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Save Mt Coolum Campaign. A Call to Arms.

5:59:29 PM
Hi guys and gals

I know this is a Queensland issue, but this has broader implications and could negatively impact climbing Australia-wide.

The blow-by-blow has been happening on over the past few weeks but we're now at the stage we need your help.

Basically, DERM have released a draft management plan for Mt Coolum whereby all climbers would be subject to a permit to climb there, as well as having insurance and being a member of a peak body for climbing. As you can imagine, this would utterly suck, be largely unenforceable and plain discriminatory given that other users of the park (bushwalkers etc.) are not and will not be subject to permits.

It's a slippery slope and if they manage to enforce this in one Queensland National Park, there's a high chance of it spreading to the other National Parks and setting a precedent that could then be followed in climbing areas Australia wide. It's just plain nasty, and an ill-advised way of trying to solve a management 'problem' which doesn't actually exist (up to this point, climbers have been working collaboratively with Rangers under a 'Memorandum of Understanding' which sets down the guidelines we follow).

We currently have a call to arms asking all climbers (not just Queenslanders!) to formally respond to the draft by email. We have a list of suggested points that people should make in the email. The details are on this thread. If you want to read the background or participate in the discussion, that is in this lengthy thread.

Responses close April 4, so you only have days to respond. If you can set aside the time, please go ahead and do it now.

In a state with far less rock than NSW or Victoria, an enduring legacy of closed cliffs (Shady, Western Wall, Dinosaur Rocks etc.) and bureaucracy gone mad (Mt Coonowrin), we cannot simply stand idle and wave goodbye to yet another premiere cliff. This is a fight against our own collective apathy. We've lost this fight before. Not this time. Please help. Send an email. That's all.

Lee Cujes

edit: watch the video for a personal appeal:

Save Mt Coolum: Lee Cujes speaks from Upskill Climbing on Vimeo.

8:00:33 PM
Nice work Lee!

I've just sent my email off.

This really is a concern for climbers throughout the country. If this proposal goes through at Coolum, it could be used as a precedent at other crags in Australia.

Hopefully lots of climbers will respond.

8:22:51 PM
Thanks for the heads up Lee.
8:57:34 PM
Jump on this people.

There is a large pool of writing talent on this forum - most of it about nonsense but this time it's important.

You can create a complex written argument without feeling like an idiot for arguing with a complete stranger on the internet.

Be nice and use professional sounding language.

8:59:33 PM
On 28/03/2011 davidn wrote:

>Does anyone have or know of data on the yearly cost of indemnity/rescues
>for bushwalkers vs climbers? I remember reading a breakdown for the US,
>but can't recall hearing of any recent data for Australia. That seems
>to be one of the crux issues.

Try Google

7:28:04 AM
">Does anyone have or know of data on the yearly cost of indemnity/rescues
>for bushwalkers vs climbers? I remember reading a breakdown for the US,
>but can't recall hearing of any recent data for Australia. That seems
>to be one of the crux issues."

I've sent my email and was already a member of the ACAQ.

I believe the problem is that rescues atributed to climbers are actually bushwalkers getting into trouble when they get lost or otherwise on steep terrain, they are immediately branded climbers, this beaurocratic over-reaction seems a ham fisted foray at making sure that supposedly experienced climbers only (by virtue of membership and insurance) are actually allowed access to these areas.

The problem: it's inexperienced day walkers creating the majority of problems and most climbers being free spirits and regulation being contrary to their attraction to climbing to start with!

Eduardo Slabofvic
9:37:16 AM
On 28/03/2011 davidn wrote:
>I would suggest focusing on rational, evidence
>and data-driven arguments and treating such emails as if they were job
>applications. Like any potential boss, the public servant reading it may
>well be turned off by bad grammar, 'shouting', or irrational arguments.

Indeed. So much so that ranting submissions will be held up as justification for ignoring submissions from climbers. Having not read the Qrank threads, you guys should also consider that the department will be reading your threads, and also using that discussion to justify their position. This has occurred with Chockstone in recent times with the Development at Araps thread.

Eduardo Slabofvic
10:25:18 AM
I wonder if those stats include SES "rescues" at Araps where its actually the Arapalies Rescue Group who do the rescuing, and the SES helps carry out the streacher.

How fast do you think Simey would have been out there to rescue that naked woman?
11:04:53 AM
This crag is awesome and needs to be saved from beurocracy

You can always mention the tourist dollar!!
If i have to get a permit - I wont go and I wont spend my money in the local shops etc. Qld is trying hard to rebuild their tourism!

11:30:50 AM
Just in case you don't want to go to qurank, allow me to post up some instructions to help you draft your email. Sorry for the ugly formatting but you get the idea. Thanks for the support Chockstoners. Remember, more responses is better. Climbers overall are such a minority compared to other user groups in Australia that we truly need as many people as possible to send an email in order to be taken seriously.

Phase 1 - Respond to the draft. Do this today, no time to waste!

We need as many people as possible to respond formally to the draft plan. It's much better if we don't use a form letter (copy-paste style submissions are treated as one submission). So please make a big effort and compose something along the line suggested below.


Remember: Copy-paste style submissions are treated as one submission so you need to elaborate and write it yourself.

Re: Response to Draft Mount Coolum National Park Management Plan 2011

Attention: The Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability

Dear Madam

[perhaps introduce yourself and give some short background to your interest in Mt Coolum]

I am writing to respond to the Draft Mount Coolum National Park Management Plan 2011.

