Question to Victorian Parliament

Supported by Emma Kealy MP, we have collected a handwritten petition of 557 signatures in under one week.

Emma Kealy MP has submitted our requests to Lily D’Ambrosio in Parliament on Wednesday 20th March via a formal question. The handwritten petition with 557 signatories will be submitted to the Victorian Legislative Assembly this coming week to give weight to our cause (petitions submitted to the parliament this way must be handwritten).

Even if it can’t be officially counted, we will of course cite the huge response to the petition (Over 19,400 at time of writing). This issue has also been brought to the attention of Martin Pakula, Minister for Sport & Tourism. This further support from a Government Minister is very encouraging.

Question to the Victorian Parliament from Emma Kealy, Member for Lowan from Hansard, submitted on 20/03/2019

My question is to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and the information I seek is what alternatives to the drastic decision to close extensive areas of rock climbing sites in the Grampians National Park and Mount Arapiles have or will been investigated so that access to all established rock climbing sites can be achieved while ensuring the respect, preservation and protection of areas of Indigenous cultural significance and the environment?

The recent extreme measure of extensive closures of established rock climbing sites in the Grampians National Park has caused great confusion and angst. Rock climbing is an important activity to retain in the Grampians, not just as a great way to enjoy the park but also to support fitness, tourism and local small business.

Rock climbing also provides a great future opportunity to create jobs for the local Indigenous community in relation to cultural education and awareness programs and sharing their important history and link to Gariwerd.

This is a complex issue, and I am happy to provide a briefing to the minister. I believe there is a strong pathway available to preserve sites of cultural significance, particularly rock art sites, and to retain access to the best rock climbing in the world. I therefore ask the minister to provide information regarding alternatives available.

Ms KEALY (Lowan) (11:42): (379)

5 thoughts on “Question to Victorian Parliament”

  1. If you want more signatures on the petition and/or you want to show how international the support of climbing is in the Grampians, have you considered sharing this link to climbing organisations abroad? AAC/Access Fund in USA, BCC in UK, etc If it went out on their Facebook pages or other communications the groundswell could be huge.


    1. Yes, this is / has happened; although there are hundreds of climbing organisations… and emails might not be quite as quick/effective as FB sharing, which many people can help with. Some big names (incl Honnold) are sharing the petition and links to their followers.


    1. Sorry this paper petition has been already finished / been submitted, however the online one will keep going for a while longer.


  2. Update from Emma Kealy MP (reproduced with Permission)
    Over the past weeks I’ve been working hard to understand the reasoning behind the drastic decision to close sections of the Grampians to rock climbing. I have spoken with members of the rock climbing community including local business operators. I have also reached out to local Elders and spoken with the local Aboriginal Land Council to seek their views and hear their concerns, and investigate opportunities for rock climbers and the local Aboriginal peoples to work collaboratively to build understanding of cultural heritage and connection to Country.

    Last week in State Parliament I raised the issue of rock climbing bans with the Minister for Environment, Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio – a copy of my question is attached. As part of Parliamentary Standing Orders the Minister has 30 days to respond, which I await with interest.

    I also privately raised the matter with the Minister for Tourism and Sport, Hon. Martin Pakula, who in turn conveyed my concerns with the Special Minister for State, Hon. Gavin Jennings, who holds responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs.

    Following all these discussions I strongly believe there is a way forward that will result in the continuation of rock climbing in both the Grampians and Mt Arapiles, should the Government choose to admit they were wrong and be prepared to find a mutually respectable and workable solution.

    Thanks to those who have taken the time to sign and circulate the rock climbing petition. This will greatly assist to show the Government that this issue must be addressed and cannot be ignored due to broad community support.



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