To support the ongoing efforts, please Join the VCC who are front and centre in the negotiations with Parks Victoria, and liason with other access and climbing groups.
For donations to support Access; please consider making a contribution to the VCC Access Fund: https://www.givenow.com.au/vcc-access-fund
Also, get involved with and/or contribute to cliff environment stewardship programs: https://www.cliffcare.org.au/get-involved
SUMMARY OF WHAT IS BEING DONE TO REPRESENT CLIMBERS IN AN OFFICIAL CAPACITY (Written by the VCC)
VCC has been continuing to liaise with Parks Victoria (PV). In our initial response to the announcement of the Set-Aside Determinations by Parks Victoria (which prohibited climbing from large areas within the Grampians/Gariwerd), we made it clear that we were disappointed that climbers were not consulted prior to the decision to implement a ban; some of the areas closed are of international significance to climbers; the vast majority of climbers are very respectful of Indigenous cultural heritage and their environmental impact, and we have a long track record of working with PV in the past; we’ve come up with solutions to past problems by working with Traditional Owners and we believe we can work with Parks Victoria, Aboriginal Victoria and Traditional Owners to try and come up with better, workable solutions that could re-allow access to some of these crags.
Since those announcements,
- We have been actively involved in every forum available to us to:
- Understand PV’s reasoning in making these announcements,
- Point out some of the errors in fact and logic underpinning these announcements, failures to follow required processes in coming to these decisions, and anomalies and inconsistencies in their implementation.
- Advocate win-win-win solutions that would deliver robust environmental and cultural heritage protection without the need for disproportionate bans that discriminate against climbers whilst allowing walkers and general tourists to continue to visit and cause harm to the same sites from which climbers are banned.
- We have continued to liaise with politicians and the media to put our case for a more fine-grained approach, rather than an ill-conceived blanket ban approach, to management of crags.
- We have initiated correspondence with local Traditional Owner groups with a view to establishing positive and collaborative relationships.
- We have continued to work with our members to raise awareness of cultural heritage and environmental sensitivities and have contributed to a range of initiatives to foster responsible climbing practices and better management of climbing.
- We have continued to “put ur money where our mouth is” in terms of undertaking crag environment stewardship projects via CliffCare, as well as supporting the newly established Crag Stewards Victoria.
- We have sought legal advice to understand the regulatory and legislative framework in which decisions about access are being made and to challenge PV decisions that have been legally unreasonable.
- We are continuing to investigate other avenues for holding Parks Victoria accountable such as complaints to the Victorian Ombudsman’s office and to the Victorian Auditor General’s office where some of the actions taken and processes followed by PV might be deemed as inappropriate or unlawful.
WHO IS REPRESENTING CLIMBERS?
Victorian Climbing Club (VCC)
Kevin Lindorff (president), Paula Toal (vice-president),
Cam Abrahams, Matthew Brooks, Wei Chen, Claire Grubb, Rich Ham, Phil Neville, James McIntosh, Ben Wright.
Gariwerd Wimmera Reconciliation Network: https://www.facebook.com/gwrn.org.au
Western Victorian Climbing Club (WVCC)
Adam Merrick, committee member and editor of The Bolder
Vertical Life magazine
Simon Madden, Editor; Ross Taylor, Editor