I wasn’t there, but this is the story I’ve got.
Several family groups were climbing in Mountain Quarry. An abseiling instructor decided his booking 4 people into the quarry gave him the quarry for the day, empty of other people. Words were exchanged. He called the Perth Hills National Park Centre several times. One of the climbers called me. A Department officer came out and spoke to the people concerned and told the climbers that “Yes, they should book,” but that he was happy to see climbers there, just they should book. I rang him yeserday and he confirmed this and also that he’s principally interested in diffusing the situation. I don’t think this problem would have arisen with any other commercial operator, but there we are. It does appear we have to book ourselves into the quarries, but when you do, you get the gate code. There is a limit of 40 people whether climbing, abseiling or just standing in the sun but there wasn’t 40 people at Mountain Quarry on Sunday. Boya Quarry is not affected only Statham’s and Mountain Quarries. The original understanding was that commercial and similar groups booked and small recreational groups did not. We don’t know when this changed and we don’t why climbers weren’t told because I can assure everyone, it was the first any of us had heard of it. Just another reason we are trying to talk to the department on a regular basis. There is a meeting next week between DEC representatives and CAWA and we will report on what happened. The number you have to ring for the quarries is 9295 2244, 9:00-4:30 weekdays and 10:00-4:00 weekends. Ring up and book at the gate if you like. There’s no waiting, just they’ll say no if there’s more than 40 bookings.