Mt Stirling's Telephone Box Junction hub will be powered by a newly completed hydro system after receiving a $210,000 grant from the Victorian Government.
The hub was officially opened by Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria Danielle Green this week, joined by representatives of local businesses and Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management Board members.
The original hydro system, built by Mt Stirling business operators in the late 1990’s was destroyed in fires that swept through the resort in the summer of 2006-2007. Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management embarked on a journey to plan and fund the replacement of the diesel generator that had since been powering facilities at Telephone Box Junction.
Extensive research was conducted to find the best, most cost-effective and sustainable solution. The micro-hydroelectricity system, working on water pressure generated from a turbine and nearby stream and weir was identified as the most appropriate option to power the hub with minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
Ms Green is passionate about Victoria's Alpine areas and said of the Telephone Box Junction hub investment, "Visitors and locals alike are set to benefit from this innovative development that supports the growing Alpine tourism industry while also protecting the environment”.
The funding for the project not only went towards the hydro system but also to providing better facilities for visitors to Mt Stirling. This included an all-weather access track from King Saddle to the Machinery Shed, a new public toilet at the Machinery Shed, new shelters, and a community information board at Howqua Gap.
Environmental Services Manager for Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management, Lou Perrin, said of the project "We are so excited to have the hydro system up and running. I've worked closely on the project from beginning to end and it has been worth every challenge. The improvements to the amenity and facilities will provide long-term benefits to the mountain and visitors alike.
"Funding from the Victorian Government has allowed us to create a truly environmentally sustainable hub here at Mt Stirling".
The hub was jointly funded from the Victorian Government’s $500 million dollar Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management.