Committee Update & Notice of Special General Meeting and Special Resolution

ACAV’s 13 member committee has been busy progressing our campaign to restore climbing access in the Grampians National Park. Please find below an update on where efforts are at:

Legal action

The ACAV is progressing legal action to bring Parks Victoria (PV) to account.  The process will be lengthy however this opportunity is critical. ACAV is testing whether it has arguable grounds to seek judicial review in the Supreme Court of Victoria of the decision of Parks Victoria to set aside numerous areas in the Grampians National Park where climbing is subject to prohibition and criminal sanction.  The legal case will determine if PV acted in accordance with the law when it implemented blanket bans which have impacted only the activity of rock climbing in the Grampians, earlier this year.  The legal team is currently busy pulling together additional material which may potentially expand its case against PV. 

Round Table

Concurrent to pursuing the ACAV legal strategy, the ACAV committee is engaging with land managers including Parks Victoria to strongly advocate and constructively engage in discussions to restore access. The Climbing Round Table is one such opportunity for engagement. The Climbing Round Table is a forum being chaired by an independent consultant from Deloitte, Mark Dingle and involves senior Parks Victoria people including the Chairman of Parks Victoria Jeff Floyd, the CEO Matthew Jackson and the COO Simon Talbot. A range of other climbing organisations are also attending these Round Table meetings. 

We are pleased that, on the face of it, Parks Victoria are demonstrating that they are taking climbers concerns seriously by installing the most senior Parks Victoria officials to the Round Table. However, we appreciate that this will mean little without meaningful actions from PV to work with us to restore access. 

From the summary notes of the Round Table 2nd meeting, it is stated that “Parks Victoria has convened the rock climbing roundtable to promote and strengthen the relationship between the Victorian rock climbing community and Parks Victoria and to progress action on access to climbing in the Grampians.”

Update on the disciplinary processes

The ACAV recently wrote to its members advising that it was taking disciplinary action against one of its members. Specific details of the allegations against this member cannot be shared due to the impact it may have on a fair process, however we can advise the following update:

  • A three person independent Disciplinary Subcommittee has been appointed and is made up of experienced legal professionals of high standing to ensure that the integrity of the disciplinary proceedings is handled fairly and in an unbiased manner.
  • The hearing which was scheduled for 26 November 2019 has been postponed due to the member mounting a grievance in relation to the administration of the process. A new date has been scheduled for 12 December 2019.

Climbing Management Guidelines

ACAV is developing a draft set of Guidelines to assist land managers in properly managing the climbing in areas across Victoria. Despite Parks Victoria seeing climbing as a major impactor on the Grampians, it has resisted efforts to develop a proper management plan for climbing and climb sites. In their absence of management action, we are seeking to develop guidelines that will help manage the crags, paths and environment at climbing crags. Something similar has been implemented by our US counterparts the Access Fund. Led by Matt Brooks, these guidelines will demonstrate the climbing community as being proactive in preserving and managing the areas of park we visit. ACAV anticipates this document will be a key resource for land managers and support the ongoing protection of environmental and cultural resources. Timelines for the community consultation and publication are early 2020.  

ACAV Strategy

Over the Melbourne Cup Weekend, the ACAV committee held a strategy revision workshop to revisit its Strategy and to map out activities against the strategic focus areas for the coming weeks and months. The strategy was developed shortly after ACAV was established earlier this year. The 13 person committee is focused and committed to the original strategy and taking ACAV forward in a professional capacity. View the ACAV strategy at here.  

Who are the ACAV committee? 

Soon you’ll see some short videos released about who the committee are and what we are working on. More broadly we have engaged the support of a communication advisor, Krista Eleftheriou, to not only support the committee in improving our communications to members, but to develop a strategy to proactively engage in media to boost public and political understanding and support for climbers. To date we have largely been reactive – responding to negative messages promoted by others.  Krista has more than 10 years’ experience in communications related to political and policy advocacy campaigning, and is a former ABC journalist. 

Our current secretary Hanh Le will be stepping down from her position to focus on her family, however she will continue to offer strategic advice to the committee in the near year.  One of our founding members, Hanh has been instrumental in ensuring ACAV was set up correctly and met all its legal and regulatory requirements, having been a VP of another incorporated association. Her background in raising millions for children’s and guide dogs charities has been an asset in helping ACAV establish its fundraising strategy. We are excited to announce that Leanne Lindorff has offered to be ACAV Secretary until our next Annual General Meeting. Leanne and her family moved to Natimuk to be closer to Mount Arapiles and run the Nati Café.

Calling for Volunteers!

The climbing community have a lot of work ahead of us in coming weeks, months and years. Calling for ACAV members with experience in report writing, administration, law, promotions and traditional owner engagement to come and work with us and help take this important work forward.

Special General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that a Special General Meeting of the Australian Climbing Association Victoria (Inc) will be held:

Date: 19 December 2019

Time: 7pm

Place: Arnold Hall Lecture Theatre, Centre for Business

Trinity Grammar School

40 Charles Street, Kew VIC 3101

to conduct the following business:

  1. ACAV Committee Report and Statements
  2. Confirm the chair for the meeting
  3. Confirm proxy voting
  4. Special resolution
  5. Any other business arising from any special resolution carried
  6. Close

A Member may appoint another member as a proxy for the meeting. The appointed proxy must attend the meeting in person. To that end, a proxy form is attached here to this Notice.

Notice of Special Resolution

Notice is hereby given that it is intended to propose the following resolutions as special resolutions at the Special General Meeting to be held at Trinity Grammar School on 19 December 2019, 7pm.

Special resolution 1:

Mr Mike Tomkins be removed from office as ACAV President and the ACAV Committee.

Special resolution 2:

The ACAV Committee is dissolved in its entirety.

Please send any enquiries to the Secretary via [email protected]

Thank you,

Jackie Bernardi, Vice President, on behalf of the ACAV Committee

Rock Climbing Round Table No.2

ACAV Meeting Report                             8th October 2019

Held at Deloitte Bourke Street office and at Parks Victoria Halls Gap office via teleconferencing link.

The following notes were issued by Deloitte Australia and they have been approved by Parks Victoria for general release.