John Barilaro’s road from Eden leads to, well, Aspen

Edwina Mason 25 May 2020 23
Horse-drawn carriage in snow on Aspen street at night.

Could Australia’s answer to Aspen look like this? Horse-drawn carriages, twinkly lights and quaint streets with shops? Photo:

Fluff your beanies, wax your skis and maybe get familiar with the term aprés-ski because Aspen might just be on our doorstep in a few short years.

OK, not Aspen itself, but the Australian version of the high-flying ski resort in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (hopefully) replete with trees adorned with fairy lights, cobbled streets lined with cool boutique stores, and very fancy people – even celebrities – making it an essential stop on their perpetual world trips.

This is the vision NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Monaro John Barilaro has for the Snowy Mountains, with investigations into an airport as part of the region’s Special Activation Precinct (SAP) now underway.

The objective of the Snowy Mountains SAP – one of four similar projects within NSW – is to increase year-round tourism and make the region, which at this stage includes Jindabyne’s town centre and Kosciuszko National Park, an unmissable place to visit at any time.

Mr Barilaro said now is the time for big thinking when it comes to planning for the future of Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains region.

Aerial view of crowd watching horses in parade in Aspen.

Summer months in the Snowy Mountains could be all about celebrating the great outdoors, similar to in Colorado in the US. Photo:

“We know the Snowy Mountains is a special place, and our community in Jindabyne and the surrounding Snowy region has been deeply hurt by the recent bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions, so now more than ever we will be bold in finding ways to make the region stronger,” he said.

Mr Barilaro said the Snowy Mountains SAP is an opportunity to transform the Snowy region into the “Queenstown of Australia” or the “Aspen of the Southern Hemisphere”.

SAP investigations are also looking at opportunities to similarly activate destination tourism at Eden, which acts as a natural gateway from the NSW Sapphire Coast to the Snowy Mountains.

The current expansion of the Snug Cove cruise terminal at Port of Eden has created opportunities to capture more visitors to alpine areas year round, said Mr Barilaro.

And while the SAP had a broader vision, he said it would still focus on the needs of the town of Jindabyne and build on the important town planning aspects of the original Go Jindabyne master plan.

These key aspects include the education precinct, affordable housing options, health care, aged care, a library, heritage centre, and improved community amenities.

“So we’re looking at all options, big and small, for the short- and long-term,” said Mr Barilaro.

“We know the key barriers to growth are capacity constraints for local tourism operators, and connectivity into the region.”

The NSW Government is working with Snowy Monaro Regional Council, businesses and a community advisory group to progress the master plan process.

Government representatives expect to start community consultation sessions in person during the coming months.

The Special Activation Precinct program is driven by the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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23 Responses to John Barilaro’s road from Eden leads to, well, Aspen
Adam Briscoe Adam Briscoe 7:29 am 28 May 20

Must be some sort of election on the cards.

teddy bear teddy bear 3:00 pm 27 May 20

He’s dreaming. Having skied at Aspen, there is no way that a place like Jindabyne could replicate it.

Ben Garden Ben Garden 7:09 am 27 May 20

Lol. Come on. With the trend upwards of temperatures this will never be viable. Snowfall levels in Australia are already marginable in at least every few years and highly reliant on artificial snow. Investing long term in this would be madness for any serious investor and call their credibility into question.

    Matthew James Matthew James 1:12 pm 29 May 20

    Barilaro is a climate denier, so he doesn't believe in a any trend of decreasing snowcover.

    Ben Garden Ben Garden 2:41 pm 29 May 20

    Matthew James exactly. That would be too inconvenient to admit science had anything to say on the matter though wouldn’t it.....

Angela Van Dyk Angela Van Dyk 3:14 am 27 May 20

I hope there will an open air ice skating arena ⛸⛸⛸

russianafroman russianafroman 10:55 pm 26 May 20

A very idealistic article and proposal. Nonetheless, I believe we should capitalise on our alpine areas. Despite this, many have proposed ideas like this in the past to no avail. Is this merely another move by the so-called “Barrellaro”?

Bronwyn Claire Bronwyn Claire 10:04 pm 26 May 20

Fraser Myers ugh Aspen

Paul Wilson Paul Wilson 9:59 pm 26 May 20

Yeah do it!!!!

Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 7:11 pm 26 May 20

Except without snow!

Grant Craig Grant Craig 7:04 pm 26 May 20

It's overdue

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:30 pm 26 May 20

“….with fairy lights, cobbled streets lined with cool boutique stores, and very fancy people – even celebrities – making it an essential stop on their perpetual world trips….”

Sounds like Tom Burlinson could be the Snowy Mountains SAP’s Wayne Newton, complete with some un-culled brumbies.

Paul Evans Paul Evans 5:42 pm 26 May 20

Last real snow was 1981.

Proboscus Proboscus 3:34 pm 26 May 20

No such thing as climate change Nick. Our “Alpine” areas have never produced the amount of snow to compare with other countries in Europe or the US, Japan and NZ.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 2:18 pm 26 May 20

Hey, NIck Anderson, last time I checked it was snowing early and regularly in the Australian Alps.

I think your version of climate change has run out of steam which is best made from coal.

    russianafroman russianafroman 10:58 pm 26 May 20

    We should consider all opinion. The climate change theory is supported by the majority of scientific literature. It is a very real possibility that snow could stop falling as consistently, or at all, given enough climatic change. Hence, why should we invest billions into a market with such a dubious future?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:24 pm 27 May 20

    We “invest” billions into trying to prove the theory that man made climate change exists so why shouldn’t we consider investing it in something else?

Nick Anderson Nick Anderson 12:24 pm 26 May 20

Funny. A ski resort implies that it would still snow in the foreseeable future. A future without severe climate change. Last time I checked, the Nat’s were still firmly opposed to greater climate action and are still pushing for more coal.

The Nat’s aren’t exactly the brightest bunch aren’t they?

    Nick Anderson Nick Anderson 12:28 pm 26 May 20

    Just to add on, the snowy mountains are already feeling the stress from Climate Change:

    Christina Cook Christina Cook 6:37 pm 26 May 20

    Nick Anderson it’s so ridiculous. How many years of snow have we actually got left?

    Corey Karl Corey Karl 8:21 pm 26 May 20

    Nick Anderson ok Nostradamus

Rainer Busacker Rainer Busacker 11:36 am 26 May 20

It takes vision and a we can do it attitude. With local participation. We have enough naysayers.

Scott Layton Scott Layton 10:26 am 26 May 20

Classic pork barrelaro at it again

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