-plates retrieved from the ruins of the Hotel
Gardner. Bert gave a short presentation on his Kosciusko (photo by Dave Woods). For current and back issues of
early days skiing before there was a ski resort,
his foundation role in building Orana Ski Club
Resort Round-up, logon to:
and how he crafted his own wooden skis from www.environment.nsw.gov.au/
spotted gum and toe-plates salvaged from
the 1951 fire-ruins of the Hotel Kosciusko. Bert
donated these skis to the PHS on the night.
The third presentation included an informative
chronology of skiing and snow sport
development in the Snowy Mountains as told
by Kosciusko Alpine Club’s (KAC) historian Peter
Southwell-Keely. Accompanied by a digital
screening of many historic photos, Peter focused
on the transition years from skiing Kiandra
to developing a skiing interest in the higher
year round resort
back to perisher week
Thredbo Village has for many years been members to visit Kosciuszko National Park, wonderment of highland glaciation and
a year-round resort with many activities and Perisher Valley in particular, when the alpine ecosystems. The social scene was
and events catering to thousands of landscape was not covered in snow and met with 180 people mingling at the Man
people outside of the winter period in the the temperature not so cold. Hotel on Easter Sunday and 120 people
surrounds of one of Australia’s premiere bopping away at the free bands sponsored
To launch the week of activities the
national parks. The new owners of by local Perisher hoteliers on the following
challenge of a 6.1km ‘Perisher Fun Run’ was
Charlotte Pass Village have also opened up Tuesday.
taken up by 45 competitors who raced
the resort for summer tourism having just
from Perisher Gap to Charlotte Pass Village. Back To Perisher Week was supported
renovated The Chalet, providing tea rooms,
Accepting that the rarefied air at 1800 by NPWS, Perisher, the Perisher Resorts
a restaurant and operating the Kosciuszko
metres was going to be an extra challenge Chamber of Commerce and SLOPES (the
Triple Chairlift for foot passengers.
to most of the participants who normally representative body for the club lodges
This Easter it was Perisher’s turn to increase reside on the coast, the first two kilometres of the Perisher Range Resorts). With over
the patronage of club lodges outside of hill was removed from the course – 400 people using their lodges during the
of the winter snow season. Titled Back much to the pleasure of the runners. A week of activities, this inaugural event
To Perisher Week, a range of activities guided tour to Illawong Lodge was a was well patronised and reflected a strong
including a fun run, guided bushwalks, popular activity for those interested in partnership amongst the Perisher Resort’s
social gatherings, live bands, an historic early ski heritage, and a picturesque trip to community.
film night and the running of the ski Blue Lake was accommodated by perfect
tube train, all provided an incentive for weather as ‘Ranger Dave’ interpreted the
Some of the Back To Perisher Week walkers The Perisher Fun Runners cross Spencers Creek Support staff and cheer squad welcome runners
pause with Blue Lake in the background on their way to Charlotte Pass Village at the finish line in Charlotte Pass Village
(photo by Dave Woods). (photo by Dave Woods). (photo by Dave Woods).
thredbo historical society
The Thredbo Historical Society has re-opened its museum in dedicated new premises underneath the
Kosciusko Room at the eastern end of the Alpine Hotel complex in Thredbo Village. Exhibits include the
Christine Smith Trophy collection and the 1976 Olympic Ski Team Suit designed by Pru Acton.
The Thredbo Ski Museum Winter opening hours are: 1 - 5 pm daily during July and
August (closed Wednesdays) and weekends only in September.
04 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
Camouflaged amongst the snow that fell over
the June Long Weekend, this albino Swamp
Wallaby is a product of a melanin deficient gene
inheritance, not an evolutionary adaptation
to a snow environment. This rare sighting
was captured by NPWS Field Officers John
Moberget and Amanda Bellamy travelling on the
Island Bend Fire Trail.
Photo by John Moberget.
bottler of an idea
(Repeated from the Sydney Morning Herald – February 21-22, 200 p.5 ‘Traveller’)
at smiggin holes
To improve the survival rate of
The Raddison on Flagstaff Gardens in Melbourne is claiming it is the first hotel in the revegetation projects in the Perisher
world to put completely biodegradable and compostable water bottles in its rooms. The Range Resorts, NPWS has started
bottles have been provided by South Australian company Goody Environment, which using highly visible pink plastic tree
has developed a technique that turns single-use plastic into a soil conditioner. The hotel’s guards. You can see these as you
general manager, Steve Finlayson, says a review of its environmental procedures led to the drive past the Smiggin Holes turn-
initiative as well as a 70 percent cut in water consumption. He said the hotel had cut its off. As green leaves absorb light
contribution to landfill by 70 percent in the past 18 months. from the red fraction of the UV light
spectrum to drive photosynthesis,
the pink tree guards concentrate this
photosynthetic energy enhancing
plant growth. The semi-rigid corflute
plastic provides each plant with
some physical protection against
grazing animals and strong winds, in
addition to a more beneficial micro-
back to perisher weekend in 2010!
climate of warmer temperature,
higher humidity and greater moisture
retention. Plant bases have also been
Easter Friday 2 April to Easter Monday 5 April... laid with weed matting and mulch
to give each juvenile plant the best
The support shown for the Back To Perisher Week this year has given SLOPES, NPWS, Perisher and possible chance of survival.
the Perisher Resorts Chamber of Commerce confidence to hold another event next year. However,
Next season we hope to see a young
the focus for the next event will be to group most of the activities over the Easter Holiday period
plant emerge from the top of each
rather than continue into the following week. Easter is a traditional time for many lodges to conduct
working parties and so this is a fantastic opportunity to engage the Perisher community even if it
Above: A thriving dusty daisy bush.
is just for a social hour at the ‘Man Hotel’. We will again be holding ‘The Perisher Fun Run’ between
Below: A revegetation site at Smiggin Holes.
Perisher Gap and Charlotte Pass Resort, but this time we aim to hold it on Saturday 2 April followed
(photos by Dave Woods).
by a gala social evening of finger-food and long yarns. We also aim to open the fun-run to the Snowy
Mountains community to make it a truly communal event and give wider publicity to the Perisher
area as a summer destination. The NPWS Discovery activities will also be running over the Easter
period and Ranger Dave will again provide customized guided walks.
More information will be broadcast in the coming months, but you can start to plan your Easter visit
to Perisher now.
love the season your in
Just in case you forgot how beautiful the Snowy Mountains can be on a clear Autumn day; this image was taken by Zarni Bear from
Scammel’s Lookout on the Alpine Way.
