LDTR

Members Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: ctguru on April 02, 2017, 12:37:46 PM

Title: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: ctguru on April 02, 2017, 12:37:46 PM
riding Northshore today and noticed Parks have closed a trail that has been there and used for over 20 years

Just wondering is it possible to lobby Parks to make the trail 'legal'.

This trail is essentially a link trail with nothing silly on it and there would have been no trail building, the trail has just formed from people riding it for the last 20 years

Interest to hear the Forum's thought's
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on April 02, 2017, 05:59:00 PM
It would be good if we could lobby for these tracks, because we all know how this is going to go now.....
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: ctguru on April 21, 2017, 11:07:27 AM
Sent a letter to Parks, interesting to see if I get a response


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: ctguru on May 09, 2017, 06:07:10 PM
Got a response


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: alf on May 10, 2017, 09:30:42 AM
Got a response


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Would be interested in hearing about the contents of the response.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: ctguru on May 10, 2017, 09:39:05 AM
Got a response


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Would be interested in hearing about the contents of the response.

Essentially all mountain biking off fire trails in the northern expansion is banned, I'll copy email response as soon as I find it


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: ctguru on May 10, 2017, 09:41:56 AM
reply from Parks, they don't want ANY Northshore MTB trails:



Thanks for making contact with Parks Victoria regarding Mountain Bike trails.
Lysterfield Park is home to approximately 20km of trails designated for mountain bike use including the 6.3km State Mountain Bike Course - home of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games cross country mountain bike competition.

Parks Victoria together with the Mountain Bike Association of Australia have carefully designed trail alignments to protect environmental values of the park, whilst providing a high quality mountain biking experience. The trail system has been designed for sustainable long term use. Trails are designed and maintained to the International Mountain Bike Association standard to ensure the trails are as safe as possible.

Parks Victoria is working toward closure of all unauthorised Mountain Bike Trails in Lysterfield Park and Churchill National Park. Parks Victoria is working, with the Lysterfield District Trail Riders (LDTR) to maintain the existing authorised trail network, as indicated by formal signage, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all riders. Last year LDTR and Parks Victoria joined together to fund an upgrade of the formal trail network to ensure the trails are maintained to that IMBA standard. This included improved trail features to enhance the riders experience.

Lysterfield Park is home to a rich Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. Creating and using unauthorised trails can potentially damage or destroy Aboriginal artefacts and sites. The area to the North of Wellington Road, known as the North East Extension, contains known areas of Indigenous Cultural Heritage. Construction and use of unauthorised trails can impact on these important Heritage sites.

Unauthorised trails also represent a significant risk to riders as features such as jumps, berms or boardwalks are not constructed to safe and appropriate standards, and represent a substantial hazard. These trails are also not audited and maintained.

Tracks that are constructed by park users that are not authorised and consistent with the park management plan can threaten the health and biodiversity of our bushland by acting as corridors for the invasion of weeds and pest animals, and can cause erosion.

Parks Victoria will continue to work to maintain the existing trail network to a high standard. We will not be authorising trails in the North East Extension.

Thanks again for your enquiry and I hope you continue to enjoy the use of the extensive authorised trail network.


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: doversby (Daz) on May 10, 2017, 04:04:41 PM
Geez - i love the inference they have been responsible for trail maintenance in the park.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on May 10, 2017, 06:08:37 PM
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on May 11, 2017, 06:10:32 PM
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on May 17, 2017, 10:51:35 AM
Unfortunately it's not a rule book as such, but there's some good ideas in there as to how to move ahead constructively in situations such as these.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Cranker on May 19, 2017, 02:22:16 PM
Lysterfield Park is home to a rich Aboriginal Cultural Heritage? So what happened to those rich heritage & sensitive environmental areas when the big bulldozers and tree lopping machines went through and demolished everything at the beginning of 2016?
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 07, 2017, 09:49:25 AM
So yes, theres a few things that need to be said on this and no-one wants to say them. For me LDTR always was a grass roots trail advocacy organization, I personally feel I've earnt my turns on both the trail building volunteering and the official aspects of it too, sitting in meetings working with PV to try and come up with a mutually agreeable approach to various issues. People might like to remember that lysterfield would have no trails at all today, had there not been unofficial trails to start with  - some of which were subsequently legitimized and others of which were closed through a  process of negotiation. It was this very process that PV subsequently enshrined in their Guidelines for MTB on Public Lands document in 2012(ish). Unfortunately what we have in the north of the park is a very different approach. The warning signs posted around the park are about as generic as it comes, almost a copy and paste response that are devoid of specifics. So lets look at whats really been going on:

