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LRMA News 18 November 2014
Posted by on Apr 19, 2015, 13:08

LRMA President, Directors and Secretary/Manager travelled to Sydney last week and met with officers from the Division of Resources & Energy and then with the Hon. Anthony Roberts, MP, Minister for Resources and Energy.

The Division of Resources and Energy was restructured not that long ago and we met with the head and staff of the Operational Unit and the Compliance and Enforcement branch in Sydney last Thursday.

Our agenda was the same as it has been for the past couple of years however we have been promised a number of policies for comment in the next week or two. The Division of Resources and Energy confirmed that compensation and the infrastructure levies will be collected by them from 5 January 2015 when their office opens in the New Year.

The LRMA proposed a levy amount for roads, environmental stockpiles and rehabilitation and are waiting on the Division’s response which is promised by the end of next week.

Also promised was written draft policies for mining exclusions on the black soil and on the edge of the ridges; a draft policy on the distances from watering points and pipelines where mining may not occur; and the issuing of permits to enter. We will have an opportunity to comment on these policies when we receive them, hopefully by the end of the year.

We discussed the principals of new Opal Prospecting Block (OPB) maps and the LRMA is pushing to have as much of the potential opal bearing ridges covered by OPBs as possible so as to keep the necessity of 2ha prospecting claims to a minimum.

The LRMA raised the issue of the Divisions failure to forfeit bonds and their inability to rehabilitate those claims with the forfeited bonds due to inappropriate legislation, yet again with the Division and the Minister.

We were lucky to have some time with Minister Roberts in his busy schedule and his staff and we raised the same issues with him. We then met with Minister Humphries office whilst we were in Parliament House.

Around 11 officers from the Compliance and Enforcement Branch, which incorporates environment and safety, undertook an unannounced field sweep in late October 2014. They investigated current titles on the fields around town, ‘Allawah’ and ‘Rexeen’.

They are encouraging miners to be aware of their title conditions. Whilst the vast majority of shafts were covered they were not pegged down – so remember to peg down your hole covers – it does not take long.

The branch did see some issues with electrical equipment and are planning on holding a free electrical workshop in the future.

The LRMA AGM will be held at the Bowling Club at 11am this Saturday 22 November 2014. All members are encouraged to attend and to also attend the Xmas party at the old RSL Club at 1pm. Please remember to bring a gift for your child.

Maxine O'Brien
Lightning Ridge Miners' Association Ltd
PO Box 177, Lightning Ridge NSW 2834
Ph: 02 6829 0427, Fax: 02 6829 0830
Mob: 0427 920 474

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