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#1

NAPFA
Association
Joined: 01 February 2014
Posts: 132
Association
07 August 2017 10:11 pm

For the benefit of PA members, here is a note that has been sent to NAPFA members today.

Dear NAPFA member,

WARNING TO FOSSICKERS ABOUT NSW SLUICING DEVELOPMENTS

The NSW Department of Planning, Environment, Resources and Energy (PERE) (new department that incorporates the old Resources and Energy group) has decided to commence an enforcement campaign from September to November 2017 particularly targeting ‘highbanking’ equipment as per below:

Illegal fossicking
Recreational fossickers utilising a device known as a ‘highbanker’ to enhance their fossicking capabilities to search for scheduled minerals has been identified as an emerging issue. The use of a highbanker, which is a petrol or electric powered device, in fossicking, is prohibited by the Mining Regulation 2016. These products are being commercially produced by multiple manufacturers to meet market demand. This unlawful activity results in a number of environmental issues.
A compliance campaign with be carried out focusing on suppliers and end users of the equipment.

The full compliance document can be found here:

http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.a … r-2017.pdf

The sluicing issue has been at the forefront of NAPFA’s lobbying with the department, and is currently the single most important issue to Prospectors and Fossickers in NSW.

This surprising new development is extremely unwelcome and is a breach of extensive good faith negotiations we have been having with the department on this matter.

Since the issue came to notice in 2014, NAPFA has engaged with the department through meetings and detailed submissions to negotiate a position to amend the 2010 regulation change that is relied upon in the Department’s declaration that the equipment is not allowed under the 2016 regulations.

Unfortunately to date, despite a lot of detailed work on our side, the department has not properly engaged with us to resolve the matter.

In the last few days we have escalated this issue to the highest level within the department and will keep members informed of significant developments.

The bottom line is we will continue to fight for the right to use highbankers because we can see no good reason for them to be ‘banned’; in fact, there is good argument that they should be encouraged.

So, if you highbank you need to be aware of this planned action by the PERE and modify your actions as you consider necessary. There is a potential for prosecutions if you are deemed to be breaching the regulations.

Please look at the NAPFA website where we have published our two major papers on this, the most recent one from May 2017. If you take the time to read these documents you will have a full understanding to the issues and what we have sought to do.

Regards,

Sean Ashcroft
NAPFA Public Officer


BACKGROUND

In 2010, without effective consultation with the stakeholders most affected, the Mining Regulation 2010 amendments added the word “processing” to Clause 12(2)(c) which states “A person must not … carry out the following activities for the purpose of fossicking: … (c) the use of power-operated equipment for the purpose of surface disturbance, excavation or processing on any land, …

The Regulation change was never advertised or enforced regarding current sluicing or high banking activities, or for other small scale powered recreational equipment affected. This led fossickers to believe it referred to mechanically driven equipment such as crushers, vibratory screens, portable processing plants and the machinery to feed them.

Fossickers, and many others, including regulatory officers, considered pumps simply delivering water to small hand fed equipment not to be ‘power-operated processing’, especially as fossicking has legislated water rights and the only action is the transfer of water to a sluice.

NAPFA has worked with the PERE to justify the use of highbankers and mitigate environmental concerns, especially to prevent water pumps being used for dredging operations, and to impose size limits on equipment so as not to be seen to be “semi-industrious”.

Despite requests by NAPFA for reasons why the 2010 change was made, we have not received a satisfactory response. The PERE has since supported this literal interpretation of “power-operated equipment” applying to highbankers that NAPFA consider is unjustified and unfairly restricts all other powered recreational equipment.

NAPFA has worked with the PERE to justify the use of highbankers and mitigate environmental concerns, especially to prevent water pumps being used for dredging operations, and to impose size limits on equipment so as not to be seen to be “semi-industrious”.

Unfortunately, despite NAPFA solving concerns satisfactorily with the PERE, which are included in our final report submitted in May 2017, we have not had a reply, or formal acknowledgement of the report.

Now, out of the blue, the PERE have decided to commence an enforcement campaign from September to November 2017 particularly targeting highbanking equipment.

NAPFA was not consulted nor informed about this impending action, which has been set despite the fact that we have been having ongoing communication to reach a suitable compromise on the matter.

The prohibitive interpretation based on the 2010 Regulations also restricts all other power operated equipment including 12v and solar operated gold wheels, small concentrators and other recreational equipment used for fossicking.

