THE first work has started to refurbish the iconic Mount Buffalo Chalet building, with an eye to having it completed within 12 months.
The removal of asbestos, project planning and site assessments will be completed as part of high priority maintenance, weeks after the announcement was made by the State Government.
Important heritage items are also being catalogued and secured to be on display in the chalet after works are completed.
Bill Sykes (MLA, Benalla) described the works as great news for the region, as the push towards creating a day visitor centre, including regional information centre, and possibly a café in the original building begins.
“The Alpine Shire Council and other local stakeholders have thrown their support behind the project to ensure the chalet will be opened and well positioned to attract private sector investment as opportunities arise,” Mr Sykes said.
“Planning is also underway to redevelop the gardens to complement the redeveloped chalet building and surrounds.”
The preparation of applications for planning and heritage permits will be carried out in the coming months so major works to remove non-heritage structures from the site can go ahead.
“By spring, it is planned that other building maintenance work will be undertaken and the regional information centre and activity centre is expected to be operating from within the chalet in 2014,” Mr Sykes said.
Environment and Climate Change Minister, Ryan Smith, who announced the State Government’s commitment of $7 million in the Chalet, said the Department of Environment and Primary Industries was working closely with Parks Victoria, the Alpine Shire Council and other project partners to ensure work on the redevelopment is completed as a high priority.