Victorian NP booking system

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 at 22:11
ThreadID: 111211 Views:2646 Replies:13 FollowUps:22
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I was down at Wilsons Prom this weekend and the Tidal River camp site was fully booked out all 486 sites. On leaving I called into the Stockyards camp at the entrance to the park where there was a sign saying it was a camp and another brand new sign saying have you got your permit to camp. We looked up the web and got no result for the camp so then rang the phone number to be told that you can not camp there any way. The system is not working and this is just another reason that campers are getting cheesed off with Parks Vic apart from the exorbitant fees been charged at some places.

We left and found a free camp at the Franklin River reserve near Toora.

Murray
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 at 22:19

Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 at 22:19
Gday
Nice weekend away Murray?
Muzbry
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:33

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:33
Hi Muz
Yes nice weekend except for torrrential fail and rain storm lasting 15 minutes. Had to sit it under tree in the middle of the Grand Ridge Road as you could not see 25 mt. The free camp was good.

Murray
ps: pitty the Prom was full with campers and just as many day trippers couldn't belive how people were there, was glad to leave
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Follow Up By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 19:25

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 19:25
We had a look at both those camps when we were there at Christmas. You chose the better of the two. The Franklin River camp is a beauty.
Cheers,
Kevin
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Reply By: baznpud (tassie) - Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 at 22:22

Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 at 22:22
We are coming to the Mainland in a few months, currently been looking at maps and Wiki Camps and from this end Vic Parks have got it wrong. We don't like cvp's but it's starting to look as if it's cheaper to stay in cvp's rather than enjoy the National Parks.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:40

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 19:40
Baz
There is still plenty of bush camping in the state parks for free plus what you find in Wiki Camps. Just seems that the major NP's is where you get slugged.

Murray
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 07:37

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 07:37
On a similar note.

I have just returned from a two week trip along the Great Ocean Road.
During my pre-planning, we chose the first 3 nights at the Yambuk Caravan park, which was quaint and enjoyable.
The next three nights was at the Johanna Beach Campground, part of the Great Otway National Park. This Campground was chosen as dogs were allowed.
I duly booked a site for the 3 nights through Vic Parks.
On arrival, two other vans were present, one on the site we had booked. The owner stated that when he arrived the day before, someone else was in his spot so he took one adjacent to it. No problem I said and set up camp in his booked spot. He said at the time bookings showed three sites had been booked. His, his friends and ours. But, by late afternoon and into the evening, the park filled up with "illegal" campers, many on an overnight stopover and none of whom paid for their stay.
They may think it's fair enough, but I and my adjacent campers who had booked, paid in excess of $100 for the three nights with only a bush toilet block a short walk away for amenities.
The Bush Toilet block was good enough and kept clean by a Vic Parks employee who I talked to one morning. He said it is common for all the intransients to use the park but he had no power to ask them to move on and it needed a Ranger with this authority, but none attended on a regular basis.
Their was a camp of 4 or five groups of young people close by and the girls especially, took over the 4 toilet cubicles at times and washed themselves using the limited rain water available in the tanks. Their was toilet paper all over the ground behind the toilet block for some reason or other.
It was a lovely spot, spoiled by folk who don't give a tinker's cuss about other campers, or the fragile environment they are using and without paying for the privilege.

Down on the beach, a small rocky area was littered by beer bottles and cans from some beach party some ignorant folk had, but didn't take their crap away afterwards.

This is too often, an example of the uneducated ferals and their lack of respect for the environment we share and the simple rules we need to follow.

Whinge over.
We enjoyed our trip nonetheless.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 09:56

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 09:56
"He said it is common for all the intransients to use the park but he had no power to ask them to move on and it needed a Ranger with this authority, but none attended on a regular basis."

Same problem at Boodjamulla / Lawn Hill.
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Follow Up By: Member - rooster350 - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:08

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:08
Better get Dan The Man onto it , he reckons he can fix everything else in sight.....
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Follow Up By: Member - D&G SA - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 17:12

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 17:12
Is Johanna not a free site?
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:11

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:11
D&G
No user pay $34
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:20

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:20
Bill
Even when we had the honour system, you still had the free loaders and pigs who just took advantage of every thing and left it like a tip.
Murray
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Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 09:33

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 09:33
Hopeless system and I now avoid national Parks. Its the same in Queensland. The sooner they put either volunteer or even paid caretakers at these sites the better.
John
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Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:10

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:10
This is the whole purpose of making it difficult for campers to stay in National Parks, they don't want us there and if the number decline to a particular level they will then say there no call for a park and simply close it. Less work to be done.

cheers

Merv
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:17

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:17
Saw a good bumper sticker the other day and it said something like

"National parks are for people to."
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:21

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:21
Robin
How ture

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:15

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 10:15
Interesting that 486 sites were all booked out Murray.

