Our Environment

Environment

At Falls Creek the mountains, clean air and natural environment are our greatest assets. Resort Management is committed to protecting the alpine region's unique biodiversity and ensuring the natural environment is as beautiful as it is today for generations to come.

The resort’s environment policy aims to deliver a vibrant and sustainable village offering memorable alpine experiences underpinned by environmental stewardship and leadership in best-practice environmental management.

2020 Falls Creek Resort Management Environmental Policy >

Falls Creek is proud of its environmental programs which reduce our impact the environment locally and beyond the resort boundary.  For more information on any of our programs please email [email protected].

Falls Creek Environment

Falls Creek Alpine Resort is situated on the Bogong High Plains, surrounded by National and State Park. The resort covers approximately 1553 ha of land ranging in elevation from 1,210m to 1,830m at the highest point on Mt McKay.

The resort supports many flora and fauna species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) and/or Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG). This includes many rare and threatened species including the Mountain Pygmy Possum, Broad-tooth Rat, Alpine She-oak Skink, Guthega Skink, Alpine Bog Skink, Alpine Water Skink, Tussock Skink, Alpine Tree Frog, two species of stonefly (Riekoperla intermedia and Thaumatoperla alpina), Shining Cudweed, Mountain Daisy, Silky Snow Daisy, and the Buffalo Leek-orchid .

The resort is also home to a wide range of alpine and subalpine vegetation communities. In Victoria Ecological Vegetation Classes are used as a convenient method of describing a collection of floristic communities across a biogeographic range. Falls Creek represents 13 of the 16 ecological vegetation classes described for Victorian alpine environments. These include important threatened ecological communities such as Alpine Sphagnum Bog & Associated Fens, Alpine Snowpatch Community and the Caltha introloba (Psychrophila introloba) Herbland Community.

Plants of Falls Creek Region Guide >

Protecting Falls Creek Biodiversity from Pest Animals

Pest animals are a threat to the native and threatened fauna and flora within Falls Creek Alpine Resort and the surrounding Alpine National Park. Falls Creek Resort has an ongoing integrated pest predator management program to protect biodiversity that involves the monitoring and control of pest animals within the resort. You can help by informing us of your pest animal sightings. Click the button below to submit your sightings of feral cats, foxes, deer, rabbits, hares and other pest animals seen around the Resort. Additionally, if you have a photo of your sighting that you would like to submit, you can also do this on the button below.

Environmental Management

The Falls Creek Environmental Management Plan (2017) is a strategic document that guides environmental management objectives and activities for the resort. The document is divided into five areas of focus including Biodiversity, Water, Waste and Resource Use, Landuse and Development, and Energy and Climate Change.

Biodiversity Management

In 2012 the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board released the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Biodiversity Management Strategy (BMS). The BMS provides both an operational, integrated management system for the protection of biodiversity in the resort and a strategic platform that allows the Board to manage the ecological values in the most efficient and appropriate manner. It identifies and quantifies the ecological values within the resort then evaluates management actions against man-made and natural risks. This enables Resort Management to efficiently use resources to maximise the ecological outcomes.

Introduced plants – Introduced plants (weeds) can have a significant impact in the alpine environment. Many of the resort’s weeds were initially introduced as garden plants or to help stabilise modified ski slopes, unaware of the impact they would have on our native flora and fauna. Today only locally indigenous species are permitted to be planted in the resort, and Resort Management implement annual weed control programs to protect our native ecosystems. Please use the bin to dispose of fruit pips/peels/cores and if out enjoying more remote areas take your rubbish home with you. If not put in a bin these can grow into weeds or attract wildlife to areas that may be unsafe such as close to roads. Apple cores and stone fruit seeds are especially good at growing in the alpine environment and are problematic weeds within the resort and National Park.

Hawkweed – Hawkweed has the potential to have a devastating impact on the Victorian Alps. This environmental weed produces biochemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants and can completely out-complete native flora. Two species of Hawkweed (Orange and King Devil) occur in the resort, these along with another species of Hawkweed (Mouse-ear) occur also in the surrounding National Park. Parks Victoria manages a sophisticated search and treatment program every summer with support from Resort Management. You may notice orange markers around the village that are used as part of this monitoring program.

Pest Animals – Like much of Australia Falls Creek is home to introduced pest animals that do not belong in the alpine ecosystem and present a threat to our native flora and fauna including foxes, feral cats, deer, rabbits and hares. Resort Management implement programs to monitor and control pest animals to reduce their impact on our native species.

Animals in Lodges – During winter ski lodges and other buildings provide warmth and food and can be very attractive to our small native mammals. These native animals are protected and can be difficult to distinguish from introduced mice and rats. You can help avoid unwanted visitors in your building by ensuring scraps and crumbs are cleaned away, food is stored in containers and any holes or gaps that may be allowing building access are blocked up. For advice on methods to safely relocate unwanted mammals please contact Resort Management.

Caring for our Wildlife – On the road or in the village if you encounter an injured animal please call a wildlife helpline such as Wildlife Victoria on 03 8400 7300 for assistance. Take care when driving between dusk and dawn as this is when wildlife are most active.

