Stalled: The Mount Buffalo Chalet has been left in limbo with Parks Victoria unable to say when a refurbishment will be done. A community group has been formed to pressure the government.FEARS are growing for the fate of Mount Buffalo Chalet, after a $3.5 million blowout inestimated refurbishment costs.
The long-awaited redevelopment is in limbo with building administrator Parks Victoriafailing to find a tenderer to meet the $7.5 million budget.
“Five firms responded to the tender and all came in over budget,” a Parks Victoria spokeswoman said.
“The lowest tender was more than $3 millionover the budget.
“Due to the exceptionally high additional costs, the minister asked for further information to ensure the best use of taxpayers’money.
“Parks Victoria has been working with the firms who tendered and government partners to confirm the next steps, and have provided additional information over the past couple of months.”
However no start date has been setand the condition of a Heritage Victoria permit that work begin by April may not be met.
Ovens Valley MP Tim McCurdy, Alpine Shire mayor Jan Vonarx and newly formed lobby group Community Action for the Chalet are pressing for a meeting with Environment Minister Lisa Neville.
“My great fear is that the Labor Government is going to walk away from the Mount Buffalo Chalet,” hesaid.
“The community wants the chalet returned to its former glory and the government needs to commit to the plans that were in place to see the chalet again become a major day visitor attraction.”
Cr Vonarx said the council was “extremely concerned” about the fate of the 1910 guest house.
“We don’t want it to go to wrack and ruin and then have them saying ‘we can’t do anything about it’,” Cr Vonarx said.
“Everyone is getting toey about what’s happening.”
Chalet groupinterim co-ordinator David Jacobson said his group washarnessing concern with aFacebook page attracting more than 500 likes since Friday.
“If the government can spend millions of dollars to not build a freeway in Melbourne, what’s $3 million for the chalet,” Mr Jacobson said.
“We don’t think the tenders came in high, we think the budget was set too low by the previous government.”
Parks Victoria said repairs would be done at the chalet.
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