tourism | March 22, 2023
Grampians Climbing Bans must be lifted
Calls continue for climbing bans on sites in the Grampians Nationals Park assessed by Parks Victoria and found to have no evidence of significant risk to cultural heritage or the natural environment to be lifted, and assessments yet to be undertaken to be fast-tracked.
Speaking in State Parliament, Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Emma Kealy said she continued to be approached by constituents regarding the lack of action by Parks Victoria in relation to the assessment of identified sites of cultural significance.
“It is now over four years since Parks Victoria announced the original bans on climbing across over 530 square kilometres of the Grampians and I am advised that well over 300 climbing sites are still not assessed,” Ms Kealy said.
“There is no argument that the protection of identified cultural heritage site in the Grampians National Park is extremely important.
“My constituents are concerned however that at the present rate of assessing, it will take another decade for all site assessments to be completed.
“This situation continues to place enormous pressure on our $25 million outdoor recreational climbing industry and associated businesses in the region, with many climbers and their families making the difficult decision to move away from the region.”
Ms Kealy said in places where Parks Victoria had completed cultural heritage and environmental assessments and found no evidence of significant risk to cultural heritage or the natural environment, prohibitions should be rescinded.
She also called for the Minister to immediately provide the funding necessary to allow all outstanding assessments to be completed by the end of this year.
“This will ensure that sites of cultural significance can be properly and respectfully protected while at the same time protecting the economic and viability of our local rock climbing and tourism industry,” Ms Kealy said.
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