Forwarding,Message from four Wheel Drive Vic

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 10:33
ThreadID: 11728 Views:2296 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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URGENT CALL TO ALL RECREATIONAL USERS AND USER GROUPS

WHO ENJOY THE WOMBAT STATE FOREST



THERE IS A REAL DANGER THAT YOU WILL LOSE ACCESS RIGHTS TO THE WOMBAT FOREST UNLESS WE ACT IN UNISON AND PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMUNITY FOREST MANAGEMENT PROCESS TOGETHER AND IN INTELLIGENT SOLIDARITY



PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT A POORLY ADVERTISED BUT CRUCIAL MEETING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE WOMBAT FOREST ON MAY 1ST, AT DAYLESFORD.

(scroll down to read what is being proposed!!)





Dear Fellow outdoors recreations



By now many of you will know that the Wombat Forest Community Forest Management process is well under way. Most of you have not been part of this process for various reasons, and I therefore wish to alert you to a meeting that will be held on May 1st at Daylesford - a flyer with all the details is attached.



This meeting will be the second Wombat Forest 'assembly' this year - the other one was held on February 28th this year. At the February meeting there was considerable angst as processes and governance issues were discussed, among other things. The so-called "manifesto", the draft blue print for the legal structure and governance system, was discussed and rejected by the assembly. The Interim Stewardship Council had hoped to get this passed by the meeting, but the assembly felt that there were too many flaws in the document and sent it back to the Governance Working Group for redrafting. Since that meeting the Governance Working Group led by Mr Peter Hall has received a number of detailed submissions concerning modification and revision of the manifesto. It appears that there was so much discontent concerning the manifesto that it has now virtually been dumped. Since then, various new models of governance have been suggested by which a new and permanent Council of Stewards will be appointed to run the Community Forest Management process from July 1st. That process will be voted on at the May 1st assembly meeting.



Many of us belonging to recreational user groups have real and valid concerns about the process and the proposed governance and voting systems mostly because these are unrepresentative of broader community interests concerning Wombat Forest - especially the recreational sector generally. Attempts to gain balanced representation on the Interim Stewardship Council have not succeeded and currently three vacancies remain unfilled despite suggestions for nominations. There always seems to be some hesitancy, even reluctance, when this issue is raised. It causes us to wonder at the degree of genuineness and quality of the 'consultation' process not to mention the lack of representation of the broader community.



On Tuesday, March 23rd, 263 people representing 59 community and commercial recreational interests met at Greythorn to form a Recreational Users Working Group that will make submissions concerning recreational use of the Wombat Forest. 'RUG' represents all active recreational forest users and will advocate for recreational user rights in the Wombat CFM process. 'RUG' group will meet on Monday, April 5th to begin this process - we have much to do by May 1st.



As I write this tonight, I am advised that a list of four motions are being prepared by the Governance Working Group for the May 1st meeting. I have included these below for your perusal and considered reflection. Please read them, and the comments we make concerning them.



But here is the major issue in all of this: these motions will be put to the meeting on May 1st, and we recreational users and organisations simply must be at that meeting to have a say about them. We have received word that green groups are planning to be at this meeting to vote en masse to get these motions up. WE NEED EVERY RECREATIONAL USER, EVERY CLUB PRESIDENT AND COMMITTEE PERSON OF EVERY RECREATIONAL GROUP IN THIS STATE, EVERY CONCERNED CITIZEN TO BE AT THIS MEETING TO ENSURE A SYSTEM IS NOT INTRODUCED THAT CAN POTENTIALLY EXCLUDE LEGITIMATE RECREATIONAL USERS FROM WOMBAT FOREST -- AND SET PRECEDENT FOR OTHER COMMUNITY FOREST MANAGEMENT MODELS ACROSS THE STATE. The Wombat CFM is a pilot program - we must ensure that we get it right! We are not being alarmist, neither is there any conspiracy theory that we fear - our biggest enemy is our apathy that will allow a system to come to be that will not take our interests seriously in the future. I was at the February assembly and several prominent 'greens' expressed their blatant and aggressive hostility to me personally and vowed that we would be shut out of the forest if they had their way. While the Interim Stewardship Council mantra is 'access for all' - we remain singularly unconvinced and refuse to accept assurances until we have it in writing and duly constituted. In the end, the ISC cannot control the vote on the floor on the day, and if the greens stack this meeting to take advantage of the proportional representation system of voting being proposed by the Governance Working Group in the motions below, and end up dominating the new Council of Stewards, we will never get a fair go. We are arguing for representation on the new council by means of delegate representation from local groups and working groups - including ours! Even if this means expanding the size of the council slightly to do so. The larger the council (within reason) the more difficult it is for one group, or one narrow agenda/theme, to dominate if there are is wide selection of delegates from various interest groups.