Aboriginal Heritage should obviously be respected and is protected by law. Heres a few points though:
- Guess what, theres aboriginal heritage sites in the main park. Some of the MTB and walking trails go right past them, I only know this because of historical trail builds. Based on this, wellington road looks like a very arbitrary divider for discretionary application of laws.
- PV are paying contractors $3000 a day to trash the trails. These guys are regular tradies just doing their job, chainsaw mattocks and power equipment used. Theres no aboriginal spotters helping them identify any artefacts, trees have been felled, rock formations destroyed and bulldozers driven through the bush. Aboriginal historical sites are hard to spot, but you have to ask whether they would be allowed to do this over specifically identified sites?

Environmental Issues
Harder to call this one, especially since no specifics have been given about particular flora or fauna under threat from MTB and walking trails in the north of the park. Suffice to say that around 80% of the current trails have been around for 10 years or more with quite limited impact on the surroundings, certainly less than the 4WD management tracks and in stark contrast to the habitat destruction over the past weeks. Further, some trails are actually in areas of the lowest environmental value according to PV's own overlays.

Safety
There's probably a sliding scale here and I can understand some concern from the authorities, but we're not talking about kids kicking dirt over pallets into massive doubles here.  2 of the tracks in particular have precisely ZERO features on  them whatsoever, they are just connecting tracks that allow people to unwind in the bush and have a relaxing cycle. Using these tracks as an example, I personally have difficulty with the whole safety argument.

LDTR was about advocacy for the whole park, I never signed up to anything that said that stopped at Wellington rd. There are enough examples above for people to question what's being done here and the real motivations for it. I would also really prefer it if the massive amount of money that PV are pouring into this action could be better spent more constructively, its really disappointing that we gave them a lot of money raised last year to help rebuild the comm games descent and they seem to be spending an equivalent on shutting down trails elsewhere without any attempt to move forward constructively in the way that their own guidelines and IMBA recommend.

Lastly, interesting to see the Park Management Plan reference in PV reply, everyone should know that it was written in 1998.  :D


Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 07, 2017, 02:18:00 PM
Agreed 100% Al.

Question is... What is next?
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 07, 2017, 03:44:05 PM
Wise words Alistair,

Whilst this discussion arose from the ongoing 'North Shore' saga, it has raised issues that will need to be addressed one day soon for MTBing to continue in a sustainable fashion.  These issues aren't unique to Lystie, and minds sharper than ours are tirelessly working on equivalent concepts in this, and other pockets of the planet.

Part of the way we attack these hurdles is to ensure each MTBer is counted as a voice. Being a member of a rider advocacy group is a great place to start. 

Making a financial commitment each year to such a group is the 1st step in gaining leverage when it comes to the LDTR committee lobbying the statutory authorities.  When you are dealing with a publicly funded department, the more 'public' you can demonstrate that you have behind you, the louder your voice.

The money also provides funding for nifty little gadgets like trail counters and associated technology that LDTR can generate data to use to further support our case for improved access to public land. Another thing a financially sound club can provide is tools, equipment and materials to perform trail maintenance and the gear we need to run events.

With this in mind, the next most important thing we can do is show up to a trail build day and have our name recorded on Nate's day sheet.  This is not just an opportunity for us to scratch around a bit and fix that puddle that has been shitting us for a few weeks now. Whilst getting shown how to drain a trail without creating a bigger mess than we started with is also great, the most valuable part of this contribution is the leverage it provides to our representatives when they arrive at the table to lobby.  Among the biggest currencies, when it comes to gaining the attention of bureaucrats, are volunteer hours spent and training provided to us plebs. And everyone wearing the same cool T shirt!!

Support events! Once again, events create solid statistics and show bureaucrats that their public land is being used for public engagement, and in our case, public health. Well that could be a stretch if you count the amount of A & E presentations that arise from an event?? Anyway, another big source of leverage.