A recent overhaul of the DECC website has provided
a more focused set of web pages specifically assigned
to resort issues. You can now find more information
about resort services, winter access and road status at:
battery recycling now at perisher
In an attempt to improve the waste management By recycling batteries, you’ll help reduce the release
stream in the Perisher Resorts, a Cleanaway of toxic chemicals associated with their disposal.
battery recycling collection point has been
set-up at the NPWS Perisher Office. General Rechargeable batteries are generally found in:
purpose alkaline and rechargeable batteries • Cordless Phones
can be taken in for recycling. • Cordless drills
Batteries contain a range of environmentally • Mobile phones
hazardous chemicals including Cadmium, • Laptops and PCs
Mercury, Zinc and Nickel, all of which are toxic • Shavers
in high concentration. In particular, Cadmium is • Video Cameras
a major pollutant in soil where it is absorbed by
plants and enters the food chain.
06 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
The wombat caught in this trap took umbrage and decided to
reconfigure the design. The trap was used to capture wombats so
that radio-tracking collars can be fitted (and removed) to monitor
wombat movements as part of the ongoing study of wombat ecology
above the snowline.
A few years ago while setting some cat traps in the Thredbo Valley,
one wombat couldn’t’ resist the temptation to try ‘pilchards in aspic’ –
the food lure used to attract cats. The end result was one trashed
cage trap. Don’t be misled by the apparent gentle and placid nature
wombat muscle Photo by Alison Mathews.
where did that thredbo road name come from?
Ever wondered about the derivation of road • Crackenback Drive - after the Crackenback • Ramshead Lane - after the Ramshead Range
names around Thredbo? Well here is an attempt Range on the northern side of Thredbo Valley and peaks (eg. South Ramshead, Ramshead
to answer most of them for you. that extends all the way to the junction of the and North Ramshead) above and to the north
Snowy River valley. of Thredbo Village.
• Banjo Drive - after A.B. “Banjo” Patterson -
famous Australian poet and well known for • Diggings Terrace - pertaining to intermittent • Riverview Terrace - no particular derivation,
his poem ‘The Man From Snowy River’. gold mining attempts along the Thredbo Valley just pertaining to the outlook upon the
including the Thredbo area and down to picturesque Thredbo River.
• Bela’s Corner - after Bela Racsko who
Thredbo Diggings/Bullocks Flat. • Summit Way - no particular derivation, just
contributed many buildings in Thredbo
through his company Sigma Building Co. • Friday Drive - after Friday Flat used by graziers pertaining to the many peaks in the area,
although colloquially the Summit is often
including Candlelight, Thredbo’s first which itself was named after a satirical
used to refer to Mt. Kosciuszko.
commercial lodge. comment between a boss-drover and his
stockman. • Thyne Reid Drive - after Andrew Thyne Reid,
• Bobuck Lane - a species of possum
Chairman of the James Hardie Group, who
(Trichosaurus canines) which are also known • Jack Adams Pathway - a stockman who drove
was encouraged to join the Thredbo syndicate
as Mountain Brushtail. These possums are cattle between the Monaro and Murray Valley
and subsequently provide a more secure
occasionally seen in the Thredbo Valley. along the Thredbo River and across Dead
financial backing to the early development
• Brindle Bull - a major peak immediately to of Thredbo.
the south of Thredbo and at the head-waters • Mountain Drive - no particular derivation,
• Valley Close - no particular derivation, just
of Thredbo River. just pertaining to the mountains that pertaining to the valleys that characterise
characterise the area. the area.
• Buckwong Place – there is a Buckwong Creek
and Buckwong Flats in the Alps National Park • Mowamba Place - Mowamba Range and Below: Looking south from the top of the Crackenback
adjacent to Kosciuszko National Park in Mowamba River are geographical features Range across Thredbo Village. Many of the place names,
Victoria. If you think you have a more definitive to the south-east of Thredbo (Mowamba is both derived and implied, can be gleaned from this
account then let me know and I’ll include in the often synonymous with Moonbah). vantage point (photo by Dave Woods).
next edition of Resort Round-up.
• Cascades Close - after the Cascades area to
the south-west of Thredbo that includes a
number of features including Cascades Creek,
Cascades Hut and Cascades Fire Trail.
• Chimneys Way - the ‘Chimneys’ is a prominent
mountain peak to the south of Thredbo on the
southern side of the Big Boggy – a little further
south than Brindle Bull.
Weighing in at 880kg, approximately 6 metres
long and 2 metres high, this ‘puraceptor’ is
The Audreys (image from The Audreys collection).
waiting to be installed in the fuel handling area
at Valley Terminal in Thredbo. The ‘puraceptor’ is
an underground tank that separates and extracts
any potential hydrocarbon contaminants from
stormwater before the water enters the sewage
or stormwater systems (Photo by Shane Trengove).
perisher’s new name
and logo By Perisher Marketing
In 2008 Perisher Blue became Perisher, sporting snowy mountains of music
a new motif to accompany the new name. The
new branding will be displayed across all signage,
uniforms, equipment and communications material
a great success
in time for the 2009 snowseason. The inaugural ‘Snowy Mountains of The poetry side of the festival was also
Music’ was held on the June Long very popular with festival-goers. The
The Perisher identity takes as its central premise
Weekend, but it won’t be the last Broken Ski Award had over 30 entries
the size of the resort and the diversity of
time after more than 2,500 people with the winner being Lee Taylor-Friend
terrain that distinguishes it as Australia’s premier
attended 45 acts across 11 venues from Jindabyne. The live festival poetry
snowsports destination. In referencing the physical
around Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes recitation, The Snowy Poetry Cup, was
characteristics of the identity it recognises the
and Guthega. Music talent from across won by Zondrae King of Corrimal. Junior
four distinct areas of the resort that constitute
Australia and overseas brought much champion was Sam Glover.
Perisher’s personality and heritage. Each shape in
fan-fare, with the largest crowds being
the identity symbolises an aspect of this unique The festival finished with a huge finale
drawn to the headline acts of ‘The
combination: the imposing peak of Mount Perisher; of over 40 of the festival’s artists
Audreys’ and ‘Tex Perkins’.
the multiple peaks and valleys of Blue Cow; the performing on the Smiggin’s stage and
shelter and safety of the Smiggin Holes bowl, and ‘Snowy Mountains of Music’ also festival-goers joining in with old skiing
the remote wilderness experience of Guthega. provided festival activities for the kids at songs – all whilst over 40 centimetres
the Perisher Centre with lots of singing, of snow fell to usher in the start of the
Together these elements tell a powerful story and
dancing, puppets and circus fun with over 2009 snowseason.
invites visitors to experience for themselves the
300 children attending.
integrated diversity of Perisher.
