ACAV Committee Update: July

Following the ACAV Annual General Meeting on 11th July, the ACAV Executive Committee held its initial committee meeting on Wednesday 24th July 2019. Below are some key messages and updates that were emailed to ACAV members last week.
There is also a post on the ACAV website outlining key strategy documents which we are encouraging members to become involved in – more info at the bottom of this update.

TRADITIONAL OWNER RELATIONSHIPS

The ACAV is committed to working alongside Traditional Owners and land managers to ensure the protection of culturally significant places. The ACAV has now reached out to several traditional owner groups with a connection to the Grampians/Gariwerd and Arapiles/Djurite to advise of the establishment of ACAV and requesting an initial meeting. ACAV has also initiated formal communications with Aboriginal Victoria, which is the state government body that represents the interests of traditional owners in the instance where there is no “Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP)”. There is currently no RAP for Gariwerd so ACAV have written to AV to request a meeting regarding the initial concerns AV raised with Parks Victoria (PV) about the impact of climbing activities within Gariwerd.

LEGAL FIRM ENGAGED

The ACAV has engaged a legal firm and can now announce that we have formal representation. This representation is not pro-bono (free) however is at a discounted rate. The legal firm has broken down the ACAV legal strategy into stages. The cost of each stage will be capped.

  • Stage One:
    • Legal firm to be briefed
    • Legal firm to review all information and documentation regarding the recent rock climbing prohibitions
    • Legal firm to review the ACAV Constitution to ensure ACAV are operating within their remit
    • Legal firm to provide formal advice
    • Legal firm to host a strategic conference with ACAV Committee Members
  • Stage Two:
    • Legal firm to focus on the legality of the rock climbing prohibitions
    • Legal firm to review if the decisions with regard to the focus sites and Special Protection Areas (SPA) were made in accordance with the law
    • Legal firm to review if decision making with regard to the rock climbing prohibitions was properly delegated

The ACAV Committee is still waiting on one more Freedom of Information Request (FOI) regarding impact studies undertaken in relation to rock climbing or bouldering in Gariwerd. The ACAV is preparing followup FOIs as it is critical to our work moving forward to understand what has caused the current situation.

MOUNT ARAPILES/DJURITE

  • The ACAV Committee submitted an Application for Rock Climbing Heritage Registration in the first week of July 2019. If successful, this application would allow rock climbing to be registered as a heritage activity at the location of Mount Arapiles. Similar to that of Surfing at Bells Beach and Athletics at the Stawell Athletics Track. The ACAV Committee will continue to monitor the progress of this application and update members via email.
  • The ACAV Committee has written to the Barengi Gadjin Land Council (BGLC), the RAP for Mount Arapiles seeking a meeting to discuss climbing at Arapiles/Djurite in the hope of formulating a positive working relationship

VICTORIAN CLIMBING MANAGEMENT PLAN

The ACAV Committee is currently working on a statewide climbing management plan and would like to invite the climbing community to be involved in creating this resource. An invitation for consultation will be sent to the community once the Committee has the basic structure of the plan in place.

LICENSED TOUR OPERATORS

LTOs recently met with Parks Victoria to discuss current conditions for LTOs in Gariwerd. A full report on this meeting has been posted here.

Influence Policy Development. Have Your Say.

It is critical to ensure the benefits of climbing and related activities are on the political agenda and recognised at the policy level. As such, the ACAV is preparing submissions for the following three key strategic activities:

You can get involved by assisting ACAV to prepare its formal submissions, and/or providing direct feedback through consolation processes outlines at the links to each strategy above. Either way, get involved and have an impact. More information on the ACAV Website here.Please get in touch if you have any queries.

Thank you,

The ACAV Executive Committee

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