2017 is off to a flying start and the LRMA hopes all its members have a happy, healthy and prosperous year.
ACCESS MANAGEMENT PLANS – WIN FOR OPAL MINERS
Commissioner Dixon of the Land and Environment Court handed down her determination in regards to the Access Management Plans re-trial for ‘Allawah’ and ‘Sorrento’ on 23 December 2016. Opal miners’ won on all four points for the second time.
The Commissioner, following a successful appeal by the Halls, re-heard evidence and stayed with her original determination not to impose conditions in an Access Management Plan that are not required under general law. The outcome is that registered vehicles, licenced drivers and public liability insurance are not required for access tracks on the properties ‘Allawah’, ‘Sorrento’ and ‘Malabar’.
The Commissioner in her reasons stated that there was no probative evidence that any damage had occurred on access tracks to a third party’s property or person. The one incident in evidence was on the property ‘Malabar’ and the miner in question repaired the damage and payed a Police fine.
The Commissioner also kept the hours of access as she originally determined being one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset and saw no reason to restrict miners’ working hours by restricting access to 7am to 6pm as sought by the Halls.
The Commissioner in her judgement gave numerous reasons for her determination and said that the fears of the Halls are adequately dealt with by the terms of the AMP and generally at law.
Attached is a copy of the judgment if you are interested in some bedtime reading.
The Access Management Plan for ‘Malabar’ including the above points already determined, will be handed down sometime early this year.
STOCK WATERING POINTS
One challenge nears the end and another looms. The Division of Resources and Energy (DRE) released a fact sheet on stock watering points on 23 December 2016 and will release a draft policy for consultation in the near future. It appears from this fact sheet that DRE are leaning the landholders’ way who are lobbying heavily for no mining within 200m of a stock watering point – being dams, tanks and troughs etc.
Whilst there are not a large number of stock troughs/cups and saucers and stock tanks on the ridges there are a couple that were installed quite close to existing, active mining fields.
The LRMA will be seeking to prove that stock, particularly cattle, are not particularly affected by mining activity and most miners have noted stock hang around the puddling tanks and mining machinery.
The LRMA are calling on miners to take some video of cattle or sheep near working machinery, with the sound on, and email or drop into the LRMA office. This should be quite easy in this hot weather as stock do not stray very far from shade or water, irrespective of the activity around them.
The LRMA’s position is that there should be no surface activity within 50m of a stock watering point and should a miner wish to mine close to a stock trough/cup and saucer they would pay the cost to move the trough.
ENVIORNMENTALIST NEEDED FOR FUNERAL SERVICE
The Funeral Service is currently going through the Development Application process to build a shed on the back of the LRMA block to house their hearses. As part of this process Walgett Shire Council have advised the Funeral Service needs to undertake a survey to ensure the area is not a koala habitat. This is a very expensive process for a community organisation.
If any LRMA member knows of anyone who would volunteer to undertake this survey please let Maxine at the LRMA office know. The Funeral Service needs someone with the appropriate environmental science qualifications who can assess the flora and check to see if there is any evidence of a koala habitat on the site.
The International Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association has issued their program for the July Opal Festival and it is attached.
The following have applied for membership of the LRMA. If any member has an objection to any of these membership applications please contact the LRMA office and your objection will be treated with the strictest of confidence.
Brendon Harrison Proposer: Jason Stone Seconder: Matthew Harrison
Barry Zambra Proposer: Gavin Thomson Seconder: Geoff Peady
Robert Walker Proposer: Leslie Leo Seconder: Lewis Shoard
Alan Richard Proposer: Ormond Molyneux Seconder: John Molyneux