In doing so the PERE has unduly restricted the use of pumps and other very small, almost no impact equipment, and rendered ‘inoperative’ equipment owned by recreational fossickers that would be worth millions of dollars.

We have expressed our total disappointment about the way the matter has been handled by the department to date. The lack of communication, consultation, and progress have simply been appalling.

We have been told that the compliance section operates completely independently, however given the timeframes, meetings, work and outcomes to date, this action is not acceptable to the Prospectors and Fossickers of NSW.

The compliance priorities notice, NAPFA’s 2015 & 2017 reports, and a copy of this notice to members can be found at: www.napfa.net under the section “Sluicing – Highbanking”

Previous interpretation allowing the use of pumps and other small-scale powered recreational equipment not being used for excavation, that has been accepted in the field by various government authorities, shire councils, prospectors, fossickers, and the general public will no longer be allowed. Any breach of the PERE interpretation can be enforced. This includes all power operated equipment.

NAPFA ask that members take the time to read the objects and purposes at the beginning of the PERE compliance priorities notice.

Please read NAPFA’s 2017 sluicing report in its entirety, as this report details the history of dealings with the PERE on the issues, and direct all queries to NAPFA (President@napfa.net).

We will stay in touch as we progress this urgent matter.


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

#2

7.62marksman
Member
From: Nowra, NSW
Joined: 26 July 2016
Posts: 6,715
Member
07 August 2017 10:21 pm

thumbsup thumbsup keep up the fight this is not good
so this has now made $1000++ of gear obsolete and can only be used as garden ornaments

Last edited by 7.62marksman (07 August 2017 10:28 pm)


Highbanker, Sluice, Trommel, Gold Monster 1000 (Khaleesi), Garrett Ace 400i (Rhaegal), Go-Find 40 (Nymeria), Non Turbo 2.8lt Hilux (Turtle), NAPFA member ----Even a broken clock is right twice a day

4 users like this post: blisters, Tathradj, GaryO, goody2shoes

#3

Jemba
Member
Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 214
Member
07 August 2017 10:46 pm

NAPFA needs members so please if your not a member join now this will help NAPFA no end's win this fight. And it will be a fight. thumbsup


When Injustice Becomes Law Resistance Becomes Duty.

#4

aussiefarmer
Member
Joined: 26 July 2015
Posts: 3,122
Member
07 August 2017 10:58 pm

Yep Napha needs all our support ,
if we loose this what is next ? River sluices , pans , detectors , god only knows .


Wish in one hand and poo in the other , See which one fills up first !

2 users like this post: Goldfreak, goody2shoes

#5

Jemba
Member
Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 214
Member
07 August 2017 11:17 pm

aussiefarmer wrote:

Yep Napha needs all our support ,
if we loose this what is next ? River sluices , pans , detectors , god only knows .

The word is river sluices then detectors that was the whisper i heard. Guy's i kid you not now is the time for all prospectors to stand and be counted. How can we do this as one well as stated become a NAPFA member. Your membership will make a difference, as a prospector i would not be able to sleep knowing i did nothing so please if your not a member become one. thumbsup


When Injustice Becomes Law Resistance Becomes Duty.

3 users like this post: aussiefarmer, GaryO, goody2shoes

#6

Hard Luck
Member
From: Werribee, VIC
Joined: 14 March 2015
Posts: 928
Member
07 August 2017 11:22 pm

aussiefarmer wrote:

Yep Napha needs all our support ,
if we loose this what is next ? River sluices , pans , detectors , god only knows .

What's next?
They'll be asking demanding you to wash the mud and dirt of your vehicle before heading back so as not to disturb the dirt layers in " their", our bush.

#7

aussiefarmer
Member
Joined: 26 July 2015
Posts: 3,122
Member
07 August 2017 11:29 pm

Oh dont worry their forcing "Biosercurity " rules onto us farmers right now , and at the end of the day all it will do is create me more paper work , cost me more $$$ and make some government jobs to police it , seriously roll , if anyone has heard of the "j bas" joke thats going on will understand.


Wish in one hand and poo in the other , See which one fills up first !

2 users like this post: Tathradj, goody2shoes

#8

cheers
Member
Joined: 11 April 2015
Posts: 35
Member
07 August 2017 11:54 pm

So what they are saying is that we can't use a petrol or electric pump to run water only through a high banker or sluice ???
Is that what the new rules are ????

