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Hello. Do Tasmanian climbers have an association – not a club – that tackles climbing access issues in national parks, rserves and forests? If so, could you tell me its name and how I get in touch with it, please?

Victorian climbers have just launched the ACA V (Australian Climbing Association (Victoria)). It works like the ACA Q (Australian climbing Association (Queensland)). Both are fully independent associations, formed in each state, run by state climbers for all climbers, fighting access issues in their state. Apparently, the meeting at which the ACAV was launched last night, in Natimuk, was an outstanding success.

If you don’t have an association in Tasmania dealing with access issues, now is a great time to start. If you want some assistance in how to get started, contact the ACAQ president (Dave Reeve) or ACAV president (Mike Tomkins). Here is the ACAQ website (I think ACAV website is nearly ready to go live)

A lot of the essential work for a website, online membership, databases, and a Facebook page, has already been done by both these state associations. And I hear discussions have started in New South Wales for the same thing (Although I’m not sure where that’s up to.)

You can more easily find the “Australian Climbing Association Qld” and “Australian Climbing Association Victoria” Facebook pages than I can post links to those pages (sorry, I did try)

SHORT SUMMARY OF WHAT IT’S ABOUT: each state Association studies the state legislation, policies and government processes that directly affect where we can and can’t climb in national parks and other public lands. This includes cultural heritage law, National Parks law, law governing how bureaucrats manage parks, civil liability legislation, and whatever else pops up on the radar. When necessary, submissions are made to state government to change laws (e.g. the ACAQ was successful in getting the Nature Conservation Act 1991 changed for climbers), and discussions are had with land managers (for example, the ACAQ successfully reasoned with a plantation licensee to keep bouldering access open in Passchendaele State Forest)...and there’s a heap more big access issues that are either resolved or being worked on right now, including working with traditional owners regarding cultural heritage issues. 

Think about joining the fight if you don’t already have an incorporated access association for Tassie. Talk to the presidents of the ACAQ and ACAV - they are unpaid volunteers whom I believe are only too willing to help. The more states on board, each with their own association, the bigger the presence. 

Chris Williams


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  1. Chris, the CCT is filling this role in Tas, it was re-formed with access and advocacy as its number one goal.

    The email contacts on those pages will get to me if you want to discuss collaboration, as I'm the secretary.


    Jon Nermut

    1. Thanks Jon. If you know Mike Tomkins of the new ACAV, you really should talk to Mike...better to get the why's and how's straight from the horse's mouth. You can message Mike here After working with the ACAQ (mostly with Dave Reeve, president) over the last week or so, Mike can spell out to you why he and a very large number of Victorian climbers saw the need to have an access body separate from their Cliff Care and Victorian Climbing Club. I'm just a Queenslander who, along with others from the ACAQ, was helping the new ACAV get started.

      On the ACAV Facebook page is a Utube video of the meeting held in Natimuk last Saturday, about the massive blanket bans in the tells of a sad picture, but also of a picture of hope. I urge you and all Tassie climbers to watch that video, to explore the ACAV's Facebook page, to explore the ACAQ's website (here, and above all else...don't wait for a Tasmanian crisis...think seriously about getting onboard....I hear that NSW discussions have already started amongst spme well known people there.

      I am happy to assist in any way I can, but please message or call the ACAQ president (or Mike, ACAV) if you want assistance. If you decide to get started, you just need a few Tassie helpers to get across some initial red tape; and then in the medium term, to get across some key legislation governing the management of National Parks etc, so that you (like us) can point land managers in the right direction; and, where they stray off the straight and narrow, pull them back into line by a system of laws.

      Consultation and collaboration is the ACAQ's mantra (and that of the ACAV), but when a bureaucrat oversteps their legislative mark, we like to be prepared, and active. Getting ahead of the game...before a Grampians-style ban happens in vital, as anyone who wants to climb in the Grampians now knows all too well.




  2. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your concern and for your offer of help. As Jon says, this is already in hand here, in a way that appears congruent with your approach.

    I would like to add to Jon's comments, principally for the benefits of anyone else out there who is unaware of the advocacy already being conducted. Off the top of my head, some recent interactions include:

        - Input to the WHA management plan (established climbing as a valid activity, including limited rights to install fixed anchors). 

        - Liason with HCC for tracks and signage on the Organ Pipes climbing areas (very successful). 

        - Liason with HCC for stabilisation and enhancement at Fruehauf Crag (very successful). 

        - Liason with HCC for access at Waterworks  (very successful). 

        - Liason with Parks re fixed anchors  (very successful, including proof loading numerous anchors, and a v good relationship with the relevant personnel in Parks). 

        - Liason with Parks re White Water Wall (partially successful but this is ongoing and we have a good relationship). 

        - Liason with land-owner of Hillwood Cliff (in conjunction with local climbers, this is ongoing). 

        - Representation of club members interests with respect to the proposed Mt Wellington Cable Car. 


    So, a lot of good stuff that wouldn't be anything like as effective as an individual.

    Finally, as a committee member, I can add that I have been impressed with the professionalism of the other committee members, their dedication, and their ability to find effective compromise amongst a diversity of opinions. 

    Best wishes 

    Roger Parkyn