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C the Market is a sole trader tour operator business established 11 years ago to facilitate the safe visitation of the Melbourne Wholesale Markets, initially in West Melbourne and for the past 5+ years, in Epping. We conduct group tours of up to 70 people at a time, in a hazard filled workplace, focusing on safety during visitor activities, fostering the enjoyment of participation and delivering knowledge and education about our fresh produce supply.
2021 has seen a huge community interest in mushrooms and an ever growing keenness to forage for these. We have employed for this activity, the expertise of a scientist specialising in mycelium and mushrooms. He will deliver an educational lecture and fully escort a walk to forage edible mushrooms. We are an affordable choice for members of the public to be introduced to how to do this safely. We offer small group tours to facilitate enjoyment of the Macedon area forests and plantations, encourage safe participation in outdoor activity and increase the knowledge about mushrooms that grow in these areas.
Our focus is to engage, instruct, inform and educate our participants

DURATION of activity: 3 hours from meet up to conclusion.
Time IN PLANTATION (anticipated) : 1- 2 hours.
PARTICIPANT NUMBERS: We would like to have groups of 20-25 including the 2-3 guides, so that we can move around the forest in smaller groups of around 6-8 (each with their guide) to lessen the impact on the natural vegetation in a specific spot. Expected vehicle number would be 8-12
PURPOSE of activity: Educational foraging walks in a small area of plantation to identify various fungi and collect edibles, specifically Saffron milk caps and Slippery Jacks. This event focuses on educating those with an interest in fungi about the environment, the health benefits of eating mushrooms, the importance of sustainable practice and leaving the forest as we find it.
Main GUIDES : Jim Fuller, a mushroom ‘expert’. Jan Claire, experienced tour guide, tour operator.

ACCESS: At the initial meeting place, the destination for foraging will be given to all participants when they have the opportunity to ‘pin-drop’ on their maps app the location. With one guide leading and another following the final participants’ car, the group will drive in a convoy to the planned foraging place. If there’s not an area for parking, the vehicles will park off the side of the road in single file, not causing any obstruction. Due to Covid, it’s unlikely anyone will carpool if they didn’t arrive together.
We will enter the plantations from the nearest roadway accessed from Woodend or Macedon. Before each tour, we decide where we are likely to find edible mushrooms and we will go to one area only each tour. Walking through the pine trees we will utilise existing trails where possible, and head off trail between the trees where it’s likely mushrooms will be growing. We expect to remain within sight or within approx. 200 metres of accessible tracks or trails, and always within 1500 metres of our own vehicles.

PROCEDURE to conduct event: It is planned that the 1st educational information session will be delivered using a portable PA system to ensure that all can hear all information delivered. This same system can be utilised at higher volume to announce within the plantation any emergency situation.
In the event of the need to evacuate the area, all participants will again follow the guides using a pre-planned route. It will be the responsibility of the guides to ensure all vehicles exit safely.
A fully equipped FIRST AID kit will be carried by at least one guide.
OPERATIONAL COMMUNICATION will be with mobile phone using Optus & Telstra
For our picnic lunch, we use one or two trestle type tables to allow the food served to be off the ground and therefore under hygienic conditions. It’s possible we will move to a designated picnic spot for our ‘lunch’.
If it’s raining, we may use a portable pop up beach/rain shelter to keep the food out of the weather.
Part of our information session will discuss the correct disposal of rubbish and any waste created by the participants will be bagged and removed by us when we leave.
We are not aware of any bathroom facilities within the planned area of use and all participants will be told of this before their arrival. Suggested restroom stops nearby will be detailed in the information sent to participants and all participants are encouraged to go into the towns in the vicinity.
The walk is proposed during daylight hours, in the morning. We do not need lighting or power.

As a sole operator of a small business that has been badly affected by Covid-19 restrictions, I have submitted this application under Operator Permit because I am an Operator of tours. We walk through the pine trees in smaller groups of less than 12 and expect to meet for our picnic outside that area, possibly outside HVP land. If, due to our participation numbers, we need to get an Event permit, we ask for your sympathetic consideration with regards to any fee being levied. We have had a very low turnover for the past 5 years and are still earning less than minimum wage from our activities.

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