#9

7.62marksman
Member
From: Nowra, NSW
Joined: 26 July 2016
Posts: 6,715
Member
08 August 2017 12:03 am

cheers wrote:

So what they are saying is that we can't use a petrol or electric pump to run water only through a high banker or sluice ???
Is that what the new rules are ????

Yes mate thats it in one


Highbanker, Sluice, Trommel, Gold Monster 1000 (Khaleesi), Garrett Ace 400i (Rhaegal), Go-Find 40 (Nymeria), Non Turbo 2.8lt Hilux (Turtle), NAPFA member ----Even a broken clock is right twice a day

1 user likes this post: goody2shoes

#10

Tathradj
Moderator
From: Tathra, NSW
Joined: 17 February 2014
Posts: 8,375
Moderator
08 August 2017 12:06 am

They are classifying a High Banker to be a Mechanical device
as it has a Mechanical Water Pump attached to it.


A couple of HiBankers inc. accessories, , QED, 4500, SDC2300, Gt1600,
Aldi, A Prado 4x4, A'Van Cruiseliner and a heck of a lot of determination.
Most importantly, A lot of Good Honest Friends. Maybe one day Lucky.

#11

7.62marksman
Member
From: Nowra, NSW
Joined: 26 July 2016
Posts: 6,715
Member

Highbanker, Sluice, Trommel, Gold Monster 1000 (Khaleesi), Garrett Ace 400i (Rhaegal), Go-Find 40 (Nymeria), Non Turbo 2.8lt Hilux (Turtle), NAPFA member ----Even a broken clock is right twice a day

#12

iamagoldenoldie2
Member
From: south west Sydney
Joined: 07 August 2016
Posts: 403
Member
08 August 2017 01:02 am

Well Folks, the bad news finally arrived, so you need to do at least 2 things, join NAPFA and also contact your local member about how the government promotes fossicking then on the other hand changes the legislation to prevent it, without any public consolation and the councils that recently declared fossicking district, were they consulted ?

#13

cheers
Member
Joined: 11 April 2015
Posts: 35
Member
08 August 2017 01:04 am

I have just started high banking this year with my mates who have been doing this for a number of years now .
It's a great hobby and has very,very minimal impact on the environment !
It's great for the economy of these small country towns that we stay at .
They will just die a quick death if it wasn't for fossickers , etc !
It's alright for the government authorities to let these huge coal mining companies to get away with breaching the environmental laws then giving them a very, very small fine . Just have a look what the huge water irrigators are getting away with . Murray darling basin is in a shambles.
Who the bloody hell do they think they are .
If we had big money to donate to them then they would leave us alone !!!!!!!
I'm angry and that is an understatement !!!!!!
The LNP are in government ATM so they are to blame !
They can GET STUFFED and that's putting it nicely!

1 user likes this post: GaryO

#14

7.62marksman
Member
From: Nowra, NSW
Joined: 26 July 2016
Posts: 6,715
Member
08 August 2017 01:30 am

To me this is BAD news for me i use prospecting as a PTSD relief it calms me and keeps me on track thinking about my next adventure and find my next build and next meet up
I dont take the drugs they tell me i have to take i do this as this is my drug
to me its better for the mind and body so what now sit in front of the tv and pop pills all day and bounce off walls
I am sure i am not the only one like this
There must be something we can do as a group


Highbanker, Sluice, Trommel, Gold Monster 1000 (Khaleesi), Garrett Ace 400i (Rhaegal), Go-Find 40 (Nymeria), Non Turbo 2.8lt Hilux (Turtle), NAPFA member ----Even a broken clock is right twice a day

2 users like this post: davent, nucopia

#15

cheers
Member
Joined: 11 April 2015
Posts: 35
Member
08 August 2017 01:47 am

Well I know that my mates and I will not comply !
When I said they can get stuffed I MEAN THEY CAN GET STUFFED !
I and I'm sure my mates will join NAPFA !
As I said l'm new to this game .
How about we all go to the NSW Parliament House with our sluicing gear and protest !
Get the media involved.
Especially the country media !
I joined a prospecting club this year and they won't be happy !
As I said before " WHO THE BLOODY HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE "

2 users like this post: LoneWolf, Matt80

#16

goldengoose
Member
From: S/E Melbourne, VIC
Joined: 12 April 2016
Posts: 283
Member
08 August 2017 02:55 am

Tathradj wrote:

They are classifying a High Banker to be a Mechanical device
as it has a Mechanical Water Pump attached to it.

