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 Change.org 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)