08 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
A great initiative between the Perisher Ski
Resort and the Perisher Resorts Chamber
of Commerce commenced this season in the
way of the Perisher Ambassador Program.
Aimed at helping all employees working
across the Perisher Range Resorts to
maintain a high standard of customer service,
the program provides information on areas
such as communication, personal appearance
and conduct, the environment, cultural
heritage and the Alpine Responsibility Code.
By promoting a positive image and conduct at
Hills Grammar picking up litter at Friday Flat (photo by Dave Woods). all times, Perisher Ambassadors will enhance
the visitor’s experience which maintains
What do you get 80 students from Hills On Clean-up Australia Day (Sunday 1 March) the high standard of customer service now
Grammar (Sydney) to do as part of an assault was also made to clean-up synonymous with the snowsports industry.
their community service contribution? South Perisher, a section of Charlotte Pass To become a Perisher Ambassador each
An emu-bob! Divided into four groups ski slope, Charlotte Pass turning circle employee is required to read the Ambassador
of 20, each student spent approximately and board walk, the area around Seaman’s Handbook and answer a number of multiple
one-and-a-half hours picking up all types Hut and the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko. choice questions.
of litter from one of the target areas of Perfect weather was experienced by the
Perisher Creek, Pipers Creek, Friday Flat 10 participants who managed to collect At the successful completion of the program
and the Sawpit Creek precinct in mid- 11 bags of rubbish. A good portion of a token will be issued entitling the employee
to purchase a Perisher Season Pass at
March. A litter clean-up may not be as time was spent extricating ‘entombed’
exciting as horse riding, mountain biking or litter from deep within the boulder
sailing which were some of the activities crevices atop the summit, some of which For further information on how to become
undertaken by the students, but they were was 1950s vintage. The most interesting a Perisher Ambassador, please contact
justifiably rewarded knowing that their items included two-pairs of underpants the chamber of commerce secretary at:
efforts harvested 54 bags of rubbish that that were collected near Charlotte Pass firstname.lastname@example.org
no longer pollutes the environment. Well Lookout – freeing the mind and body is
done Hills Grammar. quite common in the mountains.
Below: Not fallen, but reaching deep within Below: The intrepid garbage collectors making
the boulders to retrieve some ‘vintage’ litter their way off the summit with booty in hand
(photo by Mark Nolan). (photo by Mark Nolan).
helping out in victoria
The travesty of the Victorian fires is a reminder time, as well as maintaining a critical number
of the precarious balance between the beauty of fire-prepared staff for any further fire
of vegetated landscapes and the volatility of outbreaks in NSW or in the Victorian border
our forests and grasslands during periods of country. DECC’s contribution was warmly
extreme fire weather. There are very few words received by the Victorians as were the other
that can be expressed to relieve the sorrow contingents from across Australia and those
for those who have lost loved ones, and only from New Zealand, USA and Canada.
a small amount of comfort for those who
In addition to the compliment of fire-fighters,
have lost their homes. But such catastrophes
DECC also sent 10 rangers to help Parks
bring out the best in all sections of our
Victoria in areas where there were little or
community. In Jindabyne a toy collection day
no staff due to fire-fighting commitments.
was organised and a number of events helped
Rangers were sent to the upper Murray Valley,
raise money for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal
Mt. Buffalo and the Falls Creek area of the
(including Thredbo’s community barbeque
Alpine National Park. Duties included clearing
which raised $29,000 and Country Music
fire trails and walking tracks, maintenance of
Channel Rocks the Snowy’s that contributed
campgrounds, rest areas and huts, providing
$10.00 from every ticket purchase).
visitor information and patrolling. EPA staff
were also provided to alleviate Victorian staff
involved in fire-fighting. This was the first time
DECC also contributed to the bushfire
that non-fire related backfilling personnel
campaign with more than 250 staff and 48
had been provided by DECC as a result of a
light fire tankers from across NSW sent to
major bushfire. The success of this interstate
Victoria. DECC’s assistance was balanced
arrangement will no doubt be considered
against managing a number of major and
again for future disaster planning.
minor fires spread across NSW at the same
Left: Fire weather parameters were unprecedented Below centre: Alana Dickeson at Mt. Buffalo National
during the Victorian wildfires in February 2009 (photo Park – one of the 10 NPWS rangers seconded to help
courtesy of NPWS library). Parks Victoria during the major bushfires (photo by
Below left: A brief pause on ‘The Monolith’
overlooking Lake Catani in Mt. Buffalo National Park Below right: NSW NPWS crews being briefed in
(photo by Alana Dickeson). Alexandra (Victoria) before heading to the fire-line
(photo courtesy of NPWS library).
10 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
threatened ecological community...
Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens now
a threatened ecological community under the EPBC Act
On 17 December 2008 the Commonwealth Conserving Bogs and Fens is not just about
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the protecting the plants associated with this
Arts approved for Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and community per se, but also the hydrological
Associated Fens to be listed as an Endangered processes that maintain this community and
Ecological Community under the Environment in turn the contribution of this community
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, type to the hydrological process. For instance,
1999. This listing became effective on 7 January intact stands of Sphagnum act as a natural
2009 following conservation advice by the filter for nutrients, pathogens and sediments,
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage thus playing an important role in maintaining
and the Arts to the Minister. The Alpine and sub- water quality at lower altitudes. Bog and fen
alpine bogs and fens have been threatened by a communities are also significant for regulating
range of pressures including fire, climate change, water flow and for providing unique habitats
weeds, grazing and trampling by non-native for a range of plant and animal species – many
animals, tourism and associated infrastructure of which themselves are endangered. Peat
and in some areas, sphagnum harvesting for the associated with alpine bog and fen communities
horticultural industry. Components of alpine are also considered highly significant from a
bog and fen communities have been listed conservation perspective as they provide a
under other various state legislation (in NSW picture of past climatic conditions through the
they have been protected since 2004), however, analysis of pollen and charcoal deposits. Such
the wide demise of this rare community type studies greatly increase our understanding of
across NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania has past climatic conditions which then aids our
instigated the listing for protection at the understanding of our ongoing climate change
Commonwealth level. and its effects. Photo by Zarni Bear.
