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ASAA Supports Snowy Hydro’s Cloud Seeding Project

August 26, 2010
The Australian Ski Areas Association (ASAA) is publicly supporting the move of the Snowy Hydro Cloud Seeding Project from a scientific trial, to a permanent operation in time for the 2011 winter snow sports season.
Buoyed by results from the independent scientific assessment of the Snowy Hydro Cloud Seeding Trial project, the ASAA has thrown its full support behind the move and, in collaboration with NSW resorts, Australiaâs ski resort owners and operators are united in their backing.
Perisher Ski Resort Chief Executive Peter Brulisauer explained âPerisher applauds both Snowy Hydro and the NSW Government for conducting such a detailed trial and subsequent assessment of the cloud seeding project and now asks the NSW Government to approve cloud seeding as a permanent activity. This will lead to more snow and more jobs that has minimal, if any, impact on the environment."
Kevin Blyton, Chairman of Charlotte Pass Ski Resort, added "the trial now needs to be formalised as a permanent process, the results have clearly shown how important it is to the snow industry and to our resort."
Several comprehensive scientific briefings have been presented to resort management and the communities of Thredbo, Perisher, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snowfields by experts of the Snowy Hydro Cloud Seeding team.
The independent scientific report establishes that seeded storms produced, on average, an additional 14% more snow over the trial period, that there was no evidence of any downwind effects on communities in lower elevation areas, and that after six years of detailed monitoring there were no significant environmental impacts.
ASAA, in conjunction with the NSW resorts, is communicating with Steve Whan MP, Member for Monaro and Minister for Primary Industries, Rural Affairs and Emergency Services, requesting the necessary changes be made to the Snowy Mountains Cloud Seeding Trial Act 2004as soon as possible.
Making the move from an experimental trial, where more than 50% of winter storm fronts are not seeded, to a permanent operation where every suitable winter storm can be seeded would maximise snowfalls in the Snowy Mountains, and would boost tourism and the economy in the local region. A study released in 2006 demonstrated the value of the alpine resorts to the local and NSW economies.
ASAA Chief Executive Ashley Blondel said that âthe economic significance study revealed that in season 2005 the NSW resorts contributed $812 million to State Gross Product, created 10,459 jobs year round, and generated 1.8 million visitor days in the ski season. About 57% of Snowy River Shireâs and about 25% of Cooma-Monaro Shireâs economic activity was directly related to the ski resorts. In Snowy Riverâs case, this equated to 3,264 year round jobs and $290 million injected into the local economy.
âThere is a direct link between the amount of snow each year and the number of jobs and economic activity local communities and the NSW Government benefit from. Increasing snowfalls each year from cloud seeding has a significant and important benefit for large and small commercial businesses in the region that flow through to the NSW Government. That an independent assessment has demonstrated the success of the cloud seeding trial, and that there are no significant, if any, environmental impacts locally or downwind, demonstrates that there is now no reason for the trial to not become a permanent feature of winter in the Snowy Mountains�? he said.
Kim Clifford, General Manager, Thredbo, added "we believe (this is) a win-win situation for us all, with data indicating a 14% increase in snowfall it is certainly something Thredbo whole heartedly supports. Increased snowfalls directly relate to increased visitation, which is a great result for the industry as a whole.�?
ASAA, together with the resorts of Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, Perisher and Selwyn Snowfields, is asking the NSW Governm

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