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#1

NAPFA
Association
Joined: 01 February 2014
Posts: 122
Association
10 April 2016 06:31 pm

ALL fossickers in NSW: YOUR COMMENT IS NEEDED ON NATIONAL PARKS POLICY

As some on the forum would be aware, NAPFA has been working for about three years to try to achieve meaningful access to areas of National Parks in NSW.

As a result of our considerable effort, NPWS has been reviewing its Fossicking Policy following the Government’s response to the 2014 Legislative Council’s Inquiry into Tourism in Local Communities.

At long last there is now a new draft policy open for public comment until 5th May, 2016 and you are invited to comment on it.

The Draft NPWS Fossicking in Parks policy maintains the current position that fossicking is generally inappropriate in national parks. Fossicking generally involves disturbing soil, rocks and vegetation to find and potentially remove minerals, gemstones and historical objects. These activities are prohibited in parks without consent under the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009.

The draft policy identifies areas where fossicking is allowed and proposes that consideration of any additional areas will be subject to an appropriate level of environmental assessment.

Please take the time to read through the policy and to have your say. You can be sure that various environmental groups and others will be doing just that. From NAPFA’s perspective the more supporting responses, the better.

The NAPFA committee will also put forward an Association reply.

If the policy is enacted, it will mean that access to some areas of additional national parks will be achievable but the arrangements will be tightly controlled and could be withdrawn if there is significant environmental impact. So if you get permission recognize that it is a privilege and FILL IN THE HOLES and follows regulations to the letter.

My quick take is that it will be very controlled and restrictive but it is better than nothing and realistically it’s all we are likely to get for the time being.

I see it as a good step forward for fossicking in NSW, so let’s see where it takes us.

Here is the link to the policy:

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/polic … policy.htm

Cheers

Stephen Dangaard
President
NSW&ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association Inc


The Diggers Oath: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

8 users like this post: Heatho, AngerManagement, shivan, Ivo, Billy, silver, bazza2210, mbasko

#2

Tathradj
Moderator
From: Tathra, NSW
Joined: 17 February 2014
Posts: 5,592
Moderator
10 April 2016 06:48 pm

Steve,
This is fantastic news mate.
Can you check into why the definition of Prospecting suddenly includes digging into Banks. ? ?
We who do the right thing know that this is both illegal and wrong.
Many Thanks for your hard work.
Doug


NAPFA Committee Member,
A couple of HiBankers inc. accessories, , 4500, Xterra 705, Gt1600, Aldi,
A Prado 4x4, A'Van Cruiseliner and a heck of a lot of determination. Not to mention Luck.
Most importantly, A lot of Good Honest Friends.

#3

Tathradj
Moderator
From: Tathra, NSW
Joined: 17 February 2014
Posts: 5,592
Moderator
10 April 2016 09:17 pm

A Mechanical sluice. ?
In the very definition of the Mining rules and regulations, This is already illegal.
This is worded incorrectly.
Non of the equipment we use is mechanical.
All gathered by hand.
Processed through a static device.
Returned by hand.
I think a good read is in order. smile
Please, I am not setting out to be sarcastic or in any way undo the advances into this fantastic piece of News but,
In the words by very definition, What is stated could impact those who are not in the very know on how we go about
our activities.
All they will see is a negative scenario on what is a very negligible if not non intrusive activity.


NAPFA Committee Member,
A couple of HiBankers inc. accessories, , 4500, Xterra 705, Gt1600, Aldi,
A Prado 4x4, A'Van Cruiseliner and a heck of a lot of determination. Not to mention Luck.
Most importantly, A lot of Good Honest Friends.