Hi Tathradj,
What if your highbanker was supplied by a natural supply of water? Similar to how a river sluice uses the flow of the stream,. A water source higher than where your working and using gravity alone.

Mmmmmm?


I DIG n SWING , THEREFORE I AM ! ...

#17

iamagoldenoldie2
Member
From: south west Sydney
Joined: 07 August 2016
Posts: 403
Member
08 August 2017 03:07 am

G'day All
Illegal fossicking
Recreational fossickers utilising a device known as a ‘highbanker’ to enhance their fossicking capabilities to search for scheduled minerals has been identified as an emerging issue. The use of a highbanker, which is a petrol or electric powered device, in fossicking, is prohibited by the Mining Regulation 2016. These products are being commercially produced by multiple manufacturers to meet market demand. This unlawful activity results in a number of environmental issues.
A compliance campaign with be carried out focusing on suppliers and end users of the equipment.
My highbanker is homemade and is not electrical or petrol powered, I pump water to it wash the rocks, think i will buy a diesel powered pump and if that fails then a windmill pump then if that fails a waterwheel pump then if that fails a bucket brigade
i just had quick look at the links and also went to the website, how confusing, the regulators pages appear to me to be focused on the big boy mining operations ,
Ive been looking at the usual jargon of the departments government pages relating to focus, strategy ,transparency, stakeholders etc etc and the way I interpret the documents is it focuses on large scale mining yet there is one small sentence in their last monthly report that advises that someone was fined for illegal fossicking at sofala ??? fine was $2500
So, now to the fossicking promotional page. this is still there;
What techniques cannot be used for fossicking?
Neither explosives nor dredges can be used in fossicking. BOTH ARE STRAIGHT FORWARD PLAIN ENGLISH NO NOES,
Power-operated equipment cannot be used on land or in waters for surface disturbance, excavation or processing. Power operated equipment includes mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, battery and electrical equipment or machinery.
So, is the community at large supposed to interpret that power operated equipment such as the small motor and pump as used to pump water to the highbanker location as being defined as power operated equipment and related to the part as the "processing" context of the current not permitted wording. What if one used a bucket of water , there is no difference in the operation of the high banker or the final result !
Surface disturbance, excavation and the other power operated equipment descriptors such as mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, battery and electrical equipment or machinery, is in my opinion, a bit vague and not in plain english, and still needs further explanation or definition, or does it ??? does mechanical mean as in vibrating or a rotating trommell or hydraulic as in water blasting ,or pneumatic as jack hammering fossicking on a small scale could not be compared to larger scale mining operations when one reads the monthly reports and the result of their inspections, in my opinion, we are insignificant to the role of the new controls and regulators except as a statistic to fatten out a monthly report to justify their existence

#18

OldGT
Member
Joined: 10 May 2017
Posts: 566
Member
08 August 2017 05:50 am

Just ridiculous really. The cost of enforcement alone would outweigh any benefit. NSW is no small place. I struggle to understand what the issue is, natural events like fire, flood and storms change the environment much faster and on s much greater scale than anything done by a NSW prospector with a shovel and highbanker. Imagine if they said they would prosecute the weather for all the damage it's caused over the years, and you start to see just how laughable this really is.

I really did believe that things were changing up there. I think most communities are prepared to embrace prospecting and the dollars it brings. I for one will not hesitate on my decisions next time I'm up in that part of the world to spend time looking for gold, I'll be in Adelong, kiama, bendoc/delegate, Cooma, mogo and big badga areas if the authorities want to come check up on the legal status of what I'm up to. Chances are they probably don't have a clue where to look in any of those areas. yikes

#19

shivan
Member
From: Nowra, south coast NSW
Joined: 15 February 2013
Posts: 1,082
Member
08 August 2017 07:28 am

I will start worrying when my petrol pump can start processing something other than water or they change the wording of the rules.
Otherwise they still have no leg to stand on.


Minelab GP Extreme 11" & 18" DD, 2 highbankers, EZ river sluice and a growing collection of sieves and pans

1 user likes this post: davent

#20

3DDevil
Member
From: Riverina, NSW
Joined: 06 March 2015
Posts: 77
Member
08 August 2017 09:16 am

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. They found the well... Just saying...


