CAMS and Wombat State Forest

Submitted: Friday, May 07, 2004 at 01:23
ThreadID: 12666 Views:1934 Replies:3 FollowUps:7
This Thread has been Archived
This is a posting from the Vic-Rally egroup (Rallying is a member of
RUG) and although a long read it is worth reading.

"I daresay, that for many of those that attended the "Community Forest
Management Assembly" public meeting at Daylesford on Saturday, that
have been reflecting on what took place ever since?

However, the concept of community participation in the management of
public assets is here to stay. From a rallyist's perspective, it means
that we will now have to include all of the activities associated with
our ongoing desire to use community assets, as part and parcel of
things that are involved in staging a calendar of rally events. It is
likely that we will also have to play a leading and responsible role
many of the forums we are likely to be involved with.

The CAMS administration has continued and will continue to do
possible to ensure that we play a pro-active role in the current
CFM forum. I thank Peter Bready (our Victorian Board Director), the
Rally Panel (in particular Stuart Lister, Jodi Mann, Michael Cains,
Graham Wallis and Rob Dyer), David Gallacher and John Wilkinson for
many hours they have contributed to the associated issues so far
(including Stuart, Jodi, David, Graham and John participating at a
significant number of after hours meetings). I believe that I speak
all of these stalwarts in saying how proud we were of the exceptional
response to last Saturday's Daylesford meeting from the rally
and the responsible way in which you represented us as forest
recreational users and our interests overall . I must also thank a
number of our rally folk heroes who attended on the day, including
and Sue Evans who assisted in maintaining our spirits, considering the
conditions that prevailed on the day.

The registration process appeared to take place in an acceptable way.
Unfortunately the size of the crowd exceeded the physical resources
available for the undercover meeting that followed and the weather
interfered with the alternative open space option that was then

Pat Connor, the Chair of the Interim Stewardship Council, gave an
undertaking to those that registered on the day to put in place a
ballot system on their behalf to ensure that the objectives for the
meeting could be achieved. Ian Crook, the Independent Chair of the
Assembly was empowered by the assembly to secure the completed
registration forms. Details of the postal voting system and the
that will be used, I assume, will be announced shortly. I trust that
one will endeavour to interfere with this objective on the basis of

There will inevitably be more of this rather clumsy and re-active
process until a manageable structure is established. So in advance, I
ask you all to remain diligent with any future progress on the Wombat
Forest CFM model and to support us with a strong level of
when you are called on again.

Having spoken with a number of those representing the majority of the
individual interest groups on the day, it is easy to become cynical
about what has transpired with this process so far.

However, rather than dwell on the negatives, it is best if we focus on
those issues that have been identified to date:

1. Forest Management Models:
The government (through the Department of Sustainability and
Environment) must be more forthcoming on its overall plans for forest
management and more conscious of the costs and impacts the associated
activities will have on those community representatives that will be

We are aware of a number of possible models in place that are
aimed at community participation in the future management of public
The CAMS administration is currently representing our rally
community on a number of forums including the Bunyip State Park
"Community Reference Group", the Box Iron-Bark Advisory Group
(completed) and the Bendigo Forest "Management Plan Workshops". Those
currently in the pipeline that we are also endeavouring to participate
in include the Broken Boosey, Portland and Hamilton. The Murrindindi's
and Powelltown we understand are also being considered.
It is fair to say that the "regional" models currently in place
are demonstrating the ability to run ragged any participant other than
those living in the area concerned.
The costs and overheads associated with all participants on any
DSE forum must be equal across the board. Any process that
any of the representative groups is unacceptable.
I would hate to think of what the real cost of last weekend was.
Given the estimated 1,400 participants, even if 1/3 of these traveled
vehicle, the fuel cost alone would be in the order of $10,000. At the
other end of the scale, based on $100/head, this would equate to
The leisure time overheads associated with those participating
on the various forums must also be treated by DSE with the greatest
The evolution of the processes that are currently being aimed at
the way we manage community assets (in this case the Wombat State
Forest) are unfortunately causing confusion and division amongst those
groups currently involved.

2. In relation to CFM, what does "community" mean?
DSE needs to elaborate on its interpretation of community
involvement in forest management. DSE also needs to ensure that the
Victorian community at large is well informed of any forest management
concept that is being considered on their behalf.

