Message regarding the 2021 Season

The Committee is proceeding on the basis that there will be an “almost normal” ski season this year, although at this time we do not know the definition of “almost normal”. There are three significant unknowns:

  • Impact of COVID on resort operations
  • Impact of COVID on Gunuma operations
  • Snow conditions

At this stage we are assuming:

  • Resort operations will be less restrictive than last year
  • Gunuma will require a COVID safe plan that will be no more onerous than the current summer plan and in particular will allow at least 24 person occupancy

The first Work Party has been held to get Gunuma ready with a further two planned. You are encouraged to attend a work party to help ensure that Gunuma is ready.

Bookings have been pushed back with the opening round on Sunday, April 18th at 10am. We are hoping to keep this date, however it may move depending on information received from SLOPES, Perisher and Government.

Peter Rodda, President

Work Parties

Work Party 1 went ahead as planned on the last weekend in February…and what a work party it was! We had a total of 16 volunteers, who proved to be excellent company, as well as great workers, and the weather was beautiful.


It was immediately noticeable that the outside of the lodge was overgrown with grass over 600mm high and our garden beds lost within it.  Inside the Lodge was still in great condition, thanks to the regular cleaning by members staying at the Lodge and the occasional professional cleaner over the Christmas period.  


The Work Party team arrived, some on Friday night and some early in the morning on Saturday. One team of five, Peter & David Rodda, Peter Haynes, Michael Royal and Brett Palmer, got straight into working outside. The two mowers and three whipper snippers went non-stop for four hours before the place came back to its normal self.


Inside, Simon Alston, our electrician, was busy hooking up the new sauna and its controls. Then tackling the other five electrical jobs before I found another three to do!

Also inside, the team of Lesley and Ros Royal, Katheryn Rodda, Vanessa Palmer (Environmental Manager), Emma Rees (Logistics Manager), and Jane McCallum started at one end of the Lodge and deep cleaned the place from top to bottom: bedrooms, toilets, stairs and corridors. Windows washed, cobwebs removed and, of course, the dead flies swept away.

In accordance with Gunuma’s Covid plan, 8 rooms were locked away together with all the pillows and tea towels. Please do not forget to bring your own pillows and tea towels if you are visiting before the ski season.

The Kitchen has never looked so clean with the ovens and the BBQ all in need of a lot of TLC and attention. The good news was that the kitchen remains well equipped and very few items needed to be purchased. 

Emma Rees and the very dirty BBQ

Sue Rodda took on the task of sorting out the myriad of keys that the club has. What a mammoth task. For some light relief, Sue then went and tidied up our WHM desk and files so that it now ship-shape and functional again. Amazing what items were simply dropped on the desk or hidden in the drawers.

Christine & Brad Palmer took a trusty measuring device and proceeded to document the length, breadth and every nook of the Lodge, in order for Christine (Capital Works Manager) to produce a CAD drawing of the lodge. The capture of that data is essential in being able to pursue our Capital Items program.

Stocktakes were completed and recorded for the following items:
Lodge Supplies; Tools; Globes; Interior and exterior Paints and Stains; Petrol;
Keys; and Left over Bathroom refurbishment materials
So, for those interested in what goes on and is achieved at Work Parties, I have listed the jobs completed, together with a list of jobs identified for the next Work Party #2 scheduled for the 30 April weekend (link to spreadsheet).

I will, however, make the following observation regarding the team that turned up to Work Party 1. There were five committee members and their families present, accounting for 10 out of the 16.  The committee does an excellent job in terms of meeting monthly and managing all the administration and the running around that goes with that, in order to keep the Club together.

I would like to think that for Work Party 2, more members will come forward to help to carry the load of keeping the lodge up to the standard expected for the coming ski season.

It wasn’t all work!

So, if you can paint, build or you are just a handy person at home, please consider volunteering for Work Party 2.  If you can attend, give me an email on

Looking forward to meeting at the Lodge,

Wal Sheehan, Maintenance Manager

Vale Rene

We would like to take this opportunity to express our condolences to the family and friends of Rene Jez who passed away earlier this year.

Rene was a founding member of Gunuma Lodge and actively involved in all aspects of lodge life.

He regularly attended work parties, and can be seen here lending a hand during a 2018 bathroom repair.

AGM 2020

Changes to the Gunuma Lodge Constitution accepted by a vote at the AGM have been confirmed by NSW Fair Trading.

The draft minutes of the AGM 2020 are now also available for your review.

NPWS rent relief entitlement

Gunuma Lodge pays rent to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) for occupancy of national park land. The amount is currently around $22,000 per year (including recent increases and does not include water / sewage and other charges).

Our Treasurer, Jason Zarew, took the initiative to apply for rent relief during the Covid period. The entitlement being assessed in accordance with the principles set out in the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct: SME Commercial Leasing Principles during COVID-19 and the NSW Government’s Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 (the Regulations).

