A storm is brewing on Mount Buller after Channel Seven weather presenter and meteorologist Jane Bunn had a ski run named after her, which some locals have called a “ridiculous” attempt to attract media attention to Mount Buller.
The weather presenter and avid skier officially opened ‘Bunn Run’ with Olympic aerial ski champion Jacqui Cooper on Friday last week.
“It’s quite amazing to have a ski run named after me. I never thought anything like this would ever happen,” Ms Bunn said in a Mount Buller statement.
But locals and Mount Buller ski-resort staff have told The New Daily they share in Ms Bunn’s surprise, saying the honour was usually reserved for those who contributed to the life of the mountain or died tragically in the snow.
A Mount Buller staff member and long-term Mansfield resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said the honour was an attempt to “suck up” to Bunn, who regularly does live-cross snow reports for Seven.
They said the skiing community was not impressed, given the resort was supported by “more deserving and dedicated volunteers that work on the mountain for nothing”.
“It seems very unfair she [Jane Bunn] gets recognition in that respect,” they said, adding colleagues had called the Bunn Run name “ridiculous”.
Another Mount Buller staff member, who asked to remain anonymous over fears their views could affect their job, said they knew there were people who had “their knickers in knot” about the Bunn Run.
“I don’t dispute that people have contributed more to the mountain than Jane, but as a marketing thing, who knows what their angle is,” the staff member said.
Another staff member said they didn’t personally care what the ski-run names were and believed the majority of staff shared this opinion.
“The fact that it’s in the media; it’s achieved their objective, whether it be positive or negative,” they said.
Ms Bunn has a loyal fan base after making her start on country broadcaster WIN News, with the Facebook group Jane Bunn Fan Club attracting 20,000 followers.
A post shared by Jane Bunn (@janebunnofficial) on
Mount Buller spokesperson Rhylla Morgan said the ski resort and Seven had a close working relationship, with the resort sending snow reports to the broadcaster and Ms Bunn regularly presenting live broadcasts from its slopes.
“Jane is a keen skier and this visit was perfect timing, allowing her to get out of the snow before rushing back to Melbourne later today to deliver her weather forecast from the studio,” Morgan said.
Ms Morgan acknowledged most chairlift names at the ski resort were either descriptive or told the story of a local legend, like the Grimus chairlift named after local Hans Grimus, who built many of Mount Buller’s chair lifts.
“You don’t get a ski run named after you every day,” Ms Morgan said.
Local Ed Adamson, who volunteers at the Mount Alpine National Museum, said he was not in favour of the weather presenter’s honour, arguing the ever-changing run names advertising different companies and sponsors often confused visitors.
He said runs should be named after people like local farmer and founder Bert Walker, who once led Melburnians by pack-horses from Flinders Street Station to the alpine slopes.
“People have made long and meritorious contributions and it’s important they get recognised. It doesn’t fit to have someone that’s famous for the moment.”
A Seven spokesperson told The New Daily Bunn’s Run was not sponsored by Seven, but rather Mount Buller’s attempt to “honour” Bunn for her “longstanding relationship with Buller and the alpine region”.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting 6 to 20mm of snow at Mount Buller on Saturday and 10 to 35mm on Sunday.