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    PLEASE ALSO READ THE AUSTRALIA WIDE POLICIES  FOUND HERE -  AUSTRALIA

HIDING AND MAINTAINING GEOCACHES - COVID-19 - VICTORIA

(Updated 19 September 2021)

The publishing of geocaches leads to non-essential travel, something that the State Government has asked those living in COVID-19 restricted areas not to do.  To that end, Australian Reviewers and Geocaching HQ have agreed to suspend the publishing of new caches in those areas until the crisis is over and current restrictions are relaxed by the State Government.

METROPOLITIAN MELBOURNE - see map below:-

UPDATE: 19 September 2021:  The expectation is that the lock-down restrictions (or significant components of it) will continue until at least Tuesday 26th October.  The reviewing and publishing of caches (other than Event type caches - see below) in the Melbourne Metropolitan area will recommence, subject to restrictions, from 27th October.

Caches submitted to the review queue will continue to be reviewed and then held until restrictions are lifted.

This is be based on the advice provided by Dept. of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restrictions Metropolitan Melbourne.

REGIONAL VICTORIA:-

UPDATE: 19 September 2021:  The short term temporary lock-down, reimposed from 21st August, finished on Thursday 9th September apart from the following: 

  • the lock-down in Shepparton which concluded on 16th September
  • a seven day lock-down from 16th September to 22rd September, imposed for the Ballarat LGA.
  • a seven day lock-down from 20th September to 26th September for Geelong, Surf Coast and Mitchel LGA's.

The reviewing and publishing of caches in the Regional Area of Victoria, other than Event type caches (see below), and the LGA's listed above, will continue subject to current restrictions.

Caches submitted to the review queue will continue to be reviewed and then held until restrictions are lifted.

This is based on the advice provided by Dept. of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restrictions for Regional Victoria.

EVENT TYPE CACHES:-

FIRST PLEASE READ THE ADVICE PROVIDED ON THE REGIONAL POLICIES  AUSTRALIA WEB PAGE HERE

UPDATE: 09 September 2021: It is assumed that Events in both Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria, which are held in the open air, will conform to any Covid-19 restrictions along with any advice from local authorities.  Likewise inside Events need to be conduct in accordance with the requirements listed for the facility.

If the gathering requirements, at the date of the event, do not permit a gathering of 80 or more participants, then the event will need to be postponed or cancelled – no matter how many Will Attend logs have been posted.

Currently the requirements for Metropolitan Melbourne  are:

OUTSIDE -

                • Public gatherings: Not Permitted.
                • Outdoor non-seated venues:  Not Permitted.

INSIDE -

                • Food and drink facilitiesNot Permitted.
                • Food courts:  Not Permitted


Currently the requirements for Regional Victoria for are:

OUTSIDE -

                • Public gatherings:  Permitted for up to 10 people
                • Outdoor non-seated venues:   Up to 20 people per facility

INSIDE -

                • Food and drink facilities:  Open with maximum of 20 people per space
                • Food courts:  Seated service with patron caps

CACHE MAINTENANCE:-

UPDATE: 27 July 2021: Cache Owners should continue to address any maintenance issues and acknowledge any 'Needs Maintenance' logs (or any other log), that indicates there is an issue with their cache, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

It might be that due to restrictions or some other reason, it is not possible to address an issue promptly.   In this situation, the CO should place a 'Write Note' log, indicting a date when they expect/anticipate they will be able to have the issue addressed. This acknowledgement should be done within 3 weeks of any advice that there is an issue with a cache.

Reviewers will continue maintenance sweeps and Geocaching HQ has resumed the automated emails to cache owners with low Health Score caches.  Reviewers are now following up on caches with a low health score. If you get a nudge then you need to address the issue or acknowledge the request with a 'Write Note' log indicating a date when you hope to have the issue addressed, taking into account any Covid-19 restrictions, where appropriate.

MELBOURNE METROPOLITAN AREA

For other Geocaching issues regarding COVID-19, please check out the information at the following link: https://www.geocaching.com/sites/updates/en/


TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. NATIONAL PARKS AND OTHER PROTECTED AREAS.

2. CINNAMON FUNGUS  

3. TECHNICAL TREE CLIMB CACHES (TTCC)

4. EVENT STACKING


1. NATIONAL PARKS AND OTHER PROTECTED AREAS.

Victoria has 45 National Parks, 10 Historic and Heritage Parks, 21 Wilderness Parks and Zones, 141 Reference Areas and, 1 Indigenous Area, all of which come under the classification of “Protected Area”.  A full listing can be found at this Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_areas_of_Victoria#Nature_conservation_reserves  

These protected areas are managed by Parks Victoria (Parks Vic) along with numerous other State Parks, Metropolitan Parks, Coastal and Marine Parks, Flora, Stream Reserves,  Nature Conservation Reserves, and Natural Feature Reserves.    

