Heads-up - GCR WA transit permit glitch

Last travelled the GCR in July 2014. Just applied on-line for a transit permit for the WA part of the GCR for travel in June this year (we like to get these things out of the way early on in our planning).

Response was that, as we had a "prior entry permit (within the last twelve months)", this was not automatic but would have to be put to a community/committee/DIA_Permit_Officer.

Just a heads-up for others who may *frequent* this or similar routes. Unsure whether approval will be relatively quick and/or procedural or not, but it may pay to take this into account when planning these routes.
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Reply By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 16:55

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 16:55
My guess is that they are trying to stop activity that is not conducive to communities (booze runners)

Obviously not in your case but I guess that is their aim

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 17:36

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 17:36
Cookie, I doubt that the booze runners need one or would bother to get one if they did................
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:10

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:10
True I guess, but apparently some do things above board to an extent so they don't attract immediate attention - was told this by someone I know ;-)

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:12

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:12
Fair enough.................
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:31

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:31
"so they don't attract immediate attention"

Applying for multiple permits during the course of a year would attract attention...not applying for them (or using different names/vehicles) would attract no attention....though think any one "running booze" on a regular basis would get busted pretty quick irrespective of methods employed so either way dont think it is the reason for the so called "permit glitch".

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:42

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:42
Sounds like a procedure / policy than a glitch don't you think?

From what I understand of the law, if you are not permitted to be there as a result of not carrying a permit then they have grounds to pull you over and search your vehicle and I further understand that they are relatively on the ball in some of these places.

Just going off information gained from people that enforce the law out there - maybe you have some further information you would like to share

cheers
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:06

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:06
Obviously, hence my use of the "_"

Maybe you have some further information you would like to share - Who are "they" "that enforce the law out there"? I have been out there several times (4 times in last 4 years + once 21 years ago) and never encountered anyone checking permits and I have never read a first hand account of it happening (not saying it hasn't but it would appear to be very rare).

Who has this authority? If its just the police suppose they could pull you over anytime they if you looked a bit sus..hence my suggestion that "booze runners" would be busted with or without a permit. I suspect that your average tourist has a permit anyway (possibly with wrong dates :) but would never get stopped/searched no matter how much "booze" they had on board.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:20

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:20
" " Ahh OK

Seen Police and Rangers, not enough times in my opinion, but they are out there. They have been in the Simpson recently doing RBTs and I have been checked a couple of times coming out of there, obviously under .05 :)

I understand that even though you think that no one is watching the bush telegraph runs pretty well out there and is a good source of Police catching some of these clowns

As I understand, Police can only search you if they have reasonable grounds that you are committing or suspected of having committed an offence - not having a lawful reason to be there ie: not having said permit, gives them that opportunity without risk of having the search declared illegal.

The Police have the on-board attitude'o'meter, if you are not trying to do the right thing, are blatantly disregarding the law then they will go hard on you, if you have a couple of minor indiscretions then you are more likely to be sent on your way

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:30

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:30
As a former WA Aboriginal Affairs departmental officer I can advise that the applications go to quite a junior official at the department's head office in Perth. They are generally approved if they simply appear to be for transit through the area for holiday purposes.

I have only seen them discussed at the remote community level if they have related to something more substantial than that but I have seen them rejected where the locals simply didn't trust the motives of the applicant. I well recall being virtually stalked by some women from an NGO who had their application rejected and I wasn't able to give them a rational explanation as to why, despite having been present at the meeting when it was knocked back. The old fellas out at Warburton just didn't like em for some reason!

My advice for Zippo here is to ring the WA Dept of Aboriginal Affairs and ask to talk to the processing officer just to explain why you are making two trips in a year and to reassure him/her that you'll just be accessing the road.

The other comment I'd made is despite travelling out to the Ngaanyatjarra Lands dozens of times over the years, I have never been asked for a permit or heard of anyone else being asked for theirs'. Grateful to know if anyone on this forum has ever been asked.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:36

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:36
No worries

Anyway, If you want a beer its just a short 550km drive to Desert Inn Hotel (Laverton) from Warburton. Would not head east to Yulara - they charge too much :)

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 17:40

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 17:40
Zippo, that is probably a standard computer programme setup, designed to alert authorities to "unusual activity".
Drug runners and booze runners are a problem out there, but those people probably don't worry about permits, either!
I'd say your application will be referred to someone in authority who will check it over in person, then check with police about your potential to be involved in something nefarious, and then, once cleared, you'll be right to go.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 17:46

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 17:46
I guess we all have potential to do wrong. Not in my DNA thankfully, but a bit worried now - we normally travel with a couple of bottles of fine UnZud white for a relaxing sip at day's end. If they decide to intercept us and frisk the vehicle we *may* be classified as nefarious :-(
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:04

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:04
Yes, the alcohol thing is a bit of a touchy area - but I don't think a couple of bottles of UnZud white would get you into trouble.
If pulled up, you could possibly be interrogated over why you prefer that foreign UnZud stuff, of course - when Australia produces the worlds finest wines! [;-)

Seriously, the regulations are pretty clear. It IS an offence to consume alcohol on Aboriginal Land.
You can transport your alcohol through Aboriginal Lands without incurring penalties.

