This week on the 12th of February, a stake holder meeting was held between Parks Victoria and climbing stakeholders including the Victorian Climbing Club, Western Victorian Climbing and other representatives. They were advised by Parks Victoria that 8 areas in the Western Grampians will be closed to climbing. They didn't advise which areas at the meeting but said they would within 48 hours. That has now passed and we haven't heard any updated news.
The reason for the climbing bans as stated by Parks Victoria has both to do with the preservation of Aboriginal cultural sites, particularly rock art, and environmental issues. With the growing numbers of climbers frequenting the Grampians and development of new routes and boulders favouring steeper "cave" areas, where rock art tends to be, it is totally understandable that our impact is felt. As boulderers and climbers we may need to pull our head in a little, at least just enough to understand our impact.
The VCC is hopeful that with the right negotiations and measures that climbing can maintain as an important part of the Grampians long term. They ask that any climbers visiting the Grampians in the coming months thoroughly check that the area they wish to climb is open for climbing and that they keep to walking tracks and respect all Parks Victoria rules. It's probably a good idea to keep new development on the back burner until there are some clear guidelines for the way ahead.