This ACAV update covers Victorian climbing access issues in the lead up to the proposed release of the draft Grampians Landscape Management Plan 2020 by Parks Victoria, due for review by the Environment Minister in June 2020.
The 2003 management plan defined the Special Protection Areas (SPAs) that were later invoked in 2019 to ban climbing and bouldering from 100 locations across the Grampians. The draft GLMP 2020 will be issued for public consultation once the Minster has reviewed it. We may see the draft plan in July or August.
Recent climbing access events and stories in Victoria – please follow the links for more detail.
- Rock climbing round table 4 documents released: More cultural surveys planned by Parks Victoria. Bundaleer and other cliffs to be added to the list of banned SPA locations.
- Declaration Crag Protection Order, ACAV submission. Consultation occurred with selected groups only. Minister’s response inadequate.
- ACAV Regulation 10 query led to Parks Vic Legal Manager advice: the SPA bans are “relying on the cooperation of the Victorian public” as these bans cannot be enforced.
- ACAV complaint to Archaeological Association, seeking retraction of erroneous claims by Ben Gunn.
- ACAV Freedom of Information requests have been declined to date. Parks Vic archaeological consulting procurement practices look likely to remain a state secret.
- Licensed tour operator new contract arrangements: all liability passed to LTOs. Several LTOs cannot renew their licenses. Climbing businesses under threat of closure.
- Chalk-wash fallacy. Sandinista Scandal. Parks Vic criticised in the media after blaming climbers for natural white streaks.
- Unworkable Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018: Parks Vic cannot meet permit costs and cover risks. Ground works aborted. PV Admits Heritage Regulations Unsustainable.
- Victorian Climbing Club ongoing delays over the 2019 SPA legal challenge. Refer to VCC for details.
- This ACAV letter requested that the VCC return the $30,000 legal contribution made by ACAV in February.
- Arapiles known art site surveys in progress by Ben Gunn. Whole-of-park surveys proposed to look for more artifacts. ACAV concerns prompt national media story.
It is possible that the Grampians Landscape Management Plan 2020 will map out a fair and reasonable place for rock climbing in 2021. However, considering the ongoing lack of meaningful consultation with rock climbers and the actions of Parks Victoria thus far, we are not optimistic. You are invited to draw your own conclusions.
We would like to hear from any members with legal, financial or IT experience to assist with the running of ACAV at this critical juncture for climbing in Victoria. Please email [email protected] if you can help in any way.
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You are invited to provide feedback on our Facebook group: ACAV Access Discussion