I have just discovered that it is not possible to book accommodation anymore at Bogong Village (near Falls Creek) because AGL have withdrawn the operating licence for management of the accommodation. This was as of 31 Jan 2021.
Can someone from AGL and/or this community forum explain to me why AGL have done this.
We have visited each Easter and want to do so again, partly to support local businesses who have suffered so much last summer from the fires and Covid shutdown.
Hello CameronS at AGL.... Did you reply to my post about Bogong Village Shut?
I'm new to this forum and not sure where to see a reply, since it says I have one reply. But I can only see my original post from earlier today.
@Nick50 Sorry Nick, I just moved your question across to here because I think it's the right place for it. No answer for you just yet, but someone should be able to respond soon.
Thanks for your question regarding Bogong Village.
As an energy generator and retailer, AGL determined in 2018 that it is not in our strategic interests to continue our interest in managing the Crown Lease associated with Bogong Village.
We understand and recognise the relationship that many community members have to the village and that the village represents an important part of the history of hydroelectric generation in the Kiewa Valley.
At our 2018 AGM, AGL's Chairman, Graeme Hunt, made a commitment that AGL would return Bogong Village to the people of the State of Victoria. We aim to have areas of the Village that are currently not publicly accessible to be returned to State of Victoria. This includes the cabins and the Bogong Outdoor School.
Currently, AGL is in discussions with the Victorian Government’s Department of Education and Training. We hope to transfer some of the village to the Bogong Outdoor School.
Regarding access to the Village, AGL has no plans to restrict public access to Bogong Village further than current arrangements. The public recreation areas in the Village and at Lake Guy are not impacted by the closure of the accommodation business in the Village. The Village will continue to be accessible by the public.
The Bogong Outdoor School will continue to operate as normal under the terms of a sublease between AGL and the Department of Education & Training.
As an energy company, AGL is not in the business of generating revenue from hotel holiday accommodation.
Thus, we currently have no plans to lease out accommodation at Bogong Village for the period of time between AGL holding the leases at Bogong Village and the transfer to the new operator.
We recognise the very real concerns some have raised with us, and it does not sit right with AGL to vacate leaseholders only to then generate revenue from renting out the cabins to holidaymakers.
Let me know if there’s anything else I can help find out more information about.
Thank you for your detailed response to my enquiry.
Firstly I'm pleased to hear that thr village and associated cabins are not to be removed and will be handed over to the State Government of Victoria. Hopefully in due course these cabins can be returned to use as holiday rentals as has been the case for many years.
I guess my only query is why couldn't the existing leaseholders remain in place during this 'interim' period whilst AGL work through the process of transferring the assets to the State Government?
It appears that this process can take some time, like months or perhaps much longer, which I appreciate. Due to this length of time some 'interim' arrangement for maintaining the existing leaseholders would appear a preferable way to ensure the buildings don't fall into a state of disrepair through being left vacant.
Is this something which AGL could investigate, especially given it is only since last Sunday 31 Jan 2021 that I understand the existing leaseholders ceased their tenancy?
Thank you and Regards,
You raise a fair point about how ill-timed the transfer to a new operator appears. From our perspective, we believed that the two-year licence extension would be more than an adequate amount of time to be able to allow the DET to undertake their due diligence and for AGL to prepare the surrender of the crown lease.
Unfortunately, unforeseeable and unmanageable situations arose that were beyond AGL’s control – being the bushfires and COVID. This has pushed out the ability for the parties involved to undertake a lot of these on-the-ground works, and the reality is that the predicted timelines had to also be pushed out.
The leaseholders requested, and AGL considered, an extension due to the impacts of COVID and some leaseholders not being able to visit last ski season. Given how much time and effort has been spent working with the leaseholders and our respective legal teams to vacate on 31 January 2021, AGL determined that it was more practical to continue with the current date.
We made an exception for certain interstate leaseholders who, due to border closures, were not able to finalise their affairs at Bogong Village.
AGL has been responsible for the gardening and security arrangements at Bogong Village over the last 12 months. These arrangements will continue whilst the cabins are mothballed for future use. We are comfortable with continuing these obligations, as they are critical to maintaining the village and the cabins in a suitable condition for future use.
Do you know of anyone at AGL or DELWP that deals with the lease over Bogong Village that I could contact?
I would like to know if the lease could be offered to another organisation?