1 user likes this post: Jembaicumbene

#4

Jembaicumbene
Guest
Guest
10 April 2016 10:06 pm

Tathradj wrote:

A Mechanical sluice. ?
In the very definition of the Mining rules and regulations, This is already illegal.
This is worded incorrectly.
Non of the equipment we use is mechanical.
All gathered by hand.
Processed through a static device.
Returned by hand.
I think a good read is in order. smile
Please, I am not setting out to be sarcastic or in any way undo the advances into this fantastic piece of News but,
In the words by very definition, What is stated could impact those who are not in the very know on how we go about
our activities.
All they will see is a negative scenario on what is a very negligible if not non intrusive activity.

Spot on mate.

1460286293_thumb.jpg

#5

bazxa
Member
From: Heathcote, NSW
Joined: 18 March 2016
Posts: 249
Member
11 April 2016 08:28 am

While it is giving some hope, the requirement to provide ei or ohs may be difficult.
I'm hoping it is a step forward for us as recreational fossickers.
Keeping the access will be dependent on individuals doing the right thing, permits for specific area may be a means of providing suitable accountability. All of this applies only to those who fossick by the rules.
Hoping for a balanced approach. Lots to consider before making a comment.

Thanks Stephen

#6

nicko61
Member
Joined: 07 July 2015
Posts: 443
Member
11 April 2016 09:17 am

sent my submission in even though i live in QLD
just noticed a few posts above, please just spread the word and show people the link and DONT muddy the waters by ranting about whats legal and what isnt on this thread ,there are lots of threads on this forum about this where you can discuss the rights and wrongs of fossicking and detecting

Last edited by nicko61 (11 April 2016 09:21 am)

1 user likes this post: mbasko

#7

Jembaicumbene
Guest
Guest
11 April 2016 12:40 pm

nicko61 wrote:

just noticed a few posts above, please just spread the word and show people the link and DONT muddy the waters by ranting about whats legal and what isnt on this thread ,there are lots of threads on this forum about this where you can discuss the rights and wrongs of fossicking and detecting

Yes indeed 1460338750_thumb.jpg

#8

Toysandthings
Toys and things
Joined: 02 May 2013
Posts: 96
Toys and things
11 April 2016 02:44 pm

Was any progress made in re allowing fossicking in areas that only a decade ago we were allowed to fossick in but
they grabbed the areas n turned them into state conservation areas removing them from state forests where
we were allowed to fossick in?


Swing a detector, Radio control racing or flying.. http://www.Toys-Things.com.au

#9

NAPFA
Association
Joined: 01 February 2014
Posts: 122
Association
11 April 2016 05:04 pm

Tathradj wrote:

A Mechanical sluice. ?
In the very definition of the Mining rules and regulations, This is already illegal.
This is worded incorrectly.
Non of the equipment we use is mechanical.
All gathered by hand.
Processed through a static device.
Returned by hand.
I think a good read is in order. smile
Please, I am not setting out to be sarcastic or in any way undo the advances into this fantastic piece of News but,
In the words by very definition, What is stated could impact those who are not in the very know on how we go about
our activities.
All they will see is a negative scenario on what is a very negligible if not non intrusive activity.

Thanks for pointing that out but just to be clear, this is a NPWS document. It was not drafted by NAPFA although we had some input. At the end of the day NPWS had final call on the wording. The point of putting it out to consultation is to get the very feedback you are providing. I agree there are many nuances in language and definitions. Keep the 'analysis' coming but also consider putting your own response(s) in to the process please.

cheers

stephen.


The Diggers Oath: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

#10

NAPFA
Association
Joined: 01 February 2014
Posts: 122
Association
11 April 2016 05:07 pm

Toysandthings wrote:

Was any progress made in re allowing fossicking in areas that only a decade ago we were allowed to fossick in but
they grabbed the areas n turned them into state conservation areas removing them from state forests where
we were allowed to fossick in?

Those areas could be accessed under this policy - but under the terms of the policy. We argued very strongly for a wholesale change but NPWS would not come at it. They want to do it area by area with local managers controlling. Have a good look through the wording of the policy. It does not specifically include SCAs but they are not excluded.

Cheers

Stephen.


