Snowies Iconic Walk Review of Environmental Factors: Public consultation

A Review of Environmental Factors to inform the alignment and construction of the Snowies Iconic Walk in Kosciuszko National Park is open for consultation until 2 September 2019.

Public exhibition of the Review of Environmental Factors provides an important opportunity for members of the community to have a say in relation to this activity proposed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

The Snowies Iconic Walk is an important project set within one of the most significant and biodiverse national parks in Australia. Kosciuszko National Park contains a diverse array of ecological, cultural and recreational values within unique alpine and subalpine ecosystems.

The Snowies Iconic Walk project proposes construction of new tracks, and upgrades to existing tracks, to deliver a world-class walking trail through stunning alpine scenery that links the 5 existing resort villages at Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Guthega, Perisher and Lake Crackenback. The walk will strengthen the appeal of New South Wales as a walking destination and provide opportunities for a more diverse range of visitors to enjoy our spectacular national parks.

Three sections of track will be constructed to complement the existing tracks around Mount Kosciuszko and the Main Range:

  • Guthega to Charlotte Pass
  • Charlotte Pass to Perisher via Porcupine Rocks
  • Perisher to Bullocks Flat.

After a detailed analysis of several route options, the final alignment was selected to maximise the visitor experience of each route, minimise environmental impacts and ensure construction costs fit the project budget. The avoidance of significant impacts on threatened species and communities, especially alpine bogs, threatened reptiles and Mountain Pygmy-possum, has been a major driver in selecting the final track configuration.

A combination of construction methods is planned, including elevated structures and bridges, rock paving (including pitched rock) and natural/gravel surfaces. The works would involve the construction of approximately 25 kilometres of new walking tracks which include some minor upgrades and/or realignments to an existing track near Porcupine Rocks. A new bridge over Spencers Creek, small campsites at 2 locations along new alignments and upgrades of car parking facilities at the existing Porcupine Rocks trailhead at Perisher Valley are also proposed.

What is a Review of Environmental Factors?

A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) is used to document the environmental impact assessment of proposed activities on lands managed by NPWS. It examines the significance of likely environmental impacts of the proposal and measures required to mitigate adverse impacts to the environment.

The NPWS is the proponent and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is the determining authority for this activity under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The REF will assist the determining authority to decide whether an activity should be approved and assists in the development of appropriate conditions should approval be given.

The REF is supported by several documents:

What opportunities will the community have to comment?

The Review of Environmental Factors is on public exhibition until 2 September 2019 and anyone can review this document and provide comments.

What happens next?

At the end of the public exhibition period in September 2019, all submissions will be reviewed, and a submissions report will be provided to the determining authority.

The Department will determine the Review of Environmental Factors, based on its review of the documents and the information provided in submissions. If the Determination recommends that the activity may proceed, pending the approval of the proposed Kosciuszko Plan of Management amendments (Visitor Experience Improvements), construction of the new sections of track is expected to commence in the summer of 2019-20.

How can I get more information about the proposal?

For further information on the Snowies Iconic Walk visit the project web page or read Draft Walking Tracks Strategy – Kosciuszko Summit Precinct, the strategy that guides management of walking tracks in the southern end of Kosciuszko National Park.

Where can I see a printed copy of the Review of Environmental Factors?

Hard copies are available for viewing at:

  • Snowy Region Visitor Centre, 49 Kosciuszko Road, Jindabyne
  • Tumut Region Visitor Centre, The Old Butter Factory, 5 Adelong Road, Tumut
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service office, 11 Farrer Place, Queanbeyan

Copies of the document on CD can be requested from NPWS by phone 6450 5621 or post: PO Box 2228, Jindabyne NSW 2627.

How can I comment on the Review of Environmental Factors?

Public exhibition of the Review of Environmental Factors is until 2 September 2019. You are invited to comment on the Review of Environmental Factors before this date.

While all submissions count, they are most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want for park management. Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:

  • Write clearly and be specific about the issues of concern to you.
  • Note which part or section of the REF or attachments your comments relate to.
  • Give reasoning in support of your points - makes it easier for us to consider your ideas and helps avoid misinterpretation.
  • Tell us specifically what you agree/disagree with and why.

Your comments will be used to assess the likelihood of the proposed activity causing a significant impact.

Your privacy

Your comments on the Review of Environmental Factors may include 'personal information'. The Department complies with the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 which regulates the collection, storage, quality, use and disclosure of personal information. For details see our privacy page. The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary but information that in some way identifies you may be gathered when you use our website or send us an email.

A summary of issues raised in public submissions may be made publicly available during and after a determination has been made. If you wish your identity and personal information in your submission to be treated as confidential you must request your name be treated as confidential, and not include any of your personal information in the main text of the submission or attachments so that it can be easily removed.

If an application to access information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requests access to your submission, your views about the release will be sought if you have indicated that you object to your submission being made public.

Have your say

Public exhibition is from 2 August 2019 to 2 September 2019.

You can provide your written submission in any of the following ways:

  • Post your written submission to:
    Manager Alpine-Queanbeyan Area
    National Parks and Wildlife Service
    PO Box 2228
    Jindabyne NSW 2627
  • Email your submission to: npws.alpinequeanbeyan@environment.nsw.gov.au
  • Make a submission online by using the online form below.