UPDATE 17.02.2015; ON HOLD – PERMIT REFUSED
Due to a NEW Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy (FIDCRMS) – DO NOT RUN. RUNNING OR JOGGING CAN TRIGGER NEGATIVE DINGO INTERACTION. – Introduced by QLD Parks after the third week in January 2015.
I am still corresponding with Qld Parks on numerous questions that need specific clarification and will advise.
I will also be communicating direct with the Ministers office now that they are out of care taker mode.
OFFICIAL COMPLAINT: NEW DINGO SAFETY RULES | FRASER ISLAND MARATHON | PRESS RELEASE
I have been advised in person by Matt Davies | Visitor Management from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service via a phone call , 4 February 2015 at 11:30am that there is new dingo Safety Rules; BEING DO NOT RUN. RUNNING OR JOGGING CAN TRIGGER NEGATIVE DINGO INTERACTION.
I have also been informed they will now not be issuing a permit for my Fraser Island Marathon Event Proposed for the 19th of July 2015 as it will contradict their new rules. An email is supposed to be sent at some stage …. 2 days on and still no notice?????
- I am extremely interested as to how Qld Parks intend to maintain this Policy?
Especially as there is no evidence that runners are at more of a risk. Attacks have happened to a range of visitors, the two women attacked in October 2014 were not running at the time – this is the really important point, running is simply not relevant to risk of attack. Qld Parks really need to have a rethink as this is clear discrimination and I cannot see how they will be able to defend this Policy.
The new policy banning running is simply not appropriate, and makes the Park service look amateurish and unrealistic.
- I have been working towards this event for six months, Parks have been supportive, we had a plan in place to manage the dingo risk and confidence in it. My Marathon Proposal has all the relevant processes in place to make people safe. Importantly the risk for an event falls on the event organiser, not Parks; I am a local, I understand the risks and we have them covered, including briefing entrants before the run.
- Events like this also bring important benefits: publicity for the region, future visitors, money injected into the local community / Fraser Island and promoting healthy activity regionally (The Fraser Coast has 65% of people being either obese or overweight) – all this will be lost.
- I have applied for an internal review of the decision, lodged a formal complaint and will be speaking direct to the Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport who has been contacted. I have also asked for a comment from our State Member who’s office has contacted me and the Mayor. I have also contacted the Butchulla People & Queesnland South Native Title Services about any New Native Title requirements that may need to be respected or adhered to in relation to the Great Walk Tracks.
This isn’t something we would deal with and can’t see how Native Title would impact your application to hold your event.
Erin Lang | Administration Officer – Legal
Queensland South Native Title Services
- I was told by Matt they on the 4 February 2015 Qld Parks have been discussing these new rules since before Christmas with Matt even telling me to apply for my permit plus I also had a face to face appointment with Matt to discuss all aspects of the race including my eight page safety contingency plan and six page proposal during this time frame / period. It is my belief that Qld Parks should have disclosed these new impending rules to me and been honest before I applied the permit application. I have also been advised in writing my application fee is not refundable. (We will see about that)Matt only made contact via phone when I emailed on the 4th “Are you not getting my emails, I’m not getting a reply?” …. numerous time was spent asking Matt to answer emails throughout the process ….
On Wednesday, 24 December 2014 Matt approved for a notice to go up to advertise the event was coming on social media, even though Parks was discussing in the background to implement new dingo safety rules of no running on Fraser Island unbeknown to me ….quote Matt “Yes I’m comfortable with this going up given the dates and exact location are not mentioned.”
Sent: Wednesday, 4 February 2015 12:08 PM
To: Jeanette Maynes
Cc: Sunshine Fraser Permits
Subject: RE: Dingo Safety Rules
It is really important for you to thoroughly read through the Information Notice that will be sent to you today or tomorrow. This notice includes review and repeal provisions should you wish to take that course of action. This is standard procedure that we need to follow in relation to your application. Permit fee is refundable but not application fee.
2 days on and still no notice????? Notice eventually received …..
- Total of invoice complied for compensation to lodge with an Official Complaint at the Queensland Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport dues to Qld Parks staff not being upfront since before Christmas in relation to the impending new dingo safety rules / policy that would affect the event.
