Climbing banned at Taipan Wall in Australia
One of of the most important and beautiful climbing areas in the world, Taipan Wall in Australia’s Grampians mountains, is temporarily closed to climbing. The utterly disappointing news was announced by Australian Climbing Association Victoria, the representative body for climbing access in the state of Victoria, that picked up on an Interim Protection Order issued recently by Parks Victoria.
This latest move, which also includes the internationally significant Spurt Wall and Bundaleer crags, comes in the wake of a series of sweeping bans imposed by Parks Victoria during the last year. Officially these are implemented to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage but while ACAV acknowledges that there are complex issues at stake, it laments the Park’s total lack of prior discussion with the bodies representing climbers and the fact that the bombshell blanket ban sees no room for compromise.
According to the Parks Victoria press release, "Later this year there will be another opportunity for people to provide their views on the future management of the Grampians through formal consultation on a new landscape management plan." Any new management plan would come into effect next year at the earliest. In the meantime, climbers and visitors should be aware that there are $300k fines for anyone entering the area.
As reported in March 2019, rock climbing in the Grampians National Park is significantly under threat. Currently substantial access bans affect over 3,000 climbs (38% of total climbs) in the Grampians National Park / Gariwerd and these numbers appear destined to keep on rising.
For those wishing to help, please consider joining the ACAV and making a donation: www.acav.climb.org.au. Although the 2019 petition asking for climbers to be actively involved in the development of all future park management plans is still online, at this decisive stage donations to ACAC are considered more useful.