PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby stepbystep » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 11:07 am

As someone who did commercial filming for years in parks I empathise a tiny bit with Rob - the system and rules you need to comply with aren't based around real-world needs and even when you know the system, it's unwieldy, inflexible and slow.

It's also a system where certain favoured commercial operators seem to have permits fast-tracked and with extra flexibility. Funny that!

That said, I worked within the rules - paid fees, did the paperwork. All of my 'productions' were made on low budgets, so that stuff was costly and a pita. And it does annoy people like me when people like Rob openly flout well known rules like flying drones.

Rob hasn't worked within the rules and he was warned many times, a long time ago. My advice to him would be to issue an honest mea culpa (which by all accounts he hasn't done yet), pay his fines and if he wants changes to legislation, make submissions to legislators.

However, the Act does need revision to set parameters for YouTubers and to give certainty to businesses that operate within parks and reserves.
The last thing we need is YouTubers being given a free-for-all green light to monetise their channels via exploiting our National Parks.

National Parks are there for their own sake, to protect natural and cultural values - not to add value to commercial interests. And some of these social media content producers are making a tidy sum nowadays.
Social media in general is impacting on those values, this has been widely discussed over the years.

I now work in politics (and still do a bit of video work) - I'll bring this up with my team next week because this issue will keep coming up. It has come up a couple of times with other social media content producers, so Rob isn't a first. He's probably being targeted now by PWS because he has a large following, has openly flouted the rules and they need to set an example.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby danman » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 11:22 am

stepbystep wrote:As someone who did commercial filming for years in parks I empathise a tiny bit with Rob - the system and rules you need to comply with aren't based around real-world needs and even when you know the system, it's unwieldy, inflexible and slow.

It's also a system where certain favoured commercial operators seem to have permits fast-tracked and with extra flexibility. Funny that!

That said, I worked within the rules - paid fees, did the paperwork. All of my 'productions' were made on low budgets, so that stuff was costly and a pita. And it does annoy people like me when people like Rob openly flout well known rules like flying drones.

Rob hasn't worked within the rules and he was warned many times, a long time ago. My advice to him would be to issue an honest mea culpa (which by all accounts he hasn't done yet), pay his fines and if he wants changes to legislation, make submissions to legislators.

However, the Act does need revision to set parameters for YouTubers and to give certainty to businesses that operate within parks and reserves.
The last thing we need is YouTubers being given a free-for-all green light to monetise their channels via exploiting our National Parks.

National Parks are there for their own sake, to protect natural and cultural values - not to add value to commercial interests. And some of these social media content producers are making a tidy sum nowadays.
Social media in general is impacting on those values, this has been widely discussed over the years.

I now work in politics (and still do a bit of video work) - I'll bring this up with my team next week because this issue will keep coming up. It has come up a couple of times with other social media content producers, so Rob isn't a first. He's probably being targeted now by PWS because he has a large following, has openly flouted the rules and they need to set an example.


I imagine it's a combination of factors. The blatant flouting of the rules for years, especially regarding drone footage, posting specific sensitive locations like Kutikina cave and the profiteering off videos with a large following. That he's using ignorance a defence is pathetic because he's been told for years, specifically on this forum and he acts like a petulant child claiming people are "jealous haters". I suspect the cultlike following his youtube videos get has inflated his massive ego and he thinks he's some sort of saviour.

That said, he's paid the fines, and is in the process of getting the relevant permits and presumably won't break the rules anymore (Or at least not post videos showing it off)... so good luck to him.
I suspect if he'd just followed up in the first place when contacted by Parks instead of ignoring the request for an interview, he probably would have gotten off a lot lighter.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby stepbystep » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 11:35 am

The kutikina video was a disgrace and Rob does himself no favours in the way he responds to advice.
This thread seems to be another example ... sigh.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Baeng72 » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 11:55 am

danman wrote: I suspect the cultlike following his youtube videos get has inflated his massive ego and he thinks he's some sort of saviour.

I've been following this with interest over the last day or so.
That part of danman's comment caught my eye...

I'm not saying this is the case here, but there's a pretty a phenomenon on social media of audience capture.
Someone puts up a video/photos, and gets feedback, they put up more videos of that ilk, always leaning into whatever the audience wants and end up being in service to the audiences insatiable demands for more extreme versions of behaviour.

https://marketingmemetics.com/essays/audience-capture
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Lostsoul » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 12:08 pm

Did anyone happen to notice the photo in the ABC news story of him having a fire in Junction Lake Hut?
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Mechanic-AL » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 12:13 pm

If I were caught driving a road train and I only held a license to drive a car and along the way I broke a few basic traffic regulations I would expect to get the book thrown at me. Regardless of the merits of his content or the size of his ego he should've been expecting the same.
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A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 12:30 pm

Lostsoul wrote:Did anyone happen to notice the photo in the ABC news story of him having a fire in Junction Lake Hut?