Only 3cm long, a little Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingii) made its way up to Perisher Valley in March
2009 in a batch of plants propagated from the Victorian Alps Nursery near Bright in Victoria. Given
the species is not found in Kosciuszko National Park, the question was raised on what to do with the
frog. Firstly, the animal had to be removed from the area in case it contained the Chitrid fungus that
has been responsible for the decline of at least three frog species in the Snowy Mountains including
the iconic Southern Corroboree Frog. Then a return trip needed to be organised back to the Ovens
Valley. Fortunately more plants were being delivered by the nursery in late April which meant the
frog could go home on the return journey following a four week stay in Ranger Dave’s terrarium. The
frog’s stay was supplemented on a local diet of fresh moths, crickets, flies and beetles.
Right: Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingii) (photo by Dave Woods).
educating our young
snakes, kids, ranger dave and community
The warm weather in early January was the pretend rubber snake and with great emphasis Following Ranger Dave’s talk about snakes,
perfect opportunity for Ranger Dave to visit on only ‘experts’ should do this). Ranger Dave’s the children had a surprise for him. They were
the children at Thredbo Childcare Centre to talk method was very different to some of the ways learning about the different types of people
about snakes and what the kids should do if that some of the ‘mummys’ and ‘daddys’ had that were a part of the Thredbo community.
they see one. Unlike city kids or children from been dealing with them. The kids were attentive They then asked Ranger Dave to be their first
larger regional towns, many of the kids at the and at the end of the session were telling person that they could profile as a community
centre have seen snakes in their backyard or on Ranger Dave that you “don’t touch snakes” and member. So the kids got Ranger Dave to lay
the farm, so it is a very relevant subject for these you should quickly “tell Mummy or Daddy or an down on a large piece of paper so that they
impressionable children who are aged between adult” if you see one. They also reiterated that could draw his outline. They then had a close
one and five years. when they went home that night, they were look at the colours of his uniform, shoes and
going to tell Mummy and Daddy to “keep the badge so they could colour in his image. The
The children looked with great interest at a
grass cut” and “not to store junk close to the whole morning was a wonderful interactive
Copper Head (preserved in a jar) and watched
house”, as being able to see snakes is the best experience for Ranger Dave, the kids and their
Ranger Dave demonstrate how he catches
way to avoid an undesirable encounter. carers.
them with a bag and a hook (of course using a
Ranger Dave captures the attention of the Thredbo kids learn about their community by Some of our community members snake free
Thredbo Kids (photo by Rosheen Nikora). profiling ‘Ranger Dave’ (photo by Rosheen Nikora).
(photo by Rosheen Nikora).
more road sealing and sewerage pipe replacement
In response to an investigation of approximately nine kilometres of sewerage pipes around Perisher Valley and
Guthega Village using a special camera, a major replacement project was initiated prior to the 2009 snowseason.
At a cost of $1 million, approximately 415 metres of pipe was replaced using a trench-less pipe-bursting technique
where the old pipe is pressurised and expanded to the point where a brand new pipe can be inserted into the
old; this technique allows a new pipe to be installed with some additional protection from the old pipe. It also
means less excavation of old pipes thereby reducing soil disturbance and potential sediment movement into the
sensitive alpine streams. A further 310 metres of new sewer pipe was also installed by conventional trenching
techniques, with another 35 metres of pipe installed under sensitive alpine bog communities using directional
Roads were also on the agenda with approximately $1.8 million spent in the 2008/9 financial year on the concrete
sealing of another 1,050 metres of road around the Perisher Resorts. A small section of asphalt was laid on the road
up to Smiggin Holes Hotel to provide flexibility should excavation be required to access the utility trench that lies
adjacent to this road corridor. The total road sealing effort to date is approximately 2.4km.
Despite a late-April snow cover of up to 40 cm, contractors persevered to finish installing the 760 metres of replacement
sewerage pipe in Perisher Valley and Guthega Village.
12 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
be the best
By Paul Seisums – Manager of ‘The Lodge’, Smiggin Holes
No, no I promise you! This is not another doomsday – someone’s HOLIDAY? Think back to an experience
editorial forecasting boom, doom and gloom. I you’ve had in the past that blew YOU away. AHH, THAT’S
will not fill you with uncertainty, nor will I try to EXACTLY WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!
pre-empt what the Reserve Bank may or may
A personal example: I manage The Lodge at
not do with interest rates. I will leave all of this to
Smiggin Holes and I’ve researched every aspect of
the countless educated clairvoyants whom have
what I call The Lodge Experience. “Magic moments”
relentlessly studied to enthral us all with their
play an integral part in the guest experience and
opinions on global economics, forecasting and
mine start before they reach The Lodge. I generally
generally things that perhaps you and I may not
phone guests before they arrive and ask them how
they are travelling, you have no idea how much
What I will say, though, is that in these current this call is appreciated. Generally we let them
economic times, it is vital to stay focussed on know how far they have to go, road conditions and
the fact that we as a region must perform to the answer any questions, of which normally there are
best of our ability. We should carefully evaluate many! Friendly and efficient arrival and check-in
the customer/guest/visitor experience and add procedures are extremely important, put on your
massive value from every angle. We are all acutely “lotto smile” – the one you would have on, after
aware that the holiday marketplace is an extremely being told that you’ve just won the big one! This is
competitive one, and we must work hard to followed by “the little details” like fragrance in the
provide compelling reasons for people to return rooms, chocolates (for the adults) and snakes (for
for, and recommend to others, the experience WE the kids) left on the pillows - the kids go ballistic!
offer. I have a myriad of daily magic moments that add
value to The Lodge Experience, through out our
Ok, so we don’t have to do a Chevy Chase in
guests stay. The last being an email sent to the
Funny Farm (classic movie), but we do have a
customer before they arrive home talking about
responsibility - to our customers, employers, our
the week that was and anything humorous that
team AND ourselves - to do the best we can. It’s
may have happened, the snow conditions etc. The
“game on” from the moment our customers cross
sky’s the limit, just use your imagination!
the Jindabyne Dam wall: it starts with a friendly
smile at the bakery … from the ticket sellers at the We all know it’s the little things that add up to an
ski tube … at the park gates, in the restaurant and awesome experience and it really doesn’t take
so on. much effort on our part. I challenge you, and
myself, to rise above what is merely “expected”
I challenge all of you out there – lifties, ticket sellers, bar
and provide something truly exceptional. This will
staff, retail assistants, chefs, management (this attitude
ensure our region thrives in the most competitive
usually starts at the top), etc, to reassess your role and
tourist market in history.
