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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Non-commercial Recreation Blue Mts- fees for clubs
martym
7/08/2014
9:07:49 PM
Anyone familiar with/effected by this?

From Blue Mountains CC website: http://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/yourcouncil/policiesplansandstrategies/naturebasedrecreationandtourism/licensing/
Commencing at the start of the 2014-2015 licensing year on September 1 2014 all Not For Profit organisations including clubs, schools and community organisations which utilise Council managed or owned lands for organised nature based recreation activities will be required to be licenced. An annual Not For Profit organisation nature based recreation and tourism licence fee of $30 will apply. In addition Not For Profit organisations must be covered by Public Liability insurance to $20 Million. Not For Profit organisations will be exempt from paying per person usage fees.
patto
7/08/2014
9:42:16 PM
Lol! It sounds like recreational club trips will fall into this category. So any uni club, VCC, etc would have to be licensed.

Another joke really.... Rules that are too broad and ill thought out.

hangdog
7/08/2014
9:42:59 PM
I know of several clubs who will be effected by this. I wonder where the money collected goes and how will they police it. Council rangers down at the crags ?

Climboholic
7/08/2014
10:16:53 PM
My thoughts too. If it goes towards rescue organisations and track maintenance I can understand. I'm a bit unclear which climbing areas are under the jurisdiction of local council and which come under National Parks? It seems unfair to slug not-for-profit organisations but not private individuals. This policy will force clubs to claim they are just a group of friends, which creates issues for their public liability insurance.

This is an ill-conceived policy that will created no tangible benefit and will not be adhered to.

Snacks
8/08/2014
10:26:46 AM
It's not much different to the personal fitness groups trying to use council lands without paying for the privilege...

Trying to make a fair system that prevents organisations from slamming areas repeatedly without paying for it is a step in the right direction...

deadbudgy
8/08/2014
12:59:14 PM
On 8/08/2014 Snacks wrote:
>It's not much different to the personal fitness groups trying to use council
>lands without paying for the privilege...
>
>Trying to make a fair system that prevents organisations from slamming
>areas repeatedly without paying for it is a step in the right direction...

Except it looks like that this fee is for non-commercial groups? i.e. not making any money

IronCheff
8/08/2014
1:40:56 PM
On 8/08/2014 deadbudgy wrote:

>Except it looks like that this fee is for non-commercial groups? i.e.
>not making any money

As per the link .... Licensing was introduced in 2004 requiring all commercial and organised group activities to have a Nature Based Recreation and Tourism Licence while operating on Crown and Council Lands managed by Council. The revenues generated by the licence fee system supplements existing funds to enable the ongoing management of nature based recreation sites and the restoration of areas degraded by nature based recreation and tourism impacts.


At $30 the council won't be making money from this. It would probably cost more than that to administer the scheme.

2G
8/08/2014
2:21:45 PM
The scheme was introduced for the commercial groups running climbing/canyoning etc. in the mountains who do cause a lot of wear and tear in some of the areas.

They've probably just extended the scheme to not for profits to cover their asses legally in case some of the clubs that use their land dont have their insurances in order

rodw
8/08/2014
2:25:59 PM
Big difference between a commercial operation and a non for profit club...maybe all the revenue the not for profit club brings into the area anyway should be considered..seriously small minded IMHO.
jrc
8/08/2014
2:40:44 PM
So, our BMCC rates for 1 house at Mt Vic are $1400 per year and slated to go up by 30% by 2019.

A club with lots of members has to pay $30 all up - not even per member. Get real. Thats not even the fuel cost for one car trip there & back from Sydney.

Please try to find something meaningful to get upset about.

rodw
8/08/2014
2:50:29 PM
Who's said upset?..just thinking its a narrow minded stupid policy that achieves nothing.
martym
8/08/2014
9:08:48 PM
On 8/08/2014 jrc wrote:
>So, our BMCC rates for 1 house at Mt Vic are $1400 per year and slated
>to go up by 30% by 2019.
>
>A club with lots of members has to pay $30 all up - not even per member.
>Get real. Thats not even the fuel cost for one car trip there & back from Sydney.
>
>Please try to find something meaningful to get upset about.

Hi jrc, as an formerly active member of a Uni club - I'm not at all upset about paying the council $30 for their admin time. We've run fundraisers for trackcare & regularly join those events.
What I'm concerned about is the implication that for a group of students to go on a social bushwalk - you now need to have $20mil public liability insurance. I'm mainly concerned what that means in the long run for the amazing volunteers who run these activities.

Essentially, when trip leaders hear about potential litigation, they don't organise trips.

What a shame it would be if all these people stop visiting one of the world's most beautiful places because the council is getting nervous about duty of care or what ever this is about.
Having such a low admin fee amplifies that this is not revenue raising - but about passing the buck.
Note that schools are mentioned as well - why on earth do schools have to register with council? Every school has insurance - it's part of being a school!
jrc
8/08/2014
11:01:55 PM
Thanks Marty and yes a good point. The council does explain on their webpage the rationale behind the licence- it is related to the public liability policy and covers the expected insurance requirement for the organising body needing to have a registered place for their activity. Why they pick $30 I have no idea but I expect that covers the council admin cost of entering & keeping the records. Commercial operations have far higher fees.

The public liability itself is a newie for clubs though as far as I am aware. I'm not sure the club I am in is covered for example. I would imagine university clubs would typically be covered by the Uni union insurance but it would be a good idea to check that with each university and club - don't take my imaginings as the truth! Similarly for school or scout groups.
martym
8/08/2014
11:32:58 PM
I once spoke to another Uni club about their insurance provisions. They said they were told point blank by the union - if you get sued, we'll back you up, pay what needs to get paid, then shut down your club.

I imagine it's the same for mine and the other clubs. We've never had a claim; even with a large number of international members, but it still scares the bejesus out of trip leaders.

sbm
10/08/2014
2:37:38 PM
From what I can tell, a uni club would be up for $270 annually as an educational institution.

As for insurance, from what I understand universities are often so big they're self-insured, the sports & rec insurance is an extension of that so insurance amounts are a fuzzy concept. The uni club I was involved with never had any problems with injury claims - so far it's been moderate injuries like ankles and shoulders and I've heard we use it waaaaay less than the other clubs, the footy club etc.

> I once spoke to another Uni club about their insurance provisions. They said they were told point blank by the union - if you get sued, we'll back you up, pay what needs to get paid, then shut down your club.

My club has been told basically the same thing.
martym
10/08/2014
8:23:01 PM
It was your club told me the story ;)

Climboholic
10/08/2014
10:25:35 PM
The linked page is confusing people on the prices. It mentions an annual $30 fee, then goes on to say in the table: Initial licence application fee for nature based recreation including abseiling (note it doesn't mention climbing) - $2200 or $260 for educational institutions (I assumed this meant Uni's). Then it says the annual renewal fee is $270.

On first reading I thought that independent climbing clubs were going to get slugged with a $2470 bill. However, now I interpret the table to be for commercial operators (although there is no title saying so) and by 'educational institutions' they must mean private (for profit) schools and outdoor education providers.

The least they can do when rolling out a new fee, is to make the fee-structure unambiguous. If this was a contract, it would get thrown out.

hangdog
11/08/2014
1:20:30 PM
I just spoke to the contact at BMCC. Uni clubs will pay $30 annual fee no further per person fee is required. I mentioned to them that the page is a bit confusing as it includes commercial operators fees.

There are 18 messages in this topic.

 

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