[Now here comes your writing. There is just the one action we need to concentrate on:

Action A28: Declare cliff-based activities a special activity under the Nature Conservation (Protected Area Management) Regulation 2006 in the area shown in Appendix A, Map2.

The key points to discuss:

Point 1 (good), you agree/support/think awesome/ the idea of managing the park for its unique/cool/awesome/magic conservation values. You absolutely support the development of climbing as a sustainable activity and would chastise/beat-up/persuade fellow climbers who did otherwise. 

Point 2 (bad!), the way in which special activities are managed using permits, insurance and compulsory peak body membership is "at odds with how the climbing community works" / "just plain sucks" / "will be ignored" / "will cause conflict with the rangers" / "will set climbing back twenty years" / "will impede the progress of our young sports climbing athletes" /"is at odds with the declared aim of promoting nature-based recreation" / "is at odds with the Premiers Q2 Vision by placing barriers to outdoor recreation" / "discriminates against climbers as valid stake holders in the outdoor recreation community" / "a bureaucratically lazy way of dealing with the management issues" / "set to fail"]

[Feel free to elaborate as you like, but this simple two part message is the key]

Yours Faithfully

[Your Name, possibly include contact details]

ACAQ will be delivering a more detailed response that will be available for viewing on Friday.

If you don't have access to email, you can snail mail to here, but remember it has to reach DERM by Mon 4th April.

The Manager, Planning Services Unit
Conservation, Strategy and Planning
Draft Mount Coolum National Park Management Plan
Department of Environment and Resource Management
Level 4, 400 George Street
GPO Box 2454

12:47:51 PM
I did my part too..

Attention: The Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Phil Neville. I am a Melbourne based rock climber who has traveled extensively throughout Australia and the world in pursuit of my passion for climbing.

I am writing to express my concerns in response to the Draft Mount Coolum National Park management Plan 2011.

I speak for not only myself, but my many climbing friends in Australia and around the world when I say that we as a climbing community understand the need to ensure the park is managed in a way that ensures the conservation and sustainability of the area, now and for the future. I believe you would find that many climbers participate in clean up days, track work programs and the like to assist Parks authorities in the management of these areas.

There is a section within the Draft management proposal which states that special activities (this includes climbing) will require a permit, insurance and compulsory peak body membership. This appears to be a blanket approach, which quite frankly is a lazy way of dealing with the management issues in the area. You will find that consultation with climbers on these issues would yield a far more successful result than these type of restrictions, which I believe are set to fail.

Another issue with this type of approach is that it not only discriminates against climbers as valid stake holders in the outdoor recreation community, but it will severely impede the accessibility of climbing as a recreational pursuit for most people. To suggest that an individual should have their own insurance is at odds with the QLD premiers Q2 vision by placing a barrier to outdoor recreation. I am sure that if these type of restrictions were to be imposed on bush walkers there would be a massive uproar.

Please don't think that just because the climbing community is Australia is small, that we should not have a voice.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further if required.

Kind Regards,

Phil Neville
2:55:38 PM
Also sent a response.
4:59:48 PM
Sent one in.

10:03:16 AM
Thank you guys. We have just a few days remaining for submissions, so please mention this to your climbing partners, friends, people at the cliff or gym etc. Numbers matter.

Remember, once this poison seeps in to the legislation, it will be near impossible to remove it. The chance for the infection to then spread to other Parks Australia-wide is very real.

We don't want our sport regulated with permits "just because". If you haven't written that email yet, please do so today.

10:49:08 AM
Response sent

2:11:27 AM
Here's my contribution:

Dear Minister,

Hello from halfway round the world! My name is Paul and I am from N.America. I have been on two amazing climbing trips to Oz, and have booked my ticket to QLD for my next trip, which starts 28 July. I'm really excited. Takes a few years to save up for the airfare and such, but Oz is worth it.

One of my 'goals' this next trip is Mt Coolum. I've climbed in the Glasshouse Mtns (great) and will be in QLD for 8 weeks. I'm hoping that the climbers in your area and your Ministry people can come up with a better solution than the 'climbing permit/insurance' idea.

In N.America, the local and national Parks people have gone a bit overboard with regards to climbers, but seem to be quite OK with snowmobiles and quad-buggies chewing up the landscape. It's quite a farce actually.

I think you will find climbers are very passionate about protecting, not just climbing access, but the environment where they climb. We love being outside and are quick to get on others who destroy/vandalize the places we love.

I hope you will work with the local climbers in QLD and listen to their suggestions.
And I hope my visit to Mt Coolum in July/August will be free of permit-troubles, injuries or bad weather (just in case you can do anything about those last two)

Cheers. Paul

12:06:42 PM
Thanks so much everyone who's taken the time to respond.

We had thought submissions closed last night at midnight, but we've just been informed that the official cut-off for submissions is 5:00pm today. So if you were feeling a bit guilty about not contributing, there's still time. I'll get you started:

Message: You disagree with the introduction of permits and mandatory insurance for climbers at Mt Coolum as proposed in the Draft Management Plan.

Thanks all. We'll keep you informed with the outcome of this 'Phase 1' of the campaign. Let's hope we've been successful and a 'Phase 2' is not needed; but if it is and we need your help, we'll come a-knocking.

Lee Cujes
undercling mike
2:48:34 PM
Thanks for the update about the deadline Lee, I just sent an email in.
3:03:12 PM
3:29:07 PM
On 4/04/2011 undercling mike wrote:
>Thanks for the update about the deadline Lee, I just sent an email in.

Just sent mine in too.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
There are 27 messages in this topic.


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