GPZ7000, CTX3030, Garrett AT Gold, 'Sluicy 17' Hibanker, WalBanker

1 user likes this post: iamagoldenoldie2

#21

Jemba
Member
Joined: 29 August 2016
Posts: 214
Member
08 August 2017 10:26 am

We could draft a protest letter on behalf of the group, and send it to the minister in charge by a mod.. So guy's how about posting the way in which that letter should be drafted the more the better we can look at what is written merge ideas then post what do you think.


When Injustice Becomes Law Resistance Becomes Duty.

#22

Outback
Member
Joined: 22 August 2013
Posts: 1,176
Member
08 August 2017 11:05 am

Will Detectors be next ? , have a read of these two clauses from NAPFA .

The prohibitive interpretation based on the 2010 Regulations also restricts all other power operated equipment including 12v and solar operated gold wheels, small concentrators and other recreational equipment used for fossicking.

Previous interpretation allowing the use of pumps and other small-scale powered recreational equipment not being used for excavation, that has been accepted in the field by various government authorities, shire councils, prospectors, fossickers, and the general public will no longer be allowed. Any breach of the PERE interpretation can be enforced. This includes all power operated equipment.

All powered equipment includes battery powered devises it seems , that's the literal interpretation ! All detectors run on batteries yikes

The Wrath is building .

#23

aussiefarmer
Member
Joined: 26 July 2015
Posts: 3,122
Member
08 August 2017 02:05 pm

All fossicking / prospecting communities that rely on the $$$$ from campers etc need to be made aware of this ruling and asked for their support either through Napha or by contacting their goverment representitive , its our hobby and their livelyhood thats at stake, more so if the interpretation of powered equipment includes detectors . If they get away with this whats next ?
If anyone knows a easy way of doing this please do so .


Wish in one hand and poo in the other , See which one fills up first !

#24

LoneWolf
Member
From: Gold Coast, QLD
Joined: 12 April 2016
Posts: 2,856
Member
08 August 2017 02:52 pm

cheers wrote:

Well I know that my mates and I will not comply !
When I said they can get stuffed I MEAN THEY CAN GET STUFFED !
I and I'm sure my mates will join NAPFA !
As I said l'm new to this game .
How about we all go to the NSW Parliament House with our sluicing gear and protest !
Get the media involved.
Especially the country media !
I joined a prospecting club this year and they won't be happy !
As I said before " WHO THE BLOODY HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE "

WAKE-UP PROSPECTORS AND FOSSICKERS....(bit harsh, I know)

They are Not listening to NAPFA.(and probably never Will).. With or With-out 10,000 Members, even 100,000 Members.... Why Not March on them... Best Form of Protest.. Gets 'OUR' Message out there... Media Coverage would be Fantastic .. At least they can't throw 10,000 People in the bin..

But they Can and Will Throw 10,000 'Letters' in the Bin...

LW...


Growing Old is Inevitable.... Growing Up is Optional.... Prospectors United Will Never Be Defeated

2 users like this post: LC76, Matt80

#25

LoneWolf
Member
From: Gold Coast, QLD
Joined: 12 April 2016
Posts: 2,856
Member
08 August 2017 03:27 pm

I have been in the Construction Industry for over 40yrs... I have been on EBA Negotiation Committees for 20 of those 40yrs And a Safety Officer on Some of the Biggest Sites in Australia, and have Dealt with some of the Toughest Pollies and Builders in the Country.. Most of the time writing Letters does Jack Shite... Sometimes you HAVE to take your Fight to the Streets and Prove your Point... Make people Aware of your Plight...Media is one of the Best forms that We used and works very Well... You would be Surprised at How Many members of the Public joined our Marches once they Realised that WE were Marching for their Rights as well...

Now before Every-one jumps down my throat about Unions this and Unions That... Unions Got us Decent Pay and Conditions and MADE Sure Most of us Workers arrived Home Safely Every Day. After all, Construction Sites are one of the most Dangerous work Environments around... Yes Sometimes They can be a bit Overboard, Look at what is happening in Brisbane at the Moment with the Busses.. But they ARE getting their Point Across... and their Dispute is NOT only about Pay..

Why Not Protest about OUR issues... Can Some-one give me ONE Good reason why we shouldn't Protest.. cool
If done Correctly THIS WILL WORK.... angel

LW...

Last edited by LoneWolf (08 August 2017 03:34 pm)


Growing Old is Inevitable.... Growing Up is Optional.... Prospectors United Will Never Be Defeated

8 users like this post: Brother, LC76, Eldorado, Tathradj, Matt80, Billy, Gilly47, Campfish4x4

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