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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 3 of 7. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 122
Author
Mt Arapiles development plans

Zebedee
20/10/2010
10:59:32 PM
On 20/10/2010 kieranl wrote:
>Cr Mark Radford was the person quoted in the Mail-Times. Meg and I had
>.....(snip,snip) I think David Grimble is the driver on the council.
>But, from the look of the TV strategy document it's Tourism Vic that is
>really pushing this.
I think that it is possible that the driving force comes from HRCC staff rather than any councillor(s). That would be "Mr Tony Bawden, General Manager Corporate Services and Economic Development, and Mr Chris McClure Promotions Manager / Major Events Co-ordinator." Though in the end for anything to happen councillors will need to be convinced and they feel vunerable cause they're elected so they should be the target for rational letters arguing the futility of going down the Eco-Tourism road at Mt Arapiles.
patto
21/10/2010
1:38:00 AM
My favourite part of the feasibility study was:

"The wilderness experience, especially ‘camping in the wilderness’ rates poorly at 1.86, which in part reflects the degradation of the camping areas currently available. "

Um, maybe that because Mt Arapiles camp ground isn't in the wilderness. There are fricken farms across the road!!
earwig
21/10/2010
10:06:33 AM
Wilderness has different meanings for different people. For some it means being away from the trappings of the human race – no roads or buildings, a lack of mobile phone reception and so on. For others, it is a marketing concept around camping with cappuccinos. The feasibility study and Councillors are probably referring to this idea of wilderness.
ZERO
21/10/2010
10:33:06 AM
Lets not start changing definitions to suit different situations.
Wilderness is by most definitions and even some legislation defined as an area greater than 10,000 hectares with NO HUMAN DEVELOPMENT.
So technically, the only "wilderness" west of Melbourne is inside the heads of the people who keep raising this ridiculous proposition,

ajfclark
Online Now
21/10/2010
10:34:13 AM
Does that mean there's wilderness in their arses?
earwig
21/10/2010
10:59:48 AM
On 21/10/2010 stealth wrote:
>Lets not start changing definitions to suit different situations.

I don't want to change the definition - but the tourism industry does becasue it is a great marketing term and suits their desire to get maximum $$ per person visiting - not because they have any intention of going to an actual wilderness. Arapiles has lots of visitors but they are perceived as not spending much. The idea that build and they will come seems to be driving this without understanding why people visit Araps. The first report seems to have come to the conclusion that people come to climb and not spend big on a "wilderness, eco-holiday". Someone in Council doesn't/won't/can't accept this and wants to chase the percieved profits. Hopefully, reality will sink in at some stage that Arapiles isn't and never will be a holiday destination in that sense.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
21/10/2010
11:06:04 AM
On 21/10/2010 earwig wrote:
>The idea that build and they will come seems to be
>driving this without understanding why people visit Araps. The first report
>seems to have come to the conclusion that people come to climb and not
>spend big on a "wilderness, eco-holiday". Someone in Council doesn't/won't/can't
>accept this and wants to chase the percieved profits. Hopefully, reality
>will sink in at some stage that Arapiles isn't and never will be a holiday
>destination in that sense.

Why not?
Just look at the Blueys or more exotic places like Lord Howe Island, to see where climbers and their aspirations fit into the scheme of 'conventional things'...

~> Still, it is worth resisting inappropriate development at every opportunity if we are to retain some measure of our current freedoms.
earwig
21/10/2010
11:24:19 AM
On 21/10/2010 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>Why not?
>Just look at the Blueys or more exotic places like Lord Howe Island, to
>see where climbers and their aspirations fit into the scheme of 'conventional
>things'...

IMHO While Araps also has walking, wildflowers and critters, it doesn't compare with Lord Howe Island or the Blue Mountains in that way, in that those areas offer more. If I was looking at developing an eco-resort out west, I'd be looking around the Grampians as an area with a greater range of natural attractions - not Arapiles.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
21/10/2010
11:50:14 AM
On 16/10/2010 dave wrote:
>"Assist an investor to facilitate a climbing and nature based lodge at
>Mount Arapiles in partnership with Parks Victoria."
>
>Doesn't sound good. What can be done to stop it?

It is coming up to an election. Could it be possible that this proposal is a govt troll to get locals off other issues?