performance by putting yourselves in the customer’s
place. Imagine you are experiencing your own service: Photos from top to bottom: The pleasure of serving gourmet
cuisine, pride in service and presentation and go the extra
how can you MAKE someone’s day - or more importantly
plant and animals
candid camera feral cats
In March 20 remote infrared cameras were set up
around Perisher Valley and on the Main Range to record
RON DEANE - vale images of fauna attracted to scent and food lures. The
aim of this project was primarily to attract feral cats to
by Scott Wheeler of Deane’s Snow – repeated from the lures where a video image was then taken. Feral cats
the June edition of the Perisher Historical Society are very elusive so it can be difficult to understand how
many are present. From these images individual cats can
Snowy Mountain’s tourism pioneer Ron Deane be identified and we can gain some understanding of
passed away recently aged 82, after a lengthy battle their population size and their proximity to populations
with cancer. of threatened fauna such as the Mountain Pygmy-
Ron’s links to the region go back to the fifties when possum.
he purchased Beaver Tours and conducted popular In the Perisher Range the identification of individual
Snowy Hydro Scheme tours from Cooma. Spurred
cats will also help in the placement of cat traps during
on by this success and the growing interest in the
the winter cat trapping program. We will also be able to
snowfields he went on to purchase motels and
identify from the images which cats have been removed.
lodges and later, using his large Sydney coach
company Clipper Tours, introduced countless After six weeks of operation the cameras had captured
thousands of people to the region via the popular images of four different feral cats, a number of European
ski tour programmes. At the height of weekend fox, rabbit, a wombat and even some humans unaware
coach tour popularity in the 1980s, Clipper Tours
they were caught on camera.
would regularly run up to 21 escorted coach tours
every weekend. Funding for this project came from the Foundation for
National Parks & Wildlife.
His first significant purchase inside the Kosciuszko
National Park was the large Ski Rider Hotel Motel
complex in Wilson’s Valley. Using that as his base
he ventured further into the Perisher Ranges with
purchases of The Matterhorn, Perisher View and
Corroboree Ski Lodges. In 2001 Ron purchased
The Stables Apartment complex which enabled
the group to offer all standards of mountain
accommodation in the Perisher area.
riparian vegetation monitoring
From very humble beginnings, Deane’s Snow is The focus of this monitoring program has been to
now the largest ’on snow’ accommodation provider identify what plant species occur along riparian
in the NSW Snowy Mountains and continues to zones above and below the resorts and are there
be a major tourism stakeholder. Even in his latter differences? Monitoring sites were established at
years Ron was still very committed to his original
Rock, Perisher and Piper’s Creeks and on the Thredbo
vision and was excited by the opportunities the
River. The monitoring sites were established in close
recent Perisher lease extension and new bed offer
gave to the region, both of which he committed his proximity to the current water quality testing sites.
company to. So far we have discovered that there are differences.
Below resort areas there is an increase in the presence
He did express disappointment that he did not
see the Perisher Village Plan come to fruition of exotic species and a reduction in the diversity of
after all these years, because he firmly believed it native plant communities. The information gathered
would breathe new life into the region and serve from this monitoring will help in identifying the
as a catalyst for more investment, culminating in cause of these changes and help to rectify or restore
Perisher’s recognition as the pre-eminent snow
degraded communities below resorts and identify
destination, a vision he shared from the 1960s.
suitable species in the use of regeneration programs.
The Deane family plan to continue the business Ron
Left: Riparian vegetation monitoring along the Thredbo River
started over forty years ago but without a doubt it is
sadly an end of an era, with the passing away of one (photo by Mel Schroder).
of our local tourism’s more colourful characters.
14 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
alpine resorts sustainability forum
By Megan Bennett – NPWS Resorts Coordinator
DECC organised the highly successful 2009 Alpine
Resorts Sustainability Forum in Thredbo, NSW from 30
The remainder of the program was divided into
April to 2 May 2009 with the theme ‘Sharing Sustainable
four sessions, each devoted to a specific topic:
Solutions’. The 2009 Forum was the fifth of these annual
environmental certification; water maintaining and
events for the alpine industry and for the first time it
improving biodiversity; and energy efficient buildings. A
was held outside of Melbourne at a NSW alpine resort.
highlight of the first session was hearing about the Lane
These forums are designed to encourage the Cove Tourist Park’s award winning success by putting
sustainable management of alpine resorts. The 2009 sustainability at the centre of its business planning. In
event attracted over 120 delegates from government the water session Selwyn Snowfields described their
and alpine-related industries in Australia and New remarkable innovation in snow making leading to
Zealand, including resort and ski-lift operators, significant savings in energy and water. The third session
providers of accommodation, municipal services and included an overview of biodiversity conservation in
transport, and retailers. NSW and VIC and the final session concluded with a
fascinating case study of the use of geothermal heating
After the delegates were warmly welcomed to Monaro
at a ski lodge.
Ngarigo country by Aunty Deanna Davison, the Forum
was officially opened by the Minister for Climate Change The Forum program also included the launch of the
and the Environment, the Hon. Carmel Tebbutt. The 2009 Keep Winter Cool program, an expo of sustainable
Minister emphasised that the sustainable management products and a dinner presentation from Tourism Snowy
of our alpine habitats and the nature tourism industry Mountains on the Australian Alps as part of the National
that exists within them makes both economic and Landscapes Program.
environmental sense particularly in the face of the
The Forum’s 14.1 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions
two greatest challenges confronting the world today –
from transport (for speakers and organisers), electricity,
climate change and the global economic downturn.
food, paper and waste (for all participants) were offset
The keynote speaker Nick Rowley, Director of Kinesis with VCS renewable energy carbon credits sourced by
and Strategic Director to the Copenhagan Climate Climate Friendly from the Gudhepanchgani wind farm,
Council, delivered a motivating address which was India.
referred to by several other speakers later in the
Positive feedback from delegates included “I found the
day. From Nick’s work in government and business
level of detail, information provided excellent, thought
with environmental, climate change and broader
provoking, left feeling what can I do to improve our
public policy both here and the UK he related how
lodge and my own environmental performance”.
sustainability and climate change are directly linked.
Nick observed that businesses are moving beyond For more information on the program and presenters
being merely regulated in this area and that planning, go to http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/events/
strategies and policies are necessary. However, alpsusforum09.htm.
to improve performance, real measurement and Far left: PWG stand at the
implementation is what matters. sustainable products and
services expo, L to R PWG Resorts
Section staff Helen Smith,
Donna Alexander, Virginia Logan
(photo by Mariana Lapargo).