The current situation (August 2015) regarding placement of caches in any Parks Victoria managed area is as follows:

  • Whilst National Parks and other Protected Areas are said to be public land, the placement of caches is not an automatic process or right.  Placement in Reference Areas is prohibited and there are limitations on placements in some National Parks and adjacent areas.

  • There is no official ruling or State wide policy in place regarding Geocaching in National Parks and other Parks Victoria managed areas – it is generally left to the local Land Manager to decide in line with current local policies and requirements

  • Certainly Geocaching is known to most Park Rangers and Land Managers working within Parks Victoria. In fact they frequently stumble across them but just place them back in their hiding spot.

  • In theory, according to current Victorian legislation, Geocaches could be classed as littering. However, it is well recognised by Parks Victoria that Geocaching is an activity growing faster than their legislation can keep up with, and they acknowledge their legislation is clearly out of date. Parks Victoria recognises that;

  •  geocache placements are the game pieces for Geocaching,

  • geocaches are under constant monitoring and maintenance by the cache owner, and

  • Geocaching itself gets people outdoors and into parks and other recreation areas. 

  • So, in principle they have no issue with them being placed. There is no specific permission required before placement of a Geocache on most NP Land in Victoria  AND THAT’S THE WAY WE WOULD LIKE TO KEEP IT PLEASE.  

  • There are some areas where there are currently limitations.  Follow the basic guidelines below and if a cache is found to be causing an issue Parks Victoria will simply remove it.

Placement of caches:-

  1. If it is your first placement in an area, then you need to contact the local ranger/land manager as a courtesy and to check if there are any local requirements. This applies whether there are already other placements or not.

  2. It is important that placements are located in close proximity to tracks. As a general rule leaving walking tracks is not permitted in National Parks.

  3. Damage to any vegetation and/or general environment will not be tolerated, so Micro’s or other small and hard to find containers in the bush are to be avoided.

  4. Placement of geocaches in dangerous locations is not permitted - the Park Victoria land manager will decide if the location is dangerous.

  5. If a Geocaching Event is to take place in a Parks Victoria managed area, then permission could be required, so check.

Areas where placements are currently not permitted:

  • Great Otway National Park (MAP)

  • Anglesea Heath (MAP) 

  • Designated Reference Areas

 Areas where specific approval is required:

  • All Cinnamon Fungus areas – as per guidelines below

  • Wilsons Promontory National Park (Placement with Ranger approval only) - (MAP)

SUMMARY

Geocaching currently has a good working relationship with and the general approval of Parks Victoria staff and management.  So, don’t do anything silly, foolish or untoward that will get them off-side and cause Parks Victoria management to institute restrictive policies and procedures.  

 


2. CINNAMON FUNGUS    

(See here  and here)

Known variously as die back, root rot and Jarrah dieback, PC and Phytophthora, Cinnamon Fungus is listed in the top 100 of the world’s most invasive species and is Victoria’s most significant plant pathogen affecting both native ecosystems and the horticultural industry.  Phytophthora cinnamomi is a soil borne water mould closely related to brown algae.

The following parks are subject to the microscopic, soil borne pathogen Cinnamon Fungus.  ParksVic should be consulted and provide advice on cache placement in any of these areas (Contact info here). 

In those areas where Cinnamon Fungus exists, once/if approval is obtained, caches can only be placed at the side of tracks (not in the bush) as long as the placement is not near Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea). NO PLACEMENT IS PERMITTED NEAR GRASS TREES.

LOCATIONS & AREAS WHERE APPROVAL NEEDED AND TEXT REQUIRED ON CACHE PAGE:

  •  Arthur's Seat State Park - see below: Mornington Peninsula (Two Bays Walking Track)

  •  Brisbane Ranges National Park (INFO) (MANAGEMENT PLAN) (MAP)

  •  Mornington Peninsula NP - Greens Bush (INFO & MAP)

  •  Mornington Peninsula - Two Bays Walking Track  (INFO & MAP)

  •  Ocean Grove Nature Reserve (INFO & MAP)

  •  Steiglitz Historic Park (INFO) (MANAGEMENT PLAN) (MAP)

  •  Warby-Ovens National Park  (MAP) 

LOCATIONS/AREAS WHERE A CHECK IS REQUIRED:

  •  Baluk Willam Nature Conservation Reserve  (INFO)

  •  Black Range State Park  (INFO & MAP)

  •  Bunyip State Park (INFO & MAP)

  •  Croajingolong National Park  (INFO & MAP)

  •  Dandenong Ranges National Park (INFO & MAP)

  •  Dergholm State Park  (INFO & MAP)

  •  Grampians National Park (INFO) (MAP)

  •  Kinglake National Park (INFO) (MAP )

  •  Lake Tyers State Park (MAP)

  •  Langwarrin Flora & Flora Reserve (INFO & MAP)

  •  Lerderderg State Park - Pyrete Range (INFO & MAP)

  •  Lower Glenelg National Park  (MAP)

  •  Macedon Regional Park  (INFO & MAP)

  •  Mt Arapiles - Tooan State Park (INFO) (MAP)

  •  Point Nepean National Park  (MAP)

  • Woowookarung Regional Park (Ballarat) (MAP)

THE FOLLOWING TEXT SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON A CACHE PAGE WHERE A CACHE IS PLACED IN AN IDENTIFIED CINNAMON FUNGUS AREA:-

Cinnamon Fungus has been identified in this area. It is spread through infected plants and the movement of contaminated soil and gravel, and there is no known cure.   PLEASE TAKE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO HELP MINIMISE THE SPREAD OF THE PATHOGEN INCLUDING;

  • Where available, use boot cleaning stations and vehicle wash down bays.