Then again, would a change of govt affect the proposal/outcome?
Godless
21/10/2010
12:08:41 PM
you credit them with an intelligance far surpassing their limited faculties.

they're working on a simple more people=more money equation
kieranl
21/10/2010
2:13:13 PM
On 21/10/2010 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>It is coming up to an election. Could it be possible that this proposal
>is a govt troll to get locals off other issues?
>
>Then again, would a change of govt affect the proposal/outcome?
Arapiles is in the safest conservative seat in the state. The Labor government will not spend valuable money on a seat where there is no chance of winning. Though we've got a decent Labor candidate this time, Mandy Kirsopp, no amount of pork-barelling will get them even close to the line.
No this development proposal is just business-as-usual for Tourism Vic.
jacq
25/10/2010
8:09:55 PM
It might be worth getting in touch with the local Greens candidate - assuming there is one! In spite of the fact its a safe conservative seat, the Greens have a lot of clout at the moment, and I would imagine they would not be very impressed with the thought of such development in one of the few "wilderness" areas in this region. There is the upper house of course, and given the Labor govt is desperately trying to get the Greens on side this might be a good time to raise it.

I can certainly find out what their position is...

And one last thing - it is really valuable to write letters to local papers, ring up call-back radio programs, all that stuff - pollies DO take notice of that.
Wendy
26/10/2010
11:27:39 AM
For those of you who haven't gone through the tedium of reading the report, it's recommendations for managing the campsite include allocated campsites, online booking, limited numbers, no fires all year round and a private campground. These suggestions appear to arise from what they call "overspill" - that is, people are camping in non camping areas around the campsite. Generally speaking, I think there are only 2 or 3 weekends a year when overcrowding really is an issue in the campground, and most people are accepting of having to squash in. However, a few people have been setting up in the picnic areas, around the rubbish bins (why would you want to camp near 30 smelly bins anyway?), on the side of the initial drive way, the loo side of the loop etc etc.

It is not busy at the Pines at the moment, and people are still camping in some of these spots, which have been gradually becoming clearer and probably look like regular campsites now. This process has gone on ad infinitum in many unregulated campsites resulting in the cleared area growing and growing. And whilst collecting firewood in the park has been banned for many years now, people still do. Similarly, people walk straight past the little potato head on a sign saying track closed. It is this sort of failure of self regulation that leads to PV wanting to enforce camping/climbing limitations in other ways. So if you are one of the people doing these sort of things, please bloody well stop! It's very hard to fight against increasing regulation when people are demonstratably incapable of regulating their own impact.
jimfalla
26/10/2010
11:56:47 AM
On 21/10/2010 kieranl wrote:

>Though we've got a decent Labor candidate this time, Mandy Kirsopp,

Oh well...Looks like I'll be voting for the Nationals for the first time in my life.......
Access T CliffCare
26/10/2010
1:01:14 PM
On 26/10/2010 Wendy wrote:
>For those of you who haven't gone through the tedium of reading the report,
>it's recommendations for managing the campsite include allocated campsites,
>online booking, limited numbers, no fires all year round and a private
>campground. These suggestions appear to arise from what they call "overspill"
>- that is, people are camping in non camping areas around the campsite.
> Generally speaking, I think there are only 2 or 3 weekends a year when
>overcrowding really is an issue in the campground, and most people are
>accepting of having to squash in. However, a few people have been setting
>up in the picnic areas, around the rubbish bins (why would you want to
>camp near 30 smelly bins anyway?), on the side of the initial drive way,
>the loo side of the loop etc etc.
>
>It is not busy at the Pines at the moment, and people are still camping
>in some of these spots, which have been gradually becoming clearer and
>probably look like regular campsites now. This process has gone on ad
>infinitum in many unregulated campsites resulting in the cleared area growing
>and growing. And whilst collecting firewood in the park has been banned
>for many years now, people still do. Similarly, people walk straight past
>the little potato head on a sign saying track closed. It is this sort of
>failure of self regulation that leads to PV wanting to enforce camping/climbing
>limitations in other ways. So if you are one of the people doing these
>sort of things, please bloody well stop! It's very hard to fight against
>increasing regulation when people are demonstratably incapable of regulating
>their own impact.

sigh...yep,yep,yep

With regards to the development plan, I did speak to the Chief District Ranger of Grampians before I left for South America on this matter. More on this later - at work at the mo...

Wendy
27/10/2010
10:40:50 AM
emails to write to, it's quick and easy to drop them all a note:

council@hrcc.vic.gov.au; info@parks.vic.gov.au; feedback@tourism.vic.gov.au

I heard a rumour yesterday that PV want to abdicate responsibility for camping at the mount and replace all camping there with a private facility. Might be all rumours and exageration, I wouldn't quote that rumour to them, but may as let them know we like camping, minimal facilities and low visual impact.
patto
27/10/2010
10:47:54 AM
There may be perceived problems with the current camping situation that Parks Victoria wants to fix through further regulation.

