LRMA Newsletter – 21 November 2017


52 members attended the 44th LRMA AGM held last Saturday, 18 November 2017.

President Sebastian Deisenberger welcomed life members of the LRMA, Joe Schellnegger, Jerry Lomax, Fred Mallouk and Ormie Molyneux. In his President’s report Sebastian informed the members what had been happening over the past 12 months.

One of the major topics of discussion was the Lightning Ridge and Surrounding Opal Fields Management Reserve Trust. Sebastian expressed his disappointment with the Voluntary Surrender Scheme and said it is not going the way he hoped it would. Sebastian said his vision was that the Reserve Trust area would be managed by local groups and local people. That all the land surrendered by local graziers should remain within the Trust and be managed so that it produces sufficient income to cover all costs such as fencing, weeds, wild dogs etc. In good times the land could be used for cropping or stock agistment and the next time land becomes available the Trust may have sufficient funds to buy it rather than the Government needing to step in. Sebastian said this was a perfect opportunity to show that grazing, mining and farming could co-exist together.

Unfortunately the grey soils and cropping areas will be subdivided and sold off and the land use conflict will remain. Licenses are required for every activity on public land and the LRMA was under investigation for grading the Coocoran Lake Road which it has been doing for the past 40 years. It is looking like a second layer of bureaucracy. The LRMA continues to push and lobby to turn things around.

Sebastian also advised members that the LRMA has the support of the Minister for Planning & Environment, Anthony Roberts, who visited Lightning Ridge a couple of months ago. Minister Roberts offered the services of Gary White, NSW Chief Planner who shall look at the industry with fresh eyes and assist the LRMA develop a vision for the future. Mr White will discuss the current issues with the Division of Resources & Geoscience.

It was recognised during general discussion that changing government’s attitude is the major challenge. Farmers are seen as more important than miners. It appears to the LRMA that miners’ ability to go to work and mine is seen by government as a privilege and a gift rather than a legal right.

Joe Schellnegger reported that the LRMA Opal Advisory Service handled $2,666,306 worth of opal over the past 12 months compared to $3,615,546 last year. Joe commented that the Opal Advisory Service had seen more quality opal last year.

Helmut Leins was appointed the LRMA auditor for the 2017/18 financial year.


The LRMA Xmas party was a great success and a very pleasant day with the cooler weather. Thank you to Santa!






Winners are grinners. L-R winners of the coin toss: Eleanor Beaumont, Ross Byrnes and Tina Lipohar with LRMA President Sebastian Deisenberger.


Your LRMA membership for the 2017/2018 financial year is now well and truly overdue. If you have not already done so please renew as soon as possible.

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.


Anthony Turk    Proposer: Tony O’Rourke    Seconder: Maxine O’Brien

Colin Russ    Proposer: Martin Ritter    Seconder: Kevin Cutting

Donna Mountstephen    Proposer: Jason Stone    Seconder: Naomi Stone

Greg Tyne    Proposer: Jason Stone    Seconder: Naomi Stone

Scott Haverhoek    Proposer: Jasna Bedenikovic    Seconder: Shannon Barrett

Nicola Haverhoek    Proposer: Jasna Bedenikovic    Seconder: Shannon Barrett

Desiree Pelchen    Proposer: Peter Pelchen    Seconder: Laurie Cree

Jarrad Giles    Proposer: John McFadden    Seconder: Patricia Duncan

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