Social and economic
The Exploratory Works have potential to impact service level providers, such as community services, facilities and infrastructure particularly in Cooma and Tumut, via the influx of workers to the local area. Recreational users will also be impacted as a result of temporary closure of parts of Kosciuszko National Park at Lobs Hole and at Talbingo spillway.
Around 200 workers would be employed at the peak of Exploratory Works with the workforce staying within the accommodation camp while rostered-on. While some of the workforce will be sourced from the local area and region, it is expected that the majority of the workforce would fly in and out and drive in and out. It has been assumed that some workers are likely to relocate their families to live in the local area. Analysis of long term rental housing availability in the main local towns show that there is sufficient capacity to cater for the demand generated by workers that may choose to relocate to the local area. Some employees will likely spend time in the local area for recreational purposes when not rostered-on. Data for tourist accommodation suggests that there is sufficient capacity to meet this small additional demand during Exploratory Works
Potential impacts to recreational users resulting from Exploratory Works include:
- the closure of Lobs Hole Ravine Road and the Ravine campground for the duration of Exploratory Works;
- barge access infrastructure and operations on Talbingo Reservoir and associated changes and temporary restrictions to recreational uses such as swimming, water skiing, fishing and boating and other water activities on the reservoir; and
- increased traffic along the primary transport routes.
The residual impact on recreational users is likely to be low given that:
- direct impacts will be temporary and will affect a relatively low number of users of KNP;
- most long term impacts, once mitigation strategies are implemented, will be low;
- some long term impacts will be positive such as improved access and facilities to/at Lobs Hole and at Talbingo Reservoir; and
- displacement, both temporary and long term, is not expected to occur at high levels and will be to sites that generally have the capacity to absorb some extra visitation.