If this is the case, then it would be a far better outcome if a Natimuk or VCC group take a key role in that regulation and management. I'm sure most of us wouldn't mind paying more than $2 per night and participating in restoration works. What we don't want to lose is the easy going freedom that is expected of the Arapiles campsite.

'We', the climbing community, should be on top of this. It is not unknown for the Bureaucracy to decide on changes without even the key stake holders being consulted.
Access T CliffCare
27/10/2010
11:24:51 AM
I had wanted to write a reply to this thread directly but am trying to get through mountains of work after my little jaunt in South America. So have just cut and pasted a little from my Access report I did yesterday -due for the next Argus. Gives you some info but will be following up further with this situation.
This was from conversations I had before I left
excerpt from Access report
*********
And once again, we need to keep an eye on possible future development of tourist accommodation at Arapiles. Despite numerous studies on the area, it appears that some in Tourism Victoria and Horsham Rural City Council are determined that such a site should be developed at or in the very near vicinity of the Mount. Tourist and visitor facilities such as accommodation should be in Natimuk and this is something that many of the town residents are happy to support. One must start to ask themselves – With all the studies showing that the majority of current users of Arapiles are not interested in any upgrade’’ of accommodation and especially not at Arapiles itself, are those keen on pursuing this misguided vision interested in developing a totally new demographic. A demographic that prefers more comforts, has more disposable income and likes a view. I would imagine that in this scenario, they wouldn’t be able to capture that demographic situating such a facility in Natimuk whereas placing it at the site itself they could market it much more productively.
With regards to some kind of development, and I use that word very broadly, taking place at Araps – well, that might be something that is inevitable. But it is certainly something that not only myself but many others in the climbing community, Natimuk residents included, will be keeping an eye on. Being involved as much as possible to ensure that Arapiles remains the special place that it is – much of this due to the fact that it doesn’t have development in the immediate vicinity.
I contacted the Chief District Ranger for the Grampians to discuss the more recent murmurings amongst Tourism Victoria and HRCC and also Parks involvement. From PV side at this stage no there are no formal plans to move forward on and they have been invited/involved in the meetings, as anything that has potential or possibility in a National or State park would require it. But regardless of these meetings that TV and HRCC are having, Araps will be looked at in the future by PV to see how they can develop some of the facilities for the day visitor ie walks etc with as little impact upon the area as possible and with as little development as possible. Arapiles currently caters mostly for climbers and PV feel that it has more to offer other user groups - in particular walkers. Camping wise, there are changes afoot across many of the campgrounds in the state and the online booking system is already in place in some parks and will be introduced into others. Nothing specific in the pipeworks for Araps at present time but obviously if this is something they are looking at putting in a lot more parks, we should keep an eye on it. With campsite degradation only going to become worse over the ensueing years, there are works and improvements that will need to take place. Hopefully, with enough peoples support, we can be involved in these works. Compromises will be most likely – we will need to work hard though to retain those aspects that are really important to us and are beneficial to Arapiles and its surrounds in the long run.
Stay tuned for more information or developments(hopefully not of the wrong kind!) on this subject. You can get more regular updates via the CliffCare page on the VCC website and very soon, via the new CliffCare website. CliffCare also has a Facebook page which is a great way to be alerted to any new developments.*****

As Wendy has said, write a note, a letter. The VCC will have discussions and send letters also but it helps if everyone makes the effort. I will try and find out more definitive information and answers and work alongside those in the Natimuk community who are involved.
Haven't uploaded the info on the websites yet - thats in my mountains of work to do! Keep checking in though.

Cheers,

Tracey
patto
27/10/2010
11:34:02 AM
It would be great to get walking groups on side here. Bureaucratic organisations like to see things in terms of opposing interests and groups. It is presumed that climbers interests are different to walkers' interests

If needed I can help galvanise many of the University outdoor groups on this issue.
bones
27/10/2010
12:27:34 PM
Are there examples where a popular climbing campground has been abandoned due to these kinds of changes? Stapylton and Buffalo wouldn't really count as they attract large numbers of non climbers.
What about Frog? Has that campground less popular now that it has a booking system and allocated sites? (I've read about Vic dirtbags spending months at time up there in the old days but it was empty when I was there!)

Any close examples would support the argument against Araps development

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There are 122 messages in this topic.

 

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