Contribute to the Biodiversity of Falls Creek project on iNaturalist

Acripeza reticulata (2)

Acripeza reticulata - Mountain Katydid

Pheb. squ. (2)

Phebalium squamulosum subsp. alpinum- Alpine Phebalium

Calling all citizen scientists and nature enthusiasts! Explore and help discover and document all the flora and fauna species in Falls Creek Resort using iNaturalist. The ‘Biodiversity of Falls Creek’ project on iNaturalist is a great way to view all the species currently observed within the resort. Even if you can’t identify a particular species, you can upload a photo and connect with experts who will help identify what you have observed. Your observations will contribute meaningful citizen science data that can be accessed to share and conserve the biodiversity of Falls Creek now and into the future. iNaturalist is available via the internet or app that is suitable for all devices. Alternatively, if you’re not wanting to use iNaturalist and you can identify the species, you can add your observations to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas or the Atlas of Living Australia.

Environmental Research

A wide range of important research projects in Falls Creek and across the broader Bogong High plains are helping to improve our understanding and care of the Australian alps.

Alpine peatlands are vitally important ecosystems which purify water, regulate water flow, store carbon and provide habitat for rare and threatened species. Cutting-edge technology is being used to increase our knowledge of these systems and global climate change.

The Alpine Peatlands video shares some of the science and beauty of Alpine Peatlands.

Please use our Alpine Peatlands Resource Kit for education purposes, suitable for primary/secondary/university education and personal use.

Living Bin Initiative

The Living Bin Logo

Falls Creek has been collecting and recycling food waste since 2011 as part of the Living Bin initiative. Organic waste in landfill produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas at it decomposes. Collecting and reprocessing our green waste into compost provides a useful product and greatly reduces our greenhouse gas footprint.

Look for the green ‘Living Bin’ in your accommodation and separate your food waste (left overs, cooked or uncooked foods, meat, vegetables, shells, peels, paper plates and coffee grids….anything that was once living!). On average the program diverts 40 tonnes of food waste from land fill each year.

The program is a collaborative effort with Mt Hotham, Mt Buller, the Alpine Shire, North East Regional Waste Management Group and 4Site Australia and was awarded the Victorian Sustainable Communities Award in 2011 and a prestigious Premier's Sustainability Award in 2012.

The Living Bin program operates alongside the general waste and recycling collections within the resort. The Living Bin program is free. There are a variety of options available to help make collecting organic waste easy. Depending on your needs, Resort Management can provide you with free small benchtop 8-litre caddies and/or large 20-litre buckets for collecting your organic waste. Please contact Resort Management for further information and to be provided with free bins/liners/posters to use in your accommodation. For re-supply of organic food waste bags please contact 4SITE on 0437 306 799.

Protect Our Winters

POW_logoBLUECnoOrg (1)

Falls Creek proudly supports the Protect Our Winters campaign which aims to mobilize the outdoor sport community to take positive action on climate change. The effects of climate change could dramatically impact the alpine region’s unique biodiversity. Resort Management commits to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and supporting our community to do the same.  Some small actions you can take in resort and at home include;

  • Reduce transport energy. Car pool to Falls Creek and walk around the village as much as you can.
  • Turn off lights and appliances at the power point when not in use.
  • Insulate your house or lodge. Turn down the thermostat and use draught stoppers.
  • Invest in high star-rating, energy efficient appliances, and wash clothes in cold water.
  • Purchase greenhouse friendly products and purchase local to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting products.
  • Support renewable energy sources. Switch to Green Power with your electricity provider

Waste Management

Resort Management works actively with the community to ensure we use resources wisely and maximise our recovery of recyclable waste.

To help reduce waste:

  • Remember to bring your reusable coffee cup and reusable shopping bags with you to Falls Creek, just like you do at home.
  • Where possible, choose products with less packaging.
  • See if you can find new uses for things before disposing of them.

Separate your waste correctly:

Use the plastic bags provided by Falls Creek Resort Management to separate your waste.

  • Recyclables - use the clear black labelled plastic bags marked with recycling
  • Organic food waste – use the small clear or green labelled ‘living bin’ branded bags
  • General waste (landfill) – use the red transparent plastic bags

Double knot your waste bags, fold flat any cardboard and dispose of in the designated rubbish hutches within the village.

Please contact 4SITE on 0437 306 799 if you require re-supply of bags.

See here for more information about separating commonly used items:

 

Dispose of grease and fats in a container and place this sealed container in the rubbish hutches for collection. Do not put grease and fats down the sink or toilet as they can block the sewer system or damage the waste treatment facility.

Hard waste is currently collected twice per year, refer to the Operations Service Level Manual under the Corporate tab for more details. Please do not place hard waste items in the rubbish hutches.

Dispose of your litter responsibly and help protect our unique environment. Falls Creek is situated at the top of the water catchment and water from our streams feed the Murray River and eventually travel all the way to South Australia!

PPE and Face Mask Disposal

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all Victorians are required to use masks when in public areas. We are urging all Falls Creek residents to recycle all of your used single-use face masks and personal protective equipment.

There is now a recycling box for face masks, disposable garments and gloves, safety glasses and ear plugs located inside the lower entrance way of the Resort Management Visitor Information Centre. Not for use by those who are confirmed or suspected self-isolating COVID-19 cases.

For more information on the disposal of safety equipment and protective gear, please see this informational poster. Further information on the appropriate way to use masks can be found here.

 

Falls Creek, Resort Management