The Diggers Oath: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

#11

NAPFA
Association
Joined: 01 February 2014
Posts: 122
Association
11 April 2016 06:46 pm

Tathradj wrote:

A Mechanical sluice. ?
In the very definition of the Mining rules and regulations, This is already illegal.
This is worded incorrectly.
Non of the equipment we use is mechanical.
All gathered by hand.
Processed through a static device.
Returned by hand.
I think a good read is in order. smile
Please, I am not setting out to be sarcastic or in any way undo the advances into this fantastic piece of News but,
In the words by very definition, What is stated could impact those who are not in the very know on how we go about
our activities.
All they will see is a negative scenario on what is a very negligible if not non intrusive activity.

A bit more on this one. I think it is a reference to highbanking because in late 2014 NAPFA did a field demo for NPWS with the different types of equipment (highbanker -- 12 volt and petrol, river sluice, bucket concentrator; pan and detector. It was obvious they did not like the pump driven highbanker. Please note this is not a discussion about highbanking good or bad; and I note that you point out that under the regulations mechanical methods are not allowed (even though some will interpret that differently). NAPFA did a detailed sumbmission on highbanking in mid last year and you can find it on our website. Inclusion of "mechanical sluicing" reference in this policy probably reflects a lack of understanding on NPWS side; but I am sure that Dept Resources and Energy will be letting them know that. Your other points about negative scenario is absolutely right and we will point it out.

cheers

stephen.


The Diggers Oath: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

#12

Tathradj
Moderator
From: Tathra, NSW
Joined: 17 February 2014
Posts: 5,592
Moderator
11 April 2016 07:08 pm

Many Thanks Stephen,
Very deeply appreciated. smile
I was really hoping that this would not be taken the wrong way.
Regards,
Doug


NAPFA Committee Member,
A couple of HiBankers inc. accessories, , 4500, Xterra 705, Gt1600, Aldi,
A Prado 4x4, A'Van Cruiseliner and a heck of a lot of determination. Not to mention Luck.
Most importantly, A lot of Good Honest Friends.

#13

Jembaicumbene
Guest
Guest
11 April 2016 08:32 pm

Thanks Stephen i think the report is very good even if it just opens one door, it will be one door we do not have now. 1460367133_1476364148.gif

1 user likes this post: GaryO

#14

limpalot
Member
Joined: 31 July 2015
Posts: 572
Member
12 April 2016 08:24 pm

The squeeky wheel gets the oil; the more individual comments that go in the better. Do this as a forum , but put your own in too. You need to show just how big of an issue this is, Big in as the number of people it affects. We all vote, so let the bastards know how many.
Cheers LL.


Home made sluices x 2 & highbanker, ATX, Garret Supa Sluice, Quanta pan,

#15

Dicko
Newbie
Joined: 01 December 2015
Posts: 9
Newbie
13 April 2016 02:41 pm

Stephen,

I have added my submission, in doing so expressed my support for expansion of existing areas including:

a) defining that sluicing should include the use of water pumps up to a limited size and that this would not include the use of water pumps to wash gold or other product from river banks,
b) enabling exploration licences not to deny amateur fossicking to such areas until a formal mining licence has been approved, and
c) enabling Prospecting Australia to be involved in the negotiation of the changes.

Cheers,
Dicko


Gem & Gold Fossicking - GPX4500 GoFind60 various picks shovels buckets & sivs, homebuilt WalBanker (works well) - most times a grey nomad 'livin the dream'

#16

LoneWolf
Member
From: Gold Coast , QLD
Joined: 12 April 2016
Posts: 375
Member
13 April 2016 06:00 pm

Well I Cant see anything Good about this......Do you really TRUST the Government that much ... So they want to Restrict entry to Torrington Conservation Reserve..... The way this Draft plan is written it's all to easy for the NWPS or Government to say YOU must Have your safety crap, enviro crap, sterilization crap the list goes on and on... How on earth is the family man suppose to get the right Approval for all this....