We aren't going to solve the problems of the world here, but we can discuss them, share ideas and all get on the same page as group - so that must bring us a little closer to MTB Nirvana.

What we can do this week is make sure that each of us, and all of our riding mates, join an advocacy group to be counted.

CK

So   
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 07, 2017, 08:02:43 PM
Great that you are enthusiastic CK and I hope you can spend a little time on the committee in future and draw your own conclusions about how much leverage we have. And the reason you sign that trail form is for liability, but also because PV receive a dollar value for your volunteer hours (or at least they used too). Don' get me wrong, the club is great and I would encourage everyone to pitch in where they can, but this thread is about a more specific issue so lets keep it on track.  :)

Regarding what do we do? Well my only real goal with this was getting it out in the open about the hypocritical actions in this case and also that serious money is being spent in an overkill over response on the one hand whilst taking our hard earned dollars when it suits on the other.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 07, 2017, 09:22:58 PM
So Alistair, how exactly am I off topic??

Is this thread not about improving access to trails?

What do we do to move forward today?

 If leverage isn't in committed numbers, where is it derived?

Is the message / method of delivery that comes from our advocates as effective as it can be?

This is politics, not common sense, not knowledge of mountain biking gained over the years, not passion.....

Learn the rules, win the game!

I respect your years of input at club level and your knowledge.  I have no idea of your experience and background. I have been a part of, and dealt with bureaucracy for much of my working life. Both my brother & sister in law hold senior positions in PV, & I often run scenarios past them for opinion. If what you have done in the past doesn't work, and someone presents an approach that they feel may have merit, don't howl them down referencing 'the war'. Either give specific detail of why this won't work or respect an opinion.

Gotta say, there are advocate groups that have much more leverage with PV than LDTR do.

What are they doing differently to us? For example Alistair, If we aren't using those numbers on our forms to promote our cause, why not? You acknowledge that it is valuable to PV, therefore it is valuable to us when we deal with PV.

Currency can be spent wisely or pissed up against a wall - it's still currency!


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 07, 2017, 09:38:10 PM
Ok , in this specific case (not MTB advocacy generally), what is your approach?
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 07, 2017, 11:41:49 PM
I don't see how you can seperate the 2?

Simplistically, you could compare Ant & Roo (maybe the Nth Lystie DH) to heritage and environmental overlays with a view to realign as dictated. You could have them audited and evaluated for erosion risk and IMBA rating. A risk assessment on how MTB traffic would be managed across Wellington Rd between the parks would probably be required. Emergency service access should be a factor (despite evidence that PV have not done all that is reasonable to provide it for 'authorised trails') - but why fight a small battle without regard for the larger war? If the war is won then the result of the battle becomes irrelevant.

I guess one would need to learn the rules before they developed a strategic proposal that is defensible within the relevant acts and regulations. I would imagine that sustainable and safe public utility that doesn't conflict with the stated values of an area of PUBLIC land would need to feature in any such submission.

Clearly that would take time.

Hence my suggestion that what we can do today is establish a critical mass and substantial resource to give any such proposal 'authority'.

Points already raised in this thread could be developed farther, actions of the land manager could be formally challenged by raising them with those that our land managers answer to. They are simply servants of the law, they don't make it- we do! Laws (acts / regulations / rules / codes of practice) are put in place to service and protect all stakeholders. The government places and funds a manager (PV), on the understanding that they adhere to these acts and administer them on behalf of the community.

Formal complaints cost 'authorities' lots of money & resource. PV can pedal out the same old standard response for 50 years if they like. Challenge the response. Ask specifics related to their response, establish an acceptable timeline for them to respond and hold them to it. As a club, empower the members with detail and process to ask the hard questions, educate the members, etc, etc.

Stonewalling by government departments is a time honoured tactic, but it really only gets rid of the duffers with no resilience or resource. And once you prove you have been stone walled, this adds to your ammunition.

Whatever way we choose to move forward, it will be easier with greater numbers.



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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 07:29:33 AM
I see your point and yes the club has always strived for greater numbers for precisely that reason. Maybe someone from the committee can tell us what discussions have happened already and what the plan is? Anyone? Just a deathly silence on this, why will no-one discuss it - are we an advocacy club or not?  The last I heard from Ben was that club were simply told it was happening and that was the end of it.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 08, 2017, 08:17:26 AM
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 08:33:08 AM
Thanks Andy I was concerned that silence meant we had not told them of our objections officially, and obviously I know how hard all the volunteers on the committee work and it is appreciated.

