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Hi ‘Rockstar’,

Firstly an apology for calling you a ‘fuckwit’. I seem to have overstepped the mark there, so sorry about that.

However, by calling yourself ‘Rockstar’, you imply that you are somehow ‘better’ than the rest of us mere mortals and thus show yourself to be arrogant and egotistical. Maybe you’re not, but that’s how it comes across.

Apart from that, it has been my past experience that when dealing with government bureaucracies, one needs to know WHO ask and WHAT to ask. Asking some district pen-pushing desk-pilot, or even worse, a shovel-pushing, rubbish-bin emptying ranger whos only exposure to rock-climbers has been a 30 minute doco on the ‘Adventure Channel’ of Danny Osmond doing speed-soloing and 1000 m bungy-jumps off El Cap, then you will get the usual knee-jerk response of ‘NO!’ as they are too scared to do anything without head-office approval. But the district office won’t ask head office as they want to show head office that they are independent and don’t need head office advice.

Maybe the above example of Danny O is a bit of an exaggeration, but the fact is that for most DEC staff, their only exposure to climbers and abseilers (they don’t know the difference) has been when 40 school kids turn up with an ‘accredited’ instructor and stomp all over rare species of wallabies. Many of the DEC people are also shit-scared of liability issues and will use the usual excuse of (1) Aboriginal issues; (2) safety; and (3) risk, to say ‘No’.

But if you have already asked some jerk in the district office, it is then too late and the damage has been done as head office will be forced to agree, or rather back-up the decision made by the district office as they don’t want to look like idiots.

However if you had initially approached head office directly and spoken to the right people (who know about climbers) and are usually be open to discussion, then you would have probably obtained a more reasonable response.

What you need to do is find out the correct channels and the right people to ask and not going off doing stupid things that jeopardises climbing for everyone else. Contacting the CAWA exec or some of the old timers that have had to deal with DEC/CALM/Forestry/Water Corp etc etc in the past is a good place to start. Either that, or just go out and climb in a responsible manner and keep quiet about it.

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