Haha that would be hilarious if it wasn't so stupid.
100% agree with danman
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Biggles » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 1:32 pm

The bloke is the modern day roaming electronic junkie equivalent of John Chapman's unending spoiler-sprees of publicity that brought millions of people into the Tasmanian wilderness at the cost of the environment itself. PWS have not left anything out; there is more than a very good body of information on the PWS pages regarding fires, drones and photography and financial gain. Nothing he says in his video takes away the plain-in-sight fact that he pleads ignorance or not being aware, much less "misunderstandings" of the regulations in place. They are there. Was he reading between the lines? Typical of all 'influences', their work exists to put money their pocket, not necessarily promote the protection of fragile wilderness areas, or heritage areas (the fire in the hut — who does he think he is?). The downside of all this influencer stuff is it brings more and more people into an already stressed and trampled wilderness right aroundn Australia, just as guidebooks have done and continue to do, for more than 30 years. Frankly, PWS can take him to court to make their points loud and clear. And just to deter those who may have similar ideas of fame and stardom at 42 degrees south.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby north-north-west » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 1:58 pm

" ... the result of misunderstandings ... "

Some of us have been pointing out to him for years that he's breaking rules and he's ignored it. That's not a misunderstanding, that's deliberate. As for Junction Lake Hut ... which way did they go in? Because I've walked every track that goes in there during the last twelve months - and a few off-track routes - and none of them have a sign saying that fires are allowed in the huts. Huts are specifically included in the fire restrictions because those things are so vulnerable to even one single small escaped ember.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby CBee » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 2:30 pm

Whether Chapman's on the scene or not, in this age of carrot cake paparazzi who can't resist a quick snap 'n' post, trying to keep Tassie's National Parks a secret, is like trying to hide a kangaroo in a pantry.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Jon MS » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 4:36 pm

I'm not surprised that Rob Parsons has been booked for lighting fires in inappropriate places.

In his Spero River video it can very clearly be seen that his campfire at the Spero River beach has been lit on peat soil. When I was there a month or so after him there was a hole where his fire had burnt down into the peat. I hid his fireplace as best I could so that other people would be less likely to use it.

The site is not in the fuel stove only area so campfires are allowed. If you are going to have a fire, have it on the beach where there is no peat. It is also worth noting that suitable sites on the beach were only about 10 m away from where he had made his fire.

There is a very good reason why it is illegal under the Fire Service Act 1979 to light fires on peat. Once lit, they are very hard to extinguish, can burn for months and act as an ignition source for subsequent bushfires.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 5:16 pm

Away from the fanboi subscribers I'm not feeling much love Robbo.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Robparsons » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 6:13 pm

We'll see about that hey.. PWS have already started processing my business license. Went from 90 days turn around to about a week the receptionist said. Pressure is on for PWS to deliver an outcome for this can of worms they should of never opened. But I'm glad they did, I've picked up a lot of local support. More than I could of dreamed. Once I get the tick of approval I will be operating as I was, minus the drone use and minus fires (even in general reserves) because as discussed with my compliance officer I'm here to set a good example. It's not PWS fault, they are just following the rules that are in place, thats why I am seeking help from the premier to help find space for all users of the reserves. I look forward to many years of making a living creating content in the reserves we have here in Tasmania. Stay safe bushwalk.com homies
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby taswegian » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 6:41 pm

Lostsoul wrote:Did anyone happen to notice the photo in the ABC news story of him having a fire in Junction Lake Hut?


Mr Parsons said the alleged drone and fire breaches were the result of misunderstandings, rather than any recklessness.

I wonder if Mr Parsons would care to elaborate what the misunderstanding was at Junction Lake Hut
One of Mr Parsons's films showed him lighting a fire where only fuel stoves were allowed. (Supplied; Rob Parsons)

If she's such a knowledgeable lass with all that experience in our wilderness I'd imagine she would by now know a bit about how, what, where in regards to can and can't in our parks.
I wonder what her motivating drive is? Money? Care for the wilderness experience? Self exultation? Other(s)? I've no idea but something ain't right! :roll:
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Robparsons » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 6:46 pm

Director of PWS issued a sign upon entrance of WOJ that states fire exemptions exist in huts that have fire places. Don't worry, I argued my case, admitted defeat and still paid the fine. And you guys should all know its Meston Lake not Junction.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Jon MS » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 6:49 pm

I note that in his last post, Rob does not address the issue of him lighting a fire on peat soil or that his fire burnt down into the soil...
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Robparsons » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 6:51 pm

Because I do not remember the soil being peat.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby north-north-west » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 8:13 pm

Robparsons wrote:Director of PWS issued a sign upon entrance of WOJ that states fire exemptions exist in huts that have fire places.