For the record here PV are showing similar behaviour at warramate, locking all MTB out for a minimum of 2 years (and probably that means permanently). The area manager is a guy called Conrad Annal. I wonder if he is involved in the actions in the north of the park, given it is the yarrra ranges section.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 08, 2017, 08:37:06 AM
Unfortunately i don't think LDTR has communicated the disappointment to PV. (happy to be corrected)

...and... (regarding warramate)
How disgusting...

F@#$ ém the only answer to that is get out and dig...

(let me know, i will come and help)

These guys are supposed to be public servants, not dictators...

The History of Lysty and nearly every MTB network is of illegal trails (except "destination trails (don't get me started on that))...
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 08:53:42 AM
Well this sort of retrograde attitude from PV will see a return to the bad old days, that's for sure.

Not that it matters to anyone, but the exact point at which I decided to invest my time in other mechanisms for trailbuilding was when I offered to work with PV lysty to getup a long term MTB strategy for the park and the rep flat refused saying it was not required. That sealed it for me.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 08:58:25 AM
Well the club should be communicating dissatisfaction with the whole process and if that has not happened then I am disappointed because it wouldn't take long (appreciating that everyone is busy).
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 08, 2017, 09:20:00 AM
I am updating that exact strategy.

And I have had 2 meetings with our State pollies that if we come across and hurdles without bridges that they will intervene

So we will see what come of that...
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 09:30:37 AM
Great. I like the sound of that.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: alf on June 08, 2017, 10:22:37 AM

The other thing that park users need to do is phone, write or email your local politician and express your views about PV's actions.

In your communication it would help if you inform your local representative that you want PV to start working cooperatively with all their customers and also demand that specific PV employees, if you don't know which ones ask, need to be shown the door for abject failure to follow their own stated procedures.


Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 08, 2017, 10:38:06 AM
OK, so there is some traction being gained.

1/ PV are no less accountable for their actions than any other authority
2/ It takes time, resource and resilience to work through such issues
3/ The rules are published in public documents and apply to all players - how a rule is interpreted is where the discussion starts.  Just because PV are the 'authority' doesn't mean they are correct in their interpretation. Trust me, I juggle about 7 acts/regulations/rules at work every day and base my success on knowing them a little bit better than the person that has challenged my interpretation.  The art of administering these 'rules' is knowing when to back down - that is at the point where if you are challenged (the public have, pretty much, free access to VCAT) you know that the challenger has better than 50% chance of winning.  It costs your department a lot of resource, gains attention from those you don't want attention from and doesn't look good on your resume if you lose.
4/ Learn how to communicate with 'the dictator'.
5/ Don't underestimate the power of a critical mass - the membership is the club and they hold its power.  The committee are just the bunnies that didn't realise they were going to give up 1/2 of their life for this cause, and once they did, decided they had invested too much time to back away.
6/ Don't give PV ammunition that allows them to discredit the club, most particularly - building 'dangerous' feature, poorly thought out trail modifications that will add to erosion or reckless opinions on public media

Regarding point 4/, should you chose to take 'your' fight to city hall:

- Find out where the club is at - the club must be seen to be representing all of it's members, despite the fact they have many different view points. You don't want to get into a parallel bun fight and possibly provide opinion that conflicts with the club. We need to appear united, despite any difference that may exist. Ultimately, we all want a similar and compatible thing.
- Be strategic and pick a small issue that you think you can win (less chance of clashing with the 'overall plan' that way).  If you start small it will become big, if you start big, it will become un manageable.
- Prepare. Learn the rules, gather information and understand the issue. 
- Talking to people on the phone or face to face will get a less thought out response, so can be a great information gathering exercise, but any fall out is hard to substantiate.  If you do talk to people get an email address (ask for a card) and send an email straight away clarifying your understanding of the conversation with a list of expected actions.  If they respond, you now have opened a channel of communication, if they don't, your email is effectively minutes of the meeting.
- Establish expectations / time lines up front
- Start at the coal face (ie - the responsible officer or RO). Don't involve the RO's boss until the RO fails to deliver, from there email the RO to 'follow up' and CC the boss.
 If satisfaction isn't realised shortly afterward - then the boss becomes the RO and we start again. It's called 'escalation' and it respects 'process'.  Following it shows that you are controlled, aware of process and are prepared to follow it as long as it gets 'A RESULT'. If you show up on the Premiers step with a grievance he will smile and suggest you contact the responsible officer in the 1st instance, if you show up with a demonstrated trail of stone walling that has forced you to his step - he may be able to dismiss the grievance, but he can't ignore the failings of his subordinates - that sits firmly with him. 
-Remember, an unfavorable response is still a response. So digest that, find another angle (preferably challenge a point that has been made or the description of a process that has been followed in the most recent correspondence) and go again.
- Don't get emotional
- Make sure you embed something tricky / controversial / challenging / insightful etc in each request so ignoring the content holds more risk than addressing it.
- Ask the same question from many different angles (and of different officers if you can whilst respecting 'process'). Once you identify conflict in official responses you are on a winner. 

Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 11:24:08 AM
You sound like you know what you are talking about CK, I 'm sure the club could use that expertise. I myself am going to work on a few FOI requests.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: alf on June 08, 2017, 01:08:41 PM
- Start at the coal face (ie - the responsible officer or RO). Don't involve the RO's boss until the RO fails to deliver, from there email the RO to 'follow up' and CC the boss.
The PV playbook on this, from what I have observed, is that the RO presents as the sympathetic good guy claiming that he is under instructions from his boss not to discuss that point or is not authorised to make that decision. The RO's boss would have been expected to attend the meeting but couldn't at the last minute so all issues raised are left to wither away and die.

Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 08, 2017, 02:45:53 PM
An FOI request would be the perfect kick off for many issues.

In regards to your experience Alf, that is a sign of an organisation with retarded (meant in the literal rather than metaphoric context) progress.  It was common 15 -20 years ago in public departments, but most that practice in this way have had a ministerial review come through and weed out the backward leadership. First of all, get the email address of the person who stood you up if possible (I probably have her address from previous unrelated matters).  Document the event by way of a followup email, now addressed to the boss and CC'd to the RO, that explains that your matter is still outstanding and you expect to met with the boss in a reasonable time frame.  The boss is now the RO, but the process hasn't changed.  Everyone has someone they must answer to - if you aren't getting anywhere, send an email to the RO and ask who they report to, as you wish to escalate the matter.  You may not get a response, but no response makes great reading for the bosses boss once you finally track them down, or your local MP.  I deal with up to 3 EWOV (ombudsmen) referrals a week - you can't duck them if you are the nominated RO, and your prior actions will be scrutinized from outside of your organisation.

I find that 90% of my time goes into managing 5% of my workload.  That is the stubborn 5% that get off their but, and cause a stink.  Of them 90% do no research, so they get shut down very quickly and present very little risk to me. The remaining 10% (ie 0.05%) consume heaps of time.  That is how I learn - because I have to spend 2 days trawling through public documents to justify my actions.  One of 2 things normally occur from here, I either adjust my position to one that is defensible or I bail out and give them the concession / exemption they are after. If just 10 readers of this forum all become part of PV's 0.05%, they will be run off their feet and all develop a drinking problem within a week (at least that's my excuse).

I haven't looked in depth into where PV derive the 'power' in relation to MTB matters within the park (probably a question for the brother or sister in law next time I catch up), but below is some information for those that have a bit of patience and time at their disposal.  Have a look on the PV website for documents related to management strategies for the various parks that have an MTB interest.  Compare documented strategies between the various parks, then use your knowledge of each park to find examples of where the same strategy has been managed differently between the parks (remembering / considering context provided by all the associated overlays).  Check what acts are referenced in those documents then go to www.legislation.vic.gov.au and download a copy of those rule books.

There are rules relating to the hierarchy of these various documents. 

