Mount Buffalo Chalet
The Mount Buffalo chalet is located in the Mount Buffalo National Park and has been closed since 2007 following extensive bushfires in the Alps that impacted the National Park, and therefore, access to the Mount Buffalo chalet.
In May 2013, the Government announced plans to develop a day visitor facility at the Mount Buffalo chalet, comprising an information centre, activity centre and cafe space.
The decision was made after an extensive public consultation process and market testing.
The development of the day visitor facility aims to make the site ready for further redevelopment when the opportunity arises.
In 2009 an Expression of Interest and internationally marketed Request for Tender was undertaken for the redevelopment of the chalet but a viable commercial operator was not found.
The Mount Buffalo chalet has a unique place in Victoria. Since being built over 100 years ago, it has held considerable historical and cultural significance.
What is happening to the Mount Buffalo chalet?
The government has decided to proceed with a redevelopment of the Mount Buffalo chalet to provide a day visitor facility.
The redevelopment involves removing some more recent additions at the rear of the chalet building and refurbishing the remaining buildings to develop the facility, possibly including a cafe.
The aim is the make the site operational, open to visitors and ready for future investment when the opportunity arises.
Will the government fund redevelopment of the Mount Buffalo chalet?
The Victorian government understands the importance of the Mount Buffalo Chalet to the community and is committed securing a viable future.
Proceeding with the day visitor facility redevelopment with this $7 million government investment will mean that the site is kept open and operational.
The aim is to make the site ready for future investment by the private sector when the opportunity arises.
What future development options will be considered?
Future investment opportunities will include any viable solution that is supported by the market and local community and meets the requirements of the government's recently released Guidelines for Tourism Investment Opportunities of Significance in National Parks.
This could include eco-tourism activities, a restaurant or accommodation.
How will environmental, historical and cultural values of the Mount Buffalo chalet site be protected if there is development of the site?The National Parks Act 1975 protects the park and its values.
Any future use of the chalet will also have to complement its setting within a national park and meet the Guidelines for Tourism Investment Opportunities of Significance in National Parks.
Why has it taken so long to do something about the chalet?
The government has been working with key stakeholders on this issue with an aim to find the best option for the chalet and the community.
We recognise the importance of the chalet to the national park, the community and the region. We are confident that we have now made the right decision and that the government's investment in the chalet will have significant benefits for the park, the community and the region for the long term.
What happened to the Mount Buffalo Community Enterprise's (MBCE) development proposal?
The MBCE proposal had not been market-tested and required more than $50 million in public funds to be viable.
The government needs to balance the needs of the chalet with those throughout the state.
The government understands the importance of the chalet to the park and community and has been working to develop a financially viable solution.
The decision to proceed with the base case redevelopment and this investment of $7 million will give a boost to the park and the region, paving the way for private investment in the future.
Why did the chalet originally close?
The chalet closed in 2007 following extensive bushfires in the Alps that impacted the national park, and therefore access to the Mount Buffalo chalet.