– 5 hrs writing all website pages and race terms & conditions / legalities, (10 Pages)
– 2hrs liaisoning with Kingfisher Bay resort, including phone calls, emails
– 5hrs liaisoning with TRAQ, including phone calls, emails, safety contingency plan
– 1hrs liaisoning with SES, Fraser Island Police & Ambulance, including phone calls, emails
– 5hrs creating risk safety management plan (eight pages) as per Matt from Qld Parks request to provide
– 3hrs creating Marathon Proposal (Five Pages) as per Matt from Qld Parks request to provide
– 1 hr organising finishers shirts and the artwork design
– 1hr organizing finishers medals
– 2hrs organising insurance, underwriters reviewing race terms & conditions / legalities, including phone calls, emails
– 10hrs, logo design, poster, social media design, website template as per Qld Parks approval in writing to advertise upcoming event
35hrs @ $100 + gst per hour = $3,500 + gst
- On the 13th of January I was contacted by a Claire Wright | Ranger, Visitor Management, “As Matt indicated I have experience in assessing competitive running events in protected areas and already have some ideas to run past you. My intention is to work collaboratively with you over the coming months so that the event can be delivered safely and productively and that your permit facilitates this to best effect. As you are well aware Fraser Island presents unique challenges, particularly with regard to visitor safety and experiences. I will call you for a bit of an initial chat when I get back from leave next week but in the meantime we are looking at a tentative date to visit Hervey Bay and meet with you of Friday February 6th.”(I was initially informed the permit would be all finalised in January)……..”– the permit would be approved sometime after the meeting on 6th as our visit up to meet with you forms part of our assessment process. There is a certain level of detail required for your permit and this will take a little time but please be assured the more time spent in planning the event and having this properly represented in a workable and helpful permit the better. (13th of January)”…..” I always intended to speak with you on the phone prior to our meeting on 6th ……. What I can confirm is that there is no other event booked in for that location on that date at this stage and I will ensure the day is kept reserved pending your assessment . (19th of January)” ….”QPWS and this Region is supportive of the utilisation of Great Walks and is working positively with groups to promote running events, but Fraser Island is unique in terms of being home to dingoes and the delivery of Dingo- safe public contact messages must necessarily be factored into the assessment of your permit application. I am not able to comment further at this stage but will endeavour not to keep you waiting any longer than absolutely necessary. (21st of January)”…..”
……. on 4 February 2015 I emailed Claire to confirm our appointment time for the 6th and have heard nothing nor did she ever ring me as she said she would in numerous emails. I have been completely led on by Qld Parks in relation to my event.
- The proposed Marathon course is on the other / Western side of the island and is not even in the main dingo prone areas of concern being Happy Valley, Eli Creek, The Maheno, K’gari, Cathedral Beach, The Pinnacles, Burad to Indian Head and Waddy Point to Duling including Orchid beach.
- I have not seen a dingo once on any Fraser Island track in any of my hikes being – 2 x Z Force 10km, 15 x Lake McKenzie 20km, 1 x Eurong 28km, 2 x Eurong 56km and 1 x 90km Dilli Village to Happy Valley.
That’s 550km of Fraser Island walked / run on foot and not one single dingo ever seen on the Great Walk track.
- I have asked Matt from Qld Parks on the 4 February 2015 to forward the New Dingo Safety Brochure plus the exact new ruling / wording / policy.
What exact date where the rules / policy were implemented / approved / changed?
What are the repercussions if you are caught ‘trail running or jogging’ in the national park?
Will rangers be issuing a fine? Do they have the authority to do this and if so how much?
Will this be consistent across the island eg. at campsites, kids playing on the beach, etc.
I have not received a response to date …..
- It’s interesting to note the two sisters attacked on the other side of the island nowhere near the proposed marathon course weren’t even running when attacked, they were standing still?
“The sisters, both mothers-of-two, were about 1km from their holiday unit at Yidney Rocks when they slowed to a walk after the dingoes began watching them and growling. “We knew it was bad. We stood tall and shoulder to shoulder and stayed still and stared them in the eye, which they say is the best thing to do,” Ms McGovern said….. more info here
- Could Qld Parks please explain the difference between a dingo attack on a walker or a dingo attack on a jogger standing still?
- If runners and joggers are not allowed to enjoy the Fraser Island Great Walk & hiking tracks how is that different to walkers and all national / international tourists. Fair is fair, same rules for all?
- QLD Parks website reads:
“Walk in groups – People walking alone on Fraser Island have been threatened and bitten by dingoes.” …. So the new 2015 dingo safety measures are to ban running & jogging in groups, but you can still walk even though walkers are bitten by dingoes as per their website?
- As a dingo was killed that lunged at the girl swimming at Eli creek in Jan 2015, will we also be banning all swimming and visits to popular waterholes for dingo safety rules on Fraser Island? More info here
- If a dingo attacks a child will we be fining the parent that ‘runs’ to their aid?
- Will fines be issued to the parents of children that ‘run’ on the beach or play on Fraser Island.
- I feel you have more chance of being attacked by a dog walking your local streets
- I wonder about the dingo safety contingency plan for the Australian Outback Marathon at Ayers Rock / Uluru, isn’t there dingos there too, they seem to manage?
“I don’t feel running / jogging or walking is necessary an issue unless at dawn or dusk more so on the eastern beach as this is the dingoes natural food foraging time”
– Ray Revill | Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary
- Dingos should be being fed.
That fact they are not and are starved completely contradicts Qlds Parks latest “Working on Fraser Island” potential employee information image here clearly stating “Conservation of the Fraser Island dingo is of national significance”
- Should the dingos perhaps be in some sort of large enclosure separated from humans? Problem Solved?
- Would this work as they are territorial? Perhaps two or three enclosures could work?
- They could be a possible tourist attraction where safe selfies could be taken from outside a fence during feeding times. Starvation Problem Solved?
- As the Fraser Island dingoes are nearly extinct (experts suggest less than 100 exist) should we be starting an immediate breeding program?…..to quote Qld Parks again “Conservation of the Fraser Island dingo is of national significance”
- Should it be compulsory for all tourists to tick a terms and conditions box when purchasing their barge ticket acknowledging they are entering dingos natural territory and do so at their own risk accepting all responsibility for themselves and their children?
- Should those that break the dingo safety rules be fined?
This money could be spent on food for the starving dingoes!