This meeting is crucial. We are urging that all of you plan to be there to participate in what is going on - don't let someone else decide on your interests.



We respectfully ask that you forward this email (with the attached flyer) to every recreational user, network and club you know of, so that as many 4WDrivers, fisherman, mountain bike riders, bushwalkers, tourers, orienteering enthusiasts, campers - you name it - knows about this meeting and can get there on May 1st to protect our rights.



This whole initiative came out of the Bracks Government's new "Our Forests, Our Future" policy and program - but they don't refer to recreational usage - in fact, the now demised manifesto had very little to say in it about recreational use per se. Why? It was never seriously on the agenda!! The major impact on the Wombat Forest has been over-logging according to the ISC. If that is so, why not just deal with this issue and leave sustainable recreational users alone? "Why", you ask? Because the CFM process in the Wombat setting is about much more than logging, it is a vehicle for a range of agendas. We must ensure that pure CFM doctrine is maintained and that the process is not hijacked by single interest groups of any ilk.



We simply must emphatically and intelligently place recreational user interests and rights on the Wombat CFM agenda - you need to be at the May 1st meeting to help us do so, and so protect all recreational interests and access to the forest for posterity. We simply must stand up and be counted so that the CFM process is fair, balanced and for the good of all the community - not just local groups, not just the greens - all Victorians.



The notices of motion are contained in full in the attached Governance Working Group minutes of last Monday night. We reproduce them word for word for your convenience, here ...



1. that the Council of Stewards when formed be committed to a period of consultation[mo1] , to report to a Forest Assembly by 28/11 (This is far too vague! There is no accountability mechanism to ensure this. In fact, this is what the Interim Stewardship Council are charged with doing now. Why has this process been kept under the radar for this long and kept localised. Did you know that under the proposed draft rules, submissions from the floor of the assembly are not binding on the Council? How will they be kept accountable in this 'period of consultation' without ANY rules? How long is this 'period'? What does 'consultation' really mean? How genuine and proactive will it be? DO YOU FEEL ADEQUATELY AND GENUINELY CONSULTED ABOUT YOUR RECREATIONAL CONCERNS OVER THE LAST 18 MONTHS? Neither do we! VOTE 'NO' TO THIS MOTION.)

2. that the Wombat Forest Community Association be formed by those present[mo2] (Under what rules and protocols? The manifesto has been dumped! Not only that, the reason for being is still not clear! We still need to thrash out what CFM means for Wombat Forest. We are arguing for a moratorium on the formation of any association until there has been broad and fair consultation and proper governance systems have been worked out for the good of the whole community. How can any association be formed when this is all so vague? The Governance Working Group can barely stick with a single document they produce at the moment. We cannot let this happen and allow a Council of Stewards make the rules up as they go. VOTE 'NO' TO THIS MOTION.)

3. that the structure of the Association be the 8 / 3 plus 3 model as outlined in the Structure paper[mo3] (Notice carefully the wording of this motion - the "structure" of the "Association" will comprise just a small number of people who ARE the association - 14 people!! You may well get to vote at an assembly in a way that is non-binding on the Council - but you will not be a member of the Association. Does that seem odd to you? It does to us. We believe that any member has a right to be a member of the proposed association and that those members have the right to have a delegate on the permanent council. The 8/3 plus 3 'model' means this: 8 council members elected by the assembly, who just turn up on the day and sign a form. Three will be appointed by the minister, and three will be coopted by the council itself. We are arguing for better representation than this. If a meeting is stacked by a particular group they can destroy a ballot and kill any genuine capacity for this system to have broad and fair representation. And remember the system of voting being proposed is preferential, or proportional representation voting method. That means if 500 members of one particular community group turns up to vote, and all other groups are represented by one or two delegates, guess how many more candidates, proportionately, will end up on the Council of Stewards because they're entitled to a bigger slice of the vote? This motion is flawed. VOTE 'NO' - and argue for a better model, say, 11 elected members by the assembly -and no more than one from a particular working or local group, and three appointed by the minister. Sound fairer to you? It does to us, too! And it has better capacity to represent a much broader range of community and environmental concerns.)

4. that the eight be appointed by open election at a Forest Assembly with no proxy voting and using the Hare-Clark preferential voting system[mo4] (For obvious reasons as detailed above, VOTE 'NO' - let's have a direct representation method of appointment to the Council, and obviate the need for elections all together. Any elections can be conducted at working or local group level to produce quality delegates.)

So, as you can see, there is much to consider and to debate on May 1st. Again we urge you to attend. For more details call Mr Brian Cox on 9857 5209 or check out the RUG Victoria chat site.