Left: Nick Rowle, Director of
Kinesis and Strategic Director
to the Copenhagan Climate
Council, delivers the keynote
address to over 120 delegates
(photo by Mariana Lapargo).
SKI HOLIDAY CARBON CALCULATOR
ems update By Virginia Logan – NPWS Environmental Management Officer (EMS)
Press Release from Alpine Resorts Selwyn values inventory
Coordinating Council Independent consultant company, ENFAC, have undertaken an environmental inventory
assessment of Selwyn Snowfields. This project aimed to identify the natural and cultural
In a first for Australian Alpine Resorts, Keep values of the area and potential threats to these values. The report which includes extensive
Winter Cool now offers free use of a tailor- GIS mapping will help inform the further development of Selwyn’s EMS and form the basis for
made carbon calculator, providing snow environmentally sound management practices.
visitors with the means to measure the
carbon footprint of their visit as well as some
practical ideas on how to reduce greenhouse
The Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council
chairperson, Mr Andrew Fairley, said “The
development of the carbon calculator is
in line with Keep Winter Cool’s ongoing
commitment to the environment and Perisher Range Resorts Environmental Management System
encouragement of sustainable practices in Last year a new ‘Lodge Environment Manual’ was launched as part of the Perisher Range Resorts
the Alps”. EMS. One-hundred-and-thirty-three Manuals have now been distributed to lodge EMS Officers.
Great feedback has been received on how user-friendly and comprehensive the new manuals
The goal of the calculator is to assist visitors are. At the ‘Alpine Resorts Sustainability Forum’ held in Thredbo in May, the NSW NPWS staff
to the snow understand their carbon were swamped with enquiries from Victorian resorts eager to develop a similar guide for their
footprint and encourage them to reduce
the size of that footprint or, even better, Additional manuals will be distributed to all lodges during the winter period. This is to ensure
that a copy is available for lodge members and their guests to look at in the lodge which
to go carbon neutral. In this case, carbon hopefully will raise an increased awareness and broader understanding of the PRREMS. The
neutrality is the process whereby the visitor PRREMS posters are still available; please contact the NPWS EMS officer on: perisher.ems@
measures the greenhouse gas emissions environment.nsw.gov.au if you would like additional copies.
of their activities and then offsets these The new on-line ‘Earthcheck’ annual reporting system is also proving to be user-friendly with
emissions through the purchase of carbon over 70% of lodges having completed their report. Lodges who have not submitted a report will
be contacted on an individual basis. Thankyou to those lodges who have provided constructive
feedback on potential further refinements to the system. Once all lodges have reported a
The calculator covers the main greenhouse summary report will be prepared showing the performance of 2008.
gas generating activities involved in a trip
to an Alpine Resort such as travel, lighting,
heating, rubbish disposal and lift operations.
“It is easy to use, with just six easy steps
required to calculate a carbon footprint”, said
• Australia’s first ski holiday carbon calculator;
• Quantifiable measurement of carbon
emissions generated by a ski holiday;
• Encompassing transport, accommodation Bogong consuming bat
and services; and Whilst undertaking light trapping for Bogong moth numbers we came across a very
• Applicable to all Australian ski resorts. full Lesser Long-eared bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi) who had taken up residence in the
light trap and devoured many bogongs. Whilst this bat is common throughout most
The Keep Winter Cool carbon calculator can of Australia it was unexpected when we found it on the peak of Mt Blue Cow. The bat
be found at: www.keepwintercool.com.au. was subsequently placed in a rock overhang to digest the rest of its meal and wait for
16 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
PRREMS commitment awards
Calling for nominations How to demonstrate commitment • Implementation of water or energy saving
The Operational Committee of the PRREMS is On-going commitment to the PRREMS can devices; and
now calling for nominations for the ‘PRREMS be demonstrated in a number of ways. The • Improvement in environmental performance.
Commitment Awards’. This is the first year of following criteria will be used to assess the
Note: A nominee only needs to meet one of the
the awards which have been developed to nominations:
criteria. To be eligible for an award nominees
foster continual improvement in the PRREMS by • Implementation of a new environmental
must have fulfilled their reporting requirements
recognising lodges that demonstrate on-going initiative which has resulted in an improved
against the PRREMS.
commitment to managing their environmental environmental outcome;
risk and improving their environmental • Surpassing a particular PRREMS target; How to nominate
performance. • Superior education of staff and guests on Send an email to:
key environmental issues; email@example.com
• Implementation of systems to prevent Request a PRREMS ‘Commitment Awards’
The award scheme will be run on an annual
pollution; nomination form. Instructions on filling out the
basis and applies to all lodges, both club and
• Works to or around lodges for the purposes of nomination form and lodgement of the form
commercial of the Perisher Range Resorts. Any
environmental improvement ie. erosion will be provided with the return email.
member of the PRREMS can nominate a lodge
control, stormwater works, new chemical Enquiries: 02 64505612
- nominate your own lodge or any other lodge
you think should be recognised.
in a changing environnment
What will the impact of a changing climate What can we all do to help? Before a weed gradients. Control programs in Kosciuszko
have on the ability of weeds not currently can be a problem it has to be transported National Park have been undertaken in an
present at higher altitudes to establish to a location. In the case of weeds around attempt to prevent the continued spread
and produce viable seed? The current resorts they can be easily transported of this weed into alpine areas and reduce
predictions indicate changes in the depth through machinery, vehicles, building the abundance of the species within other
and duration of snow cover and increases material, gravel, plants, etc. It is important areas of the park. A study undertaken in
in temperature may provide conditions that we all consider this when undertaking January 2009 revisited permanent plots
more suitable for the establishment projects over summer and spring. Ensure which were established in sub-alpine
of weed species previously unable to all machinery and equipment is clean of areas in 1998 with the aim to evaluate
establish and survive in a sub-alpine soil or plant parts. the effectiveness of control programs
and alpine environment. The National on Yarrow populations. It was not until
How are we managing new weed
Biodiversity and Climate Change Action effective herbicides were identified in 2004
incursions? Weed mapping has been
Plan (2003-2007) acknowledges the that control commenced at these sites.
completed for some of the resort areas.
potential for climate change to significantly The sites were initially re-surveyed in 2006
As part of this mapping any isolated
increase the potential future distribution of and showed successful control of Yarrow in
weed incursion has been identified and
a range of exotic plants. all treated sites. However in 2009 the sites
mapped. Many of these weed species have
demonstrated varying levels of Yarrow re-
Any existing and new weed incursions been treated or plan to be treated next
establishment. These findings highlighted
and their potential to invade native plant season with subsequent follow-up and re-
the need for the implementation of
communities must be considered for the treatment if required.
consistent and effective follow-up control
alpine and sub alpine areas. In recent years
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L) is a programs to prevent the reestablishment
new weed incursions of known weeds
weed which is able to establish in both and future increase in abundance of
at lower elevations such as Goats Beard
disturbed and non-disturbed vegetation Yarrow.
and Vipers continue to be recorded at
communities at a range of altitudinal
increasingly higher elevations.
in the know
love your mountains
use nil phosphorus detergents
Question: Why should you use
nil phosphorus detergents in
the ski resorts?