Generally speaking, commonwealth trumps state.
- An Act is 'the law' but is expressed in very broad and awkward terms. If one says you can do something and another says you can't, one will be subservient to the other,  so it loses.
- Regulations are the outworking of acts and use language closer to lay terms. There will be provision and process embedded within the document to seek exemption - but it is unlikely you will get it.  If PV wish to gain exemption, they need to do exactly the same thing as we do - but they are seen to have 'resource and capacity' to manage exceptions, where as you or I would need to demonstrate that we have resource and capacity. 
- Then there are rules or a code of practice - these are based on historic disputes or reoccurring matters that aren't clear, or aren't specifically detailed in the act or regulations, so the governing body lay down some principles that should be aimed for in most cases.  There is much room to maneuver within such documents, and they will often draw on / refer to associated regulations in order to justify requirements in 'grey areas'. Often the Responsible Officer (possibly PV)will have authority to grant exemption within these documents, but regardless, a pathway for exemption or dispute will be embedded within the document.

It is rare that a single document will cover a single situation.  Have lots of screens open, or print and mark the various documents as you trawl through. Control 'F' in a PDF using key words enables you to scour an entire act in no time.  At work I have many documents that I create that arise from a trawl through all the relevant rules and I just cut and paste everything into a word document titled, for example 'management of risk on public land'.  Break it into digestible subjects rather than trying to get your head around everything at once.  Any time you find something new, or an approach someone else has used, just add it to that document (and reference it).
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 08, 2017, 06:59:27 PM
So given we have runs on the board as such...

We have proven that we are a long term stakeholder (8 years of over 10k volunteer hours a year)
18K donated to PV for the park this year....

What do you believe LDTR should expect as achievable and reasonable from PV?

To date, PV have always approved our maintenance activities... They most of the time will organise, deliver raw materials (clean fill ect,ect)
They have been waving the event costs for LDTR (and associated events)
We use there office at Lysty for committee meetings

What should we be asking for? (i have my own ideas but i never have asked "the community") (and I should)
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 08, 2017, 07:53:16 PM
Don't have an answer. If I did, I would be all over this stuff. But I know that the people we have are dedicated, and probably getting a little tired of being presented with token acknowledgement. Should we start on shiny beads and indigenous culture? Well off track??? I know the only way to beat city hall is to learn the game and play by the rules - well directed enthusiasm & passion will beat 'looking after my job' on most days. It's beer o'clock, but it's nice to see some glow in the fire as I relax after a long day.


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Case King on June 08, 2017, 08:03:38 PM
Regarding Indigenous culture, the (outdated) Churchill and Lysterfield lake management plans only reference cultural aboriginal sites in the police paddocks.


ref: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/313257/Churchill-National-Park-Lysterfield-Park-Plan.pdf (http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/313257/Churchill-National-Park-Lysterfield-Park-Plan.pdf)
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 08:56:26 PM
As a member all I'm asking is for PV to follow their own guidelines and for the club to ask them why they haven't.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 08, 2017, 08:59:37 PM
Also I think it is hugely cynical of them to play the aboriginal heritage card when all the evidence is that it does not apply here. I am happy to be corrected on that if PV would actually talk to their users instead of issuing threats.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 09, 2017, 12:15:12 PM
Hi all,

I know Andrew has communicated with this forum where a number of key issues are at with the committee, but are the committee in a position to advise what steps can be taken by individual MTBrs to push these issues to a place where PV are forced to act or defend their historic actions?

There is no point pushing a barrow if we are just pushing further into the mud!

CK
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 09, 2017, 12:40:01 PM
So CK...

Do anything....

Contact your local state member...

Contact the rangers...

Dig a new trail...

Let me know what you want....

Write it up on every forum... stay outraged.... get other people involved...do anything...
Don't let it go...
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 09, 2017, 01:50:06 PM
I've emailed the chief ranger and will follow up with the FOI if I don't hear anything by Wednesday.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 09, 2017, 01:56:12 PM
Good Job Al,

Out of interest, what did you email him? and keep us updated!

Also what is the level of engagement you expect PV to provide LDTR?

What should we be pushing for?
(I really am interested in what everyone thinks PV should be doing)
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 09, 2017, 02:03:18 PM
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: neb on June 11, 2017, 10:32:56 PM
Hey Guys,

I just wanted to say thanks for all your posts.

My OCD wants to reply to every point in this thread but that's a bit beyond me now...three pages in:)

Rest assured I've requested a meeting with senior PV management, and this request has been granted. I'm simply waiting for the committee to get back to me on when they are available. To date only two committee members have got back to me and none of whom are posting in this thread....

