Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

Resort Roundup Issue 22 Autumn 2006

You can read issue 22 of the Kosciuszko National Park Resort Roundup below, or download the full newsletter (PDF - 2 MB).

In this edition


New visitor entry station on Kosciuszko Road

alt=Illawong Lodge - an ongoing connection with the past
by Hugh Malfroy, Illawong Lodge Member

Illawong Lodge, about 2 km south of Guthega on the edge of the Snowy River, was originally built as Pounds Creek Hut in 1926/27 to assist in the first winter crossing from Kiandra to the Hotel Kosciusko by Herbert Schlink in 1927. By the early 1950s a combination of neglect and vandalism left the hut in a serious state of disrepair, prompting one visitor to remark: "It had been somewhat neglected since I was last there in 1948 but still much better than the next time I was to visit in 1955. By then it was almost derelict.

At this time the building came to the attention of a group of ski enthusiasts, The Ski Tourers Association. With the approval of the then State Park Trust, the group, which was to become Illawong Ski Tourers (IST), restored and improved the hut and Illawong Lodge opened in the winter of 1957.

Restoring the building was a huge effort, since without road access, vehicles could not be used to transport materials and supplies to the site. Approval was gained from the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority to transport materials by boat on Guthega Pondage, and horses were also used with varying levels of success. However, from Illawong's creation to its present day use, the bulk of materials and supplies used at the Lodge are carried in by members and friends.

The fabric of both the original hut and the 1950s restoration can still be seen in today's building. Maintenance requirements and IST's objective of running the Lodge with minimal environmental impact have resulted in some changes:

  • Solar panels and batteries meet the modest electrical requirements (lighting only) reducing the need for liquid fuel to run a generator to a negligible amount;
  • Double glazed windows provide thermal insulation;
  • An efficient gas hot water system has replaced the old kerosene water heater;
  • The effluent management system has been significantly upgraded; and
  • All 'wastes' are separated and carried out with most being recycled.

Beneath the Lodge is an Emergency Shelter that is always available to anyone in distress. IST ensures that the shelter is kept clean and provisioned with blankets and some basic foodstuffs.

IST also constructed the flying fox over Farm Creek and the suspension bridge over the Snowy River - facilities that provide the major access between Guthega and the Main Range for people in all seasons.

During the annual Easter work party non-perishable food supplies for the coming winter are carried in, maintenance work is undertaken and empty gas bottles are back-packed out, refilled and back-packed in again. The work parties are not all hard work though - there is time for catching up over a cuppa or a walk to the Main Range. Participation in a work party is also a common way for interested people to get to know Illawong and its community with a view to staying at the Lodge and perhaps becoming a member.

Although outside the resorts precinct, IST is a member of SLOPES and also an enthusiastic participant in the Perisher Range Environmental Management System (EMS). IST sees the EMS as not only a valuable tool for monitoring and reporting on environmental aspects of running the Lodge, but more importantly in identifying opportunities for improvement.

So far the EMS has helped IST improve facilities for managing waste and 'recyclables", in identifying and managing risks and in training members and guests. In seeking to look more broadly at the potential environmental impacts associated with use of the Lodge, IST recently joined the Greenfleet program as a way of off-setting the greenhouse gases emitted by LPG use at the Lodge and by the vehicle trips undertaken by members and friends in visiting Illawong.

As might be expected of a building associated with the very earliest days of skiing in Australia, Illawong Lodge is recognised on the Register of the National Estate and by the National Trust of Australia. The National Parks and Wildlife Services Historic Heritage Information Management System refers to Illawong as 'one of the most historically significant huts in the park being a rare remnant of the early 20th century
NSW Government tourist bureau's efforts to promote alpine tourist recreational activities..'.

A Conservation Management Plan commissioned by IST for the Lodge, developed by heritage specialists, Goden Mackay Logan, identifi ed that as well as the historic and aesthetic attributes, the (nearly) 50 year relationship between the Lodge and IST is a signifi cant aspect of the heritage significance of Illawong Lodge.

The Kosciuszko National Park Draft Plan of Management (2004) recommended the retention of Illawong Lodge and its management primarily for its cultural heritage values while also promoting the concept of some form of broader public access in the future. IST members and friends are confident that the association between the club and the Lodge will continue for at least another 50 years beyond the current licence period in a manner which provides for the long term sustainable use of Illawong Lodge.

