Our Crown Lands submission highlights risks and opportunities

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Our Crown Lands submission highlights risks and opportunities

Post  NAPFA on Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:30 pm

NAPFA provided comprehensive comments last month to the NSW Crown Lands Legislation White Paper about matters that are of concern to our members and indeed all fossickers in NSW. 
The White Paper sets out a range of intended changes in the way that Crown Land is managed in NSW. 
By way of background, Crown Land in NSW covers 33 million hectares or 42 per cent of the state.  It does not include national parks and state forests. Around 30 million hectares is in the Western Division of NSW which incorporates around 6,500 Western Lands Leases. Town Commons are also included.
The changes seek to simplify the management of Crown Land in NSW and to make sure that a modernised approach to Crown Lands continue to benefit the people of NSW.
However, NAPFA identified a number of important risks which included:

  • additional ownership rights to Western Lease holders – which could make access by fossickers to these areas even more difficult than at present;
  • potential to get rid of Town Commons – which could have a detrimental impact on access in places like Hill End, Tibooburra and Stuart Town just to name a few;
  • more involvement by local councils who could act parochially and limit access.

Our 10 page submission went into detail about these matters, and highlighted some of the potential economic benefits for regional areas from fossicking tourism.
At some point the NSW government will make all the submissions public, at which time we will provide NAPFA members with a link to our full submission.
It was pleasing that a number of other fossickers put in individual submissions to let the powers that be know how people feel.
Stay tuned.
Stephen
NAPFA President
PS:  If you are not a member of NAPFA -- please consider joining as we are working to improve things for you.  Check www.napfa.net for details about how to join.
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