Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

NSW Government’s “exclusive negotiation agreement” with Perisher Blue must be made public

A peak environment group today called on the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, to disclose his Government’s “exclusive negotiation agreement” with Perisher Blue, a high profile leaseholder in the alpine region of Kosciuszko National Park.

“The Colong Foundation has obtained a copy of Perisher Blue’s current lease and it does not allow the Company’s application for a major development in the Park.” said Ms Fiona McCrossin, Assistant Director of the Foundation.

“The Foundation understands that the NSW Government is currently negotiating new terms and conditions for the lease that would open the way for the development. We also understand that the company has an “exclusive negotiation agreement” with the Government.”

“The negotiations are being made over public national park land and must be open to public scrutiny.”

“Perisher Blue lodged a development application in October 2004 which, if approved, will see the development of an 846 bed resort, retail and commercial complex in Perisher Valley. This is just the first stage of a multi staged development which will change the Valley from a small village of isolated lodges to a major urbanised centre within the Park.”

“In July this year the owners of Perisher Blue, Kerry Packer and Transfield Holdings, put Perisher Blue up for sale. Perisher Blue was predicted to bring as much as $200 million. But, the resort was taken off the market. “

“Earlier this month the NSW Government announced that it would provide $250 million for upgrading of the Park’s infrastructure. Approximately $160 million of this will be needed, according to IPART, to “provide greater certainty for future investment in Perisher” (IPART Media Release 5 November 2005). 

“NSW Environment Groups have been calling for a stop to any further development in the sensitive alpine regions of Kosciuszko. Just two weeks ago the Groups presented this to the Premier as a major issue in the lead up to the 2007 election. But the Premier has yet to respond.”

“In the public interest, we call on Mr Iemma to disclose the Government’s negotiations with Perisher Blue. ” concluded Ms McCrossin.

For further comment please ring Fiona McCrossin on 9261 2400 or 9568 1309 (AH)