Author Topic: Northshore Trail Closures  (Read 2999 times)

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Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2017, 09:02:43 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.

Offline CKaos

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2017, 10:22:58 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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Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2017, 10:38:10 PM »
Ok , in this specific case (not MTB advocacy generally), what is your approach?

Offline CKaos

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2017, 12:41:49 AM »
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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Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2017, 08:29:33 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.

Offline Andrew

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2017, 09:17:26 AM »
Ok, So i think you know my position. (frustrated is an understatement)

I think this is a serious lack of faith in us from PV.

I am sure that if a compromise was reached I could get these trail no longer built.
I know of no less than 6 new trails going on in the park at the moment (as consequence of this).

Does ParksVic want a partnership? It doesn't look like it.

The lack of process and accountability from PV at Lysterfield is staggering.
The visitor centre is a classic example, was that just a cash cow for Snoz?

Lysterfield is THE MOST USED MTB NETWORK in the country!

There are a few of us that are the most skilled volunteers in mtb trail building! (i personly have lead over 30K volunteer hours) That would be one of the highest in the country. 

I think it is time that they treat us like proper stakeholders...

There is no good reason for not expanding the network at Lysty!
(believe me, I've studied it!)
We DO NOT need more contractors producing more "Äudits" at $$$

While I can get on a rant as good as the next person.

North of welly Rd was always illegal, and every time there is an event called to that area and PV are notified Officially they have to do something about it or else they could be held criminally negligent. (read about the Murray River case for PV)
There was an event in March where SES was called to help a rider out of G-Ramps. (this constitutes an official notification) So I don't blame PV for having to do something about it. I do blame PV how they have handled it.

The club is working on another management "Plan" for the area to take to PV (rehashing your old one AL).
I have had meeting recently with Politicians, who are all interested in helping any road blocks we might come across.
Ben has been working HARD for the last 6 years (Yes you read that correctly 6 years) on an agreement that might change the face of MTBíng in Vic for all clubs, this has been completely lead by LDTR (at some $$)
 
So to be honest at the moment, bare with us (i am working on it (and have been for nearly a decade now)) but also the most effective thing is to get a shovel dig the trails that you want, if PV don't like it, i don't give a shit! it's not a National Park.
The club was started because the person organising the digging of trails wasn't building the trails I wanted so, if LDTR isn't representing you, start digging and come to a committee meeting and start telling us!!

You can call me 0433 897 640, ill let you know when the next one is

...and Al, believe me, this lit a fire under me...

 ... I also appreciate your taking the time to write this up, I get a lot of msgs from other formats expressing this sentiment. Don't stop asking the questions and showing the outrage, you are 100% entitled to it, and the committee needs to read it, and digest it (not just respond). As you know the first reaction is to go on the back foot :)

also, there was quite a bit of discussion when this went down on the Committee section of this forum, we need to be better about communicating it outside of that.


 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 09:33:45 AM by Andrew »

Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2017, 09:33:08 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.

Offline Andrew

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2017, 09:37:06 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))...
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 09:48:15 AM by Andrew »

Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2017, 09:53:42 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.

Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2017, 09:58:25 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).

Offline Andrew

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2017, 10:20:00 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...

Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2017, 10:30:37 AM »
Great. I like the sound of that.

Offline alf

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2017, 11:22:37 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.



Offline CKaos

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2017, 11:38:06 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. 


Offline Alistair

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Re: Northshore Trail Closures
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2017, 12:24:08 PM »
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.

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