Can you clarify that sentence because, as written, it does not make sense. The Director issued a sign? What sign? Where - main track, Lake Ball, Jacksons Creek, Moses Creek? The only fire-related signs I saw last time I used the main track were the standard FSA signs and no exemptions were mentioned.
There used to be a clause in the rules that said fires were permitted in certain limited places within certain reserves where formal fireplaces existed. That has been amended and now there are very, very few places where it still applies: Edgar camping area in the SW, for instance.

And you guys should all know its Meston Lake not Junction.


I wouldn't know. I don't do huts. Neither, last time I checked, do/did thylacines.

Robparsons wrote:Because I do not remember the soil being peat.


Ah, our intrepid explorer can't even tell when he's on peat soil. Here's a hint: if you're in the SW or anywhere near buttongrass, assume the soil is peat, because most of the time it will be.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Minty » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 8:20 pm

I'm pretty hesitant to wade into this one, but I feel like I should.
A year and a bit ago a mate and I were taken to court by PWS for the aforementioned Federation Peak ski jaunt, on the same charges as Rob. The evidence they were using was that an article had been written for Wild magazine that used photos which had been taken without a commercial licence. An article in a wilderness magazine seems a far cry from the exploitative, profiteering influencers which (rightly or wrongly) PWS are trying to regulate.
I'm not a huge fan of Rob's approach and attitude (although I appreciate that he has taken some feedback on board in recent videos) but I totally agree that the precedent that PWS seems to be hell bent on setting is worrying. The fact that filming/photography that results in ANY financial gain is liable to prosecution is mildly terrifying, and if applied consistently, would suggest that every wilderness calendar, coffee table book, postcard or short film that wins a prize is illegal (assuming they haven't applied 28 days in advance of every trip with fixed dates, a detailed itinerary and Public Liability Insurance for the whole thing). There does need to be some kind of regulation for egregiously irresponsible use of monetised social media, but the current approach of Parks seems way off target.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Robparsons » Sat 19 Aug, 2023 8:37 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Robparsons wrote:Director of PWS issued a sign upon entrance of WOJ that states fire exemptions exist in huts that have fire places.


Can you clarify that sentence because, as written, it does not make sense. The Director issued a sign? What sign? Where - main track, Lake Ball, Jacksons Creek, Moses Creek? The only fire-related signs I saw last time I used the main track were the standard FSA signs and no exemptions were mentioned.
There used to be a clause in the rules that said fires were permitted in certain limited places within certain reserves where formal fireplaces existed. That has been amended and now there are very, very few places where it still applies: Edgar camping area in the SW, for instance.

And you guys should all know its Meston Lake not Junction.


I wouldn't know. I don't do huts. Neither, last time I checked, do/did thylacines.

Robparsons wrote:Because I do not remember the soil being peat.


Ah, our intrepid explorer can't even tell when he's on peat soil. Here's a hint: if you're in the SW or anywhere near buttongrass, assume the soil is peat, because most of the time it will be.



Why do you keep going at me like some punching bag? The fire was no where near button grass, it was right on the coast. The sign is legit, I photographed it on my way in on that specific trip. It must of been on Moses creek track as I did a circuit along Jackson creek to Meston and back along Grail falls.

It's never enough for you guys. So I'm out.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby north-north-west » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 7:56 am

Robparsons wrote:The sign is legit, I photographed it on my way in on that specific trip. It must of been on Moses creek track as I did a circuit along Jackson creek to Meston and back along Grail falls.


If you had proof of such a sign there wouldn't have been an issue about the fire.
It's common knowledge that the rangers have been trying to close off the fireplaces in the huts - and Meston is a particular issue because of its popularity with fly-fishers - and are constantly thwarted by people removing the mesh, or galv or boulders or whatever, and still having fires. This has been going on for over a decade. It's not new.

Robparsons wrote: The fire was no where near button grass, it was right on the coast.