To Place these type of rules on to the Family Fossicker who happens to pass through is utter crap... Has any of the idiots that wrote this plan have any idea what impact ANY changes would make on the Communities that border Torrington CR... The Emmaville Mining Museum is still shocked after I told them what could be planned for Torrington CR.. of course they knew nothing of this plan........ Any changes to THIS area shall have a major impact on their economy and livelihood....

Have a look at what the QLD gov is doing to Lefty and his crew up there.... They All are Singing the same Tune, Led by the same Conductor... Any changes except More Fossicking areas can only harm our Hobby..... Please read the Draft between the lines.... all too easy for this to go against us as well.....

LoneWolf......

#17

Heatho
Moderator
From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 29 April 2013
Posts: 9,249
Moderator
13 April 2016 07:13 pm

LoneWolf, you sound quite passionate about this but in this thread please tone it down a little, I'm not having a go but please keep this as a discussion thread without any name calling, it's not going to help the cause and it is an important issue.

In your Torrington thread you can say what you please as long as it's not offensive to anyone.

Repeat, I'm, not having a go. smile They are both important issues and one in the same.

Cheers.


Minelab GPX 5000, SDC2300, CTX3030, Pro-Find-25, patience, lot's of patience.

#18

LoneWolf
Member
From: Gold Coast , QLD
Joined: 12 April 2016
Posts: 375
Member
13 April 2016 08:00 pm

Im as passionate about Torrington as you are with BillabongBlue Heatho.. sorry if I have offended anyone..... Im Old School and a spade is a spade... What else would you call people who never Prospect or Fossick and Draft ideas that could Harm Others in a very significant Way??

LoneWolf.....

#19

Heatho
Moderator
From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 29 April 2013
Posts: 9,249
Moderator
13 April 2016 08:22 pm

LoneWolf wrote:

Im as passionate about Torrington as you are with BillabongBlue Heatho.. sorry if I have offended anyone..... Im Old School and a spade is a spade... What else would you call people who never Prospect or Fossick and Draft ideas that could Harm Others in a very significant Way??

LoneWolf.....

You've offended no-one here mate. I'm 100% with you and 100% agree. I haven't had a chance to fossick around Torrington, really hope I can soon. Looks like a great spot to have a look around.

Anyway let's keep this thread on track, we can chat about Torrington in the Torrington specific thread. smile


Minelab GPX 5000, SDC2300, CTX3030, Pro-Find-25, patience, lot's of patience.

#20

LoneWolf
Member
From: Gold Coast , QLD
Joined: 12 April 2016
Posts: 375
Member
13 April 2016 09:20 pm

I thought that this thread involved Torrington as well..... hmm

LoneWolf.....

#21

mbasko
Member
From: Central West NSW
Joined: 27 January 2015
Posts: 2,608
Member
14 April 2016 10:40 am

I can understand your passion LoneWolf & agree that submissions need to include your concerns but there is a positive way & a negative way of reading between the line on this issue. At this stage of this policy being a "DRAFT" open for comment I would be looking for the positives & not concentrating on any perceived negatives just yet. It is far too early to jump to any conclusions & there is nothing in the NPWS "DRAFT" to suggest that either of the current allowable areas in NSW National Parks will be or could be closed down. They even state:

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/policies/fossicking-policy.htm wrote:

Fossicking is currently permitted in two parks, with consent provided by their plans of management:
- Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve (Grove Creek part only)
- Torrington State Conservation Area (throughout the park).

2. Consent to fossick will not be considered in nature reserves, historic sites, Aboriginal areas or karst conservation reserves, except as already permitted in Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve.

