Sluicing and Highbanking
Members please note that due to ongoing work on this issue, NAPFA will not be publicly releasing all of its information.
Members will be provided with the latest updates on this issue in the NAPFA NEWS sent directly to members in the following newsletters:
The August newsletter has been sent to members, and contains some good news. NAPFA has made a breakthrough on the power operated equipment issue, which includes the high banker sluice.
There is a lot of
technical work to do, however, and a long road ahead for NAPFA. We now have the
opportunity to demonstrate our activities and equipment, assess the impacts and
effectiveness of mitigating controls, and to develop a suitable framework for
regulations and guidelines. But this relies on the Prospectors and Fossickers
doing the right thing in the field.
There is a lot of work to do, but the most significant hurdle as seen by NAPFA has been overcome.
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Some Recent History
Some history for our newer members, and to remind those
fatigued with the many years of this………………..
The six months from August 2017 to January 2018 saw some
serious progress in proving the facts, to the then Deputy Secretary Kylie
NAPFA was promised a
directive that the Division of Resources and Geoscience (DRG) would use their
own risk-based process and apply it to our equipment, rather than rely on other
arguments (often with non-factual reasons) to ban our equipment.
Another key promise was that NAPFA
would be able to deal with environmental agencies independently of DRG, who
would wait until NAPFA came back to the table with the outcomes.
By March 2018 Deputy
Secretary Kylie Hargreaves was removed from the position in a veil of secrecy.
According to the ALP, and journalists at the time, only Minister Don Harwin
knew the reason why.
By June, DRG had taken
steps to penalise the Prospectors and Fossickers of NSW further with more draconian
proposals. Nothing powered, what so ever.
To do so however, required
a change in Regulations and/or Guides. The battle raged.
NAPFA fought these
proposals and tackled the Resources Regulator (who would have to enforce any
compliance) with vigour.
NAPFA found numerous
“holes” in the so-called intentions, and the ball was left firmly in the
Ministers hands by July 2018. NAPFA only received an answer from the Minister
shortly before Christmas.
were confident that there would not be any regulation changes leading up to the
election, and hence no further restrictions to fossickers rights.
Some very serious
research into NAPFA’s past correspondence and dealings in many areas paid off.
NAPFA found what we believe is the true reason for the attack on the high
banker sluice. This set NAPFA on a course of presenting the facts,
demonstrating a lack of process and obfuscation by DRG, rather than simply lobbying
for what we wanted.