It. Was. On. Peat.
Again, common knowledge that virtually all the soil in the SW is peat.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 8:42 am

Minty wrote:I'm pretty hesitant to wade into this one, but I feel like I should.
A year and a bit ago a mate and I were taken to court by PWS for the aforementioned Federation Peak ski jaunt, on the same charges as Rob. The evidence they were using was that an article had been written for Wild magazine that used photos which had been taken without a commercial licence. An article in a wilderness magazine seems a far cry from the exploitative, profiteering influencers which (rightly or wrongly) PWS are trying to regulate.
I'm not a huge fan of Rob's approach and attitude (although I appreciate that he has taken some feedback on board in recent videos) but I totally agree that the precedent that PWS seems to be hell bent on setting is worrying. The fact that filming/photography that results in ANY financial gain is liable to prosecution is mildly terrifying, and if applied consistently, would suggest that every wilderness calendar, coffee table book, postcard or short film that wins a prize is illegal (assuming they haven't applied 28 days in advance of every trip with fixed dates, a detailed itinerary and Public Liability Insurance for the whole thing). There does need to be some kind of regulation for egregiously irresponsible use of monetised social media, but the current approach of Parks seems way off target.



Didn't I hear you guys asked to go in while the track was closed, told no you can't but went anyway? I suspect that's why parks targeted you. They were pissed you defied them
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby lc130 » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 9:17 am

Are Rob Parsons videos interesting and great viewing? YES
But.....
Is Rob Parsons making an income from his videos of his trips in Reserves? YES by his own admission
Does he tell viewers that he is in World Heritage Area or National Park or State Reserve or other reserve? NO
Does he tell viewers about what you may or may not do in Reserves to protect their natural and cultural values? NO, except take your rubbish with you, which is pretty basic.
Does he tell viewers he's doing illegal things in National Parks or other reserves such as metal detecting, prospecting for gold or looking for Darwin glass? NO. (just watch the relevant videos about Darwin Glass and prospecting in the Pieman River!
Does he tell us about all the offences he's been hit with? NO
Was he selective about what he talked about? YES
Is he the first person to be charged with these offences? NO
Will he be the last? NO
Is it relevant if you're partner is having a baby or if you're renovating a house? NO
Is the business licence requirement new? No
Is ignorance of the law an excuse? NO
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby north-north-west » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 10:31 am

Good summation, Ic130. I'd only add one thing:

Was he actually ignorant of the laws: NO
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby icefest » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 10:37 am

doogs wrote:As his claims about being some sort of witch hunt against him and his mate. This is also untrue as others have been fined in recent years. The obvious one that springs to mind is the boys who filmed a very short ski down a couloir on Fedders, they also wrote an article for Wild magazine (I think?). Someone at Parks thought that this warranted a fine..



That trip got fined! Crazy!
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 10:50 am

icefest wrote:
doogs wrote:As his claims about being some sort of witch hunt against him and his mate. This is also untrue as others have been fined in recent years. The obvious one that springs to mind is the boys who filmed a very short ski down a couloir on Fedders, they also wrote an article for Wild magazine (I think?). Someone at Parks thought that this warranted a fine..



That trip got fined! Crazy!


Not if they were told they can't go in as the track was closed but went anyway then threw it in their faces by documenting being there
Nothing to see here.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby icefest » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 10:56 am

Ahh, I guess filming breaking and entering is a no-no :)
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby danman » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 11:15 am

i like the one where he went into Fincham's hut and acted like it was an abandoned hut that no one had been to for decades. Hydro go in there a couple of times a year. Bet they weren't happy when they noticed someone drank their beer :lol:
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby Minty » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 11:58 am

ILUVSWTAS wrote:
icefest wrote:
doogs wrote:As his claims about being some sort of witch hunt against him and his mate. This is also untrue as others have been fined in recent years. The obvious one that springs to mind is the boys who filmed a very short ski down a couloir on Fedders, they also wrote an article for Wild magazine (I think?). Someone at Parks thought that this warranted a fine..



That trip got fined! Crazy!


Not if they were told they can't go in as the track was closed but went anyway then threw it in their faces by documenting being there


That's true and I have no doubt that they wouldn't have taken us to court if this hadn't been a factor. But isn't the fact that they wasted thousands of taxpayer's dollars on a prosecution motivated out of spite a little concerning? In court the magistrate ridiculed the photography charge (which had actually been dropped a few days earlier) and ripped into the prosecution for pursuing such a trivial matter. It's interesting that PWS didn't take Rob to court, but I guess they already tried and failed with us.

The issue of closed tracks is a whole other debate. The important thing here is that PWS have an outdated law, which they don't seem to fully understand (the advice on their website differs significantly from the actual legislation) and apply arbitrarily.
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Re: PWS and social media (YouTube etc) - crack down?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 20 Aug, 2023 12:45 pm

Is it an outdated law though? How so?
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Joined: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 9:53 am
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

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