I don't support the increased fees at Parks , Wilsons prom management has created the problem by restricting the places one can camp, it used to be a much better place when you could camp more of less anywhere,and it would have over a thousand and with just low level fees to cover real costs.

Hoping to have an Exploroz drive/ camp at our place soon, and I'll let you in at 1/2 the normal cost of $0.00 , provided you shoot a couple of rabbits.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:52

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:52
Hi Robin
I think everyone doesn't support the fee increases for what you get. A thing that got me about the Prom was that there was as many visitors as campers there and they had FREE access to to every thing for the price of$0000000000 while the campers had to pay.
I think that maybe they should bring back the park entry fee at the parks which are major attractions to get the day trippers. A lot of WA and Tas NP's have a entry fee, but you can buy a park pass weather monthly or yearly which is cheaper. I think most people travelling take advantage of this as I have. I don't mind paying as long as it's a reasonable price and have always honoured the honour system.
We will take you up on that discount rate, but if you charged a gold coin entry it would pay for the drop toilet you dig.

Murray
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 15:12

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 15:12
We used to have free access to everything in the park 0nce.


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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 13:39

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 13:39
The system stinks.

SA is going down the same track.

Email the Vic premier with your complaints.

daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au

My first brush with it: Cape Conron, $34 per night for 2 people with no power (and I'm fine with that), no drinkable water, cold open-air showers only, no laundry, full bins. Price gouging for a public good.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:09

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:09
Sigmund
Hope you get a better system than Vics, NSW & QLD.
At least you got cold showers for your $34, other camps you only get 1 drop toilet for $34.
Murray
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Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:38

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 16:38
1..Increase the pricing to camp in the park
2.. Intro unworkable booking system
3.. Less people camping as a result of 1&2
4.. NP reduce services and conduct survey indicating the campers aren't coming as often
5.. To save money Rangers are reduced as are contractor who collect money
6.. Another survey indicates still less campers.
7.. Obviously the campers dont wont to come anymore as it is easier to Bush camp or go to a CP, besides its getting cheaper.
..Result NP's start closing down parks. Therefore a win for the Bean counters and State Govt.

Hope I'm wrong.
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Reply By: Angryz - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:04

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 20:04
Checked out Kurth Kiln campground just after Christmas, normally the place would be packed with people everywhere this year there was a total of 4 campsites filled. I hate to be negative but I think they are achieving exactly what they hoped to.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 21:43

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 21:43
It's driven by neo-liberal economics that holds that the market is the only way to allocate goods &services.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 00:03

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 00:03
No it's not, it's driven by green ideology that says that people are the enemy and must be discouraged from using National Parks.

This despite the fact that National Parks notionally exist so that people can enjoy them, but the people who run the National Parks management agencies are rabid greenies who simply hate people.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 05:20

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 05:20
Suggest you read the consultant's report the Vic govt followed in making the changes. Big accounting firms don't peddle "green ideology".
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:49

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 07:49
Sigmund, it's unfair of you to use actual facts. Paul B, can you clarify please? Do all rabid greenies hate people, or only National Park management rabid greenies? Or, is it NP management who hate people and they just happen to be rabid greenies? What about normal non rabid greenies...are they safe? They say my wife has a green thumb, she still seems ok though.
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Follow Up By: Nifty1 - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:28

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:28
I think you will find it a rare event where the consultant's report does not say pretty much what the department wants it to. It's a way of shifting the responsibility. In a normal world the department would be able to make its own decisions and stand by them, but the normal world is fast disappearing.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:58

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 09:58
I suspect it has less to do with the “Green” element and all about cost recovery.

Now I’m not in the business of defending the Victorian Governments’ cost recovery measures, it will have plenty of its own people who would be more suitably qualified to do so. But even providing basic amenities comes at a cost – and not to forget about insurance costs which seemingly escalate at an alarming rate every year. It has a large public liability issue around the provision of these basic amenities and services in National Parks.

Ultimately in an effort to “balance the budget” they look to make the user pay, rightly, or wrongly so. But it is unlikely that either a Labor or Liberal government will differ on this, whether it is a toll across the Sydney Harbour Bridge or a camp site in a National Park – charge the person who uses it appears to be the theme.

And to be clear, this is a viewpoint on the reality of the situation, whether I agree or disagree with it is another thing altogether…

Cheers Baz – The Landy

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 10:31

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015 at 10:31
The system has had the effect of substantially reducing the need for staff on the ground, and in fact we've seen significant front line staffing reductions in Qld and Vic.

