Submitted: Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 16:04
ThreadID: 6661 Views:2254 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Subject: From 4WD Vic President

Dear all
I attach my article for Trackwatch next issue.
I urge wide distribution

Have I got your attention – I hope so because VEAC, the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council has been instructed to determine the boundaries of the new Otways National Park. There is no discussion about whether there should be a new National Park but how big. The present plan is to close all the land south of the Princes Highway from Whittlesea to Cobden down to the coast.

The part about this plan that I like the most is that the Association was not even invited to sit on the reference committee which surprisingly enough has amongst others the VNPA and the Otways and Geelong Environment groups. There is no representation for prospectors and miners, horse riding, bee keeping, trail bike riders, campers and other community groups.

I would also not be to concerned having regard to many issues that are being dealt with by the Association and Land Managers except for the result of the Lorne-Angahook Management Plan which has eliminated all four wheel driving and made that park into a 2 wheel drive visit to a pine posted picnic spot for only one section of the community.

Four Wheel Drive Victoria totally opposes the creation of a National Park in this area and the extension of the Lorne-Angahook to Otways plan.

Some of the issues:
¨ Economic detriment to area both to local communities, commercial operators (chamber of commerce), recreation and farmers.
¨ Great plan no money to manage. Parks Victoria is responsible for National Parks without significant increases in State funding the parks can only be closed.
¨ National Park prohibition on four wheel driving, horse riding, trail bike riding, bee keeping, camping (except in over exposed limited area- permit required), wood collecting, farming.
¨ National Park prohibition on logging destroying biodiversity of forest ecology. No logging, no fuel reduction, no fire and no wood removal creates old forest. Only one ecosystem lives in old forest. Presently many ecosystems reside in a forest with changing environment.
¨ Track closure.
¨ No camping and certainly no vehicle based camping.
¨ Scientific information ignored.

What has happened in Lorne-Angahook and the Otways Park is what WILL happen for the BIG PLAN. All recreational activity as we know it today will be stopped. From an Association point of view it is hard to understand why this plan is being pushed to the exclusion of wide consultation when there appears to be no mandate as the matter was not a policy issue for the last election. The Government’s previous published position was to make Lorne-Angahook a National Park. Never the less the Government is responsible to all Victorians. The Association also represents a large group of recreationalists and we too have the right and the obligation to ensure that access to our parks and forests is available to all user groups.

The real way to make a difference is to write a personal letter to the Premier and the Minister for the Environment and YOUR local member to oppose the creation of this National Park. If you live in Mildura or Gippsland there are very interested independent members of Parliament. If you need an address to write your letter log onto http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/mps.html . Have your club get involved in meeting with your local member of Parliament and letting them know your views as well as writing individual letters.

It is interesting to consider that our Association has worked very hard with Parks Victoria to develop a memorandum of understanding to ensure that we have access to the Parks and Forests for all user groups. Victoria and the south east in particular has huge visitation from many and varied groups of people this plan will surely have the desired effect of stopping thousands of visitors and restricting everyone to GAGA land where you only hear and see what the State what you to know. Maybe Orson Welles was right?

Michael Coldham

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Reply By: Williewags- Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 21:24

Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 21:24
Well why isn't the Vic Four Wheel Drive Association going in hardest to get on to the committee and have their say. After all they are the representatives of all 4x4 Clubs and 4x4 recreationalists. I agree...it is a big issue but then you must fight it. Individual letters are like farting into the wind. You need representation at the top.

Been there done that.

Gunbarrel Highway.

Always going somewhere
AnswerID: 28366

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 21:34

Monday, Aug 18, 2003 at 21:34
Im with you, I dont know why, unless its Latte hour or something...

To me, they dont seem to do FA but take take take.. If they are doing things for 'our side' its that minute, they are getting trodden into the ground.
FollowupID: 19643

Follow Up By: Alan H - Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 11:14

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 11:14
The article didn't seem to stir much interest Truckster, maybe peolpe think it can't or won't happen in the area they like to play in!
Believe me it will, across the whole nation, the "lock everything up to preserve it" mob, the usual greenies, and the "Stop everybody doing everything we don't want to do" crowd will have ALL off road driving for recreation stopped.
No going on the beach just like in the Joondalup area of WA, with $1000 fines for disobeying their comands!
No amount of complaining to your local so called representative in Parliament will stop it, as it's happening worldwide.
Meanwhile they jet around the globe constantly in filthy great planes belching out more pollution in one take off than you or I would in a thousand years of driving!
I may be a pessimist, but do any of you have any faith in the fairness or common sense of what passes for legistlation handed down by our ever increasing hordes of pollies and bureaucrats?
FollowupID: 19678

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 11:36

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 11:36
I agree Alan, I cant believe nobody gives a bleep .
But once closed, like the majority of Sydney/NSW tracks, they will moan like little bitches.

Just on the beach thing, I lived in Kurnell for 34+yrs, and went to Boat Harbour every month at least once for most of it.. 4wds and bikes did zero damage to the beach in all that time. Major storms did more in once night than cars did in 10 years.

Yup, the "DONT ANYONE ENJOY THEMSELVES" group, will win this and the Otways will be shut, never to open again.

It would have to be a Vote winner for Bracks closing it? Greenies are a minority, and minoritys seem to always get their way.

Local Representitive? What a joke they are.

Do i have faith in anything anymore? Not 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 microgram.
FollowupID: 19679

Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 12:18

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 12:18
Where's the petition for me to sign?

Looks like the Environmental Vandals (greenies) are going to get their way again.Just Do It!

AnswerID: 28412

Reply By: Simon - Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 19:04

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003 at 19:04
Boltcutters to be the no.1 4 wheel drive accessorie?
AnswerID: 28467

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