Answer: To reduce the amount of
phosphates in your waste water which in
Left: Washing day, Cabramurra 1955. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.
Reproduced with permission of Snowy Hydro Limited under licence from
turn protects the environment and keeps
National Archives of Australia. the cost of wastewater treatment down.
What you need to know: native plants have adapted to grow and phosphate free dishwashing detergent.
• Phosphates can be harmful to the thrive in shallow nutrient-poor soils.
SLOPES (Ski Lodges of Perisher Valley,
environment. They encourage algal blooms The addition of too many nutrients can
Smiggin Holes and Guthega Incorporated)
in waterways which can choke ecosystems kill and displace native species, which
recently had ‘Squeek’ dishwashing
in lakes and rivers, and impact ocean life. subsequently enhances weeds.
detergent independently tested and found
For this reason phosphates have to be • Only 1% of all water on the earth’s it to meet its claim of nil phosphates. They
removed from treated waste water. surface is available for human use. Ninety- also used it in their machines and were
• It is expensive to remove phosphates seven percent is salt water and 2% is happy with the results. According to the
from wastewater. The sewage treatment locked up in polar ice caps, glaciers, the ‘Choice website’, ‘Squeek’ compared very
plants (STPs) in Kosciuszko ski resorts are atmosphere and soil; this leaves only 1% as well for its performance against other
all licenced by the Environment Protection available freshwater. Freshwater is precious brands. Choice also tested the accredited
Authority. These licences regulate the and limited - we need to conserve that brand ‘Hebron’ which has been certified
release of treated water back into natural which is accessible for our needs. by the Australian Environmental Labelling
streams. At the Perisher STP the excess Association. View the choice website for
What to look for: There is now a large
phosphates are stored in the sludge and the performance and price comparisons
variety of laundry detergents on the
removed as a solid to an appropriate survey: http://www.choice.com.au/
market that are nil or low phosphorous.
disposal site off the mountain. The viewarticleAsOnePage.aspx?id=105526
Look for the NP on the label. By contrast
treatment plant has a limit to the amount the majority of dishwashing detergent Other things you can do:
of phosphates it can handle. An increase manufacturers still use phosphates in • Don’t use excessive amounts of
in phosphates may require an expensive their products. Traditional dishwasher detergents. Only use the recommended
upgrade of the facilities. detergents are comprised of 9-30% amounts - this will help the environment,
• Many native species of plants are phosphates (0.5% to 2% is considered low reduce the levels of phosphates in
phosphorus intolerant. Fertilisers used phosphate use). There are dishwashing wastewater and potentially save you
on plants and crops to help them grow detergents now available that have money.
contain phosphates, however, Australian nil phosphates. Ask your suppliers for
18 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
what small In March 2009 a hair-tube study was This study showed evidence of small native
mammals undertaken to investigate what species of
small mammals were utilising the various
mammals, including Mountain Pygmy-
possum, Broad-toothed Rat, Southern Bush
are using the wildlife crossings around the resort areas. Rat and Antechinus. We also found evidence
wildlife fauna The crossings have been developed to allow
the movement of small mammals between
of House Mouse and alarmingly four with
cat fur. The cats had been detected in more
crossings? habitat both within residential areas of open pipe wildlife crossings where we have
the resorts and on the ski slopes. Twelve now placed rocks to allow small mammals to
crossings were investigated both within the enter but prevent cats.
Perisher and Thredbo resorts. The crossings
We plan to repeat this project in spring to
varied from under rock filled culverts to
help build up enough information on ‘what
boulder filled crossings or open pipes.
makes a suitable wildlife crossing for small
Sixty-four hair tubes were established which mammals?’
are essentially a small piece of poly-pipe with
In addition to the small mammals, a number
a lure (peanut butter and rolled oats) used
of skinks were also identified whilst the hair-
to attract the animal. The inside of the pipe
tubes were being set-up.
is lined with double sided tape which then is
able to catch strands of hair. The hair is then
analysed to determine the species.
A strong commitment to the DECC Food
Partnership Agreement was evident by the
high turn-out to the recent Food Safety
Refresher Talks held across the resorts in
June. A total of 272 people attended the
presentations that were conveniently located
in Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Charlotte Pass
and Thredbo Village. DECC was encouraged
to see a cross-section of personnel attend the
talks including owners, managers and staff.
Part of the increased interest in these refresher
talks has undoubtedly been due to the
increased enforcement of the Food Act 2003
over the past year, and a commitment by the
retailers to bring high food standards to their
food, health and protecting our furry friends:
solving the small mammals in food businesses and ski lodge challenge
By Mark Nolan – NPWS Senior Environmental Health Officer
Small mammals have an amazing ability to sneak into places • If the unwanted visitor is a house-mouse (Mus musculus)
that are dry, warm and contain food. Unfortunately they also the food business may apply to NPWS for permission to
have the potential to bring germs into food businesses that use poison baits in special ways to control the mouse.
might make people sick. Even if they don’t bring germs into This will only occur after an inspection has been
the food business, they have the potential to transfer germs conducted by an authorised officer and consented
around the premises. So no mater how cute these little in the way of a letter or email; and
mammals look, their presence is not wanted inside.