Nothing is said about consuming your alcohol in designated rest areas, such as roadhouses, motel or caravan park.
I'm not sure whether these areas are classed as freehold land, separate from Aboriginal Land.

I would expect that you could sip on a glass or two of your favourite poison when relaxing at a campsite, without incurring wrath. However, one would no doubt have to exercise some care, in case a carload or two of the locals arrived at your spot.

The regulations and advice are all here ..

About Entry Permits - W.A. DAA

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:07

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:07
Whoops, put up the wrong link. This one is better, it covers all the bases.

Entry Permits

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:12

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:12
Note that, under the paragraph, "how long does it take to get a permit", (under "About Entry Permits"), you are advised that only around 50-70% of online permit applications meet automatic approval.

The other 30%-50% have to be "referred for specific community approval".

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:16

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 18:16
We were on the Tanami last year and stopped on land not designated, by the HEMA GPS, as non Aboriginal Lands. We travelled through many designated areas during our Kimberley trip including going through Gunbarrel, Heather, GCR, Warburton and through the APY Lands and no issues.

We like to have a couple of quiet ones and indeed have travelled through the Lands but never stopped, Cape York is another example where you must not stop if you have alcohol on board in certain areas, if you break down you must stay with your vehicle - that was my understanding in 2009

cheers
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:24

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:24
I still don't understand that when a law is place that says no alcohol allowed people still think the law doesn't apply to them and they are only having a couple of quiet ones that wont hurt anyone. Motels, roadhouses are fine. When you have alcohol on board you are not allowed to stop or stay overnight in these restricted areas. If you have to ..don't take grog. You,d look a right fool if a carload of young louts came up to your camp and demanded the alcohol they saw you drinking. The laws are there to protect people whose lives have been badly affected by grog. I like a beer as much as anyone but I also am not a slave to it, nor am I interested in copping a $4000 fine or my vehicle confiscated..
The bottles of alcohol have to be sealed as well. This means no open tops, such as on a wine bottle or the tap on a cardboard wine cask.

Common sense.....
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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:50

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 19:50
Absolutely agree, I have seen and heard devastating stories of what alcohol, petrol, drugs & pornography do out there so have never consumed alcohol where we are not permitted to.

When we go on holidays we are there for our enjoyment and thus have a couple of quiet ones, we typically stop in very remote places and given the number of us and the abilities of many in our group I think we can pretty well sort out most situations.

None of us are alcoholics but as I said, we are on holidays and we all work very hard in demanding jobs and providing we are not causing a problem for anyone else or in a prohibited zone / area, then I think we are entitled to have a couple. Kunawarritja has a motel / accommodation, but alcohol is banned there.

cheers
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:11

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:11
A few years ago I was driving into Litchfield.
Before Batchelor AFAIR there was this great big sign saying no grog from this point on. Geez I thought what do I do?

Decided to continue. Got around the corner of the turnoff to Litchfield and come across another sign , saying that you are leaving grog free area.

Lucky I was not one to hastily pour out my grog.

All this is pretty ridiculous IMHO . To punish the 98% of Aussies who can handle their grog to prevent 2% from drinking. Maybe we should do what they do in India/Maharashtra, and grant drinking licences which are lost if caught drunk in public.

I put this to a bloke at Bell Gorge just after I was at Mt Barnett and greeted by a car full of young locals who unloaded several slabs , after I had run out .

Turned out he was the ex Cop OIC of Halls Creek who said since the full strength ban in the town , wife beating had gone from 10 a week to 1.

So it is a big problem but the current rules ain't working.

Regards Philip A

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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:32

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 20:32
I reckon that if wife beating has gone from 10 down to 1 then I kinda think it is working, 1 is still too many but a great result nonetheless. The stories I personally hate is the child abuse that results from drinking, substance abuse and pornography.

I have read to death many of the restrictions when we go anywhere and after speaking with many of the local coppers so long as you are passing through then it isn't typically an issue, but I guess it depends on the areas and the trouble they have in the nearby communities.

We were at Manning Gorge last year, beautiful spot, spent the afternoon quenching our thirst in the water

cheers
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