Category Archives: Updates

Guides Face PV’s Surprise Parole Conditions

1975. It was a big year. The Vietnam War ended, Sony introduced Betamax video, Muhammad Ali beat Joe Fraser, Microsoft was launched and Whitlam got dismissed and replaced by Fraser. It was also the year that rock climbers discovered Summer Day Valley in the Grampians.  For 44 years since it has been the core of climbing in the region, a place many people were first introduced to the sport by friends, clubs and guides. This climbing history has now literally been torn up as rangers removed PV signage about rock-climbing from the area over the weekend. This included informative panels explaining the history and benefits of climbing.

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Letter to Minister Lily D’Ambrosio

Dear Minister D’Ambrosio,

We write this public letter in reply to your response to David Limbrick’s question to parliament about the Grampians rock-climbing bans. It is plain to see from your response that you need to be better informed about the issues. After waiting five weeks for your reply it contained the same recycled “talking points” that Parks Victoria came up with in February 2019 (which we have from FOI requests).

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Commercial Clash and Cancellations

Grampians Festival Canned

It was not totally unexpected, but it sure was disappointing to read this week of the cancellation of the Grampians Bouldering Festival for 2019. This was one of the only outdoor festivals for Australian climbers, and was a great opportunity to demonstrate and educate the next generation of boulderers best practice environmental principles. The goodwill between PV and boulderers seems to have all but evaporated. In a heart felt editorial the team behind the two previously successful festivals explained the reasons why this years was not to be:

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World Class Bans – This Is Not A Victory

We keep banging on about the sheer scale of these bans and the significance to the international climbing community. It has taken a bit of time for us to realize just how harsh they are when compared to other famous cases of climbing bans. They are of a magnitude never before seen in Australia and easily outrank similar bans enacted worldwide at such places as Moon Hill (China), Whanganui Bay (NZ), Monument Valley (USA) and Crazy Horse Chiang Mai (Thailand). All those previously listed areas are on private land where our right to access is easily overturned. The most famous restriction of climbing on public land has to be the bouldering mecca of Heuco Tanks (Texas USA). Climbing is not banned there, but it does have severe restrictions attached, including a quota system. To put it into perspective, Hueco’s parks management still allows 25,000 climbers a year into a 4 square kilometer park – whilst Parks Victoria has banned climbing outright in an area of over 500 square kilometers!

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Secret PV Plan Revealed. FOI Doc Says No Climbing in SPAs Permanently

After a Freedom of Information (FOI) request we have received the internal Parks Victoria’s Engagement and Communications Plan for Rock climbing in Grampians dated February 2019 (before these bans were announced to the public). This is the first of many forthcoming FOI requests that various groups have requested.

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Right of Reply – Answers from Parliament

Several weeks ago (March 24 – which seems like an eternity in this story) climbers submitted two petitions to Grampians district local and member of Victorian Parliament Emma Kealy. The paper petition of 557 signatures (as required by Victorian Parliament rules), plus the 19,400 online signatures (now 24,000 signatures) as part of the change.org petition, had three key requests:

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Big Bad Bans – Meetings with PV

After the flurry of mainstream media activity earlier in the week, the latter half has been no less busy. The big news comes from a series of Melbourne meetings between Parks Victoria’s Simon Talbot, GAWG/CliffCare/VCC and the newly formed ACAV. This was the first sit down meetings since the unilateral climbing bans were announced 9 weeks ago. There are individual reports issued from the two climbing organizations and we will analyze some of the more scandalous claims below. But first, have a read of ACAV’s take on their first meeting here then digest CliffCare’s report here.

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