Yes I did register with PV our dissatisfaction with their plans to close the northern trails, from memory I was told on the Friday before the contractors went in, during a phone call. In hindsight I should have done this in writing, but hey you live and learn.

I've seen PV do this twice before but this was definitely done with more effort than before, I've also never heard of them actively patrolling the area issuing fines, until now. I'm pretty frustrated that in the case of Red Hill - for example - for many years they had a WHOLE park of illegal trails, with no fines being issued but in our case they are... this tends to suggest their bible is being interpreted differently by each Range in Charge.... much like life really!

Ben




Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: ctguru on June 12, 2017, 09:00:13 AM
Great discussion guys


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 13, 2017, 12:31:47 PM
Just having a bit of a browse and noticed this on the PV website, these all look like good pages to bookmark.

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/about-us/who-we-are/protected-disclosures

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/about-us/who-we-are/freedom-of-information

http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/about-us/who-we-are/legislation
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 14, 2017, 07:51:26 AM
So I did get a reply, but it was a copy paste of the generic response that CTC guru posted earlier in this thread. He did confirm that the intention was to meet with ldtr reps though.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Andrew on June 14, 2017, 08:04:59 AM
What a disappointing response.

You asked clear questions, did he respond to them at all?

Are you Ok with that?

I will donate some cash for a FOI for ya
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 14, 2017, 08:28:53 AM
Lol, you are a wind-up merchant 😁
But yeah, no questions answered so FOI it is.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 14, 2017, 10:23:32 AM
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Case King on June 14, 2017, 12:03:51 PM
I couldn't find it either. I believe it was published by the previous DELWP or some other organisation that changed name. "Department of Conservation and Natural Resources"
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 14, 2017, 03:35:41 PM
Yeah, different documents give it different prefixes (eg DSE) and years, so I guess it has been reviewed a few times, but they all use the same title.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 14, 2017, 08:27:46 PM
I've got the 2003 version. Theres not much in there to be honest.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 14, 2017, 08:51:54 PM
Can you flick it through to craig.lee@downergroup.com ? I figure that's where 'the rules' you posted many moons ago come from?


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: neb on June 14, 2017, 11:00:11 PM
http://harcourt.vic.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Scoping-Study-Appendix-4-Public-Land-MTB-Guidelines_FINAL-June-2013.pdf

Bed time now


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on June 19, 2017, 08:51:13 PM
Hi all,

Haven't had the time, nor success with what time I have had, to really make sense of where PV's policy in regard to MTB trails on public land is recorded, and if this policy does exist, where does it derive its authority from?

Andrew is correct in that Alistair has asked some specific, and justifiable questions. The response provided by PV has not addressed these questions. As such I think Alistair is entitled to contact Darren again to explain that his response has not addressed your query and to CC this to Liby.

I'm sure many of us have at least 1 specific and reasonable question to ask of PV.

Do LDTR have PV contact (email) detail available to members as a 'resource'? Liby and Darren would be a good place to start.


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Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on June 20, 2017, 07:52:30 AM
I did reply to let them know that they had not answered any of my questions (but they knew that before sending it). PV's a bit of a black box, transparency of decision making is not in the organisational culture - but that's not the fault of our local rangers, they probably have to struggle with it on a daily basis too.


 
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: michael_w on June 20, 2017, 10:51:22 AM
On the back of this discussion I decided to try my hand at seeking a copy of the Mountain Bike Code (CNR 1993) from DELWP. This is the response I received:

------------------------
Hello Michael.

Thank you for your recent enquiry to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Customer Service Centre.

The Department's response is:-   

The only information I could locate for you, in regards to Mountain Bike Code of Conduct. appears under Mountain Bike Australia.

The following link to the website may be of assistance to you: https://www.mtba.asn.au/membership/code-of-conduct/

If you require clarification or have a further enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 between 8am - 6pm weekdays or email : customer.service@delwp.vic.gov.au
------------------------

It looks like the department has no knowledge of the offending document which PV are hanging their collective hats on. (Or they can't find it/don't want to find it?)
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on July 03, 2017, 09:41:33 AM
Update. FOI has gone in and someone has apparently done an audit of the trails to record what was done during the recent works by PV's contractors.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on July 03, 2017, 12:57:53 PM
Haven't got a lot of time to spend on this ATM, but have a few thoughts that I will PM / email.  I think you really need to find a day or two to wade around in the publicly available documents, track down those that we know exist - but are hiding and digest these in the context of to move forward as advocates for sustainable access to public land for Mountain Biking in general terms. We are not unique, we all work to the same rules and we all face similar opposition.