• If the scat is from a native mammal, then the food
In Kosciuszko National park we have a special situation. business can use a special trap (Elliott Trap) that catches
Under the Food Act 2003 it is an offence to have small the visiting small mammal unharmed so that they can be
mammals in food businesses. Yet in national parks the safely removed from the premises and relocated back into
presence of small mammals is not only welcome, but the natural environment.
this is their environment and they are protected! So food
As you can see small mammal control plans are pretty
businesses and ski lodges can’t simply use snap-traps and
easy, don’t take much time, and are not very complicated.
poison baits because they might kill a native animal, which is
The best thing about the plan is that it is a moral and legal
against the NPWS Act 1974.
compromise of meeting your responsibility under the Food
So what can food businesses and ski lodges in Kosciuszko Act 2003 and your privilege of conducting a food business
National Park do to control small mammals without breaking inside a national park.
the law that protects small mammals? Develop ‘Small
When a food business or ski lodge diligently follows a well
Mammal Control Plans’. These plans which are developed in
thought out small mammal control plan, the food business
conjunction with NPWS can’t absolutely guarantee a small
is doing its best to make sure all of its customers have tasty
mammal will never be found in a food business – BUT can
and healthy food that doesn’t make them ill, as well as
greatly reduce the risk of somebody becoming ill if they do
looking after our small mammals that inadvertently make
enter the premises. A small mammal control plan is largely
their way into the premise.
common sense – but followed well, they greatly reduce
the chance of a small mammal causing a problem in a food If you need help setting up a small mammal control plan for
business. The plans all involve the following measures: your food business or lodge, NPWS would like to help. Please
contact Mark Nolan – Senior Environmental Health Officer
• Seal up all the possible entrances that our furry little
on 64505613 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
friends may use;
Dave Woods – Environmental Liaison Officer on 64505616 or
• Make sure that if they ever do get inside, they’ll have to email: email@example.com
go hungry, or go back outside where they came from to
Left: Can you spot the mouse scat?
find food. Simple tricks like putting lids on food
The implementation of a mammal control
containers, cleaning up spilt food and litter, and making plan will help you meet your obligations under
sure they don’t have access to the garbage are very the Food Act 2003 (photo by Mark Nolan).
important things to do;
Below left: Without authorised consent,
• Regularly sweeping or vacuuming floors and under food snap-traps and poison baits are illegal
storage shelves and equipment. Can you guess why? activities inside Kosciuszko National Park.
Well, the small mammals usually leave a few of their Elliott Traps (live traps) can be used to remove
tell-tail scats (poos) about and if the floors are always nuisance native animals, whilst poison baits
clean a newly observed scat means a new unwanted may be an effective option where House
Mouse (Mus musculus) are involved, but only
visitor has arrived on the premises. It is a bit like being
after an inspection and subsequent written
approval is issued by an authorised NPWS
• Look closely at the scat? Experienced people may be able officer (photo by Mark Nolan).
to tell the type of small mammal that has visited – without
ever needing to see the small mammal;
20 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
TED WINTER - vale
Ted was always keen to impart his knowledge to
younger and older folk alike, always wanting to share
his passion and enthusiasm for the natural wonders of
the Snowy Mountains and his skill in navigating with
confidence through the mountains. Introduced to
skiing in 1935, Ted was never a downhill skier, always
championing cross-country skiing and touring and
(Repeated from the June edition of the Perisher
even making his own skis. Ted was instrumental in
Historical Society Newsletter)
the planning for a lodge at Perisher Valley and in the
It is also with regret that we note the passing of Ted summer of 1962/63 helped to construct Yeti Alpine Ski
Winter – poet, athlete, high school teacher, bushman, a Club. Skiing well into his mid-80s, Ted spent his latter
fierce advocate for the preservation of Kosciuszko huts, years in a retirement village at Faulconbridge in the
a foundation member of Yeti Alpine Ski Club in Perisher Blue Mountains – an area where he lived and explored
Valley and a passionate tourer of the Snowy Mountains for many years when he wasn’t traversing the Snowy
– on skis and on foot. At the age of 100 years, Ted left an Mountains. Ted Winter Close, a street in Jindabyne, was
inspiring legacy of achievements and contributions to named in honour of the great man.
this country, including representing Australia in pole-
Perhaps Ted Winter was best summed up by a fellow
vaulting at the Empire Games in Sydney in 1938 (an
journeyman – Paddy Pallin:
early version of the Commonwealth Games). With his
extraordinary athletic prowess Ted loved the challenge ’Lean as a greyhound, tough as a snow gum, the
of touring in the wildest storms, day and night, and survivor of many a storm, Ted Winter probably knows
traversing the hardest terrain. the Snowy Mountains better than any other person.’
australiana moves in
The consequences of leaving your front door open in East Jindabyne could
be considered an invitation by the local wildlife to move in. Well that is
how one Echidna interpreted this opportunity when NPWS Assessments
Coordinator – Shane Trengove watched the spiky monotreme stroll
through his front door and into his lounge room in early January. It took
some of Shane’s better ‘liaising’ skills to encourage the echidna to
find residence on the other side of the door. Not to be outdone by his
mammalian counterpart, a Blotched Blue-tongue lizard decided to celebrate
Australia Day with Shane as he noticed the 30 cm reptile crawling across
his carpet, down the hallway and into a bedroom. He subsequently could
not find the scaly intruder so he left the door open and after repeated
searches thought that the animal had found its own way outside. Two
days had passed when the lizard decided that Shane’s hospitality was
unsatisfactory and was seen scrambling across his carpet. Again, using his
better ‘liaising’ skills, he said farewell to his unwanted menagerie as he
encouraged another piece of Australiana out the door.
Epilogue: Shane now closes his door.
Left: Blotched Blue Tongue (photo by Dave Woods).
22 ResortRoundUP - issue 29
Key Resort Section Staff Contacts:
Manager, Resorts Section
Andrew Harrigan – Ph. 6450 5504
Manager, Environmental Services Unit
Donna Alexander – Ph. 6450 5607
Environmental Liaison Officer
Dave Woods – Ph. 6450 5616
Environmental Management Officer (EMS)
Virginia Logan – Ph. 6450 5612
Environmental Management Officer
Shane Trengove – Ph. 6450 5543
Environmental Management Officer
(Research and Monitoring)
Mel Schroder – Ph. 6450 5611
Senior Environmental Health Officer
Mark Nolan – Ph. 6450 5613
Non-credited articles by Dave Woods.
Manager, Commercial Properties Unit
Karen Field – Ph. 6450 5502
Manager, Municipal Services Unit
Andrew Logan – Ph. 6457 4410
NSW National Parks
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Wildlife Service
Senior Engineer, Municipal Services Unit
Ryan Petrov – Ph. 6457 4411
email: email@example.com NPWS Jindabyne Office
Ph. 6450 5555
MSU Supervisor Operations and Maintenance Fax 6450 5530
Steve Hansen – ph. 6457 4413
NPWS Perisher Office
Ph. 6457 4444
Fax 6457 4455
The NPWS is part of the Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW