Licence extension for rock climbing tour operators in Grampians

Thursday 19 March, 2020

Licensed Tour Operators currently offering rock climbing and abseiling at Summerday Valley in the national park can now continue doing so for another three months after receiving an extension to their licences.

This licence extension follows a decision made last year to provide strictly conditional access to the Special Protection Area while a new management plan for the Grampians landscape is developed.

With the support of Traditional Owner groups, these licences have again been extended and also updated to include a climbing area called Lookout Point Wall, near Halls Gap.

Strict licence conditions remain in place to ensure impacts on environmental and Aboriginal cultural values at these locations are minimised and monitored.

These conditions include a limit on operating locations; compulsory completion of an Aboriginal cultural heritage induction program; ongoing education for operators and their tour groups; identification for tour guides and their customers; use of a booking system to manage and monitor access; and reporting of visitor data to help with planning and review.

The licences have been extended until 30 June 2020 while Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners continue to work with stakeholders on a new Grampians Landscape Management Plan. This plan will provide longer-term direction on how the national park is accessed and used for recreation, including rock climbing. The plan will also provide a framework for environmental conservation; cultural heritage protection, including Aboriginal rock art; tourism opportunities; visitor safety and experience; and management of fire and water catchments.

Initial community consultation on the landscape management plan occurred during September last year, with the feedback currently being used to inform a draft plan. This draft plan will be released for further public comment in mid-2020.

People can register their interest to be part of the process at engage.vic.gov.au/grampians-management-plan

Quotes attributable to Jason Borg, Regional Director–Western Victoria, Parks Victoria:

“In partnership with Traditional Owner groups, we’re continuing to prepare a new management plan for the Grampians landscape, an area that covers the Grampians National Park and adjacent parks and reserves.”

“Among other things, the plan will provide more clarity on where and how licensed tour operators can offer recreational activities in the national park, including rock climbing and abseiling.”

“Until then, Parks and Traditional Owner groups have agreed to extend access for licensed tour operators offering rock climbing and abseiling in the Summerday Valley Special Protection Area and conditional access to Lookout Point Wall.”

“No-impact rock climbing otherwise continues to be permitted outside of the national park’s Special Protection Areas.”



Media enquiries

Gareth Rees

Mobile: 0417 067 706

gareth.rees@parks.vic.gov.au

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