The Mount Mawson Ski Field is situated in the Mount Field National Park, which is now part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA). The Government has called for comments on the management plan for the TWWHA, and the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association has provided a detailed submission. A copy of the submission can be found at STSA Submission.
A key element of the submission is a call for the construction of a new public shelter and interpretative facility at Mount Mawson. Management Plans for Mount Field National Park going back as far as 2002 have identified the need for a suitable public shelter and visitor facility at the Mount Mawson Ski Field. In May 2014 the Tasmanian Government, through the Parks and Wildlife Service, sought public input in regard to the proposed replacement of the Mount Mawson Public Day Shelter. The STSA undertook community consultation, visited similar facilities in Australia and New Zealand, prepared a detailed brief for the facility and commissioned architects to prepare a set of concept plans to allow this urgent project to be progressed.
The need for a thermally efficient, custom designed day shelter and associated facilities is supported and understood by all stakeholders, and will provide a significantly enhanced experience for visitors to the alpine area at Mount Field year-round. The small unheated shipping containers as currently provided by the Tasmanian Government are grossly inadequate as a place of retreat and shelter, and fall well short of what is expected for a property of World Heritage status, or indeed any public recreation space.
Unfortunately the current draft of the TWWHA Management Plan does not commit to do anything to improve this situation, other than propose to prepare a plan to consider a public shelter and interpretative facility within 3 years.
A commitment by State and Federal Governments of resources and budgets for visitor facilities at Mount Field National Park is required as a matter of urgency. Construction of a new public shelter and interpretative facility at Mount Mawson Ski Field will support the TWWHA stated principles and management objectives, and act as a key destination point for visitors to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.