NSW & ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association Inc. (NAPFA)
Many NSW and ACT prospectors are deeply concerned that a proud activity that helped lay the foundations of NSW has been downgraded and marginalised.
We have not had any effective voice in NSW when it comes to the way policies are made and lands are managed.
We see the results every time we venture out with a metal detector or gold pan.
We see more locked gates.
We see more old goldfields turned into national parks and restricted access areas.
We see more Crown Land, formerly gold areas, sold off to adjacent landowners without consultation or consideration about the impact on fossickers or other users of bushland.
For years we've sat around camp fires discussing the need to get our views across to those who make the rules. Until now.
On 3 and 4 November, 2012, at Mookerawa State Recreation Park on the backwaters of the Burrendong Dam, Central Western NSW, a steering group was formed to establish an association to do just that. (See News update section for full report).
Photo: History in the making at Mookerawa.
Subsequently the group registered an association: the NSW & ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association Inc.
Our 'birthday' is 3 December, 2012, in honour of the men and women of the Eureka Stockade who on that day in 1854 challenged what they considered to be unjust and unfair laws.
They lost that battle, but actually won the war and changed the nature of Australian democracy in the process. We thank them for their inspiration.
Thankfully today we don't need to take up arms to be heard. We have a just cause and in time we believe we can make a difference to the ability of individuals to prospect and fossick in NSW.
We believe balance needs to be restored between conservation of the environment and land use considerations, and access for our chosen recreational activity.
As the name indicates, we also include people in the ACT because they generally fossick in NSW and therefore have a keen interest in this matter.
We invite all people in NSW and prospectors and fossickers everywhere to rally behind our cause.
Apart from being a healthy outdoor activity, prospecting and fossicking has the potential to uplift regional communities struggling to stay alive and to attract visitors.
We hope more towns will put on a 'fossicker friendly face' and consider our needs in terms of access and amenities. If we have good access, we will keep coming back year after year -- as is the case in places like Victoria and Western Australia.
As a peak body, we want to work with authorities to make things better.
The NSW & ACT Prospectors and Fossickers
Association (NAPFA) fights for fairer access to land in NSW and to represent the
interests of prospectors and fossickers.
1. To achieve fairer access to land in New South
Wales for prospectors and fossickers.
2. To make submissions to the Crown, Parliament,
Members of Parliament, Legislative Assembly, Statutory bodies, Local
Government and other organisations deemed relevant, on matters affecting
prospecting and fossicking.
3. To provide a peak body to advise the
Government on matters that may affect the interests of members of the Association.
4. To support members of the Association to
prospect and fossick in a safe and responsible manner.
5. To promote the image of prospecting and
fossicking in NSW & the ACT.
6. To work with like representative bodies
elsewhere to advance the interests of
The sad fact is that in NSW access to prospecting
and fossicking land has been severely eroded in recent decades by the
dominance of conservation values over the heritage value of our prospecting and
fossicking history and culture.
We seek to celebrate and honour Australia's
golden history by continuing the prospecting and fossicking traditions practiced
by countless Australians since the discovery of gold in NSW in 1851.
We want more opportunities for more people to
reconnect with our golden history and to experience national parks and other
reserves through prospecting and fossicking.
We believe balance needs to be restored between
conservation of the environment and access for our low impact recreational
NAPFA seeks to develop a good working
relationship with Government and the relevant committees whose work has an impact on
our members' ability to prospect and fossick.
We also seek to have links with various regional
and metropolitan fossicking and lapidary clubs and other groups whose interests,
especially on access matters, coincide with ours. We support other state
associations with similar objectives to ours.
For information of members, here's our Constitution.