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General Climbing Discussion

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Sydney National Parks - Climbing & POM Review

11:15:09 AM
Mentioned on ACA and cragx so bringing it here too...The POM for Sydney Harbour National Park which
covers North head and The Gap is up for review...they have a forum asking for submissions...

If you have time get on and post something or at least give a thumbs up..the more the merrier I say.

8:01:38 AM
Bump - good response so far..anyone who hasnt as yet pop over to the site and voice your opinions.

10:14:29 AM
haha i read that website as

8:17:19 PM

Get on the site and have a say, even if you simply reiterate some of the other replies. It doesn't matter that you don't live in Sydney or NSW or Swaziland. Just do it.

The more voices, the harder they are to ignore and one day you may be able to visit Sydney and scare yourself silly on The Fear, legally.

9:00:37 PM
Agreed there have been 280 view of this thread and only about 15 responses...get to it people !!!! :)

9:51:09 PM
Get on and post - I have. Also 'agree' with all the previous posts. Maybe a long time before we get a chance to sell our case to NPWS again.
1:47:01 PM
Speaking from experience, getting national parks to examine, let alone change, a plan of management outside of its official reviews is nigh on impossible.

So if you're reading this and having posted in the link provided, do so!

3:01:13 PM
On 4/12/2009 hotgemini wrote:
>Speaking from experience, getting national parks to examine, let alone
>change, a plan of management outside of its official reviews is nigh on
I totally agree. It's hard work, but we keep striving to achieve change. However it is difficult not to
become a little cynical. See my post (using my real name) on the NPWS forum site:

3:25:08 PM
Tend to agree with your assement about the whole process, but if we do our bit and EVERYONE comments from this site, just by weight of numbers they technically cant use the effect general public being effected rule, as the majority of those posted "ie general public" were in favour of the change so in effect become the general public???

Its at least worth a try.

3:45:33 PM
So far there are 23 comments from climbers, if you include Simey's first one which says nothing.

How many members are on this forum?

I realise that this is supposed to be a Victorian website but that shouldn't matter. These access issues effect all climbers. It doesn't matter if you never intend to visit Sydney and climb on the sea cliffs EVERYONE should log in a say something. The more voices the better.

I will probably never climb at Hanging Rock in Victoria but if they asked for submissions in regards to recreational activities there and the was even just a slight possibility that climbing would be allowed there once again, I would write a submission.

If you can't be bothered, then you have absolutely no right to complain when or if climbing becomes banned at your local crag.

Get of your arses and have a say.
9:41:11 PM
On 4/12/2009 wallwombat wrote:
>So far there are 23 comments from climbers, if you include Simey's first one which says nothing.

Yes, that was a bit of a stuff up by me whilst trying to work out how to post a comment. Most people would argue that most of my comments say nothing anyway.

Hopefully there will be enough responses to see the climbing ban lifted. The Sydney Sea Cliffs have far too much good climbing to simply forget about them. If they were talking about a climbing ban in Nowra, then it would be a different story.

9:24:57 PM
On 4/12/2009 simey wrote:
>Hopefully there will be enough responses to see the climbing ban lifted.

Not at the rate the responses are flooding in at the moment, simey.

Good on you, Sarah Gara. You have been in Australia less than 6 months, you live a thousand or so kms from Sydney and you still made the effort to respond. You really show up a lot of the apathetic Australian climbers on this forum who can't be arsed taking 5 minutes of their day to try and positive difference to a serious climbing access problem.
10:01:03 PM
I ticked agree on everything, plus disagreeing with the guy who wanted bikes banned, does that count? Maybe I'll suggest that they combine the nude beach with the climbing sites, then everyone will be happy.

10:05:32 PM
Wendy wrote;
>Maybe I'll suggest that they combine the nude beach with the climbing sites, then everyone will be happy.

~> That could lead to some distracted belayers, and also to truly classic 'bum-shots' of their lead climbers, in the happy snaps albums...

On 4/12/2009 hotgemini wrote:
>Speaking from experience, getting national parks to examine, let alone
>change, a plan of management outside of its official reviews is nigh on

Yes, true, ... but I gather that there is a review milestone coming up for that area, and if they have taken the trouble to employ the independant 'bang the table' forum to canvas the general publics ideas then it is self evident to me to utilise the process...

10:39:40 PM
I think what hotgemini is saying is that it is so rare for National Parks to review plans of management and ask for input, that this is an opportunity that we may not get again for a long time.

4:53:21 AM
On 5/12/2009 wallwombat wrote:
>I think what hotgemini is saying is that it is so rare for National Parks
>to review plans of management and ask for input, that this is an opportunity
>that we may not get again for a long time.

Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, but I doubt anything will come from this. The Sydney NPWS bureaucracy have repeatedly proven themselves to be exceptionally anti-climbing (amongst other activities - including beekeeping of all things!!), so it seems unlikely a random discussion thread on teh interwebs will be taken more seriously than the previous formal submissions from the Sydney climbing community.

kuu - I'd be very interested to hear your opinion on what it would take to change the attitude NPWS has towards climbing (and more generally, any "risky" activity where they have a fear of litigation, whether justified or not). Is change even possible?