To find out more about Illawong Lodge or Illawong Ski Tourers visit the website

The guidelines suggest that preferred sources of names include Aboriginal names, local history, early explorers, pioneers, settlers and other eminent persons, war/casualty lists and thematic names such as fl ora, fauna or other nominated themes.Currently, roads are known using local landmarks such as lodge names. This has evolved over time with no real consistent approach. NPWS is proposing to resolve this through an informal process seeking input from interested parties. Following this, a formal road naming process will be implemented in accordance with statutoryrequirements.View the with resort maps detailing road locations. If you would like to comment on the Road Naming Project please submit the feedback form by COB 1st May 2006 to the following address: NPWS, PO Box 2228, Jindabyne NSW 2627 attention Marlene Casha or email: gales, hail, lightning, snow and pouring rain and only one good day of fine weather, the Department of Environment and Conservation staff and keen volunteers participated in the annual Mountain Pygmy-possum monitoring program in November 2005.The good news is that the number of Mountain Pygmy-possum at Mt. Blue Cow and Charlotte Pass has slightly increased, although they are still below the population average for the past 10 years. Mountain Pygmy-possum at Mt. Blue Cow had increased from 2 females and 1 male last year to 5 females (including 2 from last year that survived) and 4 males this year. Hair samples were collected from these animals to test the genetic relationship amongst this population and identify those animals emanating from outside this area. Mountain Pygmy-possum at Charlotte Pass has also increased from the lowest numbers seen at that site last year, from 8 females and 10 males, to 17 females and 10 males.Outside of resort areas there were two sites close to the 1987-2001 average whilst trapping on the western side of Mt Kosciuszko showed an increase from previous years with a total of 64 animals (35 females, 27 males and 2 unknown that were released quickly in a storm).Bogong moths, a major food source of the Mountain Pygmy-possum, were also numerous this year compared to previous years on Mt. Kosciuszko and Mt. Blue Cow. On one fair-weather night there were 3,500 moths captured in a bucket on Mt. Blue Cow. More moths could have been captured and counted in this survey except the bucket and funnel were full. After a decline in Mountain Pygmy-possum populations over recent years, it is likely that the ongoing fox and cat control program has alleviated the impact of these predators and is partially responsible for the improved numbers revealed in the 2005 monitoring program. However, the impact of a thinning snow cover as a result of climate change is still a major cause of concern for the longer-term survival of this species.In contrast to the better news about Mountain Pygmy-possum numbers, Broad-toothed Rat surveys undertaken throughout the summer of 2005/06 reveal a population crash similar to that experienced during the winter of 1999. A concerted fox and cat control program continues throughout higher elevated areas of the park, however it is likely that Broad-toothed Rat numbers are low due to the accumulative impacts associated with a reduction in snow cover. Furthermore, slow post-fire recovery of species and habitat as a result of the 2003 wildfire are also implicated. The critically low numbers of Broad-toothed Rat may require a change in protective status from vulnerable to endangered under the Threatened Species Conservation Act or email:

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NPWS staff changes

Paul Hendrych, Manager, Commercial Properties Unit
Paul left in December 2005 to further his career with leasing management in the private sector. Paul was well known amongst club and commercial operators and his knowledge of lease management within resorts will be sorely missed.

Penny Spoelder, Manger, Resorts Section
Penny was originally seconded to work on the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management. Penny will continue to work for NPWS in Queanbeyan to assist in implementing the plan and also on other strategic projects.

Marnie Stewart, Environmental Management Officer (Assessments Coordinator)
Marnie temporarily left Resorts Section in March 2005 for 12 months to further develop her skills and experience in environmental planning at DEC's Parramatta office.

Andrew Harrigan, Manager, Resorts Section (acting)
Whilst Penny Spoelder continues her secondment, Andrew has been appointed to the position until March 2007. Andrew will be familiar to many resort operators and lessees in his substantive position of Area Manager - Alpine.

Helen Smith, Property Officer
To assist with concessions and leasing issues Helen Smith was appointed in November 2005. Helen previously worked as Regional Administration Assistant for Snowy Mountains Region.

Dr Glenn Sanecki, Environmental Management Officer (Research and Monitoring)
Glenn commenced in this new position in January this year and is responsible for environmental monitoring and research programs across resort areas. Glenn has previously worked with NPWS and has a strong research background in alpine ecology.

Karen Walsh, IPART Implementation Officer
To assist in the smooth implementation of IPART recommendations throughout resorts in Kosciuszko National Park, Karen was appointed in January 2006 from her substantive position of Executive Assistant in the Jindabyne Office.

Penny McLennan, IPART Implementation Officer (Park Use Fees)
To facilitate the implementation of IPART recommendations pertaining to park-use fees, Penny was appointed in January 2006 from her substantive position of Manager, Snowy Region Visitor Centre.

Mark Rigoni, Project Engineer
Having previously worked for Gold Coast City Council, Mark comes to the Municipal Services Unit as a hydraulic engineer having worked on water-way planning and flood mitigation projects amongst other civil engineering programs.

Shane Trengove, Assessments Coordinator (acting)
Shane comes from South-west Slopes Region as an Environmental Officer working on rehabilitating former Snowy Scheme sites. Shane will be acting in the position of Assessments Coordinator whilst Marnie Stewart is absent from Resorts Section.

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Staff contact details

Key Resort Section Staff Contacts:

Manager, Resorts Section (acting)
Andrew Harrigan ph. 6450 5504

Manager, Environmental Services Unit (acting)
Donna Alexander ph. 6450 5607

Environmental Liaison Officer
Dave Woods ph. 6450 5616

Environmental Management Officer (EMS)
Margaret Burnes ph. 6450 5612

Environmental Management Officer (Assessments Coordinator)
Shane Trengove ph. 6450 5543

Environmental Management Officer (Research and Monitoring)
Dr Glenn Sanecki ph. 6450 5611

Senior Environmental Health Officer
Robert Porter ph. 6450 5613

Environmental Health Officer (acting)
Prasan Sharp ph. 6450 5614

Manager, Commercial Properties Unit
(to be announced)

Senior Project Officer, Commercial Properties
Karen Field ph. 6450 5529

Manager, Municipal Services Unit (acting)
Ian Bruce ph. 6457 5214

MSU Supervisor Water and Wastewater (acting)
Chris Foley ph. 6457 5214

MSU Supervisor Operations and Maintenance (acting)
Steve Hansen ph. 6457 5214

IPART Implementation Officer
Karen Walsh ph. 6450 5523

IPART Implementation Officer (Park Use Fees)
Penny Mclennan ph. 6450 5624

Contributions to Newsletter
Readers are invited to contribute to Resort Round-up. Please keep articles relevant to resort issues and to less than 300 words. If you would like more information about your contribution, please contact Dave Woods, Environmental Liaison Officer to discuss. The next newsletter will be Winter 2006. Non-credited articles by Dave Woods.

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Page last updated: 22 January 2015