Hardly an indicator of powerful rangers or the dept who want to close parks to the public.

In fact in Vic rangers and the dept have worked closely and collaboratively with 4WD and bushwalking groups to maintain tracks and huts.

Also hardly an indicator of an attempt to close the parks.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 15:12

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 15:12
User pays - balancing the budget, call it what you like but it is being totally misrepresented.
Lets assume for a moment that camping is totally banned in all National Parks. Parks Vic are still going to need most of the rangers they currently have to manage the NP. They still have to keep the tracks open for their own, Fire Services and day trippers access. They still have to manage the historical sites and other assets. They still have to repair the damage done by vandals and hoons. These costs are recovered by our taxes and there is also a Parks levy included in our rates.
If we now introduce camping then the costs that need to be recovered are those additional costs incurred solely because camping is permitted. What would appear to be happening is that they are trying to recover all their costs which is grossly unfair and why they are so high.

What also is being lost sight of is the assistance given by various clubs whose members use the NP's. If they are not allowed to camp, or are excluded by high fees and very unfriendly booking system, then one wonders why would people continue to offer this help.
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Reply By: Ken - Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 14:34

Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 14:34
Rather than just whinge about the system and give some well deserved whacks to the 'green nazis I used the e-mail address in one of the posts and pointed out some of the problems to the new premier. I curbed my usually fairly aggressive words I use in these situations.
I got a prompt reply from his office, thanking me for the message and advice that it would be passed to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water.
Today I got a reply from the Minister's office thanking me for raising the issue; she has heard from some others of the problems; will ask Parks Victoria to re look at fees and she will be .. " working through options to find a better balance between funding the facilities want and expect in parks and pricing people out of parks."
The system was imposed by the previous government [which was pointed out in the reply]
so possibly like the speed zone changes it might be that we get a better system.

I suggest the prospects for change will be enhanced if more forumites express their views directly to those who can make changes.

Ken

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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 21:13

Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 21:13
Ken
I have not yet sent an email to the powers to be, but are in the process of wording one. Maybe if everyone who read this post (all 1219 people ) could send an email, it might let the government know that there is dissatisfaction with the new system and changes can be made or reviewed even thou they did not make the booking system or fee structure.
There needs to be more groups doing this not just EO readers.

Murray
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Reply By: Ken - Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 21:25

Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 21:25
You are dead right about other groups, if anyone has contacts in 4WDVic it would be good to get them into action. My hope was that readers here who belong to 4WD clubs might stir a bit of action.
Pollies will only ever react to pressure, usually in direct relation to the amount applied, so let's hope something can be done with this one.
It is pointless ranting on the forum about greenies and hidden agendas to close off the bush, a bit like complaining about your wife to your mother in law !!

Ken
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 22:21

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 22:21
4wd Vic did put a submission in to the original proposal but have done absolutely nothing since it's been implemented which I find astounding considering where this is likely to lead. I'd suggest the initial camp sites chosen for the new fee system are just the thin edge of the wedge & can expect this to spread to a favourite camp near you. Just wait for the back-lash when popular places like Sheepyard Flat & the Murray get included.
Cheers Craig..............
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 01:19

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 at 01:19
I can assure you that FWDV is doing something about this issue. If more people where in an affiliated 4WD club they would have a bigger stick to talk to Govt with. I personally have made a submission to Parks Vic and while I have had several replies they have been of a general nature and avoided the real issues. My submission is back with them and I am seeking a response which answers the specific problems that I have raised.
The best thing that people can do is to lodge a complaint on Parks Vic web site. http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/connect-with-us/contact-us
It does does not need to be long or detailed but needs to display utter dissatisfaction with what is happening. If you do not have time to write much just cut and paste and maybe reword some of the comments in this post. Our 4WD club did this the other day and filled up their mailbox, so if your email bounces try again each day until successful.
FWDV and other organisations that represent users of our public assets are currently engaging with Goverment you can assist by showing your rage. Go to the Parks Vic web site and complain, email your local member, the Premier, or anyone else you can think of. Complaining on this forum might make us feel a lot better but it is unlikely to achieve anything, action as mentioned above is what is required.
If you are not a Victorian still complain, ask them how can you be expected to come to Victoria with a system that is simply does not work. This cancer started in Queensland, has got to Victoria, SA look as though they will adopt this model also, it will be everywhere if we all do not do something about it. Governments are about one thing "votes" the more complaining the greater or chance of stopping this cancer.Go to it and that means YOU.
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