This to me suggests that these areas will remain as is & not be closed down. Fossicking is already permitted under these areas plans of management & to the best of my knowledge could not be altered without a review of the current management plan/s. Some dedicated local vigilance would be required to keep on eye on any proposed changes & the Emmaville Mining Museum + any others interested should register their interest with NPWS if they aren't already!
If you were to track down the management plans on these 2 areas you in all likelihood will find (I haven't read these 2 specifically) that the majority if not all of "DRAFT" policy conditions would already be imposed on these areas as they are pretty much straight out of the various relevant legislation such as National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009; National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974; Wilderness Act 1987; Mining Regulation 2010; Fossicking: A guide to fossicking in NSW; Mining Act 1992 etc. The fact is that this policy would not be introducing anything new to the current areas but more than likely reinforcing what is already imposed by the current management plans.

This policy may actually improve the Abercrombie area where fossicking is only allowed in a small section of Grove Creek & is restricted to panning only. No other equipment such as metal detectors or sluices can currently be used there at all!
The positives here far outweigh any perceived negatives in my opinion. I cannot say I have ever heard of or known NPWS to open up a "DRAFT" policy & request for fossickers/prospectors to make comment on; or for that matter any other management plan etc. Also currently more than 99% of National Park areas are unavailable for fossicking at all. THEY ARE NO GO ZONES!! Regardless of whether they open up small areas to panning or whole parks to detecting, sluicing + panning it will be areas we DO NOT CURRENTLY HAVE ACCESS TO!!

I just hope that your submission wasn't as emotive or offensive to NPWS as some posts as it will do us no good.
Submissions don't have to be long winded but we do need to keep emotions in check, not become offensive or personal & make sure they contain accurate information & are to the point. Please read what is only a "DRAFT" as such & make sure you understand what it's about - don't jump to any conclusion just yet. If your unsure of something then this is what this thread is about - throw it up here for discussion or gauge opinion on anything your unsure of.


Everything we use comes from mining or farming.

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#22

Tathradj
Moderator
From: Tathra, NSW
Joined: 17 February 2014
Posts: 5,592
Moderator
14 April 2016 11:04 am

Mbasko welcome back. smile
Very well written and I agree on what you have stated there mate.
The comments I made were along the lines of wording.
Not about the aspects of prospecting.
This is a first as well. NP putting it out for comment is a very positive action
instead of just quoting rules and regulations then slamming the gates shut.
They are actually asking for a resolution to a vexing problem. smile smile
I respect this course of action as we the prospecting community are adding positive
feed back.
Finally what has to be appreciated is our hard working lobby groups and massive kudo's for this.


NAPFA Committee Member,
A couple of HiBankers inc. accessories, , 4500, Xterra 705, Gt1600, Aldi,
A Prado 4x4, A'Van Cruiseliner and a heck of a lot of determination. Not to mention Luck.
Most importantly, A lot of Good Honest Friends.

1 user likes this post: mbasko

#23

mbasko
Member
From: Central West NSW
Joined: 27 January 2015
Posts: 2,608
Member
14 April 2016 11:23 am

I plan on doing a submission shortly but in the meantime here is a summary of issues I can see at the moment for anyone wanting to put a submission in but not sure of where to start:

- we need to ensure that where fossicking is currently permitted in the two parks currently, with consent provided by their plans of management being Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve & Torrington State Conservation Area, that these remain unchanged with any implementation of this draft policy. Changes should only occur with a review of the current plans of management, with community consultation, & using the draft policy as guide only.

- the use of the wording "mechanical sluicing" needs to be removed and/or replaced with wording that better describes the activity not permitted if it has been misunderstood by NPWS. Mechanical sluicing is not allowable under the terms of NSW legislation anyway & should hold no relevance to this policy.

- although former State Forest Areas (& other former Crown Lands), where fossicking was once a permitted activity, are now covered by NPWS legislation thought needs to be given moving forward where any future State Forest acquisitions (or other Crown Lands such as Commons, TSR's - Travelling Stock Routes, unmanaged Crown Lands etc.) where fossicking is a current lawful activity that it be maintained after NPWS acquire them. This may need a multi-tiered approach from NPWS in managing these areas by way of having nature reserves or other conservation areas that are off limits within the boundaries of an otherwise allowable area? Currently it is grossly unfair to us as recreational users to have our right to enjoy our hobby removed even where it is an existing allowable activity & should be reflected as such in the future management plan/s for any of these acquired area/s.

