ACAV Statement of Support for the Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network

The ACAV Committee supports the newly formed Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network (GWRN).

The ACAV believes in the need to work with Traditional Owners to understand and communicate an understanding of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage to the wider climbing community.

The ACAV believes the GWRN will assist the climbing community to achieve this goal.

The ACAV will support the GWRN’s efforts to build meaningful relationships with Traditional Owners in order to listen and learn from them and find a respectful pathway towards a shared future.

ACAV Meeting with Parks Victoria 4 October & Legal Proceedings

The following communication was sent to ACAV Members on Thursday 10 October 2019:

Dear ACAV Member,

As you may be aware, the ACAV sent a legal letter to Parks Victoria on 2 September 2019 outlining the following points:

1. The climbing prohibitions are invalid as they currently stand.

2. The climbing prohibitions are “legally unreasonable” and “disproportionate to the supposed mischief to be addressed”.

It also stated that the ACAV would commence legal proceedings for a judicial review should Parks Victoria choose not to overturn the rock climbing prohibitions.

After receiving this response from Parks Victoria that they will not revoke the set-aside determination to remove the rock climbing prohibitions, the ACAV Committee accepted the opportunity to meet with Simon Talbot and other Parks Victoria representatives to further discuss the set-aside determination.

This meeting occurred on Friday 4 October between members of the ACAV Committee, ACAV Lawyers and Parks Victoria representatives. 

Parks Victoria were represented by: Simon Talbot (COO), John Stevens (Manager Legal Services) and Stuart Hughes (Director Park Planning and Policy). The ACAV thank Parks Victoria for their attendance.

This meeting was an early stage in the legal process and was held ‘in confidence and without prejudice’ as a necessary step to ensure both parties could discuss matters honestly, fairly and without prejudicing any ongoing legal action. As such we are unable to report on the details of the meeting at this point in time. And by communicating this, the ACAV is also faithfully discharging its legal duties to its members.

The ACAV Committee will follow up with a submission based on the issues discussed at the meeting and keep pressing on with the legal strategy.  We will keep members informed as, and when, we can regarding ongoing legal discussions and meetings.  

In addition to the discussions with Parks Victoria, the ACAV are currently finalising all pre-trial duties in order to commence legal proceedings for a judicial review to have the matter brought before a court of law to decide whether the rock climbing bans implemented under Regulation 65 of the National Parks Regulations 2013 are in fact, legal.

The ACAV urgently needs your support to continue with this legal strategy.

Legal proceedings are highly effective, but expensive. We need your support to top up the ACAV Access Fund and help us reach our goal of raising $100k.

You can donate to the ACAV Access Fund via credit card through our website here.

For larger donations over $100, you can make a direct deposit into our bank account via the details below:

Account Name: Australian Climbing Association Victoria

BSB: 313 140

Acc No: 122 095 76

Reference: JR-2019

Your contribution, whether great or small, will assist the ACAV in its goal of promoting and protecting access to rock climbing areas in Victoria.

The ACAV is committed to working with Traditional Owner groups and land managers to represent the interests of climbers with regards to access for recreational climbing and bouldering areas within Victoria. Our goal is to work with both groups to ensure fair access to climbers, proper management of State and National Parks and proper management of climbing as an outdoor recreational activity.

The ACAV Committee are pursuing multiple strategies to achieve these goals and will continue meeting with Parks Victoria COO, Simon Talbot, to endeavour to include and open a dialogue with Traditional Owner groups to manage any environmental risks and cultural concerns with regards to rock climbing practices. 

Please continue to support our efforts to represent the climbing community in this way by making a donation today.

You can also show your support by purchasing an ACAV T-shirt here with all monies raised going towards the ACAV Access Fund.

We thank you for your continued support and for choosing to promote and protect climbing access in Victoria.

Regards,

ACAV Committee