Category Archives: Updates

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 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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Big News Day – Climbers in the Public Eye

It has been a huge 24 hours for Grampians climbing ban news with several mainstream media sources publishing stories in print, online, radio and even national TV. It certainly wasn’t all positive puff pieces for rock-climbing – but we did get a chance to air some of our views and attempt to refute some of the wilder claims made by Parks Victoria – including their continued insistence on the 10x growth figures that we have proved false on this blog previously. We have seen zero evidence of their claims of 80,000 climbers a year in the Grampians (a crazy 220 people a day!) and their entirely false claim of a 3x expansion of new routes in the Grampians since 2003 (that figure is more like 20%, not 300%).

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GoatFest Townhall & ACAV Announcement

Tonight in Natimuk, at the annual ‘GoatFest’ is a town-hall style meeting following the short films. It will be an opportunity for climbers to ask questions of Cliffcare and the GAWG, and find out what has been going on behind the scenes regarding the Grampians climbing bans (and we don’t doubt that a lot as been happening behind the scenes).

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