- the requirement to get Exploration Lease holder permission needs to be reviewed as a whole in NSW. Where public lands have allowable fossicking areas then these should automatically become fossicking districts/areas & have this imposition removed from the hobby fossicker. In many cases these companies don't even reply to requests & have no obligation to do so under NSW rules & regulations. They should not be allowed to dictate any allowable activities on any public land.

- What is the process of considering fossicking in a park? There are some concerns around how we as hobbyists would prepare documents for this? i.e. reviews of environmental factors & visitor safety risk assessments. Are other users of National Parks required to have this documentation before entering a NPWS area? Fossicking is a low environmental impact; relatively safe activity that poses very few, if any, risks over other allowable activities such as bushwalking, 4wd, camping, swimming, fishing etc. If it's not a requirement of other users then why are we being imposed with it? Can generic documents be produced & used if required? Fossicking is not a form of mining which can be/is a high risk activity. We need to be considered without being defined as a form of mining which NPWS have done in previous correspondence with them.

- notify NPWS prior to commencing the activity? How will this be done? Will there be a permit system whereby having a permit to fossick is considered prior notification or does this need to be done for each trip? Who do you notify?

- requiring fossicker's to sterilise equipment before entering or leaving areas? What method of sterilisation is required? How? Do NPWS rangers use a method for their equipment when moving between areas?

Dicko wrote:

enabling Prospecting Australia to be involved in the negotiation of the changes.

I think Prospecting Australia can play a major role in this by encouraging people to make positives suggestions for submission & providing a platform for discussion but any negotiation should be left to our State Lobby groups such as NAPFA. This is what they exist for & while the forum can add plenty of clout behind these things it isn't best situated to tackle negotiations as such.

Last edited by mbasko (14 April 2016 11:31 am)


Everything we use comes from mining or farming.

3 users like this post: shivan, Billy, jimnyjerry

#24

Heatho
Moderator
From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 29 April 2013
Posts: 9,249
Moderator
14 April 2016 01:00 pm

Very well said Matt, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think one relevant point about permits as in regard to the State Forest permit is that when you apply for your permit is that you sign your name as to the fact that you have read and understand the rules regarding obtaining and keeping your permit.

I think a similar permit regarding NPWS could work the same. If someone doesn't abide by the rules they should have their permit either confiscated or suspended for a period of time as they have signed that they understand such rules and will abide by them.

They could set up something similar to a miners right, I'd be happy to pay a yearly, 5 or 10 yearly fee.

Sterilisation of equipment looks like a tricky point unless equipment is provided at the entry points to National Parks, I don't see that it could be much different than driving into a park now. I know some fams and sensitive areas have spray devices for spraying under cars as they drive over access points.


Minelab GPX 5000, SDC2300, CTX3030, Pro-Find-25, patience, lot's of patience.

#25

NAPFA
Association
Joined: 01 February 2014
Posts: 122
Association
14 April 2016 07:59 pm

Full marks to the forum on this discussion. And to the top contribution by Mbasko. His post raises many implementation questions around the policy which will help Parks to better understand the need to be less bureaucratic and more reasonable in terms of the processes. NAPFA has pointed quite a few of these out to Parks but having that reinforced by community members will be helpful. The devil will certainly be in the detail of the implementation.

I totally understand that some people would like it all fully fixed and to be easy. But unfortunately Parks is a large organisation whose primary function is to implement the relevant NP Acts - rather than facilitating fossicking. So they are being very careful that enabling us to do something does not seriously inhibit their other objectives. I am sure workable solutions to the key implementation problems can be found, but like searching for gold, it ain't going to be easy. But every square metre of new ground is a win.

Stephen
President
NAPFA


The Diggers Oath: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

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