This is a social network thread. We are a like minded group that has been motivated to challenge the actions of a body who's charter is to mange public (our) assets in an accountable fashion. Unless we all have way too much spare time and intend to tread the same pathway every time PV fail in their responsibilities to their client (us) - we need to plan a way to progress our efforts toward a enduring agreement rather than just a band aid to manage the latest 'off'.

In just a few weeks we have proven that a little bit of help, and sharing of knowledge can empower individuals to progress our collective cause. There is a lot of work in what I  mentioned in the 1st paragraph, but this doesn't have to be completed by each of us in isolation. To use the resource we have effectively we need to co ordinate how it is used.

Think of an analogy that aligns with one of our other pet topics, trail maintenance. If we all go out and independently scratch around on the trails to 'help' them better match our idea of a good ride, we get a result that lacks cohesion and direction, and in some cases is destructive.  Our work will often conflict with work being done concurrently by others, and thus diminish the overall results of our efforts.

So, does Nate need to go out every day he works on the trails with the LDTR committee to make sure the work he does is ok with all of us? NO.  But by engaging with the group regularly (monthly trail builds) and getting together to share knowledge, techniques and establish a single direction - Nate can be fairly sure that the work he does in a small group will be understood and supported by other park users.  Next week when Derek heads out with a different small group, as park users, we will struggle to see who did what work - it's cohesive, consistent and is all heading in the one direction.  But one or 2 people cannot shoulder that amount of work on their own - it must be shared, both to make it achievable and to validate its content.
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on July 03, 2017, 09:08:45 PM
Totally agree Chris. Unfortunately we have a peak body that is focused on racing rather than assisting with trail advocacy (IMO) and therefore that coordination and teamwork is not happening. There has been talk of the various vic clubs coming together for a number of years now and PV, to their credit, were coming to the party around 2013ish when they put together the Guidelines for MTB on public land document (which they now seem to want to ignore). Chris Hardman is a good bloke from PV, he understands the conservation and the recreation side of their remit (he is also a MTBer himself and has been to speak to most of the clubs over the years). He was always telling us to get organised like the 4WD club of Victoria and if you look on the PV website you can see that they have their own legal MOU document, I bet they don't get pushed around like we sometimes do: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/315923/Memorandum-of-cooperation-Four-wheel-drive-Victoria.pdf
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Case King on July 04, 2017, 12:01:34 AM
National Parks act:
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/npa1975159/ (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/npa1975159/)

Conservation act
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/cfala1987320/ (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/cfala1987320/)

Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on July 04, 2017, 08:10:06 AM
Heres an interesting section:

NATIONAL PARKS ACT 1975 - SECT 17B
Management plans
    (1)     The Secretary must, within two years of the inclusion of each wilderness park in Schedule Two A, prepare a management plan in respect of the park which must be consistent with the principles set out in this Division for the management of wilderness parks.

So basically Lysterfield last had a management plan in 1998, which was apparently "reviewed in 2009 for a further 5 years" (which is probably being pretty generous  :)). So its a plan thats almost 20 years old, bears scant resemblance to the park and it current users and is out of jurisdiction by at least 12 months. Righhhht....
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: CKaos on July 04, 2017, 11:27:37 AM
Hi Al,

Lystie would be managed under section 18 by my reckoning. It's an 'other park' as defined in schedule 3 of the act. The green wedge protection provisions would also apply as set out in the Planning & Environment Act 1987.  See attached XLS.  It is collated from the Land Victoria site (LASSI) and shows the different designations of the various parts of 'the park'.

The 'Green Wedge' provisions seem to more strongly support 'public use' of these reserves.

Also, see attached an interesting record of the history of Police Paddocks.  Tracking down documents like this can save a lot of work when it comes to validating claims related to historic land usage. Can't attach, because it's too big - try this link: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/13456 and the other because it's an XLS. I'll flick it to you in an email.

Craig
Title: Re: Northshore Trail Closures
Post by: Alistair on July 05, 2017, 07:29:01 AM
Thanks Craig, good find (and quite interesting too!).