Thank you for taking the time to read this long e-letter! Remember: forward it on to all possible individuals and recreation club networks for re-distribution as widely as possible. Let's aim to get a 1000 recreational users to Daylesford on May 1st as a statement that we're standing firm for our say and our rights! See you there - why not organise your group to come en masse and enjoy a picnic by the lake?



Yours in the interests of equal access to community assets for all ...



_______________________________

Rev. Milton Oliver (President)

CITYWEST 4X4 Club (Inc.)

Committee Member

FOUR WHEEL DRIVE VICTORIA (Inc.)

Acting Facilitator of 'RUG'

RUGvictoria@yahoogroups.com





Postal: P.O. Box 655, Sunbury Vic. 3429
Phone: +61 9740 9145 (H)

Mobile: +61 0412 368 918
Email Addresses: the_rev@c031.aone.net.au

_______________________________



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Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Bradley- Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:05

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:05
I'll try my best to be there, let's never forget that it is crown land, therefore public land for the use of ALL people so we need to ensure that all people get a fair say in proceedings. As with most of these gov't dealings you have to play the game or get left behind, so lets all try to be there and show a respectable well educated environmental outlook.

Thanks to the Rev for his work so far..
AnswerID: 52781

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:06

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:06
Hi Bradley

Would you please consider taking time to copy and repost, that would would be great if you do.
It will be then seen being raised by a wider number of people and hopefully attract more interest.
I will follow up on the 2 replies above to do same
You are a member and your voice more recognised than mine.
I'm not a prime mover in this,just helping to spread the information, which we all need to do to support Milton Oliver,RUG,Four Wheel Drive Vic in their efforts
Regards
Joe

0
FollowupID: 314641

Reply By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:09

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:09
we'll be there...
AnswerID: 52782

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:05

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:05
Hi AL's

Would you please consider taking time to copy and repost, that would would be great if you do.
It will be then seen being raised by a wider number of people and hopefully attract more interest.
I will follow up on the 2 replies above to do same
You are a members and your voices more recognised than mine.
I'm not a prime mover in this,just helping to spread the information, which we all need to do to support Milton Oliver,RUG,Four Wheel Drive Vic in their efforts
Regards
Joe

0
FollowupID: 314640

Follow Up By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 22:21

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 22:21
have already started joe..

cheers

Lyn
0
FollowupID: 314670

Reply By: Ray (Geelong) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:13

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:13
Where in Daylesford is it being held ?
AnswerID: 52784

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:30

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 11:30
Wombat Community Forest Management
Forest Assembly

ALL Community Members welcome

May 1, 2004
10.00am – 5.00pm

Daylesford Secondary College Hall
Smith St.
Daylesford

The 2nd Forest Assembly will address questions relating to structure and representation within the proposed CFM structure

This forum is open to all Community members who have an interest in the Forest, and is part of the continuing development of the open and consultative process that will provide the basis for CFM.

If you care about ensuring the CFM structure is able to represent you and your views you should attend this Assembly.

Morning and afternoon tea provided

Lunch will be available for purchase from the school canteen,
as fundraiser for the Daylesford Secondary College

Easy Parking

More details at www.wombatforest.org

For more details contact: Tim Anderson. (03) 5321 6811
Or by email to: tim.anderson@dse.vic.gov.au
0
FollowupID: 314600

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:32

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:32
Ray,
Would you please consider taking time to copy and repost, that would would be great if you do.
It will be then seen being raised by a wider number of people and hopefully attract more interest.
I will follow up on the 2 replies above to do same

I'm not a prime mover in this,just helping to spread the information, which we all need to do to support Milton Oliver,RUG,Four Wheel Drive Vic in their efforts
Regards
Joe

0
FollowupID: 314650

Follow Up By: Ray (Geelong) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:11

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:11
Yes Joe I'll repost to some usenet groups. Milton is doing a great job and I'll be there on the day
0
FollowupID: 314656

Reply By: Member - Stephen M (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:50

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:50
i'll be there too .. but the post needs to be resurrected again and again to get everyone's attention...

steve
AnswerID: 52861

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:02

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 19:02
Yes Stephen,
Would you please consider taking time to copy and repost, that would would be great if you do.
It will be then seen being raised by a wider number of people and hopefully attract more interest.
I will follow up on the 2 replies above to do same
You are a member and your voice more recognised than mine.
I'm not a prime mover in this,just helping to spread the information, which we all need to do to support Milton Oliver,RUG,Four Wheel Drive Vic in their efforts
Regards
Joe
0
FollowupID: 314639

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 21:18

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 21:18
Go for it everyone and give it your best. My thoughts are with you. Although I wil not be able to be with you on 1 st May( on account as I will be in Birdsville) I suoport your initiative., Go for it and show your colours.

Cheers
AnswerID: 52880

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