  • Obey all track and road closure signs.

  • Do not enter areas of vegetation that have been quarantined.

  • In infected areas remain on formed roads, tracks and pathways at all times.

For full information see this web site "https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/conservation-and-science/conserving-our-parks/weeds-and-pests"

This code may be used to add the text to your cache page at the bottom of the Long Description, but be sure to tick the HTML box (The descriptions below are in HTML) on your cache Edit page.  Thanks to Bushfire for the code.

<font size="3" color="red"><b>IDENTIFIED CINNAMON FUNGUS AREA:</b></font> <font color="red" size="2"><br />

Cinnamon Fungus has been identified in this area. It is spread through infected plants and the movement of contaminated soil and gravel, and there is no known cure.</font>

<p><font color="red" size="2">PLEASE TAKE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO HELP MINIMISE THE SPREAD OF THE PATHOGEN INCLUDING:</font></p>

<ul>

<li><font color="red" size="2">Where available, use boot cleaning stations and vehicle wash down bays.</font></li>

<li><font color="red" size="2">Obey all track and road closure signs.</font></li>

<li><font color="red" size="2">Do not enter areas of vegetation that have been quarantined.</font></li>

<li><font color="red" size="2">In infected areas remain on formed roads, tracks and pathways at all times.</font></li>

</ul>

<font color="red" size="2">For full information see this web site:<br />

 <a target="_blank" href="https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/conservation-and-science/conserving-our-parks/weeds-and-pests</a></font>



3. TECHNICAL TREE CLIMB CACHES (TTC)

A geocaching T5 tree climb cache (TTCC) is one that requires specialist knowledge and/or tree climbing equipment to reach the cache container placed high in a tree. Generally they are 10m or more above the ground.

In 2014 GSHQ advised the following:

Because climbing a tree is a more invasive form of geocaching, having permission is really key. Otherwise there's the risk of upsetting relationships with land managers. Geocaching communities have worked really hard to create good relationships with managers, and the priority is to maintain those efforts. 

To proceed with a proposed Technical Tree Climb cache, you need to obtain permission from the land owners about placing it in a tree where people have to climb to reach the cache. It is the cache owners responsibility to determine who owns the land of proposed cache spots.  

Once you have obtained permission, you can post a reviewer note and they can take the next steps. 

In Victoria the following applies:

  • Parks Victoria (ParksVic) are happy with this type of placement in forest areas but have reservations in urban parks.

  • Intended placements in urban areas will require the permission of the land manager - the cache owner is responsible for determining who to contact to obtain permission. 

  • The City of Yarra originally indicated they don't have a policy and it is not prohibited, they have now advised that TTC caches are not permitted within the municipality.

  • Municipalities so far contacted have generally advised that approval most likely would not be given, but they would treat each request on its merits.

  • When advising approval, the name of the officer, their role/position in the organisation and the terms/conditions of the approval, should be provided in a reviewer note with the cache submission.



4. EVENT STACKING

Event stacking allows a person to easily leave one event and directly attend another. See the Guideline at this link Event stacking

To qualify the Guideline dot point: ‘Events that are near the same time or location’  there needs to be at least 4 hour’s time difference between the end of one event and the start of another if :

  • for an urban area, the two events are within 30km of each other

  • for a rural area, the two events are within 50km of each other

If you are unsure, submit your listing and include your query/question in a Reviewer Note log.


Latest change: Event Stacking added - 01 June 2021

Victoria Reviewer(s)

Bunjil

GeoAwareANZ2 (EarthCaches)

About This Guide

The local laws and guidelines for geocaching placement vary from place to place. As community reviewers learn geocache placement policies for a certain location, they can add it here. This site may not be a complete or accurate list of land policies. These policies are made by the land owner or manager, they are neither the reviewer’s nor Geocaching HQ’s. This guide is just for reference, if no policies for the area you’re looking for are listed, that doesn't mean no policies exist. You must still obtain permission to place your geocache from the landowner or land manager,comply with all applicable laws, and follow the Geocaching Listing Requirements.

If you have an update, email the community reviewer(s) listed.

 

This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 If you contribute to this wiki, you agree to provide permission to others under this license.

If you share information from this site, you must mention "These regional land policies came from the Geocaching.com Public Wiki and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No-Derivatives 4.0 International License."

 And, you agree to keep content current by checking back regularly for updates.


 

 


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