Calculations were based on a pandemic period commencement of March 2020 and the Regulation expiry date of 31 December 2020, which split across two financial years.

FY 2019/20. Based on the information provided for the period of 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, the Lodge is entitled to rent relief for the months of April, May and June 2020, because in these months revenue was down by 30% or more compared to the same time the previous year. The rent relief calculation establishes that:

  • you are eligible for rent relief totalling $7,508.70, broken down as follows:
    • 50% of this amount, being $3,754.35, will be waived.  As this amount was already paid last year a credit will be applied to your account.
    • the remaining 50% of $3,754.35 is eligible for deferral, but as this amount has already been paid there is no need to defer.

FY 2020/21. Based on the information provided for the period of 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020, the Lodge is entitled to rent relief for the months of July, August, September and November 2020. The rent relief calculation establishes that:

  • you are eligible for rent relief totalling $8,241.03, broken down as follows:
    • 50% of this amount equal to $4,120.52 will be waived
    • The remaining 50% of this amount equal to $4,120.52 will be deferred over 24 months, which equates to $2,060.26 per year over 2 years. This amount is payable by instalments commencing once the pandemic has been declared over. NPWS proposes to commence the deferral payments on 1 July 2021.  Please note you may choose to pay this amount sooner or the repayment instalments can be negotiated over a longer period if required.

Snowgums dieback & the longicorn bettle

SLOPES has proved links to the following research and programs on this problem:

The work of ANU Senior Lecturer Dr Matthew Brookhouse

Regarding the emergent issue of dieback within the Perisher, Smiggins and Guthega areas, with snow-gum stands within each of the resort areas in serious decline or already perished. I am currently leading a team investigating the drivers of dieback. Part of that investigation involves understanding the ecology of the longicorn species (Phoracantha mastersi) responsible for the damage that leads to dieback. While little is known about P. mastersi, previous records suggest we should expect to see a mass emergence in the coming weeks. With that in mind, we are turning to lodge memberships to assist. We are asking that lodge managers and users report observations of longicorn beetles seen in and around lodges. Flyers with requests for both longicorn and dieback observations are attached. You can report sightings and information at W:

An ABC TV program aired on this issue on 10 March 2021 asking the question: Why are the only trees that can survive in Australia’s snowfields dying? An ABC News article titled The sudden death of the snowgums  can be viewed via the link.

On 12 March it was announced: One of the state’s most damaging ecologic issues, eucalypt dieback, has been given a spotlight after Environment Minister Matt Kean announced nearly $1.2 million in research grants into the damaging phenomena. …
The six grantees in collaborations, led by universities and the CSIRO, have each been awarded up to $200,000 in funding. …

Mr Brookhouse’s research project will involve three major aspects, the first being to create an approach for mapping dieback year-on-year using satellite data. He says this is a “key step in monitoring and understanding the process at a landscape scale.”Secondly, the research team will examine the snow-gum trees themselves, looking at tree-ring data to see the tree’s vulnerabilities and how its stressors have changed over time.Lastly the long-horn beetle will be studied to understand its life history and what it is responsive to, so that researchers can hopefully develop attractants or repellents to protect the remaining snow-gums.Mr Brookhouse said that the funding awarded by the government will be enough for three years’ worth of research.The article can be found here:

Perisher Historical Society Newsletter

Perisher Historical Society Newsletter Issue 25 Summer 2020-21
The newsletter is available here.
It contains interesting articles including:
a)  an update on the Snowies Iconic Walk project
b) an account of The First Winter Ascent of Mt Kosciusko in 1897, and
c) a detailed obituary for the late Kurt Brulisauer (father of Peter Brulisauer). 

Snowy Activity Plans

Snowy Mountains Magazine – Perisher Valley’s Future and Special Activation Precinct Masterplan
Two articles ( Article 1, Article 2) from the latest edition of Snowy Mountains Magazine – 2021 Autumn, Issue 32 contain informative commentary on these important and current topics.

Snowy Mountains Special Activation Precinct – Community meeting 3/2/21 – Meeting notes
Meeting notes from the Snowy Mountains SAP Community Advisory Group meeting on the 3 February 2021.

A note from Perisher Cross Country

Perisher X Country (PXC) is all about promoting the activity of Cross Country Skiing so that one of the best-kept secrets around is not a secret anymore. Please encourage everyone to go to the PXC website (, Contact Us page) and subscribe to PXC NEWS, PXC EDGE and daily XC Trail Reports during winter. PXC News is focused on the activities of volunteers and those who have a keen interest in helping grow the sport of XC skiing. PXC is a sub-committee of the northern division of Snow Australia and aims to grow participation in XC skiing in Perisher Valley and beyond.