Also, does Gordon Brysland still do his "review of litigation in climbing" talk? I wonder if he's ever presented it to NPWS?

10:45:12 AM
Hi Peter,
Re your questions:

Q1) “What would it take to change the attitude NPWS has towards climbing?” and

Q2) “Is change even possible?”
Q3) “Does Gordon Brysland still do his ‘Review of Litigation in Climbing’ talk?”

A1) I guess the simple answer is that if I didn’t think the NPWS attitudes could be changed I would
have long ago given up working on access issues. I’m of the view this will be a generational thing and
hopefully change will come as a result of the two “R”s – Retirement and Recruitment, i.e.

a) Retirement of the Old Guard, those raised in a traditionalist ‘lock up and preserve everything’ era,
b) Recruitment of younger, open and more forward thinking tertiary-trained staff.

A2) Yes, I think change is possible. It may take some time and perhaps persistent lobbying/activism
by the climbing community but I believe it is possible.

In recent years we have seen NPWS reverse its long-held dislike of huts in the snow country and now
there is a culture of active preservation of these historic structures.

And, in a move that probably had many bushwalkers choking on their scroggin, the Service jointly
signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the peak body representing 4WD clubs in NSW. The
MoU defines the obligations of both parties and establishes solid lines of communication to facilitate
information exchange.

Additionally, the Service has adopted a progressive (and professional) approach to the concept of joint
management, with indigenous communities, of sensitive areas in particular and protected areas

So, change IS happening, albeit is slowly!

A3) I’ve had little contact with Gordon Brysland in recent times but I would think because of his UIAA
connection he still espouses strong views about the “rights” of climbers. I can’t tell you whether he still
gives that talk about litigation issues but I do know that he was a presenter at an Escalade Access
Forum where NPWS representatives were present in the audience.

And, since that time I’ve had a meeting with some of the legal staff at NPWS Head Office concerning
litigation issues and I reiterated Gordon’s views on the subject.

Following the 1998 High Court decision in the case of Romeo v Conservation Commission, and
subsequent legislative changes in several jurisdictions, the potential for successful litigation resulting
from a climbing-related event has been significantly diminished.

Finally, my post on the Bang The Table forum may at first glance seem despondent or even negative.
This was not my intention. Rather, I was seeking to make the Service aware that their processes need
to be more transparent. That they have to be truly consultative – listen as well as talk – if they
seriously want to engage the stakeholders (users) in a meaningful way.

10:49:37 AM
Peter, I am sceptical too and largely agree with everything you said but THE point is that the POM for the park is under review and this doesn't happen very often. It could be years until it is reviewed again.

Also the national parks have set up a forum to discuss recreational activities in the park. Can you remember them ever doing anything like that before? I can't. I think that points to the forum being more than "random discussion on the interwebs". Not much more, mind you, but more all the same. They didn't have to set up the forum. They do on the other hand, have to call for formal submissions when drafting or reviewing a Plan of Management.

Considering there have only been about 25 posts on the forum , I wonder how many formal submissions they recieved last time. My guess is they got one from the Sydney Rock Climbing Club and maybe a handful more. That's not much of a voice and it's hardly suprising that climbing was viewed as a fringe activity and given the bum's rush.

This is an opportunity for many, many voices to be heard and the amount of effort it takes to have your say on the forum is considerably less than having to draft a formal submission. I'm not optimistic but that is no reason not to try.

Unfortunately, the amount of responses on the site shows that most climbers don't really give a shit at all about access issues and trying to make a difference.

If only a third of the members of Chockstone took the 5 minutes it takes to register and have a say, that would be a big voice and one that the National Parks would not be expecting. People don't need to write an essay. All they need to do is say " I think rock climbing should be allowed in Sydney Harbour National Park" .

But, as we can see, hardly anyone can be bothered doing even that and to tell you the truth their apathy makes me embarrassed to call myself a rockclimber

11:15:37 AM
While we're on the participate in park management theme, remember Parks Vic have an Alpine National Park one too, see this thread

I registered for it ages ago then found it outrageously tedious to find where to contribute too and forgot about it. But today I've had a bit more success and it looks like we could start something here

There's a tiny bit about climbing in here which is notable for having memorandums of cooperations with a bunch of other user groups, but not climbers and also interestingly enough, thinking that dog walking is a nature based activity strongly focused on the natural setting whilst climbing is more about the activity!

Feel free to dive in and contribute. I imagine Rod's already done something with it? I'll think about it whilst procrastinating from rendering later, and WW, I'll be a bit more proactive than pressing buttons and write something for the Sydney lot too.

1:04:58 PM
Good one Wendy.. I registered for that Parks Victoria thing and will post something as soon as someone gets the ball rolling. Most of the submissions I could find were about blowing away Bambi.

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