One thing is very clear, given what has taken place with the
Wombat CFM process to date, DSE must now accept that unless they
demonstrate otherwise, "community" means much more than "local
group" and "community consultation" means that any such process will
fully involve consulting with all legitimate interest groups across
One can't help but feel empathy towards the local Daylesford
people in the Wombat area, including a group who believed that the CFM
model for Wombat was a local issue and that they could put in place a
process that gave them control of the Wombat Forest without input from
the overall Victorian community. Whether this impression was put in
place by the architects of this CFM model or whether it was the
of naive perception in the minds of the local group concerned, is now
of no consequence, other than to say people have been disappointed
all sides for all the wrong reasons.
Peter Bready and I were also privy to a TV interview on the day
in which a representative from the indigenous community conveyed
significant frustration at supposedly being kept out of the Wombat CFM
The traditional forest recreationalists believe that as
taxpayers etc., they are entitled to have a say in anything that is
likely to have an impact on their ongoing use of a public asset.
After Saturday, the concept aimed at putting a community forum
together with the objective of using the numbers of voting
as a means for making decisions, is likely to prove unmanageable from
this point on, given that the next CFM meeting on June 19 is likely to
attract an increased number of participants over those that responded
the call on May 1.

3. What has DSE determined as being the objectives and role of
the proposed CFM entity?
There is now some urgency in DSE clarifying this, as prior to
Saturday we were led to believe that CFM was to be just that - a
community management process. However, a presentation by the Director
General of the DSE, Ian Miles, referred to the model as "Consultative
Forest Management". This is in keeping with the community's
understanding of DSE's traditional role, given that we elect
to ensure that competent and expert entities, such as Parks Victoria
DSE, undertake the management of our community assets in a responsible
way and in a way that meets the overall needs of the community. It
appears that the supposed Wombat CFM entity will be no more than a
community advisory group.

4. How should Rallyists approach the future?
We will need to place greater effort on demonstrating the
benefits that a rally brings to the communities where our rallies are
staged and that we are conscientious and responsible users of the
forests with a genuine commitment to participate in their ongoing
management and sustainability.
It is only fair that we continue to ask for better consultative
process by the state government for any forest management model it has
in mind. We also need to ensure that the government is aware that we
find it unacceptable for them to ignore us when they consider any
activity that is likely to affect our sport in any way.
As demonstrated on the weekend, the CAMS rally fraternity has
many positive strengths, including organization, effective
self-regulation, an exceptional network of contacts (some of whom have
been employed in the forest industry for many years), and our genuine
willingness to work with environmentalists in a way that ensures the
sustainability of our forests and our combined interests overall. In
fact, it can easily be demonstrated that we practice what we preach.
have always worked closely with DSE and the Foresters in charge of the
areas we make use of, to ensure that it is acceptable to stage an
in a given area, with respect to the conditions leading up to the
staging of an event at that time. We are familiar with having to
the cancellation of an event if the Forester determines that in the
interests of the wellbeing of the Forest, we must do so. We also have
well proven arrangements in place, to correct any damage that takes
place as a consequence of our events, in accordance with the
We will need to place greater emphasis on identifying our true
allies. In recent times we have joined forces with other like-minded
groups, including the Bush Users Group (BUG) and the newly formed
Recreational User Group (RUG). I must convey my admiration for the
Reverend Milton Oliver and the mountain of work that he has put into
recent formation and operation of RUG, and to Rita Bentley from BUG
has proven to be an unsurpassed source of information and assistance
since I joined that organisation 3 years ago.

On Saturday Peter Bready and I were also approached by local
Councillor - Phil Millar, who is keen to see a significant rally
conducted in the Wombat Forest, in the interests of adding to the
profile of the area and in enjoying the economic impact that such an
event would bring to the region.

So where do we go from here? Obviously we need answers to the first 3
questions above. The CAMS administration will pursue these via the RUG
and BUG forums.

From the rallyist's perspective, the CAMS Rally Panel and the
administration will need your ongoing support when called on. Please
not let your exceptional response to Saturday's Daylesford meeting be
one off reaction. Unless DSE decides to change its current approach to
CFM, then your response to the next meeting on June 19 will need to be
stronger than May 1, given the Greens are likely to respond with


Garry Grant
State Manager - Victoria
Confederation of Australian Motor Sport

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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 07, 2004 at 01:47

Friday, May 07, 2004 at 01:47
"Details of the postal voting system and the process that will be used, I assume, will be announced shortly. I trust that no one will endeavour to interfere with this objective on the basis of some technicality. "

You can bet everything you own on this happening. Nothign will happen on the 19th, it will have to go away to "legal" teams to fight out miniscule crap, then come back again in June 2005, then by then, they will have lost votes.. etc.. then start again...

AnswerID: 57572

Reply By: Member - JEFF - Friday, May 07, 2004 at 06:43

Friday, May 07, 2004 at 06:43
To Anyone,

Being a Sydneysider and having read the above letter, could you tell me "briefly" what this is all about?????

regards jeff
AnswerID: 57575

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Friday, May 07, 2004 at 07:47

Friday, May 07, 2004 at 07:47
Jeff, you could read 12502 and 12533 to provide a bit more understanding or search Wombat Forest. The consultative process with user communities was sidelined to particular groups until a larger group of users, as Truckster refers, "the silent majority" went to the meeting last weekend and slightly tipped the balance.
FollowupID: 319357

Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Friday, May 07, 2004 at 09:59

Friday, May 07, 2004 at 09:59
While i support CAMS i wonder if the words motor sport in this instant do not deter people from the cause .
but support and allies are both needed in numbers so hopefully i am wrong on that part.

like truckster i agree that postal voting is rife with problems!

When the stewards council meets next will it be a public forum or closed doors?

Im sure every non working greenie will be thumbing a lift from even 4 by drivers to get to the next meeting.

On the topic of indigenous locals i dont mean to be rude but there arent to many in the Daylesford area and i have never seen any in the Wombat Forest although i have heard of past activities there before settlement.

As for fuel used people obviously are prepared to put their hard earned into something so important so it doesnt set a negative precedent for future closures across the state.
Me thinks certain polititians will have to sit up and take note before the next election if they wish to retain seats.

Keep up the good work

AnswerID: 57595

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Friday, May 07, 2004 at 10:07

Friday, May 07, 2004 at 10:07
I can't see any problem with the postal vote if it's carried out under the auspices of an independant returning officer. Is there any other way to carry out a postal vote that doesn't open itself to allegations of monkey business.
FollowupID: 319374

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 07, 2004 at 14:04

Friday, May 07, 2004 at 14:04
I think the postal vote system wont work.

Who is the people lookin after the counting, and how can WE tell that the only people voting are the correct people??? everyone has access to a photocopier these days, run me off 500 forms pls, I'll vote too and....
FollowupID: 319394

Follow Up By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Friday, May 07, 2004 at 17:54

Friday, May 07, 2004 at 17:54
I thought they took the names of those who registered on the day, so only those can vote, ie 1 person 1 vote
FollowupID: 319421

Follow Up By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Saturday, May 08, 2004 at 20:30

Saturday, May 08, 2004 at 20:30
Hi Bob
Yes you had to fill in a form to register to vote but they only had approx 1000 voting slips so some missed out, however as I heard it on the day - the registration forms where sealed in boxes to be used for the postal vote, the 4x4 association are conducting an audit and have asked all RUG members & others who registered to vote to contact them, that should give them some idea how many.

FollowupID: 319519

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, May 08, 2004 at 23:12

Saturday, May 08, 2004 at 23:12
They were askign at the club meeting for people who were there to drop names at the presidents table.

The problem I see in the whole thing is what happens if more people start saying they were there than were, from all forms of people that were there (greens, shooters, walkers, bikes, 4wd etc) tryin to fudge the #'s, specially the ones that missed out on a voting slip?

Then the numbers dont add up.. Are they going to scrap the vote start again?
FollowupID: 319544

Follow Up By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 02:05

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 02:05
Hi Truckster

Was a request from Mike as you would have seen on the RUG site Nothing to do with scrapping the vote & RUG cant do that, just to get an idea of the numbers hopefully on our side. At a guess I think most 4Wd people present on the day would have been from clubs & an audit would probably show this.

I might be wrong but I think it would be hard to manipulate the outcome, and it will be a GOOD outcome for the RUG group, & the Wombat only time will tell.

FollowupID: 319556

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